Last week I posted a review of the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-WX1, but this post is not really about my review. It's about two user reviews (written by users I doubt have actually used the camera). One calls my review flawed, while the other praises the camera and then gives it a half-star rating out of five stars. Why? Sony's use of Memory Stick media for storage.
According to the first user review, the reason my review was "flawed" was because I didn't mention the use of Memory Stick media as a con and a reason not to buy the camera. I'm sorry, but I don't see what the big freakin' deal is with buying a Memory Stick. Yeah, it would be swell if I didn't have to pay $30 for an 8GB Memory Stick Pro Duo and instead could get a generic 8GB SDHC card for $18. But, honestly, Sony's use of proprietary media, I/O ports, and miscellaneous other technologies shouldn't be news to anyone--it's been doing it for forever. In the case of Memory Stick, since 1998. Get over it already.
The other review complains that there are only two manufacturers of Memory Stick media--Sony and SanDisk--and when the user used a SanDisk card, the WX1 popped up a message saying it may not record. Problem is, I did and do all my testing using the SanDisk card mentioned and never got an error or any other kind of message. I'm not saying it didn't happen, but I'm willing to bet there's something else going on.
Regardless, cutting a rating down to half a star strictly because you don't like buying a proprietary memory card makes no sense. It doesn't help readers or potential buyers.
There are benefits to a closed system--just ask anyone using an Apple computer. And, well, licensing fees keep a lot of companies in business. Does it suck that you are forced to buy a Memory Stick? If you already have SD cards for other products, then yes, sure. But, frankly, no one made you buy Sony products, and hey, at least be grateful it's not an xD card.