Request for Comments: Who do you want to see in the Blog Sidebar and Below Individual Posts?

This is an RFC (request for comments). What would you like to see in the Blog Sidebar and also below individual blog-post pages (which are currently fairly short)? What would you like NOT to see? Please feel free to use the online contact form or send an email (the direct email address is at the previously linked page), or leave a comment here or use Twitter. I have a long list of items I’m considering, but I won’t mention them here so they won’t influence this feedback process.

PS: in the next few days I will be experimenting with various things in the Sidebars and below blog-posts so in those two places, you may see items appear and disappear as they get tested out.

Website is back online!

Unfortunately due to a problem with the web hosting company (hosting and database servers having latency issues), this blog was down for about 45 minutes in the middle of the madness. Bad timing 🙁

In case of future problems like this, there are two plan Bs to consider:
+ the full-text RSS feed for previously posted deals. It is hosted on Feedburner which caches the posts, so it works even if the website is down and out
+ new deals will temporarily get posted on the main Twitter at @1001noisycamera (no final “S” because 15-character limit)
+ both the RSS feed and the Twitter feed are posted on the main blog which is hosted by a different hosting company in a different state

All apologies for the inconvenience. Now I must try to catch up once again 🙂

New WordPress Theme Is Here

The new WordPress theme is here, no more mega-font default WordPress ugliness! Thanks to everyone for the feedback! Over 75% of the votes were in favor of either the Test2 or Test3 options, while the bigger and bolder Test1 and the previously-current mega-font combined had under 20% of the vote. So the message you sent was clear, go for something compact and concise, which led to this theme! In some ways, it looks a lot like our previous-previous TypePad theme.

This is a responsive theme, works with desktops, laptops and smartphones. The responsiveness is not ideal with some tablets but it is still readable/usable [you can adjust the browser window on a desktop/laptop to partially simulate this]. More adjustments and customizations will happen in the next few days. The Main Blog will switch to a new theme next week. Please feel free to opine using the online contact form or the comments below or Twitter.

This is the TL;DR. If you are interested in more details about the making of this vegan sausage, there’s much and more after the jump…

UPDATE for Samsung S-Pen Users: you can use the S-Pen to hover over the menus on top (“Manufacturers”, “Camera Mounts”, “Camera Types”) and they automatically expand to show all the options. Then you just have to click on the option you want. (this works if the S-Pen hover feature is enabled – it’s somewhere in the TouchWiz labyrinth of menus).

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(ENDED) Blog Update: Template Change In Progress

The new WordPress Theme is now installed. A newer post has more details. This post was just an alert.
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(ENDED) You Opine: Which One Of These New WordPress Themes Do You Prefer?

As of 5/17/15 at 1am ET, the new non-mega-font theme has been installed… The original post is after the jump for reference…

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(ENDED) Blog Update: a new WordPress Theme is coming!

As of 5/17/15, the new WordPress Theme arrived. The original post is after the jump for reference only…
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New Responsive Theme Is Here – What You Need To Know

If you are reading this, it means the Camera Deals blog is now using a new Responsive Theme, the official WordPress Twenty Fifteen theme.

In a nutshell, a Responsive Theme tries to make a website more user-friendly whether you are reading on a smartphone or tablet or laptop or desktop. If you want to see the different sizes on a Desktop or Laptop, simply change the window size of your browser, and you will see it live-adjust to the Viewport (= the part of the screen available to display the website).

Previously we had a black menu bar at the top, and a Right Sidebar.

Now they have merged into one, a new Left Sidebar.

If you are on a Desktop or Laptop or a Tablet in Landscape mode, you will most likely see this Left Sidebar. If you are on a smartphone or a tablet in portrait mode, you are more likely to just see the blog-posts with no sidebar. However, you can easily get to it: simply press the Menu button at the top right part of your display (see screenshot right below – screenshot is before pressing the button), and they will expand immediately (no page reload) above the blog-posts.

