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DPReview launches GearShop

By dpreview staff on Jul 17, 2013 at 21:00 GMT

Introducing GearShop

After a two-month beta period during which the store was available only to logged-in members, we're excited today to announce the official opening of DPReview GearShop. In celebration of the launch, GearShop customers will be able to claim up to $150 in free accessories with select camera purchases now through July 27, 2013.

GearShop is a unique photo specialty store that utilizes DPReview's comprehensive testing and research to select and recommend cameras, lenses and accessories. Designed for photographers, by photographers, every product in the store has been approved for inclusion by the DPReview editorial staff.

But GearShop is about much more than a carefully curated selection. The store is run by a small team of photo enthusiasts dedicated to finding the very best products and to ensuring that product pages have the most comprehensive information anywhere on the web. Combining original DPReview content with 360° views of products, sample images and exclusive video content, our product pages cut through the usual marketing speak and sales materials and present honest, factual information to shoppers. The Gearlist feature allows us to give you personalized recommendations and product news, and the store also offers free 2-Day shipping on cameras and lenses.

Please note that at launch, the store can only ship to US addresses. We are of course well aware that two thirds of our audience is outside the USA. At present, all we can say is that we welcome feedback from you, wherever you are in the world, and we will use it to help us evolve and expand in the future.

A message from the DPReview Editors

For many years we’ve played with the idea of building an online store that offers encyclopedic knowledge and personal recommendations from passionate and enthusiastic experts. A store that utilizes DPReview’s comprehensive testing and research to provide photography enthusiasts with expert guidance when buying cameras, lenses and accessories online. 

GearShop is an important initiative for DPReview, because it allows us to fund more camera reviewers, more engineers and an even better DPReview in the future. Although the DPReview team is not involved in the day-to-day running of GearShop, we are working very closely with the team behind it and are excited to be lending our name, our expertise and our experience to this new venture. But we would be naive to think everyone will welcome this latest development, and many of you will question how we can maintain our independence as we enter into such a close partnership with a retail business.

We want to reassure you that we’ve worked hard over the last 14 years to earn our reputation for unbiased, objective assessment of digital photography equipment, and we have no intention of throwing that away.

The existence of a DPReview branded store and our involvement in the product selection process does not in any way affect the tenets and principles that guide our work on our site. We are and will remain 100% independent. GearShop is staffed and managed by a totally different team, and our involvement is restricted to product assessment and selection approval, and to the sharing of content from our site to the new store.

We retain full control over the products we choose to write about and review, and over what we say about them. We are not involved in any business discussions with suppliers, and we have absolute veto over what goes onto the site or into the store. We will not, ever, sell our credibility.

The GearShop pledge to you

  • We will only sell products tested, approved or recommended by the DPReview editorial staff, and we will not shy away from telling you about a product’s weaknesses as well as its strengths.
  • We won’t sell you things that we wouldn't recommend to our friends or use ourselves.
  • DPReview will retain 100% editorial independence. Our writers will not be thinking about selling. cameras, just as they currently don’t think about selling advertising.
  • DPReview editorial staff will have no involvement in the day-to-day running of the store.
  • Neither GearShop staff or their suppliers will have any influence over DPReview reviews or other content.
  • We will remove products from the store immediately if we feel we can no longer recommend them, based on our own experience, and/or customer feedback.
  • We will always prefer our own content over manufacturer-supplied words, pictures and videos.

FAQ

Why are you doing this now?
Firstly, because we really want to build an amazing specialty camera store for the photo enthusiast. We are full of ideas (and will welcome your input), and the GearShop team is excited about making those ideas come to life on the site. But this is also an important initiative for DPReview, because it allows us to fund more camera reviewers, more engineers and an even better DPReview in the future, without turning to advertorials or intrusive ‘roadblock’ ads that we hate as much as you do.

Why should I buy from GearShop?
We hope the features and deals on the store will give you good enough reason. We’re working hard to give GearShop customers some real savings, but buying from GearShop also directly helps DPReview continue to expand its editorial team and build cool new features. You are, of course, perfectly free to buy your camera anywhere, and you can still use features like Gearlist even if you don’t intend to make a purchase on GearShop.

Why is XYZ brand / product not listed?
We’re launching GearShop with an intentionally narrow selection of products – those we have tested, those we use and love and those we know to be essential (system accessories etc). The GS team will be expanding the selection gradually over the coming months based on DPReview’s testing, their own evaluation and customer feedback. 

Beyond this, there are several reasons that individual products or entire brands might be missing from the site. If we cannot get stock, get bad feedback or discover a flaw we may de-list an item. Certain brands may just be absent from our inventory because the GearShop team is still in talks with those companies.

Will this change the way DPReview covers products?
Emphatically no! This would destroy everything we have built over the last 14 years. We would gain nothing and potentially lose everything by sacrificing our independence. Under our existing ethics policy editorial staff are not allowed to accept perks, products or discounts from suppliers.

But won’t you just recommend products you want to sell?
Again, emphatically no! The DPReview editorial staff will not be involved in the running of the store, will not meet suppliers, will not have access to the sales data and will continue to write exactly what they want. And you are of course free to continue shopping elsewhere if you want.

Does this mean I can’t mention other retailers / deals on DPReview?
Nope. Go ahead.

So DPReview reviewers are now shopkeepers? Will they be answering the phone?
No, editorial staff are editorial staff. They will not be involved in the day-to-day running of GearShop beyond approving new products to be listed and providing test results (as part of the normal review process).

Are you going to start spamming us with emails/plastering the site with banners?
No. We will allow you to opt-in to member-only deals and we’ll let the GearShop store manager stick a message at the bottom of our newsletter, but we don’t want GearShop to intrude too heavily on your enjoyment of DPReview.com. You’ll see a few extra links on product pages and we will replace some of those terrible 'Lose Belly Fat in a Week!' ads with GearShop offers, but it is absolutely not our plan to change the feel of DPReview or annoy our visitors.

Where can I talk about Gearshop?
We have set up a dedicated GearShop forum which will be actively monitored by the GearShop team, so feel free to have your say! Please note that GearShop threads created in other forums will be moved to the new forum.

Comments

Total comments: 327
123
PG
By PG (9 months ago)

There goes the review credibility of this site...It was awesome while it lasted but nothing lasts forever...NEXT...

