>What made it inferior to the camel?
I dont think it was, from what I have read of the AFC pilots who flew the Camel and Snipe in 4 Sqn, all without fail say they love the Camel and that its quirks were no problem once mastered. They also imply or write that the Snipe was not manouvreable as the Camel.
Another common comment by the AFC pilots on the Camel was that it was not good above 12000 feet and could not meet the Fokker DVII's at that height. All seem to mention that the Snipe allowed them to challenge the DVII's on equal terms at higher altitudes. Another comment is that they mention the superior climbing abilities of the Snipe. IIRC Wright wrote they got 250 Hp at 1400 RPM out of the Bentleys. McCloughry also wrote that the only plane the Camel could catch was a Fokker Triplane.
None seemed to be dissappointed in the change over to the Snipe from the Camel, despite their obvious affection for the Camel. It also appears that some pilots like King took to the Snipe immediately.
The Snipe certainly allowed 4 Sqn AFC to fulfill their duties as a Scout squadron in greater number of roles, previously they had a top cover of SE5a's commonly in late 1918, in October they were often the top cover for the SE5a's! As 80 Wing RAF had an SE5a, F2b, Camel and Snipe squadron, it gave them the ability to satisfy a number of scouting and escorting roles at many altitudes than previously when they had consisted of an F2b, SE5a and two Camel squadrons. Especially when they were consistently meeting DVII equipped Jasta's in the air.
AFC - http://members.nbci.com/pointcook/