RIP, DPReview Well, this sucks. After almost 25 years, DPReview is shutting down.
It’s hard to understate what a go-to resource DPReview has been over the years, especially their excellent technical reviews. Literally every digital camera purchase I’ve made for over two decades, from the slightly goofy but fun-as-heck Nikon 995 to my current Fuji X-T5 workhorse, involved checking in with one of their reviews. And its user forums were actually useful, too. (Shocking, I know.)
But Amazon is pulling the plug. The surprise announcement is short on details, but promises more posts between now and April 10, after which the site will be “locked.”
I hope some of those entries will speak to the business fundamentals. Was it making money? Was it enough to be a modest self-sustaining business, but not enough to satisfy the balance sheets of a massive corporate parent? Did it drive a substantive amount of referral purchases to Amazon from readers clicking through those reviews? Did they float the idea of a sale? Subscriptions? (I would have paid for one in a heartbeat.) Sponsorships from camera manufacturers, who all benefited from the attention the site brought to their gear?
Also, there’s this worrying bit about the site being available after it’s locked “for a limited period.” Is a generation’s worth of digital photo history about to disappear?
Meanwhile, the popular stars of their YouTube channel, themselves snagged from another photo venue five years ago, have already landed at a surviving competitor. The show must go on, it seems.
Update, June 20, 2023
Phew. After a weird month or so during which the site was “officially” shut down but mysteriously still posting new content, DPReview has announced that they’ve been acquired by Gear Patrol. The short (and good) version is that the site will continue on.