1 upvote
Spunky8
By Spunky8 (9 months ago)

There is an inherent conflict between reviewing products and selling them, just as there is in the media between honest reporting and advertising.

DPR is, of course, free to do whatever it wishes.

Nonetheless, the credibility of future product reviews could properly be questioned given the economic motives to sell.

1 upvote
calking
By calking (9 months ago)

DPR Staff:
The negative feedback on this simply reflects the years of providing a forum for the most bitchy, whiny, feeble-minded wanna-be photographers the world has ever seen. This group claim that your integrity and purpose has been compromised with no regard whatsoever for the business principles behind decisions that you make every day, yet NOT ONE of these invalids has the means or incentive or know-how to go start their own "truly independent" review site on their own dime. There'd be no incentive to do so, since they'd have nowhere to complain if they did. Honestly, despite their accusations about "going downhill" THEY are STILL HERE, so I say if they don't like it they can find somewhere else to bicker. They are like spoiled children -- nothing makes them happy, ever.

The best thing you could do is kill the forum boards in my opinion and just keep up the reviews you're already doing. Other very popular sites have done this for years and exist just fine. GS is nicely done.

1 upvote
Stu 5
By Stu 5 (9 months ago)

If you knew anything about running a website you would know having a forum is vital if you want to make sure you have lots of returning viewers. Kill the forums and you kill the website as it would not survive many months thereafter. Advertisers would jump ship or adverting cost would have to reduce and that would effect the income stream even more.

0 upvotes
calking
By calking (9 months ago)

Where are the forums on ken rockwells site? Thom Hogans sites? SLRgear.com? Many others as well....

I disagree. The content and delivery is what keeps people coming back --- not providing a mouthpiece for everyone to complain about everything that doesn't suit them. You're either here for the info or the bitchy banter. Slip on the info and DPR loses market share. Turn off the option of adding a new forum for EACH and EVERY posting on here and life goes on as usual.

0 upvotes
calking
By calking (9 months ago)

And by the way, Stu, I DO happen to own and run one of the top financial service websites in California, so I know a bit about running a consumer website. I even have a blog, but the comments are disabled!

0 upvotes
Stu 5
By Stu 5 (9 months ago)

Calking a financial services website is very different to this site. I also run one myself, along with many other websites, plus social networking pages and digital PR.

In the UK at least there are strict rules on what you can do with financial services sites and to have a blog would be a bad move as it would be asking for trouble.

Do the ken rockwells site, Thom Hogans sites and SLRgear.com have as many hits as this website... no. Forums allow people to interact and feel a part of the website. They increase traffic which is proven here by how many more visitors DPR get compared with the sites you listed. Being able to leave comments on a website is proven to increase traffic. I have used it on websites for charities and it has turned around their hits and increased donations.

0 upvotes
Stu 5
By Stu 5 (9 months ago)

Part 2:

A site like this is another great example of why it works. If you are running a financial services website that is regulated as well then it could end in disaster if you allowed comments to be left. If it is not regulated then it can be successful which in the UK is the reason why the most successful site of it's type gets so many hits.

0 upvotes
calking
By calking (9 months ago)

You're entitled to your opinion. There are thousands of blogs regarding all matters of finance in the U.S. I choose to disable comments because people are idiots and post idiotic things that other idiots take to heart and pretty soon a whole slew of idiots are running around telling everyone else the wrong thing. Sounds quite a bit like these types of forums on review sites. I also happen to be in the minority of older folks that doesn't believe that it's any of my business what DPR decide to do by opening Gear Shop. If it benefits their business and I don't HAVE to buy things to be able to read the content here then what difference does it make? Yet they open themselves up to attack by non-business people who suffer from some maligned "entitlement" issues simply because they frequent this site at no cost to them. Were it my site, I'd have disabled comments on my decision to offer retail products -- it's none of anyone else's business here. If you don't like it, don't buy from it.

0 upvotes
calking
By calking (9 months ago)

I also think the world as a whole suffer from this social media craze. You think it's all about giving people a forum in which to compete in order to garner more traffic. My point about Rockwell, Hogan, etc wasn't a comparison of who gets more traffic. More traffic isn't necessarily a positive. My point was that there are dozens of credible reviewers who maintain their own free review portals and have JUST AS DEDICATED viewer base as DPR, but don't allow every person who drops in to post their own opinion about every little thing. Many sites do -- but can you honestly tell me that someone who knows nothing about a Canon Rebel camera is going to read forum after forum post and come away with an "informed" decision? Heck no. For every positive comment on this site there is a negative. Forums are a place where people go to voice personal opinions about things whether informed, credible, or not. It's where the terms "troll", "flamer", and others are attributed nowadays. Life isn't media.

0 upvotes
gr1
By gr1 (9 months ago)

I like the store. I really like the sample pictures with camera/lens information. I hope in the future all cameras and lenses will come with sample pictures. I also like the way the specs are displayed.
What is cool about the store is that there is no junk. I don't have to go over 100 screens of discontinued cameras, weird brands, etc..
I already made an order.

1 upvote
Laura@GearShop
By Laura@GearShop (9 months ago)

Thanks gr1! That's what we're going for!

0 upvotes
Stu 5
By Stu 5 (9 months ago)

Well of course there are no discontinued cameras on the website, it has only just opened.

0 upvotes
Stu 5
By Stu 5 (9 months ago)

The problem you might have is other camera dealers could start to put pressure onto the camera brands to drop DPReview ratings/reviews from their adverts. With a magazine review it is different because the magazine contains adverts for lots of shops. But your website will now be Gearshop and Amazon. As far as other camera shops are concerned you have now become the competition so your reviews are less important than having a magazine review mentioned in an advert. If that happens it reduces traffic into your website.

0 upvotes
sh10453
By sh10453 (9 months ago)

I certainly hope that opening this shop will not have a big negative impact on reviews, ratings, and judgment.
DPR may say it won't, but I doubt that, especially on the long run.

As for you don't care what camera a person will buy, I say neither would Amazon care as long as the person buys a camera from them.

The same can be said about Adorama, B & H, or any other shop.
All these sites do have reviews.
What is going to make DPR different from these places? The more detailed review?
In my humble opinion, I will have to consider all future reviews as tainted, and take them with a grain of salt.

