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In with the new: dpreview forums expanded

By dpreview staff on Jul 22, 2011 at 23:49 GMT

We've just made the biggest changes to our forums since the site was established, 11 years ago. This includes expanding the scope of dpreview forums to include areas dedicated to discussion of photographic techniques and digital video. We've also introduced totally new Off-Topic and For Sale/ Wanted forums. You'll notice a couple of minor name changes and a shuffling of the order of a few of the existing forums too.

New forums for dpreview.com

This is a pretty big change for dpreview, and marks the end of an era where the conversation on the site was restricted to purely gear-related topics. Over the next few months you're going to see far more photography-related content on the site, though worry not; none of this will detract from our in-depth reviewing of cameras (and the soon to return lens reviews). The camera-specific forums remain, but you now have a place to discuss the art and techniques of photography and photographic subjects without getting into brand wars.

This is also something of an experiment for dpreview - we're all keen photographers and want somewhere to talk about pictures (rather than cameras) every now and again, and we think our users will too. And if we're wrong, and the new forums don't get used, we won't have lost anything and we'll just close them.

We've split the forums on the main index (and in the menu) into five broad groups, and most of the old (existing forums) are where they used to be (in the first and second categories). We've merged the two Konica Minolta forums and split the Challenges and Galleries forums back out into separate boards, and we've made a couple of minor name changes, but the old forums are otherwise unchanged (as are their URLs).

Rather than blather on here any more, I'll let you go play with them using the menu at the top of the page.

The Off-Topic forum

After much consideration we decided to add a forum for discussion of matters unrelated to photography to our boards, mainly because it should help keep the rest of the forums on-topic. Feel free to discuss the price of fish in here, but please keep it civil - all the usual rules apply.

The For Sale / Wanted forum

This one really is a bit of an experiment, but it's also something people have been asking for as far back as I can remember. There's some specific rules for the new forum (and you can only post one thread a day), but it's pretty rudimentary at the moment, If it takes off we will add functionality and a buyer/seller feedback mechanism.

If you have a suggestion for a new forum use the feedback system.

Comments

Total comments: 92
12
Abdul Khaliq
By Abdul Khaliq (Jul 31, 2011)

Appreciate your concerns !

A suggestion, like printer tab; i like you to add information for Monitors and if possible Computer Hardware specs for with VGA cards etc and also editing software.

0 upvotes
l_objectif
By l_objectif (Jul 27, 2011)

Sounds exciting! I'll just wait and see.
I also have one suggestion: Please, get rid of "Yop Poster" section! Any troll or else can sit and put a word or two for each thread and have his/her name on the top. This is not a "Contribution" at all!

Thanks for consideration!

0 upvotes
cs manegold
By cs manegold (Jul 26, 2011)

Re Burnett: add Aperture3 to that list or as a separate forum and it would be a great service. Personally not keen on phones. Off topic for me.

0 upvotes
DaPhatty
By DaPhatty (Jul 25, 2011)

The For Sale/Wanted forum seems to have been hastily thrown together. Currently cannot search solely within that forum (doesn't even appear as an option in the search menu system) and there's no way to filter the threads based on manufacturer. Without these essential options the For Sale/Wanted forum won't be used for much, if anything at all.

0 upvotes
RobertBarnett
By RobertBarnett (Jul 25, 2011)

How about adding a forum for Photoshop, Lightroom and a third one for Photoshop plug-ins.

Robert

1 upvote
meyr
By meyr (Jul 24, 2011)

i want UNDERWATER PHOTOGRAPHY forum..

2 upvotes
Philz
By Philz (Jul 24, 2011)

And phones?

0 upvotes
panos_m
By panos_m (Jul 24, 2011)

What about a "Digital Imaging Technology" discussion forum :) ...

0 upvotes
digitalshooter
By digitalshooter (Jul 24, 2011)

Great ideas, the for sale forum needs the ability to edit title after item has sold!