NZresponsive1

Quickly Get To Items of Potential Interest
The name of the blog “Camera Deals” in the Left Sidebar is also a quick shortcut to the Home page. Simply press/touch that and you’ll go there.

With the Menu + Sidebar merged, I did some pruning on the options since there was some overlap. You can filter many of the deals using the first block in the Left Sidebar. Expand the various options to see more options. For example, Manufacturers breaks into Canon, Nikon, Sony, Fuji, Olympus, Pentax, etc, etc, etc. Camera Mounts breaks down to Canon DSLR Gear, Nikon DSLR Gear, M43rds Gear, etc, etc, etc. Camera Types breaks down into DSLRs, Mirrorless, Fixed Lens, Superzooms, Accessories, etc, etc, etc. All these will be fine-tuned over time. See screenshot right below…

NZresponsive2

Below that, you will find the Latest Posts, followed by a list of Daily Deals Links (I can’t always post new daily deals as they change throughout the night, so you can use those links to check at your convenience). Below that you will find a Calendar of posts and the Tag Cloud.

All kinds of adjustments and refinements will be made over time. If this default WP theme does not prove flexible enough, I am also investigating alternative premium WordPress themes. If you have any to recommend, please leave a comment or use the online contact form or Le Twitter.

TIPS
You can use your browser’s zoom features, (eg CTRL+ or CTRL- depending on browser/OS) to make it bigger or smaller. This can tame (scale down) the mega-text on desktops for example. [NEW!]

Problems? Questions? Issues? Suggestions?
If you have any problems or questions or issues or suggestions, please feel free to leave a comment or use the online contact form or Twitter. Please try to be as descriptive as possible. For example, “does not work on my device” cannot help me troubleshoot it. On the other hand if you say, “it’s a mess on a Lumia Windows Phone with a 800 x 480 display” it narrows it down to the point where I could troubleshoot.

Blog Update: Responsive Theme Coming Soon!

The Responsive Theme has now arrived! Check this detailed post for explanations and what you need to know. The original alert is after the jump for reference…
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Opinion Poll: Show or Not Show Expired Offers on the Front Page of the blog?

We have another opinion poll for you to opine and feedbackize (verb). Currently all deals remain on the front page of the blog. I move expired offers at the start of each day, so expired offers can cluster together, making it easier to quickly skim and scan. But with WordPress there is more flexibility. So the question is, do you like to see the expired offers on the front page, or only live offers? If you have a more complicated answer, please leave a comment or use the online contract form.

The way to show live offers only is to create a WordPress category or tag, and include/exclude that category/tag from being shown on the front page.

Note that expired offers do not mark themselves expired automatically. I have to manually edit the posts regardless, so even if this is implemented, I would still need to mark them manually to make them disappear from the front page (and edit the category/tag to indicate something is live/dead). So I don’t know if having this feature would create additional confusion than be helpful, since expired offers would be shown under “live offers” until I get around to editing them out. I can’t do the 24×7 non-stop blogging of the old days, so they could stay like that for hours.

A third option would be to show all offers on the frontpage, but have an option in the menus that when you click on, you only see the non-expired offers. Something like a “LIVE DEALS ONLY” button. This would be done the same way as above, with a WordPress category/tag. Since this would be extra work on both me and WordPress, I don’t know if it makes sense logistically to do that if a small/smaller percentage of visitors will utilize it.

So why I am asking this? Some like to see expired offers, to see what was offered and what they missed. Others only want to see live offers. Others want to switch between the two. So I am trying to figure out whether I need to make adjustments or not.


Poll: Are You Interested in Imported (Gray Market) Camera Gear?

We have an opinion poll for you to help us prioritize future posts. Are You Interested in Imported (Gray Market) Camera Gear? The poll has three options. If you have a longer opinion or different answer, please feel free to leave a comment or use the online contact form.


Price Research: Mirrorless and Serious Fixed Lens Camera Price Charts completed

We completed two more price charts (of price research interest), one for Mirrorless Cameras, and one for Serious Fixed Lens Cameras. You can find all four installments (35mmFF cameras, and APS-C dSLRs) at the Camera Price Charts archives.

