Amazon closes photo website DPreview
The camera website DPreview is dead – at least that’s what it looks like so far. On the evening of March 21, 2023 German time, the website published a brief message and a farewell video on YouTube. Accordingly, the website will no longer be updated after April 10, 2023; until then, new articles are to appear that the team is already working on, writes managing director Scott Everett.
He expressly points out that the closure is part of Amazon.com’s annual operational plan. A statement by Amazon’s CEO Andy Jassy is linked to this, in which the discontinuation of the website is not mentioned. Amazon, like many tech companies, is currently in another wave of layoffs.
Amazon took over the medium, which was founded in Great Britain in 1998 as “Digital Photography Review”, in 2007 and apparently never really understood how to make money with it. As Techchrunch writes, Amazon was never able to successfully integrate the platform into its corporate structure; DPReview is said to have acted largely independently. It has even been speculated that Amazon forgot they own DPReview, according to Techcrunch.
Excellent comparison tests
For those interested in photography, this is completely incomprehensible. Because despite the general declining number of cameras due to the success of smartphones, DPreview remains one of the best sources for thorough and critical tests. Part of this are the comparison images, in which still lifes recorded with the test devices at different ISO settings over several camera generations could be clicked on. No other online medium offers this service in such a comprehensive way, and it cannot be reproduced in magazines or videos – especially since the original images can also be downloaded.
The test images from the vicinity of the testers’ locations were downright classic. Although the headquarters were moved from London to Seattle in 2010 – close to Amazon’s headquarters – the quality of the recordings of everyday scenes in a port city remained the same. The editors and their freelancers did what amateurs and professionals do with new equipment: get out on your own doorstep and photograph what you know well. This shows the capabilities of new hardware best.
Fast but thorough
DPreview has earned such a good reputation among manufacturers of cameras, lenses and other accessories that the first reviews of pre-production devices often appear on the same day the devices are presented. A meticulous test was then submitted with the series models, including the still lifes already mentioned, and all the data. There are many hours of work behind this, with photography, writing and online processing – that costs money.
It seems as if Amazon never understood this service to the photo community. The setting also affects the YouTube channel with 410,000 subscribers; its hosts say goodbye with a sarcastic and entertaining clip.
The authors of the website think of their community to the last, which has also been very active in the forums of the website. If you have an account with DPreview, you can use this link until April 6, 2023 to request an archive of your data for download. After that, Everett writes, corresponding inquiries can no longer be answered.
From April 10, 2023, no more new content will appear. After that date, the site, including the forums, will be read-only “for a limited time,” according to Everett. So how long, among other things, the tests with the comparison images can still be called up remains uncertain for the time being.