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Greetings, you’re listening to the Liam Photography Podcast, I’m your host Liam Douglas and this is Episode 326. In today’s episode, the news broke this week that DPReview.com and DPReviewTV are closing down after 25 years and they will cease activity as of April 10th, 2023. Digital Photography Review, also known as DPReview was established in November of 1998 by Philip and Joanna Askey. The site provided comprehensive reviews and articles on photography and photography equipment. Their reviews didn’t just cover cameras, but also lenses, accessories and other photography related items.
The site also offered buying guides for people to better understand and compare the various camera systems and their respective capabilities. In addition, the site also contained a massive database of data related to the photography industry, including the previously mentioned gear as well as photo printers and imaging applications such as Photoshop, Lightroom, CaptureOne and many others. Although the site was started based in London, most of the team relocated to Seattle, Washington in 2010. The company was acquired by Amazon on May 14th, 2007 but DPReview employed a dedicated editorial team of in-house and freelance writers, and is editorially independent of Amazon, however Amazon were the ones that pulled the plug this week.
DPReview was famous for its very technical reviews of cameras since the site launched in 1998 and although the content and scope of the reviews changed over time, the same basic formula has always been used. The reviews cover extensive descriptions of the controls as well as the camera’s menus with consistent, repeatable studio tests and side-by-side pixel-level comparisons of all camera systems. In 2004 a shorter, more “concise” review format was introduced for compact cameras, and then group tests were added in 2008.
DPReviews camera reviews have always offered side-by-side comparison images and test results from competing cameras. In 2010, an interactive comparison widget was added to the site to allow visitors to compare studio results from any camera in the website’s database. Over time widgets were added the ability to compare other test results such as noise and dynamic range between cameras. The site also offered very extensive real-world image galleries for all reviewed and even some unreviewed cameras and lenses.
Also up until 2010 the site did not score cameras numerically, but using a best to worst rating of six levels, which caused quite a bit of controversy. Their rankings were Highly Recommended, Recommended, Above Average, Average, Below Average and Poor. From 2010 until today the site used a numerical scoring system for all cameras and lenses with up to 11 categories, which in turn are based on close to 60 aspects of camera performance and specifications. Two new discretionary awards ('Gold' and 'Silver') were introduced at the same time as the scoring system.
Although the vast majority of their reviews were of cameras and lenses, DPReview did also publish occasional reviews of image editing software applications, printers, photography books, accessories and mobile imaging devices. DPReview has a database of digital cameras, lenses, printers and desktop imaging software packages. Camera product pages contain full specifications, product and sample images, user reviews and links to other internal and external resources. The product database offers browse, search and compare features.
The original founder, Phil Askey, was no longer involved in the day-to-day running of the site. The company directly employed 14 full-time workers. Askey was followed as general manager by Simon Joinson, who took on the role in 2010. Joinson joined the company in 2004, having previously founded and edited several UK digital photography magazines, including What Digital Camera. The current manager had been Scott Everett who joined in 2011 as a Product Manager and the site had in excess of 7 million unique viewers monthly.
Jordan Drake and Chris Niccolls joined DPReview as the hosts of the company’s Youtube Channel, DPReviewTV after having previously been the hosts of the Youtube Channel for the Camera Store. Jordan and Chris had been making the videos for DPReviewTV for five years and it’s sad that the channel is being ended as well, but luckily Jordan and Chris posted on Social Media that as of May 2023 they will be the new hosts for the PetaPixel Youtube Channel, so luckily they were able to land on their feet.
I know that myself and many others the world over in the photographic community will miss all the information that DPReview.com provided to us, it is truly a bittersweet moment. I personally want to wish the best to all of their employees as they try to find new “homes” and I hope they are able to remain in the photo information community as they have so much talent and passion for photography.
Wrapping up this short episode, I wanted to let my listeners know that I am still trying to get Jordan and Chris to come on the show and talk about photography and the photography review business, but I don’t have a firm commitment as of yet. I am hoping they can squeeze in the time during the month of April when they go on hiatus from DPReviewTV and before they start their new jobs with PetaPixel.
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You can find my work @ https://www.liamphotography.net and follow me on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter @liamphotoatl. If you like abandoned buildings and history, you can find my project @ http://www.forgottenpiecesofgeorgia.com. and http://www.forgottenpiecesofpennsylvania.com.
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