Bad, bad, bad idea.
Would have been better if DPR decided to sell college sports gear, for example, gold coins, swim-wear, or even canned vegetables. Anything unrelated to photography and the reviews.

Sad announcement, and a sad day.

5 upvotes
Craig from Nevada
By Craig from Nevada (9 months ago)

When someone drops hard money on equipment it is up to them to do the research. This is true regardless of the price of the equipment which could be several thousands of dollars or less than twenty dollars. There is no way I would rely on any single resource for most purchases. I dig and dig. DPReview is one resource. There are others. I also look for the competitive prices and services.

I don't see this as any different that walking into a brick and mortar shop.

No one is forcing you to read the reviews or make your purchases at this site.

0 upvotes
mumintroll
By mumintroll (9 months ago)

I absolutely agree. Especially if there is a gold-silver mark beside camera. I have feeling that they are not "independent" any more and they will push gold marking signs for better sales.

0 upvotes
snug photography
By snug photography (9 months ago)

Agree. It's over.

0 upvotes
mumintroll
By mumintroll (9 months ago)

Very bad designed web page. Impossible to read because description is in black font on brown background. Very poor designed. No contrast between background and used font. For many people with weak sight is unreadable.
Example here.
http://gearshop.dpreview.com/nikon-d7100-dslr-camera/dp/B00C0GLDZS?ref_=se_gd_1_0

0 upvotes
Craig from Nevada
By Craig from Nevada (9 months ago)

Some of the comments here are a bit surprising.

The Gearshop selsl equipment. I don't think DP/Amazon really cares what brand you buy so long as you buy from it. If DPReview were affiliated with a major brand, say Canon or Nikon, there would be a conflict. Gearshop is competing with other camera shops, B and H or Adorama, all of whom review equipment or allow customers to post reviews. I live in the US and another place to buy gear at very competitive prices is nice but not at the top of my list of priorities and this leads to my next point.

With regard to concerns about the shop only serving the US there is a point. The US consumer has a lot of choices of where to shop. This adds another (or sort of does). The complexities of selling photographic gear in various nations is beyond my understanding---lots of rules, taxes and such related to shipping to many nations. This might explain why customers have few choices right now.

0 upvotes
fad
By fad (9 months ago)

GearShop may be a symptom of how hard it is for many to profit from the internet.

Dpr attracts millions of visitors, who pay nothing for the privilege.

Amazon knows how much traffic comes from dpr, and it may not be enough to justify what the dpreview staff wishes to do.

This is a problem that commercial internet sites have to deal with -how to monetize their success.

Since Gearshop provides no real benefit for the customer, I don't see how it can succeed.

Perhaps dpreview should communicate this to its members in an honest and straightforward fashion, simply say: buying from us is like buying from Amazon, but it supports the site you enjoy and rely on.

Even better, if it benefits them, and doesn't hurt us users, they could ask that we purchase gear from Amazon using a link from dpreview.

Ultimately, the Internet needs a way to charge people insignificant amounts for each access to commercial sites. What I pay for cable is ridiculous, and I use the Internet more..

4 upvotes
Jeff Keller
By Jeff Keller (9 months ago)

One of your points, about why buying from us is good for readers, is addressed in several places above. Here's one snippet:

Why should I buy from GearShop?

"We hope the features and deals on the store will give you good enough reason. We’re working hard to give GearShop customers some real savings, but buying from GearShop also directly helps DPReview continue to expand its editorial team and build cool new features."

0 upvotes
Stu 5
By Stu 5 (9 months ago)

Jeff the problem you might have though is other camera dealers could start to put pressure onto the camera brands to drop DPReview ratings/reviews from their adverts. With a magazine review it is different because the magazine contains adverts for lots of shops. But your website will now be Gearshop and Amazon. As far as other camera shops are concerned you have now become the competition so your reviews are less important than having a magazine review mentioned in an advert. If that happens it reduces traffic into your website.

0 upvotes
MarshallG
By MarshallG (9 months ago)

Surprised at the negativity. I greatly appreciate DPReview. Nobody else comes close in terms of usefulness and detail. I will buy something from GearShop in order to support all of the hard work.

Simon, try to look at the criticisms as people who absolutely love your work telling you that they want to keep doing what you're doing. I agree with that; it would be terrible to see this site sell out and become a rubber stamp for corporate PR machines. Keep up the fantastic, high-integrity work.

3 upvotes
Simon Joinson
By Simon Joinson (9 months ago)

i totally, 100% agree with this: ' ...it would be terrible to see this site sell out and become a rubber stamp for corporate PR machines...', as do all our writers (who just love writing about cameras). I see this as a totally honest proposal. No hidden 'paid content', no 'advertorials', just a store that (sort of) pays us to let it use our content and to send customers to its front door. We, at dpreview, don't care which camera you buy, as long as we've helped you make an informed decision. How long do you think this site would last if we abandoned our principles and gave everyone tainted advice? Seriously, we send a lot of customers to Amazon and we have no idea what they buy, or whether they listen to us. And to be honest we don't want to know - we just want to produce great content and create cool site features, and both cost money!

5 upvotes
Matt1645f4
By Matt1645f4 (9 months ago)

@ Barney Britton. i appreciate DPR intentions are to benefit its members and users, but would it of not made sense to have offered a chance to vote on this rather than just do?

Also as the store is only open to US members and to quote the DPR announcement "In celebration of the launch, GearShop customers will be able to claim up to $150 in free accessories with select camera purchases now through July 27, 2013." Will those in other countries be offered a similar promotions as and when the Store opens up in the those Countries? Otherwise your smacking 2/3rds of this sites users in the teeth.

0 upvotes
Simon Joinson
By Simon Joinson (9 months ago)

no, and yes..

3 upvotes
ianm2k4
By ianm2k4 (9 months ago)

So thats a no then. I bet you don't give away £100 worth of accessories to the UK users.

2 upvotes
Barney Britton
By Barney Britton (9 months ago)

It's a little unfair to damn us for not doing things that we haven't not done yet, don't you think? ;)

4 upvotes
Simon Joinson
By Simon Joinson (9 months ago)

No, it wouldn't have made sense to poll a few thousand users about a major initiative designed for millions of our visitors (and thus reveal our plans a year early) . Yes we would of course expect any launch in a new country to include a similar promotion. So that's a yes then.

