The Demise of and Its Implications

I am not a news site.  I don’t want to be a news site.  In order to deliver news effectively, it must be done timely, giving people what they want as soon as they want it.  With the posts on this site often taking weeks, months, and even sometimes years to complete, I simply cannot keep up with other news sites.

But today’s news that Amazon is shutting down the digital camera review site, got me thinking.  If you’re reading this post, then you’ve likely already seen today’s announcement that effective April 10, 2023, DPReview will become locked, with no new content being posted and that the site content will be available for a “limited” amount of time afterwards.  If you haven’t seen the press release, here it is:

The news that DPReview is being shut down is unfortunate, but is not the reason I am writing this.  All sites will eventually shut down.  The people who maintain them will eventually lose interest or pass away, topics will go out of vogue, changes in technology will render a once popular website obsolete and so on.  Even my site,, will one day end.  When I first wrote my first camera review in December 2014, I had no idea that it would be something I would be doing over 8 years later, and even now, it’s not something I want to do for the rest of my life.

Recent estimates peg that the entire Internet consists of 1,200 petabytes, or 1.2 million terabytes of information and that number grows by the second.  In fact, every press of my keyboard increases that size by 1 byte, 2 bytes, 3 bytes, and so on.

But what happens when that information disappears or is taken offline?  Sure, there are people like me who have copy and pasted snippets of it for safe keeping, and there are wonderful internet archives like, and, but these sources are limited in what they contain and how the information is accessed.

Want to learn more about the Sony Mavica MVC-FD88?  DPReview has a review of it.

DPReview is one of the oldest, still running sources of photography information for online.  If you have any interest in any digital camera, lens, or accessory made in the last quarter century, there is a good chance that DPReview has it.  And chances are, if they have a review for it, it’s probably pretty good.  I’ve personally used the site many times in the past, even way before I ever started writing about film cameras.  Do you want to know the difference between a Nikon D40 and the D40x?  DPReview has it.  Do you want to know what people were saying about 3.5″ floppy disc cameras like the Sony Mavica MVC-FD88?  DPReview has it.

The thought that this information could one day disappear is troubling to me.

In my time writing reviews for this site, people have often called me a “historian” or a “camera guru” or some other buzzword.  I don’t consider myself a historian as I feel a historian has some kind of first hand account of something, or creates new information about old things.  I don’t do that.  I find information in books, old magazines, on old websites, or in some cases, even talk to some experts, and re-share it in what I hope is an easy to read, and understand article.  I consider myself more of a “camera archaeologist” than a historian.  The information I write about is already out there, I just help you find it.

Cloud storage isn’t infinite, but it might as well be.

In order for me to continue to be a “camera archaeologist” however, that information needs to still exist.  Whenever a source goes offline, that information is lost forever.  Digital data is not permanent, it can be erased as easily as it is created, and once a digital source is gone, there is (usually) no hard copy to restore it from, and that is something that we as a community need to do our best to avoid.

DPReview is owned by Amazon, which is THE biggest owner of data in the world.  Amazon Web Services (who hosts by the way) is so big, that it has more storage than Google, Microsoft, IBM, Oracle, and Alibaba….COMBINED.  With this amount of storage, there’s no reason that DPReview couldn’t be maintained.

This site is “Powered by AWS”.

Even if you’re not a fan of DPReview, or if you think their forums stink, or have no interest in digital camera reviews, the amount of information there needs to be saved.  It is incumbent to anyone who relies on data, to keep that data available to everyone.

I don’t know the factors that went into the decision to end DPReview, or how long it’s owners plan to keep the site up, or what long term plans are for the data, but quite simply, this is not a resource that we should allow to disappear.  I am certain Amazon has the resources to keep it up indefinitely so I hope they do the right thing.

Ever since I started this site, and the Camerosity Podcast, it has been very important to me to preserve as much information and share as many stories from those with first hand accounts as possible.  Every day, we get one day closer to another Larry Gubas passing away, or Chris Sherlock no longer repairing cameras.  While it is exciting to see some new people like Jess Ibarra and Brandon Monroe taking up the charge of camera repair, the amount of knowledge and experience we could lose each time we lose someone else is something we all need to work hard to preserve.

I’ll do my best to keep being an archaeologist, and at whatever time I decide it is time to move on from publishing content on this site, I will do my absolute best to keep it available to anyone who is interested.  There is far too much knowledge that is being lost every day.  Each time someone dies, information is lost.  There’s not a whole lot we can do to preserve human memories, but there is something we can do to preserve human data.  Store it.  Archive it.  Keep it alive, so that the next Mike Eckman who wants to write about “early 21st century digital cameras” has a resource they can dig through.


  1. This is aggravating. Some information is being deliberately deleted because someone is offended by actual history or faith or whatever. Some information is being deleted because the 20-year olds in charge of planning at Big Tech Inc. cannot relate to it and therefore concluded it is of no interest to anyone else.
    Data storage is surprisingly cheap. Sermon Audio (you can guess who it serves from its name) has recently erected a one petabyte private storage facility, hosted by Bob Jones University, to protect preaching of the Christian faith from the secularists who have deemed such to be “hate speech”.
    I wonder of some of the dystopian science fiction writers of past decades were actually prescient.

  2. As a modest collected of earlier digital cameras DPReview is an invaluable source of information helping me decide if a specific camera from say 2007 worthy of a punt,we can but hope that it will be archived so that all can access the invaluable information it contains

  3. This is profoundly saddening to me. DPR, love it or hate it (I straddle between both sometimes), is THE internet resource for digital photography, from its earliest days. And the forums are usually quite entertaining
    What truly saddens me, though, is that a resource like this site (which is, quite honestly, one of the best film camera databases ever) could be hosted by another party without too much of an issue. Mike is the sole owner, and he can do whatever he pleases with it. But DPR were bought by Amazon, who can heap on tons of corporate BS on whatever efforts made to preserve the valuable data hosted in it, and have an army of lawyers ready to rip any rescue plans to shreds, if they so please.

    It’s depressing ☹️

    1. Thanks for the feedback, but to put your mind at ease that anything similar could happen to as did since I am also hosted by Amazon, is that I pay for their servers that this site resides on and nothing more. At any point, I can take my data anywhere I please and move it to another host. Amazon has no control over me, and even if for some bizarre reason, they wanted to lock me out of my own site and not give me access to the data, I make regular backups.

  4. Today pretty much everything we say, everything we do is linked to the internet, like it or not. A loss such as this on its own whilst a blow is not catastrophic but it is a loss of a snippet of our lives. There are far fewer books and far less people print their photographs today than in the past. When you spread this loss of information across the entire spectrum of our lives in the digital age it should set alarm bells ringing. The future without a past….as it has been erased…..a scary and troublesome thought…or sadly about to become a reality….

  5. I spent some time as a reviewer of digital cameras for a local (Australian) magazine. DP was an essential for me as I didn’t have the resources or time (or pay scale) to do days of work – it was my fact checker, established the timeline and so on. No, I didn’t plagiarise but it filled the gaps and kept me accurate on aspects I didn’t bother much with (i.e. Video modes and so on). While I no longer use it, this is infuriating. It’s like finding out that Wikipedia is being shut down because it’s not profitable or some such. I sincerely hope that the current staff can go rogue and revive it in some form.

  6. Mike: like a great many others, I’ve turned to your site a great many times when considering the purchase of a particular camera/lens or meter etc. Thank you for all the work you put into this. Dave Murray. Barrow Hill. U.K.

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