Taking this question as an example.

First the answer given by "André Carregal" seems appropriate to me and as such I have already upvoted it.

However I'm curious about the community view on the answers by "Johannes Setiabudi", "Grant Palin" and to a lesser degree myself.

I'm going to defend mine by pointing out that the original question concerned the Caplio line and not talk about it further as I'm clearly biased. However I do recognize that what I'm about to say does apply somewhat to my answer.

The other two answers concern me because they recommend a specific product (presumably one the answerer has already invested in) rather than talking about the general category the question ask is looking for or presenting a measured comparison of cameras in that category.

So I just wanted to get a clarification on how the community feels about recommendations like this.

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I see no problem with production recommendations in answers per se, but I have more issue with questions asking for recommendations for the best of something; There's no single correct answer with any kind of recommendation question (the closet to that, would be the option that the asker chooses -- someone else may choose differently, of course) -- and that sample question has attracted 3 (of the required 5) closure votes -- had it been flagged as community wiki, it may have be more tolerated, and not flagged for deletion.

Had the question been something like:

"I have a acme tripod, and find that it isn't stable holding my camera with heavy lens attached, what can I do to stabilise it?"

Then it may be more suited to answers like:

"The acme tripod isn't rated for loads over 4oz, why not get something like the Whizz-bang corp super deluxe model which is the same weight/size, but is rated for loads up to 44 tonnes"

There's a specific product recommended, as well as answering why they were seeing problems in the first place. (obviously makes/models are pure fiction there to illustrate the point)

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    Had the same thoughts regarding recommendation questions. These are more suitable for discussion boards. Maybe this should be raised as separate question? – Karel Jul 29 '10 at 13:16
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    Shame about the made up names - I was just about to ask where I could get me a Whizz-Bang corp super deluxe model! – Edd Jul 29 '10 at 13:33
  • +1 - I fully agree – Fredrik Mörk Jul 29 '10 at 14:00
  • @Edd With specs like that, I wouldn't be surprised ;) – Rowland Shaw Jul 29 '10 at 18:20
  • Love the oz to tonnes translation there, fabulous. ;) – jrista Jul 31 '10 at 1:05

The problem with quesations and answers that contain specific products is that they usually get out of date rather quickly.

So, if you ask about a product, you should outline the specific aspects of it that are important. An answer mentioning a product should online the aspects that lead to the recommendation. That way the question and answer might be relevant even after the specific products has gone out of production.

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My follow-up on Rowland's answer is that if a question is too vague or unanswerable, that we should be prodding the OP for clarifications rather than simply voting to close. I don't see that happening with the referenced question.

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  • +1 Good point regarding vague questions... – Rowland Shaw Jul 29 '10 at 18:21

Speaking to the referenced question, I think it's fine. The OP was pretty specific about their needs and identified specific flaws in their current solution.

(In a separate answer since I'm sure people's opinions will differ.)

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