3 upvotes
mapgraphs
By mapgraphs (9 months ago)

The altruistic "editorial integrity" line is heartfelt I'm sure, but DPR headed down a slippery slope back when it became a part of Amazon corporate. I'm sure there is a "hands off" approach from corporate at the moment. But all things corporate change.

At the bottom of every Preview and Review is a "Buy From Amazon" section, not a "buy from these selected retailers." Amazon corporate is opening up another potential revenue stream here, that's all. Is DxO going to get a line in the "Buy From GearShop" section that's going to be added to the Buy From Amazon, and will they get a cut? Will Adobe? Nikon? Canon etc.? The line here is a little more blurry than it was a year or so ago.

The people on the inside never think the change handed down by corporate has anything to do with them. And then, only a little. Then a little more...

3 upvotes
Matt1645f4
By Matt1645f4 (9 months ago)

Well said

0 upvotes
Simon Joinson
By Simon Joinson (9 months ago)

actually until monday there were other retailers as well as amazon (and there's still other retailers in the amazon buy box). We're replacing those (which no one ever clicked on) with GearShop links. This initiative came from INSIDE dpreview (wasn't 'handed down by corporate) and is a direct response to the challenge we face keeping DPR in business. In case you hadn't noticed our industry is facing tough times (thanks in no small part to Smartphones), and since no one will pay for content we have to find ways to keep us in the black.

3 upvotes
mapgraphs
By mapgraphs (9 months ago)

FAQ
“it allows us to fund more camera reviewers, more engineers”
“Certain brands may just be absent from our inventory because the GearShop team is still in talks with those companies.”

Simon
“and is a direct response to the challenge we face keeping DPR in business.”
“we have to find ways to keep us in the black.”

Barney
“but we don't take a cut of these sales (obviously) so we can't use this service to fund site expansion, it's just something nice that we made for our community.”

Barney
“we couldn't have created GearShop without the support of camera and lens manufacturers (who are our biggest advertisers)”

Simon
“DPR doesn't directly get a penny from GearShop sales, but if the store does well, it will make it a lot easier for me to argue for more resources”

So Simon, who are you arguing with about resources?

2 upvotes
Roland Karlsson
By Roland Karlsson (9 months ago)

@Simon - we have got diverse diffuse signals why you want this GearShop. But ... this is a quite clear signal. Very clear indeed. You want it to stay on black figures. Who can argue with that?

0 upvotes
lazy lightning
By lazy lightning (9 months ago)

Laura from the GearShop is hot! I'd much rather do business with her than those cranky old jewish guys in NYC.

2 upvotes
CaseyComo
By CaseyComo (9 months ago)

Oy gevalt. And feh to you, sir.

4 upvotes
Expat Nomad
By Expat Nomad (9 months ago)

With respect to the objectivity of your reviews, I think it key that there is data to support their conclusions. Even though I may not agree with all of them.

I believe if the meaningfulness of that data has been established (and can be related to by the viewer), then it will go a long way to sustaining agreement with the overall review conclusions.

Good luck with your business.

Comment edited 1 minute after posting
0 upvotes
PC Wheeler
By PC Wheeler (9 months ago)

Since DPR is owned by Amazon, what it the relationship between Amazon and GearShop -- price-wise and otherwise?

0 upvotes
C1in
By C1in (9 months ago)

might as well make it as trade platform for user here, rather than trying to open a store...

1 upvote
Barney Britton
By Barney Britton (9 months ago)

http://www.dpreview.com/forums/1056

but we don't take a cut of these sales (obviously) so we can't use this service to fund site expansion, it's just something nice that we made for our community.

Comment edited 11 minutes after posting
1 upvote
PC Wheeler
By PC Wheeler (9 months ago)

Not the sales at http://www.dpreview.com/forums/1056 -- but I assume you will have some profit from the GearShop sales.

0 upvotes
Reg Ister
By Reg Ister (9 months ago)

:-) pure altruïsm ....

My banker used to speak like that.

By Barney Britton (11 hours ago)

http://www.dpreview.com/forums/1056

but we don't take a cut of these sales (obviously) so we can't use this service to fund site expansion, it's just something nice that we made for our community.

1 upvote
Simon Joinson
By Simon Joinson (9 months ago)

Snark all you want, but tell me what is untrue about Barney's comment.

2 upvotes
Barney Britton
By Barney Britton (9 months ago)

Yeah, I think there's some point-missing going on here.

0 upvotes
Paul Skelcher
By Paul Skelcher (9 months ago)

Call me naive, or anything else, but I am enjoying the commentary from DPR staff. They seem like a bunch of reasonable people, genuinely interested in making life better for photographers, keen to do the best they can.
The debate regarding conflict of interest between reviews and sales is pretty much irrelevant. Smart photographers will review multiple sources for a buying decision and whether Gear Shop is successful remains to be seen.

Providing a service- internet, photography or otherwise- essentially comes down to trust at a personal level and I see nothing here, or in past performance, to cast doubts on the integrity or intentions of the DPR crew.

In fact, DPR offers such a range of resources that it's easily worth a few bucks a year.

Paul

9 upvotes
ianm2k4
By ianm2k4 (9 months ago)

Smart photographers will review multiple sources for a buying decision and whether Gear Shop is successful remains to be seen.

Thats the key here.

GearShop whilst a useful link (and I believe going forward a promoted link) from DPR is no better (or worse) than other online retailers. They will only win though if they can compete with them and looking at current prices they are no better (or worse). As its Amazon thats really GearShop they at least stand a good chance of survival. Why they didn't they just be honest and link directly to Amazon?

0 upvotes
billbourd
By billbourd (9 months ago)

I would guess the product pricing would be the same on the Gear Shop as on Amazon?

1 upvote
Laura@GearShop
By Laura@GearShop (9 months ago)

We set our prices independently, but we aim to be competitive.

0 upvotes
Octane
By Octane (9 months ago)

Kind of funny trying to make it sound like editorial and Gear Shop are separate and independent when they are run by the same upper management. Neither editorial not GS make big decisions anyways, both report to the exact same management.

4 upvotes
Simon Joinson
By Simon Joinson (9 months ago)

they are not 'run' by the same upper management. These are totally separate orgs. Go far enough up the chain and ultimately you get to the CEO (who probably doesn't even know about GearShop), but that's the only point our orgs intersect.

