Assessing The Situation
Technology continues to rapidly change how we take pictures and it is easy to get overwhelmed with all the changes. This is why it is so important to have unbiased and fair advice on new cameras, lenses, and software. My “go to” website for reviews and information has been Digital Photography Review (DPR) (www.dpreview.com). Unfortunately, due to recent events, I am looking at reviews on DPR with suspicion now.
When Amazon purchased DPR, we gasped and began fretting about how reliable their reviews would be and whether or not those reviews would reflect the ideals of Digital Photography Review or be slanted towards the corporate sales direction of Amazon.
Well those fears, in my opinion, have now been realized. DPR recently decided that, besides the reviews, forums, blogs, etc., they would also become retailers. No where does Amazon’s name appear in the DPR store or in the checkout process but I can’t imagine that anyone other than Amazon will be fulfilling the orders. The prices on the DPR GearShop look suspiciously similar to those on Amazon.
What is troubling is how honest the future reviews are going to be. Will they speak to the true pros and cons? Will the “Gold” award or “Silver” award be earned because the camera or lens or software deserves the higher score or will it be because it is a product that Dpreview wants to sell large numbers of?
Up until now, the reviews have been pretty concise and pretty honest. Up until now the forums have been anywhere from great to highly argumentative and dysfunctional.
As consumers we may benefit but I personally will have a trust issue lingering in the back of my mind. I shall always believe there may be an ulterior motive behind a high award from Dpreview.
You are the jury. Only you can decide.
I have already decided.