Re : Finding time to review flashlights ???

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mmalive
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Re : Finding time to review flashlights ???

Hey Guys, I got a question for you “ hardcore “ flashlight reviewers” ? How do you guys find the time to do reviews and so often. Seems difficult with everyday life. With work, family, girlfriend/wife, etc…. How you make the time? Just curious?

On related note. I do flashlight reviews and it is very difficult. I do it to contribute to this great hobby. But I can be very challenging at times. But I feel it is my duty to spread word if I can.

Please give insight.

USA
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A detailed, insightful and honest product review takes a lot of time. Especially if you are not doing this with routine or as a frequent hobby – when I wrote my first reviews (different hobby) it took almost 2-3x as much time because I had to setup scenarios, camera and test equipment.

After work, commute, business meetings abroad, family life, girlfriend, friends, hobbies, sports and other interests and duties (cleaning my house takes almost a full day per week) there is almost no time or energy left to review products. I started 3 flashlight reviews and never finished them because I simply couldn’t find the time. Given the fact we all have a time limit on earth, it is up to you whether you want to carry out this effort or not.

Practice and automation will probably help a lot, but only the most engaged enthusiasts might have the opportunity to use a real hobby lab, quality equipment and the knowledge/time to set everything up professionally.

MascaratumB
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Hey mate, it is part of the hobby, we manage to get some time, even if it takes longer than if we had free time!

I like to review flashlights, bought on my own or offered by manufacturers. I like to take photos of the flashlight (inside and outside, indoor and outdoor), make some comparison with other lights (sizes, beam, tints) and it takes quite a while.

When I get a light, I try to take the photos in the same day (specially the looks, its composition, the beam and the output levels indoor) (45 minutes, sometimes more, depending on the flashlight).
Then on weekends, when I go to my village, I take some outdoor photos, comparing beams, distances with other lights. (30-40 minutes, depending on the type of flashlight, the number of levels, the lights I think it is worth to compare with it)

But this isn’t the part that takes longer. The download from the Drive, the choice of the photos to show in the review, the part of making animated GIFs (to show the outputs), the upload into Imgur, then the copy of all the photo links into a Word doc (arranged by parts), the writing itself, and then the verification if everything matches correctly (size of images, bold/underlined/italic word, …) , that may take me more than 6 hours. Yesterday I spent hours writing a review of a Klarus light, just to get the User Interface thoroughly explained/described. I went to bed after 4 a.m . and I got up early, at 7 a.m. … Facepalm

Overall, a review normally takes me more than 8 hours to be done (I am not a native english speaker, so words don’t come out naturally…).

When do I have the time for it? In the after hours, going to bed late some days a week.

And sometimes it is quite…“ungrateful”, as there are no comments just to say “what a sh!tY review you have there!!

But…this is the hobby, and we do it cause we like it!
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USA
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One aspect of our hobby that is missing would be a truly complete, accurate flashlight database that can be populated, filtered/sorted, with beamshots, battery compatibility and other data. We have various elements in different places, but no true database or log of sort.

HKJ is doing it for batteries, the basics are in the flashlight wiki (site), reviews are here/on CPF/youtube and elsewhere, there is a beamshot gallery/post… but nothing that would be tied up in 1 place.

And thanks to everyone who does detailed reviews, I appreciate every single one of them.

Parametrek
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USA wrote:
One aspect of our hobby that is missing would be a truly complete, accurate flashlight database that can be populated, filtered/sorted, with beamshots, battery compatibility and other data. We have various elements in different places, but no true database or log of sort.

I’ve been trying. My database is certainly filterable and sortable. It links to all the best reviews and beamshots whenever they exist. Unfortunately the flashlight industry is much larger than what the reviewers can keep up with so there will never be the level of detail that you are asking for.

Try the largest, fastest, most flexible flashlight search engine: parametrek.com

40 brands, 2027 models and still growing!

NEW: sleeping pad search engine, battery database

USA
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Thanks, I have seen your efforts and I really like the approach.

But you are right, with the velocity new light products are coming into the market, the changes even the same model can have within manufacturing cycles (change of LED, driver, other aspects), and then the details we would like to have (bin/tint/Vf/…) it would be almost impossible to realize.

Terry Oregon
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Retired.  Yes, time consuming. That review you see in my signature (thirteen optical sensors) was about three months in the making. 