Thanks

3 upvotes
Richard Butler
By Richard Butler (Jul 25, 2011)

There are several features we'll be adding specifically for the For Sale forum, which should resolve this problem.

1 upvote
webmonkeydk
By webmonkeydk (Jul 24, 2011)

Still no Sigma lens forum????

0 upvotes
Danny
By Danny (Jul 24, 2011)

And still no 'monitor & display' forum......... how can this be?

1 upvote
win39
By win39 (Jul 24, 2011)

This is kind of unsettling for a few reasons.

dpreview has made it clear that they have limited reviewers often in explanation for cameras not reviewed. Anymore completed careful reviews are available on other sites for weeks before dpreview gets beyond their hands on preview. The Panasonic G3 for instance.

Now printer reviews are to be taken up apparently. The first review, on a<digital>photography review site, reviews the scanner portion, which would not be used for digital cameras, of multipurpose printers and not the printer portion which might be used to print digital photographs. Huh? Actually one can get more balanced printer reviews on computer sites like MacWorld.

This just looks like an expansion for the purpose of expanding the clicking on Amazon.

0 upvotes
Simon Joinson
By Simon Joinson (Jul 24, 2011)

i guess you missed the bit about the printer reviews being done by someone else. This has no effect on camera reviews. If you don't like them don't read them, but make no mistake, our only review priority in-house is cameras and lenses.

1 upvote
Combatmedic870
By Combatmedic870 (Jul 24, 2011)

Well....I think you are somewhat correct. BUT, I kind of look to DPreview to *confirm*, what the other reviews say. I almost never buy a camera right out of the gate. I will say that with the OLY XZ-1 they came out the the review nice and fast. It was....nice.
But they do have missing reviews STILL, of TOP end cameras....like the 1D mk3. I still want them to review that camera!!!!

0 upvotes
453C
By 453C (Jul 24, 2011)

Combatmedic870, you might want to check out the first name on this list. I think Simon is in a position to be more than "somewhat correct" on this matter:
http://www.dpreview.com/misc/about.asp

DPR already said something about having outside help with printer reviews, but Simon just made it clear that DPR isn't doing much more than publishing printer reviews done by non-DPR writers. Nothing wrong with that in my book.

0 upvotes
Combatmedic870
By Combatmedic870 (Jul 24, 2011)

I actually wasnt talking to Simon. He just posted right before i did. I was talking to win39.

0 upvotes
453C
By 453C (Jul 25, 2011)

My apologies.

Let's hope the fairly recent DPR move helps get more reviews out. I don't think printer reviews, good or bad, will have any impact on the speed of camera and lens reviews, though.

0 upvotes
Combatmedic870
By Combatmedic870 (Jul 24, 2011)

How about some sub forums for the for sale and wanted thread. IE: Canon,nikon Oly, M4/3, Pentax, Sony, Manual focus, Point and shoot, and lights and tripods ect...

If you dont do this, finding something is going to be like a needle in a hay stack!!

1 upvote
Dazed and Confused
By Dazed and Confused (Jul 24, 2011)

As there's no edit function, I'd just like to add one more thing on the subject below:

As this is a global website, when does 'travel' photography start and stop? If I take a picture outside my house it's a 'street' shot, to a person visiting from another country it would be a 'travel' picture. Just thinking out loud about the nature of travel in this globalised society in which we live.....

0 upvotes
M Jesper
By M Jesper (Jul 24, 2011)

Just means you share and talk about techniques, what equipment to take, or insurance, or cultures, whatever, and show the photos when you come back, or things you would've done differently. Doesn't matter where-ever it is, so long as it's about the act of leaving home for a prolonged time. A tourist will probably see your own town differently than you do, and has a bunch of limitations that could be interesting for discussion.

0 upvotes
Dazed and Confused
By Dazed and Confused (Jul 23, 2011)

It's great to have photography forums. The reason we're all here (photos) tended to get lost among the gear threads in the past.