New Price Research series at Main Blog

We started a new price research series at the main blog, the Camera Price Charts. So far, we have two installments, 35mm Full Frame Cameras and APS-C DSLRs. More coming up as we close 2014.

Latest Deal Summary updated

If you are just now catching up with the action and want to see a not-so-quick summary, I just updated the Latest Deals Summary Situation Room by removing all the expired deals. For this holiday season, as an experiment, we are keeping the Situation Room running until the end of the year. So you have two options, you can check the stream here as they happen and also check the summary over there.

Quick Housekeeping Updates

A couple of quick housekeeping updates:

1) I tried to mark as many of the now-expired deal-posts as expired, but with the chaos of the BF/CM weekend, it’s impossible to get them all. A good rule of thumb: the “time decay” factor of deals, the further away you are from the blog-posting date, the higher the chances are that it expired/changed

2) a new experiment, the Camera Deals Situation Room (permalink) at the main blog will continue to be updated until the end of 2014, covering the rest of the Holiday Shopping season. So if you are checking this blog intermittently, you can also check up on that page to quickly get up to speed.

Black Friday Situation Room launched at Main Blog

As we do every year, we launched the Black Friday Situation Room at the main blog, summarizing the latest Black Friday deals on a rolling basis on a single mega-post. Deals will be posted here one by one as they happen. The Situation Room will be a summary of the latest deals for those catching up or wanting to double check without going through this blog’s archives.

Quick Page Jump options added to HOME button

During the madness of the next few weeks, deals may quickly roll off the front page of the blog. To make it easier to catch up, I added quick links to the first five pages of the blog under the HOME button at the black menu bar at the top of each blog page (to check more, simply change the number in the url)… You can also filter by manufacturer or product type using the black menu bar… You can also use the Calendar widget towards the bottom of the Right Sidebar to check by day… Also, we will soon launch our customary “Situation Room” at the main blog…

Added to Sidebar: Calendar showing Deals Posted by Day

Things are starting to come in fast and furious, and posts flying in all directions. To help you keep up with the madness, I added a Calender widget in the Sidebar of this blog (below the “Daily Deals Links”) to make it easier for you to catch up if you haven’t checked in in a couple of days. Simply click on the day of interest, and all the posts of that day will be shown.

Or if you like to edit browser urls, simply change the date in this url: http://cameradeals.1001noisycameras.com/2014/11/19/ (11 = month, 19 = day of the month).

You can also use the black menu bar at the top of the blog, filter by “Manufacturer”, or “Camera Mount” or Product “Categories”. I need to add some more things there, but unlike the latest Intel processors, I’m single-threaded and my brain is a 900 MHz Celeron 🙂

You can also keep up with the action using the full-text RSS feed.

Black Friday Circular Ads breakdown at Main Blog

As it is customary during Black Friday season, we began a breakdown of the various Black Friday Circular Ads. This is happening at the Main blog (bookmark this if interested). It is a long post that will be updated multiple times until we cover as many stores as possible. Bookmark that post for brick and mortar circular ad coverage! This blog will continue to post deals as they go live. The Main Blog now focuses more on Reference/Research/Long(er)-Form type of posts, so it’s a good place for the detailed BF Ads breakdowns.

UPDATE (6:14pm ET): just finished going through the Best Buy Black Friday Ad.

Note for RSS Readers: The RSS Feed is Working Again!

This note is for people reading this blog using the Feedburner RSS feed (or any other services that rely on RSS to deliver the updates (eg email)). The Feedburner feed for this blog stopped updating with new posts at some point yesterday (10/29/14). The last post shown on Feedburner was the Panasonic FZ70 superzoom. We posted 14 more since then. If you want to quickly catchup, refresh the feed, or check the posts for October 30 and October 29 until you find the Panasonic FZ70 post. If you are still experiencing RSS Feed problems please leave a comment or use the online contact form (we are back to using the old contact form we used in the old blog).

