The entire team at dpreview would like to wish all our readers Happy Holidays, Season's Greetings, Merry Christmas or whatever you say in your part of the world. As we celebrate our 13th anniversary we're thrilled with the changes we've made to the reviews and community tools in 2011 and are looking forward to another exciting year in 2012, with even more new features in the pipeline and of course even more of the high quality content that made this site what it is today. Whatever you're doing today, enjoy yourselves and thank you for being a part of dpreview.com!

2011 has been an incredibly busy year at dpreview, with our relocation to Seattle completed in January and our team expanded by five in the first half of the year. Dpreview's editorial team has never before had such a wealth of photography experience, knowledge and passion - not just for the technology, but also the art of picture taking - and I'm excited about what our (now not so) new recruits will bring to the content in 2012.

We also introduced several major new features to the site and completed a lot of 'under the hood' work on some of the creakier areas of code. This work continues - and continues to cause occasional hiccups as new bugs surface, something I can only apologise for and which I can promise will gradually disappear as our software team works tirelessly to make browsing dpreview.com as fast and fuss-free as possible.

2011 has been a tough year for much of the photographic industry. Aside from the overwhelming human tragedy, the aftermath of the catastrophic Japanese earthquake and tsunami in March caused extensive delays in new product launches and severe supply problems for existing products. And then, just when things looked like they were getting back to normal, the equally catastrophic flooding in Thailand left many camera factories under six feet of water.

That both disasters occurred against a backdrop of global economic turmoil and poor consumer spending meant anyone in the business of selling - or writing about - digital cameras had what politicians like to call a 'challenging' 2011. It almost goes without saying that 2012 is expected to be a better year, and we expect some pretty exciting developments in the market in the run up to Photokina in September. More on that soon...

2011 highlights

If you're one of the many commenters or forum posters who regularly state that 'DPR used to review more cameras in the good old days' look away now. In 2011, despite a dearth of new models from some of the major players, we reviewed 40 cameras, and published original content (in the form of previews, hands-on first impressions articles etc.,) on around 20 more. That's more than 500 pages of original preview/review content, and is one of our best ever. And that's not to mention the new content we introduced in 2011, including video previews and interviews and the all-new articles section.

Since we launched in late August we've published over 100 articles of original content, and our readers have contributed scores more on top of that. We added printer, software and app reviews (more of all to come in 2012) and we published more news stories than ever before. Even if you didn't like everything we did, we certainly hope you found something interesting to read on DPReview in 2011.

What we didn't do, regrettably, was any lens reviews. This was purely a problem of logistics, and we will have them back in 2012. Other things to look out for next year include a better site experience for users visiting using mobile devices (phones/tablets), our first apps and some amazing new writers for our articles section. There's a lot more that I'd like to tell you about, but I can't right now - so stay tuned!

Here's a few of the things we added to DPR in 2011:

  • Totally revamped our spec database, feature search, camera compare pages with new product, brand and category pages, user reviews, external reviews and much more (March)
  • Added lenses to our database (March)
  • Added 'My Shortlist' to product comparison tools and user images to lens pages (April)
  • Introduced commenting to news stories and previews (June)
  • Introduced email notification system for news and forum replies (June)
  • Expanded the forums, adding many new photography related, off-topic and for-sale forums (July)
  • Added printers to our database and published our first printer review
  • Launched our new - and rapidly expanding - Articles section
  • Published our first video preview
  • Launched the (continuing) beta of User Created Articles (blogs)
  • Revamped user profiles
  • Added a 'Gear List' feature
  • Added a black on white 'print view' option to news stories and articles
  • Migrated the site to AWS servers and added news tagging
Again, happy holidays from us all. Without you, none of this would be possible.
Simon