My only suggestions maybe looser categories. Landscape and travel seem to be the most forced match, being that a lot of travel photography could also be seen as Portrait and People, or even Documentary and Street.

And a documentary is a series of photos documenting a story, so could therefore fall under almost any of the other categories too. (It's just that many documentary photographers choose 'street' style photos.) I think less, but broader, categories would be better, personally.

0 upvotes
MGJA
By MGJA (Jul 23, 2011)

It would be helpful if Beginner's Questions where the first forum. Now we get so many of them in the News forum instead...

1 upvote
Deleted1929
By Deleted1929 (Jul 23, 2011)

Still no moderation.

0 upvotes
453C
By 453C (Jul 23, 2011)

Towards the bottom of this page, Simon Joinson said, "we will be moderating these forums more strictly, and brand wars simply won't be tolerated..." I can assure you that at least some moderation has been occurring in m43 Talk, since posts and threads have been sent down the Memory Hole on several occasions. I may not agree with that method, but the mods have been at work, and I appreciate their efforts.

1 upvote
Deleted1929
By Deleted1929 (Jul 23, 2011)

Silently nuking the odd thread without explanation is not moderation, it is censorship. We need communication from DPR, not just apparently random acts without any consistency or reliability.

Moderation includes things like moving posts from the wrong forum to the right one, scanning first time posts for spam links ( a joke on DPR ), entering discussions to redirect or tone down threads that are becoming aggressive.

The increased number of forum categories is simply going to make this mess worse, IMO.

Have a look at the Pro forum, and the posting of beginner's questions to news and open talk. Nothing addresses this.

As reviewers like to point out about megapixels, more is not always better. More categories is not better, it's just complicates a situation that didn't work to start with.

AFAIK no one in DPR is taking responsibility for the forums. Features are being added, but not improvements.

0 upvotes
453C
By 453C (Jul 23, 2011)

Hey, we're on the same page! Look at my post below and you'll see that's exactly what I've requested. Simon said they'll do more, so we'll see if that results in improvements along the lines we both want.

My point is there has been some moderation, but its effectiveness is questionable. On that, I think we agree.

0 upvotes
Simon Joinson
By Simon Joinson (Jul 24, 2011)

moderation here has always been light, and always will be. The only alternative to our current system (which involves staff spending far too much of their working day moderating as it is) is appointing moderators from the community, something we may eventually do.

1 upvote
453C
By 453C (Jul 24, 2011)

Simon, if selected properly and given a clear framework to operate within, I think peer moderation would be an excellent idea. DPR staff could approach a few members as test cases and go from there. Just give them the ability to lock a thread and see what happens. If anything more needed to be done, the member mod could escalate the issue to DPR staff for decisions on deletions or bans.

I know post and thread deletion is generally done with a light hand, but I still believe a simple thread lock with a parting post by the mod is a better method. Short of the unwanted release of personal information or some truly threatening behavior, I believe it's best to let people live or die by their words.

Regardless, thanks to you and the rest of the staff for continuing to be involved in the forum. I know of at least one case where a much needed ban was issued, and my corner of the forum became a better place.

0 upvotes
onlooker
By onlooker (Jul 23, 2011)

Good job. I have a feeling that challenge voting system overhaul is right around the corner.

0 upvotes
linuxworks
By linuxworks (Jul 23, 2011)

congrats on the new ideas and improvements.

now, how can the feedback system work for the fs/wtb forum? hope you have something good in mind for that, too.

cheers

1 upvote
deleted_081301
By deleted_081301 (Jul 23, 2011)

No INFRA RED forum :(
and no Holga forum ;P

0 upvotes
rondhamalam
By rondhamalam (Jul 23, 2011)

It's time

0 upvotes
happypoppeye
By happypoppeye (Jul 23, 2011)

Great work DPR crew. Of course, you can't make everyone happy, but nice to see you are trying.

