Today we're proud to announce the launch of connect.dpreview.com, a mobile, social and connected photography site from dpreview.com. Mobile photography and the ability to share images across social networks have helped foster a vibrant and creative new genre of photographic arts - one that is having a profound effect on the way we all shoot, share, discover and enjoy photography. Connect will explore, explain and embrace the social, mobile, app-driven, connected side of contemporary photography. Welcome.
We never imagined it would be easy for DPReview to acommodate the growing importance of the smart phone camera in the world of photography.
We, like most of you, are enthusiastic photographers, and also like most of you, we like to think that what sets us apart from casual snapshooters is that we are real photographers. Creative photographers. But we're wrong. Just like all of those photographers ten years ago that told us that real, creative photographers only use film were wrong. You may or may not be a fan of Instagram or Facebook or the glorification of the snapshot (and reading the forums as I do, it's obvious many of you don't), and that's totally OK. You might hate Instagram filters (though you have to know Instagram isn't about the filters, it's about the community). What you can't deny, however, is the powerful effect that this new generation of 24/7 photographers and sharers is having on our industry.
Back in 1997 when I was launching What Digital Camera magazine and a year later when Phil unleashed dpreview.com there were plenty in the photographic industry that simply refused to believe digital would ever be anything more than a niche for business users and computer hobbyists. And to a certain extent our industry got it even more wrong this time, underestimating the speed with which the cellphone would replace the compact camera in the mass market. Even two years ago I was regularly being told that smart phones simply weren't a threat because they didn't have zoom lenses or ISO control or a real flash, completely ignoring the fact that most of their target market just wanted something 'good enough' to take pictures to share on Facebook. Or the fact that the cameras on phones might actually get better than 'good enough'.
The good news is that camera manufacturers are waking up to the opportunity, embracing the growth in social photography by designing compacts that offer all the convenience and connectivity of a phone, but with the quality and photographic features of a 'real' camera. The Nikon Coolpix S800C and the Samsung Galaxy camera, which both run the Android operating system, are likely to be just the beginning.
And we at dpreview.com need and want to be talking about what's happening in our industry. We're excited that the world of photography is experiencing an explosion of creativity and engagement that hasn't been seen since the first consumer digital cameras arrived almost two decades ago.
So, even if you've yet to take a mobile photo, we urge you to visit connect.dpreview.com to find out about the latest developments in connected cameras, apps, camera phones and the community and creativity that is growing up around them. You'll find the first two full in-depth reviews of camera phones, and I think you'll be pleased to discover that we've not forgotton what makes dpreview.com so unique; we won't be skimping on the technical side of our reviewing process. As well as an entirely new test scene for the comparison widget (which will be shared with conventional cameras in future) we've teamed up with the imaging scientists at DxO Labs to include a full suite of measured, objective tests .
What we're launching today is only the first step, and we have some really, really cool stuff to add in the coming months.
Simon Joinson, Editor-in-chief, dpreview.com
I would like to make clear that dpreview is not going to change as a result of this launch. By making connect a separate site, we're able to embrace the exciting world of mobile photography without having an impact on dpreview. Connect does not come at expense of the news, previews and reviews that have always been the core of the site. Success in projects like this (and the others that will follow in 2013) allows us to invest more resource into dpreview in the future.