My reviews: , J5 Tactical V1 Pro LINK and Thirteen Optical Sensors LINK and Zebralight SC700d LINK and Ray-O-Vac Super Power Sportsman LINK

and Convoy S2+ color combos LINK. My Collection (photos) LINK  How To flash D4V2 LINK

USA
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It would be great if we had some form of automation/script/app to create flashlight reviews. Something that just asks questions and you enter/answer them, put in the raw pictures and it comes out formatted and with GIFs. It pulls the product sheet from Amazon (or similar) and does everything automatically plus stores a copy in a database.
The text would be missing and a few other bits, but that would already reduce the time to produce quality reviews.

bmengineer
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I’m not quite sure if I meet your qualifications for a “hardcore” flashlight reviewer – I rarely do beamshots, don’t have a calibrated way to measure output or throw, and a lot of what I do is just sharing my opinions.
All that being said, I review lights often enough that I started up a website dedicated to reviews. Just like anything in life, having a workflow helps cut down on the time cost. I’ve done it often enough that I have a template for my headings and I know what measurements and photos I need and want to take.
Of course this hobby takes time, but I would spend a few hours a week browsing the forums otherwise. I’d rather use those hours taking measurements and learning more about DC electronics and test methods. As an engineer by schooling, those things interest me. It also helps keep my spending on the hobby in check, since something I’m excited for is always in the mail.

Find all my reviews of flashlights and more gear at www.bmengineer.com

mmalive
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Thanks for insight guys. Every review is different as some people agree with input while others disagree with feedback. In the end, time is the main factor for more detailed reviews.

mmalive
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bmengineer wrote:
As an engineer by schooling, those things interest me.

We have similar backgrounds. What type of Engineer are you? I am Structural/Interface Design Engineer.

djozz
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I have done fairly complete reviews in the past that indeed take 8+ hours to complete, but nowadays I stick to “impressions” that contain a few pictures, if relevant a teardown, throw and output numbers, and, mostly for modders, extra information and opinions.

I do admire people who do full reviews and if it is about a light that interest me I like reading them. Usually I do not have the stamina to watch video reviews, but a few know how to make them fun enough to watch them out.

bmengineer
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mmalive wrote:
bmengineer wrote:
As an engineer by schooling, those things interest me.

We have similar backgrounds. What type of Engineer are you? I am Structural/Interface Design Engineer.

Biomedical/mech

Find all my reviews of flashlights and more gear at www.bmengineer.com

M4D M4X
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Family, housekeeping, the affilliate stuff and making a review or video now and then add up to 14/16 hours a day (every day) Wink Sad


 

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Lightbringer
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Wellp, I’m hardly “hardcore”, as I don’t have lumenometers or time-lapse equipment to measure output, output over time, temperature, things like that, but more “Amazon-like” reviews: first impressions, impressions over time, and final words if perceptions change (something breaks, nifty feature I’d discover, etc.).

I prefer to edc the light at least a week or two, but if the mfr is kinda pushing for quick turnaround, then it’s strictly first impressions.

Besides, plenty of people can do beamshots, etc., way better’n I can, so best to look for their reviews if that’s what you’d want to see.

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skinny_tie
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Terry Oregon wrote:

Retired.  Yes, time consuming. That review you see in my signature (thirteen optical sensors) was about three months in the making. 

If I recall correctly, your sensor review was the most epic first post I’ve ever seen.

robo819
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For me personally doing the runtime , amperage and lumens testing for my charts , then the pictures of the light itself (tear down included on many) , the beamshots , making GIF images for the forum , uploading pictures to host site , making a video from the beamshots , still photos , outdoor live footage and telling about the light at the beginning of the video and then uploading the video , GIF’s and doing all the written portion to this forum as well as the TFF forum , then uploading the video to Youtube and my dedicated Flashlight Review page on Facebook………..

Usually a minimum of 14 and up to probably as much as 22 hours in all my reviews and that is with multi tasking such as making the written portion while I do runtime testing or such many times. It does help that I do not have to worry about going to work everyday though , as I have been disabled for a long time now with severe spinal arthritis and heart problems , but the hours getting a review done are demanding to say the least and of course , as you mentioned up there , the more thorough the review the more time / hours you spend making the review.

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Wrathbringer27
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I’ve only done so far I think 3 reviews. They are fairly short because I did not go in depth. Basically tint, beam profile, UI and ease of use.

Words can be broken,
so can bones.

mmalive
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Great input guys. I find it very difficult as well. Not easy in no way. I try to structure review around flashlight quality build, engineering aspects as well user interface, etc…. So gives all readers breakdown of light itself.