0 upvotes
Lee Jay
By Lee Jay (Jul 23, 2011)

You might consider an astrophotography section. Cloudy Nights is of course the best place right now, and probably in the future, for this could be good for "dabblers".

0 upvotes
Paul Auclair
By Paul Auclair (Jul 23, 2011)

Good work folks.
I did kinda of wondered, at times, why such a mainstream site did not have a buy/sell category. I haven't got a clue as to the logistics involved in operating/moderating which is likely a big part of the reason why I could only wonder.
Real glad to see you DPReview are always evolving/improving.
I was referred to DPReview (London Drug camera salesman) about 9 years ago and am glad to be here still.
Thank You DPReview.

0 upvotes
MiLei
By MiLei (Jul 23, 2011)

Nice to see all those new forums, but how can you moderate them all, moderation did not work with less forums, it is not easier now. I hope not by deleting more threads.

It will be interesting (in positive sense) to find out what kind of topics forums will have in the future.

0 upvotes
Paul Janders
By Paul Janders (Jul 23, 2011)

Thanks for the new additions. Always good to see DPR moving forward and willing to implement changes.

I think the For Sale forum is pretty funny. All the comments I read here about people dropping their cameras/lenses onto concrete or into a lake would probably make this my least looked at forum. I think a buyer feedback section would be a necessity. This could go a long way to helping eliminate the unscrupulous sellers.

Will there be a place on the For Sale forum for commercial vendors? Some of them, like KEH, I actually trust. I could see this being a big money maker for DPR/Amazon if you sold space to commercial vendors to hawk their used equipment.

0 upvotes
ziggy25
By ziggy25 (Jul 23, 2011)

The previous setup meant that you only ever really saw pictures taken by the camera you use because most people usually frequent on their camera's forum. This change means that we can now see pictures regardless of the camera used which in my opinion is an excellent idea.

0 upvotes
Macro
By Macro (Jul 23, 2011)

Buy/sell together in a single forum is too messy to browse.
Split them up.

2 upvotes
ziggy25
By ziggy25 (Jul 23, 2011)

I personally welcome this change. I have been avoiding the Challenges and Galleries forums for ages purely because of the rubbish that goes on there. Maybe now that they are separated we can actually talk about pictures and not about the challenges and voting which i have no interest in at all.

1 upvote
JakeB
By JakeB (Jul 23, 2011)

Great to see the separation of gearheads from those who see photography as a creative process.

There are some notorious posters who've vigorously tested various cameras/lenses and are only too happy to bore people silly with their "results," then you check out their photographs and realize what you thought were dull test images, these people have actually entered into challenges here! Not a creative bone in their bodies.

If they want to argue with each other over their homemade lens tests, sad for them; but good that they're kept away from those who want to take photographs.

Very good move, dpr.

2 upvotes
zodiacfml
By zodiacfml (Jul 23, 2011)

I totally agree after more than a year in the Sigma forums.

0 upvotes
goodgeorge
By goodgeorge (Jul 23, 2011)

I miss the "Sigma lens talk" and "Tokina lens talk" or at least "3rd party lens talk"

0 upvotes
Simon Joinson
By Simon Joinson (Jul 23, 2011)

Look again

0 upvotes
WT21
By WT21 (Jul 23, 2011)

I cannot imagine buying anything on this site through a FS/WTB forum. People here are as rude as YouTube posters, and as wild west as eBay, but without any kind of ranking. Think I'll stick to my current buy/sell sites. Marketplace forum on DPR sounds like a place where you could be ripped off easily.

1 upvote
linuxworks
By linuxworks (Jul 23, 2011)

we need a trustable feedback system.

but, until there is one, there is at least user posting history and how long they've been on the site. there are many people that I've read posts from over the years that I would feel I 'know' and trust well enough. but that's not truly a substitute for a proper ratings/feedback system.

