Wednesday, March 22, 2023

DPReview Shutting Down: Burning A Historic Library

DPReview Shutting Down: Burning A Historic Library
March 2023, Carl Garrard

WTF. That was the first thought I had when I read the headline DPReview was shutting down, as I'm sure many others shared a similar train of thought. I don't know the real reasons for the shut down of the internets largest community of photographic related content and users. Layoffs and cutbacks are not reasons I accept in this case, I repeat, I do not accept this and neither should you. DPReview could easily be sold through crowdfunding, to a highest bidder, the list of alternatives is staggering. And yet, Amazon is just wiping 25 years of information, contribution, wisdom, sharing, you name it... right off the grid. That takes a pretty soulless decision to do something like that, its the equivalent of burning the Vatican or another historic library right to the ground. This news shocked me in a way that hit my core being, and to the point that I couldn't find the words to describe how I was feeling or what I actually wanted to say. Well a good nights sleep is good for the brain and I woke up today pissed. 

I woke up, I strongly encourage you to wake up as well.

My anger is justified, not only have I been a major contributor there for over two decades, but there are millions of users out there that have too and feel just like I do today. I'm sure Amazon has reaped the benefits of our ad revenue for those twenty five years and in exchange we have, all of us, grown a community of shared information that has helped an untold amount of photographers grown their craft of all kinds. It's unthinkable, reprehensible, and otherwise inconceivable for a company to just delete all of this extremely valuable information off of the net. Not to mention all of its combined wisdom, memories, and potential for the same in one emotionless and greed driven decision. 

This is especially troubling when there are free hosting sites everywhere, and a multitude of other options they could have explored other besides emotionlessly eliminating the worlds largest conglomeration of photographer based community knowledge. Absolutely inconceivable. I dare say it's evil and a sign of the times we are living in. 

I can't think of any other words that describe how this makes me feel but I know that I cannot just silently stomach this treacherous act of emotionless corporate cost cutting.

This site is not a "business unit" or some line item expenditure that everyone will just forget, it's a mindshare, the largest central internet hub for a huge community of people that are passionate about photography for a multitude of reasons. Of course the site isn't perfect, and it's forums can be a tough climate to be in at times, but that part is really necessary to have no matter what. This is what people do, we come together, share, agree and disagree alike, and that is human nature. No it's not perfect, but it certainly does not deserve this.

Amazon, this is the WRONG decision. 

To shut it down without asking for a dime, without exploring any options, leaves me with the desire to do something about it. Not just silently accept this. And none of us should. Now is the time to muster up some energy and courage and get out there and fight for this, especially so if you never do or have before. This is worth protecting people. Another site like it won't exist, the employees moving to other websites is not enough, trust me when I say this. There has to be an alternative. 

Imaging Resource found a way to stay on the internet, so can DPReview.

For some DPreview is an imperfect place, but it doesn't deserve this. As much as I have been vocal and critical about the site's content over the years, I must stress that this criticism is necessary, and there of course are many positives that outweigh my criticisms too,  those positives are YOU. All of our personal contributions, all of the history, heritage, and memories shared need to be preserved so that new photographers can learn, grow, and share just like we did. 

Speak up now, this is not replaceable. The time is now to stand up for something you believe in.

Stay focused.



  1. I have a feeling Amazon won't DELETE everything completely, they will probably archive everything for getting users' info etc...
    Either way, SAD AT!

  2. That's worse than deleting everything. Speak up everyone, today is your day!

  3. Talking to me? I guess.. I agree tho!

  4. Yep. You're probably right that's what they would do if everyone went silently about this news. But I'm not going silently. It's worth fighting for. No matter what you think of the site.

  5. Don't shut down DPR!

  6. Everyone please comment in addition to reading. Not a time to silently lurk and watch the show happen, its a time to contribute for yourself.

  7. Is the shutting down of DPR really strange? DPR has been instrumental in giving people informed decisions about purchasing camera gear. Without it, people like me would've made expensive mistakes from aimless purchases.

    And that's exactly what they're after, lots and lots of aimless purchases.

  8. This is what happens when decisions are made by people who's only interest is ebitda. enthousiasts all over the world daily visit DPR (NL here). There must be a way to preserve this. I hope they are doing this to use the buzz it creates to drive the sales value in order to get better bids.. (In the end it is always about money..)

  9. Agreed there as well, I'll add that having a reliable, organized, and a popular forum like this is indispensable to photographers of all types not wanting to give into using smartphones. Most pro work can never be done with a phone no matter how good the phone is. There needs to be a site like this available to generations, not just to us.

  10. Another established value of the original internet bites the dust. This shows that it is never a good thing when big companies take over a community website. Someone should start over and not let the same mistake happen again.
    FWIW, here's a petition to save the site:

  11. It's nice to see others getting active and doing something about this thanks for putting up the petition. When the news first broke all I saw were goodbyes and farewells and I went wait, what, no people no! You can't say goodbye, why are you giving up such a treasured library of information so easily? Wake up people this is a HISTORIC site for photography (and really so much more than that)m, it cannot just go into a trash bin replaceable by something else, nothing else exists like this... the next best site is Imaging Resource but it needs forums so badly and has for over a decade. You'll even see some of my own review contributions on IR from my past with Sony.

  12. Handing over an organization dedicated to serve the common good, and driven by enthusiasts, to a purely capitalist organization lacking any enthuthiasm did so far never improve the situation of the acquired organization, neither from customers' point of view, nor from employees' point of view.

    Another "Anonymous" above nailed it: "DPR has been instrumental in giving people informed decisions about purchasing camera gear. Without it, people like me would've made expensive mistakes from aimless purchases."

    The typical Marketing speak about triggering positive emotions in customers associated with a product means at the same time obviously, that any objectified decision making process is disturbing as it counter-acts the emotions.

    So in the big scheme of current times it can be considered to be another little pebble stone in the fight against scientific and fact based approaches for decision making. Thus it's no surprise really as it seamlessly fits into current developments in society.

    Just one last remark about Imaging Resource: since Dave Etchells handed it off, and ceased mostly his own contributions, the site is just a nearly invisible, light-weight shadow of itself. It's now about subjective articles only, thus as exchangeable as so many other sites. Since then I don't visit Imaging Resource any longer.

    And yes, I signed the petition right away. May be the force with dpreview!

  13. I know how to do this. I've created non-profit volunteer organizations, and ported all manner of Apache-PHP-MySQL software. I'd need help. But mostly, we'd need to negotiate transfer of the assets.

    Who wants to help?

    1. BTW: to contact me, send email to anything AT "HeyYou" will work. So will "SaveDPReview".

  14. Excellent, keep up the comments everyone, somehow some way we will figure out how to find a central location- either DPReview will be sold or live on somehow, or a new website will have to be voted on by all of us basically. I know a LOT of people are all trying to work on a solution right now, from archiving DPR to starting new sites already. This is a landmine to the photo community and we are all in shell shock trying to figure out how to deal with it. I don't think it will go away I do believe we will find a new home one way or the other. We need it!

  15. There are going to be multiple shock waves that result from the closure of DPR. Most notably camera gear sales. While people didn't click on the ads for DPR to Amazon, they certainly used DPR as one of the first resources to learn about camera gear before they purchased online. All of the vendors that reaped that benefit will feel the loss in sales that would have normally been generated through discussion or research on DPR.