3 upvotes
Octane
By Octane (9 months ago)

The CEO doesn't know about it? :) OK, totally believe that.

But honestly, one way or another I don't think it's bad. As a store it doesn't really matter what gets good or not so good review, people are going to buy something. If not one camera or lens, it;s going to be the other one. And brand loyal people (which I think are a pretty large percentage) buy their brand anyways.

3 upvotes
Simon Joinson
By Simon Joinson (9 months ago)

I'm sure Jeff has seen it somewhere in a report. But my point was he's hardly going to be sat upstairs pulling the strings to tell us which cameras to review or what to say. DPR and GearShop represent a fraction of a fraction of a percent of the business.

Comment edited 24 seconds after posting
1 upvote
johnvr1
By johnvr1 (9 months ago)

Everyone is talking about how this looks for the site's objectivity, but I also wonder if this will speed up their reviews. I generally have already bought a camera I'm interested in before this site finally gets around to publishing its review.

Since the Gearshop will only sell what scores high, it can't list a new product unless it's reviewed.

2 upvotes
reginalddwight
By reginalddwight (9 months ago)

With the launch of GS, will DPR start doing reviews of accessories (e.g. strobes, tripods, monitors, camera bags, etc.)?

Comment edited 31 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
KW Phua
By KW Phua (9 months ago)

So those did not send camera to preview will not be test and review and also mean that will not be selling in Gear Shop. So we have a chance to get review faster.

0 upvotes
Gadgety
By Gadgety (9 months ago)

I'm sorry. I didn't even read this through in detail because this GearShop undermines DPReviews credibility.

4 upvotes
Barney Britton
By Barney Britton (9 months ago)

You might be reassured by some of the detail.

1 upvote
ianm2k4
By ianm2k4 (9 months ago)

The prices are no better than buying from BH or Adorama. No incentive to use GearShop.

7 upvotes
klopus
By klopus (9 months ago)

Supporting DPR from which free contents you hopefully benefit isn't incentive enough especially given competitive prices?

2 upvotes
Stu 5
By Stu 5 (9 months ago)

klopus without people visiting the website DPR have no business. That is why it is free. They are not doing anyone a favour.

5 upvotes
Gesture
By Gesture (9 months ago)

Supposed to be more like a boutique store.

1 upvote
mandm
By mandm (9 months ago)

Prices are the same as other big mail order dealers because of the MAP pricing from the US distributers. MAP = Minimum Advertised Price.

0 upvotes
attomole
By attomole (9 months ago)

DigitalRev and CamerastoreTV, both on line retailers have been doing video reviews for years, I don't think that they are retailers has been a distraction from giving honest held views on the products they review, the style of the former is slapstick /comedic anyway. and both seem to use it to lend strength to their brand and credibility as a store, rather than a promotional vehicle for a particular Kit.

This site is very open, the reviews are reviewed by us, people come on here and say hey Simon that review was a pile of crap, and the reviewers themselves respond to select criticism, it is difficult to see in that environment how the reviewers would post something other than straightforwardly honest content, you do it to be credible as a sore keeper. which in the long run will keep customers faithful.

Comment edited 38 seconds after posting
3 upvotes
IZO100
By IZO100 (9 months ago)

so the reviewers are now selling cameras , dpreview is so pathetic now...

4 upvotes
Simon Joinson
By Simon Joinson (9 months ago)

Are they though? Because i'm pretty sure they're not... it's almost like you didn't read anything beyond the first two lines, then rushed to hate in the comments. Which I'm sure has never happened on the interwebs before.

7 upvotes
Simon Joinson
By Simon Joinson (9 months ago)

I'm saying, Wayne, that the reviewers are not now selling cameras.

1 upvote
georgec
By georgec (9 months ago)

DPReview is owned by Amazon. I like B&H better for tax reasons (WA)

2 upvotes
PC Wheeler
By PC Wheeler (9 months ago)

There is that!

0 upvotes
ianm2k4
By ianm2k4 (9 months ago)

Yes thats a valid point. At least ethical companies are worth supporting.

0 upvotes
BaldCol
By BaldCol (9 months ago)

What a lot of flapping about nothing. the site has been covered with ads for ever, as is every photo magazine on the shelves.

There is no such thing as an unbiased review because the reviews are written by a human who will have his/her own likes and dislikes, etc.

Get over yourselves and go and takes some pictures.

5 upvotes
wetsleet
By wetsleet (9 months ago)

Is there not a risk of alienating adveritisers, and so finding that profits made through GearShop are offset by advertising revenue lost. After all GS will be seen to have 'privileged' status, and can only really take sales away from existing advertisers, so lowering the value of advertising on DPR.

2 upvotes
Simon Joinson
By Simon Joinson (9 months ago)

it may surprise you to hear that some thought went into this initiative...

6 upvotes
Octane
By Octane (9 months ago)

@Simon, your smart one liner replies are never a surprise, though.

0 upvotes
Barney Britton
By Barney Britton (9 months ago)

@ wetsleet - we couldn't have created GearShop without the support of camera and lens manufacturers (who are our biggest advertisers)

0 upvotes
King Penguin
By King Penguin (9 months ago)

Just a request.....please stop using the word 'utilise' , why use a word with 7 letters when one with 3 (use) can be used in ALL circumstances that the 7 letter word is often used.

I'm sorry to be critical but it shows sloppy copywriting, plain English in future please......thank you, rant over :)

1 upvote
Anfy
By Anfy (9 months ago)

My english is a bit bad, however they wrote "utilize" (with zed) in the news above, I do not know if it sounds a bit more acceptable. Seems there are four ways to write the same thing: utilize, utilise, use, make use of. Which one is better?

1 upvote
King Penguin
By King Penguin (9 months ago)

The correct one to use is 'use', all the rest add letters but nothing else......which is pointless. There is no reason to use utilise or utilize instead of use apart from making it more difficult to read which is the opposite of good copy-writing!

But hey, we should be talking photography here not the English language, sorry to have raised it.......:)

0 upvotes
rallyfan
By rallyfan (9 months ago)

You're requesting the elimination of a specific synonym from all copy to which you are exposed? OK sounds reasonable.

0 upvotes
Barney Britton
By Barney Britton (9 months ago)

Could be worse - we could have said 'leverage'.

3 upvotes
JonB1975
By JonB1975 (9 months ago)

For a site that started in the UK starting this in the US only? SHAME!