0 upvotes
453C
By 453C (Jul 23, 2011)

linuxworks, that's true, but if the mods keep deleting bad behavior, it undercuts relying on a poster's history a bit. I agree with both of you that a rating system is definitely needed, and not just for a FS/WTB section. Amazon has a pretty good system in place, and it would work well enough if it filtered down to DPR.

0 upvotes
cyber filmmaker
By cyber filmmaker (Jul 23, 2011)

It would be great to have a business forum (how to make money with your photography) as well.

All the best,
CF

0 upvotes
jadot
By jadot (Jul 23, 2011)

If the For Sale/Wanted Forum picks up and is a genuine spam free zone, and maybe categorised (Country specific? Brands? Accessories, and so on) this will be a very welcome addition.

I recently got another bill from eBay for various camera sales and was shocked at the cost.
Has anybody else felt the recent price changes at eBay? It's become almost prohibitively expensive to sell equipment there now.

0 upvotes
linuxworks
By linuxworks (Jul 23, 2011)

I have quite a bit of photo gear that I'm not using and I'd like to get some value back, from, via used sales. but I have not sold via ebay for over 10 years as it does not seem seller-friendly and there is too much risk. I'd rather keep my $1k lenses than risk going thru ebay-sales. this is money just languishing that I'd rather have; but I refuse to sell thru ebay at their current terms.

viable alternatives are truly welcome!

0 upvotes
Ronan_M
By Ronan_M (Jul 23, 2011)

Brilliant. It was about time we had an actual place to discuss photography instead of gear.

0 upvotes
Anfy
By Anfy (Jul 23, 2011)

I welcome the innovation, at least I will not more miss (with a ratio of 2:1) the Micro Four Thirds Talk forum by scrolling too fast the mouse: now it is in straight vertical line to the forum tab. :-)
Apart from this little joke, it seems big news, and like HSway wrote, "nothing can be lost but only gained on this innovation".
Bravo to DPReview!

0 upvotes
HSway
By HSway (Jul 23, 2011)

Excellent idea and a move that certainly was supposed to be made.
And tremendous influential potential of course. No matter how they turn out eventually, nothing can be lost but only gained on this innovation.
Best,

Hynek

0 upvotes
scottv69
By scottv69 (Jul 23, 2011)

Hmmmm.....nice refresh...but my favourite keyboard shortcuts are now gone!!!! I always browse a thread by using the 'n' key for next post and sometimes I also use 'b' for back, then when I am finished reading that thread I hit the 'f' key to go back to the forum.

Looks like the 'f' shortcut is the only one to survive the site refresh.

Can you please bring back the forward and back shortcuts?

1 upvote
Zamac
By Zamac (Jul 23, 2011)

n(ext) and p(revious) still work for me. Previous is not listed however.

0 upvotes
scottv69
By scottv69 (Jul 23, 2011)

just tried again and it doesn't work for me...you are right though...it was (p)revious.....not (b)ack....but still doesn't work.

0 upvotes
scottv69
By scottv69 (Jul 26, 2011)

Looks like they are back....thank you!

0 upvotes
Hans H. Siegrist
By Hans H. Siegrist (Jul 23, 2011)

Congratulations! The Photography & Techniques group is particularly welcome.

Cheers!

0 upvotes
lbuclk=
By lbuclk= (Jul 23, 2011)

Sounds good.

0 upvotes
Zamac
By Zamac (Jul 23, 2011)

Great enhancements to the site!

However, there is one more cross-forum feature I would like to see. There are some very useful posts on this site, but they are often lost amongst the me-too replies, off-topic comments and private conversations/arguments. It should be possible to add a "valuable" tag similar to the "like" tog in these comments, and then display the count in searches.

1 upvote
Aleo Veuliah
By Aleo Veuliah (Jul 23, 2011)

Nice move Dpreview, always improving, the only thing that is not at 100% is the time of the Full Reviews, but ok, I understand

All the best

Aleo

1 upvote
Vandyu
By Vandyu (Jul 23, 2011)

I've been to many forums over the years, but usually spend most of my photo forum time on DPR. My only request is that you don't decide to do a "trial" subscription program.

