Home News DPReview closes down after 25 years. Video reviews move to PetaPixel

DPReview closes down after 25 years. Video reviews move to PetaPixel

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Macfilos readers will be sad to hear shocking the news that DPReview is being closed down by its owner, Amazon, after nearly 25 years of support for the digital camera community.

In common with many bloggers and journalists, I have frequently used DPReview as a source of information, and the site’s camera and lens reviews have represented a sort of gold standard for fairness and reliable information. In the past, I wouldn’t have considered buying a digital camera until I’d read all the details in a DPReview assessment.

DPReview: It all started in 1999:

DPReview was there at the deginning of the digital revolution when it was no one predicted that film would be eclipsed within a decade
DPReview was there at the beginning of the digital revolution when it was no one predicted that film would be eclipsed within a decade

Sadly, all this is going. The site will be closed from April 10 and will be available for reference for a time. But there is no guarantee of a long-term home for the archives, and that is a pity. Most people cannot understand why Amazon, one of the largest data storage companies on the planet, cannot continue to make DPReview available for reference for a decade or even longer.

In recent years, one of the highlights of DPReview has been the YouTube tests of equipment by Chris Niccolls and Jordan Drake. So I am delighted to hear this morning that they have found a new home for their channel with PetaPixel.

I am sure all readers of Macfilos will join me in wishing Chris and Jordan well for the future. We should also think about the dedicated staff of DPReview, who now have to find new employment in a very difficult environment.

What are your recollections of DPReview over the years? Did you use the site when choosing a new camera or lens?



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14 COMMENTS

  1. Yes, this is sad news.

    Many of the right things have already been said here in the comments. Isn’t it paradoxical that the young, digital heritage is in danger of being lost so much faster than the knowledge of the decades and centuries before? As an occasional reader, I used to enjoy DPReview from time to time, partly because it was quite entertaining.

    And unfortunately, this development confirms a trend that Dean Sephton described very well above: Many manufacturers (and many other players as well) want to cut off the detours via the (hopefully independent) media and determine for themselves what the “news” and “information” about their products, services or actions will be. Influencers are happy to play along and thus contribute to disinformation, whether inadvertently or deliberately.

    This is the next stage of the “owned media” strategy, which seeks to eliminate intermediaries precisely because they cannot be fully controlled. Or, as it is usually called in the trade, “kill the middleman”. The losers are usually us, as consumers or members of a less well-informed society.

    As a professional journalist and dedicated contributor to Macfilos, I would like to ask all readers to help defend journalism. There is much more at stake than DP Review.

    Jörg-Peter

  2. I suppose it was inevitable, but probably not as soon as this. For over 20 years digital cameras have been ‘a thing’ but alas that is no more the case due to a number of factors, including how good they all are these days. And dare I mention smartphones and social media? Leica, of course, continues to exist and prosper, as a niche within a niche.

    The take over by Amazon explains the lack of other advertisements and the site would, of course, have been judged on the basis of the number of ‘click throughs’ to Amazon and not on any type of sentiment about photography and cameras.

    I had dinner with Chris and Jordan in Wetzlar last year and found them to be lovely fellows who really know their photography and their cameras. I wish them all the best in their new venture.

    Maybe someone might rescue the DPReview site and/or preserve what is there for future historical research. Who would have thought that preserving the history of digital photography would be a concern in 2023?

    William

  3. A sign post of the times. I am in Canada and the governments in North America do not want to admit we are in a recession much less a deepening recession. DPreview is not a core business of Amazon so they will be throwing unnecessary weight out of the ship to avoid sinking.

    As a Leica person, they were not looked at often by me. I wonder how many people actually clicked on their links to purchase on Amazon. My go to places were my favourite camera store and B&H for what my camera store could not sell.

  4. Sad to see them go but truth be told I hardly used the website. Comparing with IMDb.com (also an Amazon subsidiary) I don’t feel Dpreview.com was the reference site for cameras as IMDb.com was and still is for movies. I did watch Chris and Jordan on YouTube (already since their The Camera Store days). I found their reviews pleasant and entertaining but rarely revealing, frequently biased (towards Sony) and their review of the Leica CL is probably one of the worst reviews I have ever seen on YouTube… Still sad to see the website go though…

  5. It is a loss, particularly the written reviews which I have found useful and thorough although they’ve been rather patchy in the last couple of years. I suppose we should be pleased that Amazon kept it going as long as it did and seemingly independant. The speedy move of the video reviews with Chris and Jordan suggests there is no new owner in the offing. DPReview was also one of the websites which managed to have adverts that didn’t render the website annoying (Macfilos is another case in point!) I can’t say the same about Petapixel . Coming on the back of the closure of Steve’s digicams and Imaging Resource’s recent problems it seems that manufacturers now prefer to push their products through their own “Ambassadors” and influencers whilst we consumers generally prefer to get our information from free sources rather than subscription sites.

    • Fully agree with you. DPReview’s lack of advertisement, its clean and modern design (which did not change that much since the beginnings), its numerous tools and features and finally its very large, and generally helpful community made it a unique and very valuable tool. All of this probably cost a little fortune to run (they seemed to have a many full-time employees) compared to other digital photography sites.

  6. It’s all about money. DPReview only seems to have click-throughs to Amazon, so you might expect that would be enough revenue to justify keeping it open, but apparently not.

  7. I’m saddened by it as DPR always struck me as having objectivity as part of their mission. It would be a shame for all this to disappear. One can only hope that some industry benefactor (Adobe?) sees the value of its continuity or that a GoFundMe campaign can allow then to continue as an independent source.

  8. Sad news, I’ve always considered DPReview a reliable and valuable resource when considering any new camera equipment.

    I’m glad Chris and Jordan have found a new home with PetaPixel.

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