7 upvotes
Barney Britton
By Barney Britton (9 months ago)

Our head office moved out here 3 years ago - but we're very aware that a lot of our audience resides outside of the USA, so watch this space.

3 upvotes
Matt1645f4
By Matt1645f4 (9 months ago)

About the same time it started go downhill.........

4 upvotes
Simon Joinson
By Simon Joinson (9 months ago)

make your mind up! Did it start going downhill in 2007 or 2010? And in what way (apart from not featuring sample galleries taken near where you live)?

4 upvotes
Gadgety
By Gadgety (9 months ago)

I've been waiting for the reviews, expecting them to follow the previews. I was thinking that the delay was due to lack of time, or lack of being provided with the gear... Ooops, now I realize I was a bit naive.

3 upvotes
Barney Britton
By Barney Britton (9 months ago)

Let's calm down and be sensible here. There was never a point where previews didn't outnumber reviews. Unless you count the time when we didn't do previews at all. The reason for this is simple - previews take less time than full reviews, and more cameras are released in a year than we can hope to review in full, because we don't have infinite editorial resources.

Comfort yourself that most of our previews are longer and more detailed than most 'reviews' published by other sites.

If you look at the numbers for the past couple of years, year on year we're putting out almost as many, the same amount or more camera reviews per year as we've ever done at any point in the site's pre-acquisition history.

Comment edited 47 seconds after posting
3 upvotes
guinness2
By guinness2 (9 months ago)

Simon,
whether the exact date of selling DPR and moving to US was critical or not, there are changes since that time, we do see it, why not you ?

We understand Phil's reasons to sell, but the shift from british exclusive top-level GEAR WEB to commercial US-centric top-level PHOTO WEB is apparent, appreciated or not.
For one, you aren't aware anymore, that US prices are irrelevant otherwise and thus not supporting us in decisions.
Team is now hunting too many rabbits, IMHO, new web additions are often immature. (Try to edit forum existing forum post on Android tablet)
My main complaint is different:
In your british times you were for years virtually the first here with perfect reviews of new gear.
Someone of you was probably sitting in front of far Vegas fair gate to be the first one to inform us.
Now we are waiting for the review of last years most discussed Canon DSLR, 100D for ages . (4 months sharp, don't you feel the pain, anymore ? :-))
Too many rabbits, I said ...

Comment edited 40 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
Mr Fartleberry
By Mr Fartleberry (9 months ago)

OT - Objective reviews? One only needs to look at Pop Photo's farcical camera of the year to see what goes on. I'd believe DPR long before a lot of others out there.

5 upvotes
ET2
By ET2 (9 months ago)

If DPR can't do adds or sell things to remain "objective", how do you propose they pay the writers to write the reviews?

Make it members $10 a month to use the site? I bet most of the whiners like you will be whining a lot more if it was tuned into members only site.

7 upvotes
Simon Joinson
By Simon Joinson (9 months ago)

if every visitor paid a dollar per year to visit DPR we could get 10x more writers and still keep the accountants happy!

6 upvotes
Bill Bentley
By Bill Bentley (9 months ago)

$.99 camera review app. Available only for iOS though. :-)

1 upvote
rallyfan
By rallyfan (9 months ago)

Truth be told the iOS experience right now isn't as good as the desktop experience. A $0,99 annual app would be interesting -- but then again if I'm on a limited data plan, I don't want to be paying to download ads, so it'd have to be very content-focused.

1 upvote
leebee
By leebee (9 months ago)

Can I use my Amazon Prime benefits like 2-day shipping at the Gear Shop?

1 upvote
Laura@GearShop
By Laura@GearShop (9 months ago)

You can't use Prime, but 2-day shipping is free on every product in the store, and 1-day shipping is $9.99.

2 upvotes
pistachioShell
By pistachioShell (9 months ago)

Is there an example we could see for comparison? What organization has published product reviews, and sold products, and maintained a firewall between the two? If there are good examples, then we could compare the details to build confidence going forward. If there are no examples, then DPR is trying something that no one else has ever accomplished and it will be that much harder to build confidence going forward.

4 upvotes
Simon Joinson
By Simon Joinson (9 months ago)

i'd like to reiterate that we (as in the dpreview team) don't sell any products beyond a couple of teeshirts. GearShop is a totally separate business unit, run by a separate team, with totally separate accounting. We provide (programatically) some content for GS pages, lend our name, and traffic (via links), to the site. DPR doesn't directly get a penny from GearShop sales, but if the store does well, it will make it a lot easier for me to argue for more resources (writers) and to say no to overly disruptive advertising. This site would close tomorrow if advertisers stopped advertising. By indirectly generating revenue (by sending a small proportion of our visitors to GearShop) we actually reduce the commercial pressures on DPR, not increase them - and hopefully help build a great store too. If all our visitors paid us a dollar a year we'd make far more money than we'll ever make from advertising or selling cameras, but the internet is free, right?

4 upvotes
Gadgety
By Gadgety (9 months ago)

"Overly disruptive advertising" Could you give a few examples of that?

1 upvote
Barney Britton
By Barney Britton (9 months ago)

@ Gadgety - we mean 'roadblock' ads which you have to close before you can view a page, non-skippable ads on video content, etc. We hate them just as much as you do.

3 upvotes
guinness2
By guinness2 (9 months ago)

Hi Simon,
based on the enthusiasm you show in defending this e-shop building decision I keep my belief in the future independence of DPR info, but the seed of doubt was already sowed at common, whether you wish or not... Every competent photo store has good reviewers which post mostly on web, but I can't remember one reversed example.
I can understand that you considered pros and cons already and wish to DPR the gain you expect.

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 4 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
Roland Karlsson
By Roland Karlsson (9 months ago)

@Barney - thanks for hating roadblock ads. They are totally annoying.

0 upvotes
mpgxsvcd
By mpgxsvcd (9 months ago)

Not sure why there isn't an option for Highest Rated. I couldn't care less about what is the "Top Selling". Most consumers have no idea what makes a good camera.

What I am interested in is knowing what Dpreview thinks is the highest rated camera.

2 upvotes
Matt1645f4
By Matt1645f4 (9 months ago)

Often the Highest rated product doesn't get the gold award!! preferred the recommended Highly recommended rating fairer and straight forward.

