Tuesday, March 21, 2023

DPReview.com to Close

Scott Everett (via Hacker News, Reddit):

After nearly 25 years of operation, DPReview will be closing in the near future. This difficult decision is part of the annual operating plan review that our parent company shared earlier this year.


Thank you for your support over the years, and we hope you’ll join us in the coming weeks as we celebrate this journey.


The site will be locked, with no further updates made after April 10th 2023. The site will be available in read-only mode for a limited period afterwards.

This is so sad.


The forums on this site needs to be archived ASAP. Theres so much information living within those forums that it would be a major blow if it all just disappeared, especially as a film photographer, where finding a lot of my niche information pops up on these forums.


Update (2023-03-22): ReclusiveEagle (via Hacker News):

PSA DPReview is being archived by the Archive team. Currently they are working to scrape over 4 million articles and posts within the next 3 weeks. [1] — see April 10 2023

Once archived, the entire site will be made available for anyone to browse on the internet archive. The entire .WARC will also be made available for anyone to download and view locally with a .WARC viewer such as Web Replay — this allows you to download the site and view it locally forever. You will be able to download the .WARC file from here once complete.

Jaron Schneider:

Chris Niccolls and Jordan Drake are joining PetaPixel and will lead its new YouTube Channel. The two have been a mainstay in the photography industry for more than a decade as hosts for first The Camera Store and then DPReview.

See also: Adam Chandler, Rui Carmo, Nick Heer, Om Malik, Jeff Carlson, John Gruber, TidBITS.

Update (2023-03-24): Glenn Fleishman:

Contrast Amazon’s integration of DPReview since 2007 (not at all) with the New York Times’s of Wirecutter—no offense to Wirecutter, but the NYT treats it poorly within the NYT family/framework however good the work is. IMDB is a better example for Amazon: they bought it in 1998 and it remains fairly independent in appearance, yet well integrated with Amazon’s product and video offerings.

See also: Devin Coldewey (via John Gruber) and Arun Venkatesan.

Update (2023-04-03): Kirk McElhearn:

We had an entirely different topic planned for this episode and then learned just before recording that the website DPReview is being shut down after 25 years of covering digital photography and being the best resource for camera reviews.

Update (2023-04-06): Ernie Smith:

In the roughly two weeks since Amazon announced it was shuttering the site, the community of digital photography fans that made up the DPReview website and forums haven’t focused on the what-ifs. Instead, they’ve gotten straight to action. Case in point is the creation of Digicam Finder, an archive of photography information generated by the community. The site first emerged online in a basic form that includes more than 2,500 cameras in a fully searchable database, with specific information on technical features such as weight, sensor size, optical zoom, shutter speed, and USB capabilities.


While representing a new community resource, Digicam Finder is starting with a masterful scrape job of DPReview’s archive, utilizing work conducted by the Archive Team and others to put the website onto the Internet Archive. The site actually links to the Wayback Machine versions of many vintage DPReview articles, particularly reviews of featured cameras, making it possible to access both the open-source camera information and the still-copyrighted source material. But in the long term, Green says that the goal is to take this information and improve both its resourcing and presentation—and the OPD project is already seeing support from hundreds of fans and even outside data-collection efforts.


But even in that context, the DPReview shuttering stands out because of its nature as both a data-rich resource and a publicly facing community of members, and the fact that the closure was seemingly out of left field. And that means there’s a community willing to fight to keep its spirit alive, both in the form of data and successor forums like DPRevived, which has taken in more than 2,000 DPReview forum members since last month’s announcement.

Update (2023-04-22): Scott Everett:

We’ve received a lot of questions about what's next for the site. We hear your concerns about losing the content that has been carefully curated over the years, and want to assure you that the content will remain available as an archive.

We’ve also heard that you need more time to access the site, so we’re going to keep publishing some more stories while we work on archiving.

John Gruber:

I don’t understand either of these paragraphs. I mean, I’m glad they’re still publishing new content, but I don’t understand what publishing new stories has to do with giving readers more time to access the site. And it’s completely unclear what sort of “archive” is going to be available after it closes.


Update (2023-06-23): Scott Everett (via John Gruber):

We’re thrilled to share the news that Gear Patrol has acquired DPReview.


I want to reassure you that we remain firmly committed to what makes DPReview great: the best camera reviews in the business, industry-leading photography news and features, and one of the most active photography communities anywhere on the internet.

2 Comments RSS · Twitter · Mastodon

"Digital Photography Review - an Amazon company" WTF?

Why the hell is this site an "Amazon company" anyway?

The test chart comparison tool is incredibly valuable and is not something that can be archived as you have a choice of hundreds of cameras going back decades in each of four panes via drop-down menus.

Losing access to that data is cultural vandalism - it’s been an amazing resource for photographers and anyone interested in the technological progress of digital imaging for decades.

Amazon need to be made aware of exactly what they are in danger of destroying as the bean counters likely don’t even know it exists.

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