I know you're in the business to make money, but I would probably go elsewhere, just as I did when Nikonians started their subscription plan. Granted this collection of fora isn't going to thrive or die based on what I do, but many would leave, just as many others would come.

Point is--it wouldn't be the same old place to hang your hat. The internet forum where you like to drop by every day has become like the TV program "Cheers." And somewhere here, there's a guy named Norm sitting down at his computer after a long day and looking forward to sharing a tall one with his photographer friends. There are, in reality, a lot of Norms out there and this is their neighborhood gathering place.

1 upvote
Simon Joinson
By Simon Joinson (Jul 23, 2011)

we have no intention of, nor have we ever considered, charging for access to the forums.

4 upvotes
Pennyanne
By Pennyanne (Jul 23, 2011)

would be good to see a forum where brand specific photos could be posted, eg put camera brand in title of post. People camera hunting want to look at more pics than sample galleries, but the gear related forums don't always welcome picture threads. So where can one go to see Brand X photos taken by DPReview readers and contributors?

0 upvotes
Simon Joinson
By Simon Joinson (Jul 23, 2011)

At the moment the best way is the galleries (using tags) but we are looking at features for the forums v2.0

1 upvote
Jim Lowell
By Jim Lowell (Jul 23, 2011)

It would be nice to see some more effort in the camera review photos(ie: more night shots, bulb photos, long exposure shots, higher ISO pics, on-board flash, etc.) BTW. The shots lately are pretty bland showing what the cameras can do sometimes.

0 upvotes
Pennyanne
By Pennyanne (Jul 23, 2011)

Thanks Simon, that will work for 'just looking' but I guess if one wants to discuss particular aspects of a particular brand's IQ, for example, it'd be good to have a brand specific photo forum, perhaps with sub headings for Landscape etc etc

0 upvotes
dolphinsnose
By dolphinsnose (Jul 23, 2011)

Would have been a good idea to add one more " what to buy advice" that many members constantly seek from others.

0 upvotes
Jim Lowell
By Jim Lowell (Jul 23, 2011)

No more tribal wars (re:brands) is something I truly want to see in DP forums. How well it works, remains to be seen. The new areas are hopefully a better place for certain posts too. Nice changes, DPR.

2 upvotes
dylanbarnhart
By dylanbarnhart (Jul 23, 2011)

I hope these new topic forums will bring back the nice community of photographers that dpreview once was. They are offer a place to hide from the endless bashings of the gear heads.

2 upvotes
Simon Joinson
By Simon Joinson (Jul 23, 2011)

we will be moderating these forums more strictly, and brand wars simply won't be tolerated...

5 upvotes
453C
By 453C (Jul 23, 2011)

I hope so.

On the topic of moderation, please consider locking threads and issue a final post about the reason for the action. The current trend of gutting threads or outright deleting them erases bad acts and no one ever knows why an action was taken. If the mods maintain a known standard, I believe more self-moderation may occur, which may ultimately lead to a better community.

3 upvotes
Plastek
By Plastek (Jul 23, 2011)

453C moved a very important problem. Please DPR - consider this.

2 upvotes
frelwa
By frelwa (Jul 23, 2011)

Fujifilm SLRs and X100 still have to share a forum although there is negligible overlap between the 2 interest groups. Please separate them at long last.

0 upvotes
harrygilbert
By harrygilbert (Jul 23, 2011)

Nice job.

0 upvotes
Jaelkay
By Jaelkay (Jul 23, 2011)

Thought you might have put "M" for Micro after "L" for Leica while you were tweaking the site.

1 upvote
DidierDCH
By DidierDCH (Jul 23, 2011)

I second that: this would be a nice opportunity to put "Micro Four Thirds Talk" in alphabetical order amongts the forums.

0 upvotes
Total comments: 92
12