Welcome to the new WordPress version of the Camera Deals blog

Welcome to the new WordPress version of the Camera Deals blog! Phase One of the Transition has been completed! More work needs to be done on various things over the next few days, but the new site is now alive and kicking now! The site-wide RSS feed is the same. The category-based feeds will be sorted out later on. If you notice any problems, issues, or have suggestions please use the online contact form.

For the latest deals, check the right sidebar, or page down underneath this long blog-post. This looong blog-post is only temporarily at the top of the site to help people with the transition. Please feel free to bookmark it for quick reference!

If you arrived here or Got Redirected to this page

This is the new WordPress version of our Camera Deals blog. Here are some quick links to the different areas of interest to get you going. If you are looking for old blog-posts, check the bottom of this post for details…

Type of Camera Gear

+ DSLR Deals (all brands, cameras, lenses, etc)
+ Mirrorless Deals (all brands, cameras, lenses, etc)
+ Lens Deals (all sizes and brands)
+ Fixed Lens Cameras (of all sizes) including RAWsumers and Big Sensor Primes

Camera Manufacturers

Canon

+ all Canon products (Canon branded)
+ Canon DSLR Gear (DSLRs, lenses, flashes, both Canon branded and other makers)
+ Canon EOS-M Mirrorless (coming later)
+ Canon Cameras (all kinds, DSLR, mirrorless, P&S, video)
+ Canon Lenses (all their mounts)

Nikon

+ all Nikon products
+ Nikon DSLR Gear (DSLRs, lenses, flashes, both Nikon branded and other makers)
+ Nikon 1-System Mirrorless (coming later)
+ Nikon Cameras (all kinds, DSLR, mirrorless, P&S)
+ Nikon Lenses (all their mounts)

Sony

+ all Sony products
+ Sony E-mount (cameras, lenses, flashes, etc, both Sony and other makers)
+ Sony A-mount SLR Gear (cameras, lenses, flashes, etc, both Sony and other makers)
+ Sony Cameras (all kinds, DSLR, mirrorless, P&S, video)
+ Sony Lenses (all their mounts)

Pentax

+ all Pentax products
+ Pentax SLR Gear (cameras, lenses, flashes, etc)
+ Pentax Q system (cameras, lenses, etc)
+ Ricoh GXR (coming later?)
+ Pentax Cameras (DSLRs, mirrorless, P&S, MF/LF, etc)
+ Pentax Lenses (all their mounts)

Fuji

+ all Fuji products
+ Fuji X System (cameras, lenses, flashes, both Fuji branded and other makers)
+ Fuji Cameras (mirrorless, P&S, film)
+ Fuji Lenses (all their mounts)

Micro Four Thirds

+ Micro Four Thirds System (cameras, lenses, accessories, all makers)
+ Micro Four Thirds Cameras (all makers)
+ Micro Four Thirds Lenses (all makers)

Olympus

+ all Olympus products
+ Olympus cameras (mirrorless, DSLR, P&S)
+ Olympus lenses (all mounts)

Panasonic

+ all Panasonic products
+ Panasonic cameras (mirrorless, P&S)
+ Panasonic lenses (all mounts, PanaLeicas included)

Other Camera Manufacturers

+ Samsung, Casio, Kodak, etc (coming later)

Lens Manufacturers

+ all Zeiss products
+ Sigma, Tamron, Tokina, Samyang, etc, etc, etc (coming later)

The Old TypePad Blog is now Archived as a Sub-Domain

If you were trying to access individual blog-posts from the old TypePad blog, those have not been transferred over to the new blog. There were over 10,000 ephemeral deals posts, and it was very impractical to transfer them over. However, the Old TypePad blog is available for archival purposes at this new sub-domain url http://cameradeals1.1001noisycameras.com (notice the 1 in the url). The main categories will be redirected to their equivalent ones here.

If you previously bookmarked any old posts from the old TypePad blog or you followed a link to them, and they do not work, add “1” in your url ( cameradeals —> cameradeals1 ) and you will get to the old posts. The old TypePad blog will no longer be updated.