What is DPReview
DPReview is a photography website best known for its camera reviews. Founded in 1998 by Phil Askey, DPReview became well-known for insanely detailed camera reviews which could exceed 30 pages.
In 2007, after a sustained success, Phil Askey sold DPReview to Amazon. Yet, despite the new ownership, DPReview remained true to its original style, format, and values until the bitter end.
This is not to say DPReview did not evolve. On the contrary, DPReview began to broaden its content to suit newcomers and started DPReview TV, its well-hosted YouTube channel. Sadly, none of this was enough to get DPReview to 2024.
Why is DPReview Closing
One of DPReview’s strengths was its partnership with Amazon. So long as DPreview could drive Amazon’s camera sales, it would be free to say anything about any specific camera or lens. A true luxury in this game.
However, cameras were once a device for the mainstream audience, and today, that audience is entirely satisfied with their smartphone camera. Thus, all that remains of a once gigantic audience is a niche. In other words, cameras are to smartphones what vinyl is to streaming.
Yet, that may have been plenty enough for Amazon and DPReview. But with the cost of living crisis, people no longer buy what once were considered essential goods, let alone camera gear.
Thus, the only way for Amazon to survive in a contracting market is to contract with it – a rather sterile way to describe the brutal reality of thousands of lost jobs – including those at DPReview. Fortunately, markets will expand again, and jobs will return. But what about DPReview?
The Future of DPReview
Despite imminent closure, DPReview remains a hugely popular website and an outstanding brand drowning in a large loyal audience. And that’s worth a lot.
Therefore, I would not be surprised to see the DPReview name back in the game soon. But, in Amazon’s absence, DPReview would need to restructure and remonetize to become self-sustaining.
But even now, there’s good news. DPReview TV hosts Chris Niccolls and Jordan Drake have migrated to PetaPixel TV. Hopefully, DPReview’s talented team of writers will be able to exploit similar opportunities or even be part of DPReview’s resurrection as an independent blog. We shall see.
News of DPReview closing hit me hard. I’ve been reading DPReview for twenty years, and it’s one of the few websites I visit daily purely for my reading pleasure.
As my passion for photography grew, it was with DPReview’s help I chose my first proper camera – a Nikon D40. And, thereafter, I never bought another camera without checking with them first.
Finally, I doubt there would have been a Silent Peak Photo without DPReview.