1 upvote
mpgxsvcd
By mpgxsvcd (9 months ago)

I will believe that Dpreview is biased when they finally give out a Bronze award for the lowest profit camera. Until then I think they are just about as unbiased as you can get.

Just once I would like to see them lay into a really poor performing camera. Give it the bronze award and tell the manufacturer to go back to the drawing board.

1 upvote
Barney Britton
By Barney Britton (9 months ago)

The Sigma SD1 review and Fujifilm X100 reviews were pretty 'objective', I seem to recall.... ;)

2 upvotes
Matt1645f4
By Matt1645f4 (9 months ago)

The Turd award would be funnier, Bronze is just another award.

0 upvotes
mpgxsvcd
By mpgxsvcd (9 months ago)

It is just a front end for Amazon that blends a really good review website with a really complete online store. Where is the problem there?

3 upvotes
AbrasiveReducer
By AbrasiveReducer (9 months ago)

Popular Photography and Modern Photography lasted a very long time by making their readers pay to receive pages & pages of advertising. And, if the customer hadn't spent enough for the privilege of being advertised to, there were yearly buying guides as well. This business was so good, Consumer's Digest (not to be confused with the legitimate Consumer's Reports) got into the business just to sell buying guides.

So, if you look at it that way, DPR is saving you money each month (smiley face).

3 upvotes
Loren Charif
By Loren Charif (9 months ago)

Maybe instead of jumping on the "Oh my God, this is terrible, what a conflict of interest, it's just s sham front end for Amazon, the world is coming to an end" bandwagon, how about giving this experiment a fair chance? If it works (for the members as well as DPR/Amazon, then it's a win-win. If it doesn't, it'll either fade away gradually or go up in flames. Either way, you don't have to buy from them if you don't want to.

Let's just see what happens; we may be pleasantly surprised. Or maybe not surprised at all.

5 upvotes
JackM
By JackM (9 months ago)

Hello? DPR has been selling gear for years - through paid advertisements. How is this such a quantum leap? There have been conspiracy theories on this site for years about DPR favoring its advertisers' products. I think the reviews stand on their own merit, if you actually read them.

9 upvotes
rallyfan
By rallyfan (9 months ago)

Since you understand the situation better and have a good historical perspective, could you (or anyone rake) please list a few reasons how launching a sales site will help the impartiality of the reviews?

Thanks in advance.

7 upvotes
Andy Westlake
By Andy Westlake (9 months ago)

As I explained below, it's logically in our long-term commercial interest to maintain impartiality of reviews. Because if we were to try to get people to buy something from GearShop by giving it an over-enthusiastic review, only for them to end up disappointed and disillusioned, they'd not return to either site. So that would count as commercial suicide.

7 upvotes
rallyfan
By rallyfan (9 months ago)

Even if you will not directly, personally try to get people to buy something from GearShop, this is not an independent site, nor are the reviews impartial -- this is by definition. There are commercial interests; therefore, the reviews would in the strict sense be "advertisements."

Besides, there are responses from a Gearshop salesperson right here, right now. There is no separation.

1 upvote
Barney Britton
By Barney Britton (9 months ago)

"this is not an independent site, nor are the reviews impartial - this is by definition"

Respectfully, your logic is flawed. Simon has given a concise explanation of our reasoning in a post higher up this page, which I suggest you read with an open mind.

3 upvotes
rallyfan
By rallyfan (9 months ago)

I believe I have been able to follow his reasoning. I don't question the rationale behind the decision.

The intro is very explicit. However, I suspect I'm not going to be the last person to raise the impartiality question.

You're going to keep reviewing everything and anything with the same open mind and rational approach as always. Nonetheless, there are certain realitities that are inescapable; I don't think I was wrong in describing the situation as one sales site buying a review site, that subsequently launched a second sales site. Separating one from the other isn't realistic.

The blue/white roundel that follows your surname when you post is the same symbol that follows the name of your colleagues, including the sales person from the new site. Her posts are in this thread too.

0 upvotes
Barney Britton
By Barney Britton (9 months ago)

Laura isn't a sales person, she's content editor for GearShop. She's basically my equivalent on that site, responsible for curating and creating the words and pictures. It's not a sales role.

Comment edited 9 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
Matt1645f4
By Matt1645f4 (9 months ago)

Another Large nail in DPR coffin!!

5 upvotes
Simon Joinson
By Simon Joinson (9 months ago)

that coffin must weigh a ton by now, the number of nails i've seen people talk about in the last 10 years.

13 upvotes
Matt1645f4
By Matt1645f4 (9 months ago)

What really annoys me is there's so little news now days, actual camera and lens reviews are few and far between and i know this sounds like sour grapes but a lot of photo's aren't what the average person takes, more real world images with affordable cheaper lenses would be better please. And instead of these stories of what someone has done to get 30 seconds of fame how about short technical tips and advice to improve the standard of images. When Digital first started to become affordable the volume of photos increased but the general quality dropped, help people to achieve better standards. (i worked in the trade and this is an area not catered for online)

3 upvotes
Barney Britton
By Barney Britton (9 months ago)

@ Matt1645f4 - watch this space :)

1 upvote
HowaboutRAW
By HowaboutRAW (9 months ago)

In mirrorless, no Leica Ms, nor the Samsung NX300. Kinda of missing some good lenses there DPR.

Comment edited 5 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
Laura@GearShop
By Laura@GearShop (9 months ago)

Leica M's have their own subcategory: Digital Rangefinders.. We do have a few Leica lenses as well.

Comment edited 1 minute after posting
1 upvote
HowaboutRAW
By HowaboutRAW (9 months ago)

Okay thank you, that's one system accounted for.

Leica Ms should probably appear in both mirrorless and rangefinder.

Didn't know there was another digital rangefinder--unless Epson is still shipping the R-D1x in Europe and Japan?

0 upvotes
micahmedia
By micahmedia (9 months ago)

The new M should probably be in both categories. Other than AF, it's identical in features to the m43 and Nex systems.

0 upvotes
HowaboutRAW
By HowaboutRAW (9 months ago)

micah--

Um the Nex system is full framed? And then about those Leica and Zeiss M lenses...

I'd bet too that the Leica's menus are more straight forward than some Nex cameras.

