Amazon bought camera review site DPReview, and is now shutting it down

Originally published at: Amazon bought camera review site DPReview, and is now shutting it down | Boing Boing


This is a real tragedy. I don’t visit DPReview often, but when I have, it’s been encyclopedic on the things I’ve been looking to understand.

I’m sure there’s some bullshit business reason that I don’t understand to explain why not, but I can’t help but think, “Why not just go back to the pre-Amazon model, and keep it running?”


Because a modest profit is never enough for these companies. They see something like that and think, “the staff and resources being used by this would make more money if applied elsewhere”. It sucks, but it’s why we can’t have nice things.


I’m sure that they’d love to preserve that invaluable collection of information; but it’s just too difficult for a little indie company with minimal web infrastructure or hosting experience.


Yep: that’s the “bullshit business reason” I expected.


I have a feeling that the folks involved will come to life somewhere else.
But I agree. I didn’t hit them up a TON, but did recently when I decided that I wanted to get a Micro 4/3 camera for creative stuff because I just didn’t like schlepping around my Nikon anymore and it was sitting sad in a corner. They (along with YouTube) helped me make that decision. FWIW, I got a Lumix GX9.

Edit -
Videos from yesterday:


I was surprised to find out that they were still kicking around recently, as I had used them when buying my first digital camera back in 2007ish. And now that I’m looking at getting a replacement for my ancient DSLR, once again used their reviews to try and ballpark where I want to be.

back then, there was some real crap and some real gems in hardware - now, I’m pretty sure I could buy any recent DSLR or mirrorless camera from any maker at any price point and have absolutely zero issues with stuff like image quality, etc. which might be why that sort of thing is irrelevant.

I recently found dpreviewtv and I’m glad those guys are going to find a new home, I like their videos. they’re fun to watch and informative and not too smack what’s up youtube, don’t forget to smack that bell and subscribe to my patreon and play raid shadow legends and buy some mushroom water!


Review site corruption is why I tell people to block web tracking scripts, especially those from google-analytics.

Google tracks the links you traverse before you make a buying decision. If they track a lot of people going to DPReview then going to West Photo to buy a DSLR, then Google knows that DPReview is an important source for independent review. So what do they do? They SELL that info to people who want to sell cameras (both legit and scammers).

Some sellers pay SEOs to up their rankings. Scammy SEOs log on to DPReview and poison their customer reviews, their rankings, their votings, they submit biased articles, they send letters to the publisher, everything to swing more customers their way. They will take any honest site and turn it into a biased cesspool. All from info that Google (or Amazon or Microsoft) sold them.

EDIT: Since it was pointed out that DPReview being non-public-review based, the editors are no doubt still hammered by requests from spammers to review their scammy items, and probably subject to other forms of attack due to their prominence in camera reviews.

Don’t contribute to the enshittification of the web. Block trackers.


DPReview reviews are editorial reviews by some of the best in the business, not crowdsourced garbage like, say, Amazon reviews. In fact it’s one of very few sites I trust to tell things as they are, e.g. when the Leica M8 came out with major flaws, they pointed it out when others like Michael Reichmann covered them up. I’ve been visiting it daily since 2001, and Amazon is now dead to me.

I’m pretty sure someone will come up with an offer to buy the site and staff, and if Amazon refuses to part with it, just hire the staff and rebuild it.


I hope you’re right, because it’s an awesome site. Yet another mark against Amazon, along with their glut of 3rd party knock-off garbage anymore.


I hope someone DOES rebuild. But I’ll still lament the loss of the rich, rich review and forum history.

RIP, shutterbug site.


Rumor has it that Amazon simply forgot they owned the site, and thus never came up with anything as a business model.

I sent a link to that rumor to a friend, who is a photography nerd in the best sense. They replied “figueres”, and related that they once were part of a team which audited for eBay, and found that they basically had done something similar, losing 700 million € due to forgetting a department.


“Amazon: we’re the reason you can’t have nice things. But we’re also the reason that you can have cheap and nasty things shipped to your door in less than two days, so we figure it’s a wash.”


I believe it. It is a bit like Hewlett-Packard. After they got big and slow and got crappy management like Carly, HP developed a habit of acquiring things, big and small, and then they disappear into the behemoth. There’s no effective marketing of them, revenue falls, then eventually someone pulls the plug.


I was a photographer I’m my 20s. DPReview was the Bible when it came to gear reviews. Even better, it set the bar for what I expected from review sites. They will be missed.


Amazon own IMDB too. As far as I know, they’re still mostly based out of a really ugly office block in Bristol.

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Hey, I like that office block! Admittedly in an ugly kinda way.

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I was unaware that Amazon had acquired the site in the first place. I relied on it religiously when I was looking for new cameras. No other review site of any type could match the thoroughness of their reviews – they had a structured, data-driven, and objective approach to comparing cameras. They defined standards to watch.

I haven’t visited the site in years, and I’m sure my reasons for not doing so have spelled their doom in general. Photography has been democratized to a point where everyone can either take good enough captures, or fix it in post on social media sites. Gear isn’t the edge it used to be.

Hell, I don’t see the point in taking pictures much any more, there are fewer unique moments and angles to be had when everyone is taking pictures all the time everywhere. Too much noise, even if you are able to make a special artful shot.

Phone cameras have gotten so good and the megapixel wars are over. Now, the battle is over which gear has the most sophisticated image processing algorithms, and the art of photography has taken a back seat. The recent controversy over Samsung’s approach to taking pictures of the moon is one example of the end result being considered more important than the process. Not necessarily a bad thing, but it certainly removes many of the incentives for seeking out better camera gear.

So, that leaves camera manufacturers and the ecosystem around them in a bind. What for decades was an arms race to make cameras more accessible is over, and now what is left is a shrinking pie of traditionalists and artists who are seeking the 2% of images you can’t get from a phone camera.

I’ll miss the site, and it pains me that it can’t at least be archived and preserved by a guy who thinks nothing of spending billions on penis-shaped rockets, but technology and culture have turned it into a relic.

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Don’t know what you mean, this is a very fine ultrasonic toothbrush by Degoo that cost me $22.
Oh, that’s a $7 toothbrush I gorilla glued to a very very bad cellphone? Haha, so it is.

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