Amazon Shutters Photo Resource Website DPReview

Originally published at: Amazon Shutters Photo Resource Website DPReview - TidBITS

The essential photography resource DPReview is closing in April as part of parent company Amazon’s efforts to cut costs. The culling includes decades of in-depth product reviews, vibrant community forums, and the DPReview TV YouTube channel.

The close to your excellent piece, “As longtime online publisher Derek Powazek wrote on Mastodon, ‘Moral of the story: don’t sell your site to a tech behemoth that will only ever see you as an annoying line item.’” begs the question, “Why did they buy it in the first place?”

My guess is that the answer is, it was due to classic Capitalism. It’s a reasonable assumption someone decided that it was a wise/profitable acquisition.

Better advice might be “Take the money and head to the beach but first remind those being left behind to ‘Enjoy it while it lasts.’”

All good things come to an end.

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Pretty sure you’re correct. That was why Amazon bought IMDB way back when, too. It was independent for years (founded in Cardiff, Wales). Few remember that it wasn’t always part of Amazon (if they know it was). This may also be why Amazon hasn’t tried to find a buyer for the archives: they’d rather horribly erase the knowledge instead of it being useful to a competitor in any way.

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Oh this one hurts! DPReview is fantastic. I’ve bought cameras and equipment using their advice and have always found help in the forums. I had no idea Amazon owned it. :(


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It was also a natural fit at a time when Amazon was cultivating a more customer-focused image. A site that could reliably push thousands of customers toward high-profit-margin items.

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Om Malick wrote an interesting post about DPReview closing, including some web traffic numbers.

Please leave the politics out of this.

This has nothing to do with capitalism. Controlled socialist systems can also make brain-dead decisions based on short-sighted thinking.

While I agree that politics isn’t really the point of this discussion, saying that “this has nothing to do with capitalism” is flat-out wrong. Amazon and Google buying companies and then shutting them down after a few years isn’t solitary “brain-dead decisions”—it’s a recurring pattern that develops from the endless pursuit of increased profits. It has everything to do with capitalism, and it’s not being unnecessarily “political” to point that out.


DPReview guided me over the years through the transition from my original DSLR to several successive mirrorless cameras. The data has been more useful than any other source that I’ve found. The camera(s) that I bought were, and still are, taken on many of my hikes. At age 75+ I’m not going to be shopping for many more cameras in my life, but it would have been nice if they had just waited at least another 5 years or so to shut down this incredible information forum.


I totally forgot all about this acquisition!!! The worldwide information IMDB collects has helped Amazon become of the biggest internet sales and entertainment companies globally. In addition to the box office info Amazon collects from IMDB, they also have heavily visited links to historical information about movie and TV stars, films, TV programming and visitors can directly click on links to purchase from Amazon. And they have been steadily expanding internationally.

And they recently repositioned and relaunched a free streaming service:

Tim Cook should have bought IMDB. I think he might be sorry he didn’t.

Put aside all of the reviews and articles; the greatest loss of DP Review from my perspective is its side-by-side comparison features for cameras and lenses. This has been a most valuable guide, especially when deciding whether a new model is worth an upgrade, or comparing older models before a “used” purchase. Is there any hope of that being resurrected elsewhere?


I have used this site sometimes:

That’s another thing I didn’t realize Amazon bought. Is that why their forum/comment section was removed years ago?


I’m guessing that this is the case. Better no comments than bad comments.

Not as thorough as DP, but it does seem to have key stats. Appreciate the tip!

Agree with Diane. I used this site exclusively for photography equipment reviews and knowledge.
This is a BIG loss.

This is the worst news. DPReview is (was) by far and away the best photography news and info site out there. With this single action, Amazon have accomplished a near-impossible feat, in that they’ve managed to lower my opinion of them even lower than it was already. It’s gone from severely dislike to loathe.

I can only hope that there’s someone out there with resources that love the site as much as I and so many others have.

A big problem is that serious camera sales are declining, and it is a large decrease. Amazon will see the click throughs and decide this isn’t working. What they have probably decided is that it isn’t going to work for anyone, the advertising revenue isn’t high enough. I expect that in 10 years that serious cameras will be like serious hifi. Something that has a very small market, because your phone will take holiday snaps, complete with built in zoom and macro.

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Unfortunate but true.


your phone will take holiday snaps, complete with built in zoom and macro

Fine and well for holiday shots and perhaps a bit for macro as well…but for anyone serious about macro it won’t be adequate…and for anything needing a long lens of say 100mm or more a phone will never be acceptable simply based on optical physics. Even taking pictures in a zoo with relatively close subjects a phone isn’t going to get you close enough or have adequate background bokeh although computational photography can Nell a bit there…but any animal more than double digits of feet away needs lens reach and that ain’t happening in a phone. The market for real cameras will continue to shrink but will remain bigger than the naysayers think.

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