0 upvotes
Bill Bentley
By Bill Bentley (9 months ago)

First Adobe, and now this. ;-/

"How can I go on Jerry, how can I go on."
*Seinfeld*

4 upvotes
HowaboutRAW
By HowaboutRAW (9 months ago)

How is this like Adobe? DPReview is not forcing you to pay to use the websites?

And in reality DPReview is cloud based, unlike almost the entirety of Adobe Creative "Cloud". (Perhaps the confirmations of the obvious by Mr Snowden will make Adobe reconsider promotion of any kind of cloud for documents. Not sure I need "them" knowing how frequently I used PhotoShop in the last month either.)

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 2 minutes after posting
4 upvotes
Bill Bentley
By Bill Bentley (9 months ago)

Sarcasm. Photogs have it pretty rough these days.

0 upvotes
HowaboutRAW
By HowaboutRAW (9 months ago)

Well the Adobe thing is annoying, if not even creepy.

1 upvote
Josh152
By Josh152 (9 months ago)

The thing about this is that what matters most isn't how objective DPR's reviews actually are, it is how objective they are perceived to be by the readers and users and frankly if the comments here are any indication DPR has a real problem on their hands. Now every positive review of a product the gear shop sells will be colored with the suspicion that it got a good score because DPR wants to sell it in their gear shop no mater how much DPR claims that isn't the case or whether it actually is or not.

3 upvotes
Peter K Burian
By Peter K Burian (9 months ago)

I understand your premise, but what about the many cameras that do not get a rave review? For example, how many of this camera will Amazon.com sell, after people see this Review:

....Because it's such a niche product, it almost doesn't make sense to recommend (or otherwise) the Sigma ... ..With its fixed focal length and unusual sensor the DP2's design was never going to be a product for the vast majority of people. Sadly though, its implementation and the appearance of slicker, more flexible products in the same market mean that it's not even a camera for the vast majority of keen photographers.

1 upvote
jfjal
By jfjal (9 months ago)

Yes, exactly! The suspicion will always be there. Conversely will DPR be willing to "slaughter" a best selling, profitmaking product or simply "forget" to review it?

2 upvotes
Simon Joinson
By Simon Joinson (9 months ago)

time will tell, won't it?

0 upvotes
Kriekira
By Kriekira (9 months ago)

Kudos to the designers. The site is gorgeous and easy to navigate. Looks to be very well designed.

2 upvotes
Donnie G
By Donnie G (9 months ago)

I agree with Kriekira. The site does look nice. As for all of the conspiracy theories being floated here, well, it just makes me wonder if the world has suddenly run out of prozac.

7 upvotes
mcshan
By mcshan (9 months ago)

You mean if I purchase an RX1 I can save $1.99 ! Fantastic.

10 upvotes
Mr Fartleberry
By Mr Fartleberry (9 months ago)

Wait there's better savings! Like 3 dollars off a $1100 Coopix.

3 upvotes
ProfHankD
By ProfHankD (9 months ago)

So, now we're gonna see buy it links at the end of every review for GearShop and Amazon rather than the array of (presumably paid) links to various vendors? That does seem a bit more biased than things had been, but not really.

Meh. I'll still buy from places like BH when I want a "sure thing" and eBay when I'm willing to take a risk. ;-)

3 upvotes
michaelp42
By michaelp42 (9 months ago)

Until this day I always thought that DPR was a UK based site...

1 upvote
Dave Oddie
By Dave Oddie (9 months ago)

It was when Phil Askey ran it but he sold it to Amazon.

Phil was very clever IMO in that the site always catered (as far as I can remember) for our US cousins by mentioning US launch dates and prices etc.

It never looked UK-centric to the extent I am certain some US readers thought it was a US site anyway.

Comment edited 10 minutes after posting
1 upvote
Peter K Burian
By Peter K Burian (9 months ago)

Well, it always looked like it was written in England, to me. They always published UK prices, and mentioned USA prices. Even now, some of the Reviews use so many Brit-speak phrases, it sounds as if it were still published in the UK. (Some of the reviewers are still British, of course.)

2 upvotes
Matt1645f4
By Matt1645f4 (9 months ago)

And since Phil Askey sold DPR its gone down hill. (used to get lovely photos of West Surrey frequently in their sample images).

3 upvotes
AbrasiveReducer
By AbrasiveReducer (9 months ago)

For a site that needs to test cameras it always struck me as odd they've chosen two places known for lousy weather. Why not move DPR to the Cayman Islands? Beautiful blue skies and you can beat your taxes.

0 upvotes
Simon Joinson
By Simon Joinson (9 months ago)

so the site has gone downhill pretty much continually since early 2007? Specifically what started to change the day phil signed the deal? Also, the photos of Surrey / Sussex were mine (since I used to live there), and in a site this big I'd hope the location of some of the sample galleries wouldn't be the only thing we were judged on!

4 upvotes
Peter K Burian
By Peter K Burian (9 months ago)

Yeah, Amazon.com (dpreview owner) never ships to Canada because there is an Amazon Canada.

Of course, Amazon.CA does not have many cameras, lenses, etc. (in fact, **very, very** few)

So this Gearshop is unlikely to ever be available to readers in the UK or Canada or any other country.

1 upvote
Expat Nomad
By Expat Nomad (9 months ago)

I agree with Peter here.
I'll state it a different way.
There is potential opportunity to "cross borders", and make the GS channel available to Canadian (and other country) buyers, since as Peter mentions, there is only an extremely limited amount of equipment available from the local Amazon site.

1 upvote
jfjal
By jfjal (9 months ago)

The reason you are doing this is obvious: Your owner (Amazon) thinks there is more profit to be had in gear selling than in gear reviewing, mnabe even more by combining them.

This may be wrong - those are two quite different business propositions. It is common knowledge in business consulting that combining different business propositions often breeds failure.

11 upvotes
Dave Oddie
By Dave Oddie (9 months ago)

I'd agree with that. It's not new that anything offering a supposedly impartial review service has its integrity questioned on a fairly regular basis. Amateur Photographer magazine in the UK has been accused in the past of not wanting to upset camera makers because it carries adds for their products.

It is VERY hard to avoid accusations of bias and even harder if you then start selling stuff you review. So if you combine the consultancy arm with a retail arm the former immediately falls under suspicion. Just the way it is.

Will that ultimately harm the business as a whole? Who knows.

5 upvotes
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