In March, DPReview announced that parent company Amazon went out of businessand the photography world entered a double state of shock and disbelief.
For 25 years, DPReview had served as a consistently reliable and authoritative voice on photography equipment. But photography enthusiasts didn’t just turn to DPReview to drool over Canon’s latest lens or compare Sony and Nikon’s Face Detection autofocus capabilities. It was an active forum where we (yes, I’m one of those photography people) could hang out and be silly.
For such an extensive archive of photography knowledge and the strong community it had nurtured to be banished to the abyss – the plan was not even to archive it, but to shut it down completely – was a blow to many. The announcement on DPReview garnered more than 5,000 comments, and people took to social media to share their thoughts on Amazon’s decision.
But that soon changed when Gear Patrol – which offers advice, how-tos and product reviews, but not specifically for cameras – came to the rescue. It finalized a deal to buy DPReview from Amazon in June 2023 for an undisclosed sum. I was excited to speak with Gear Patrol founder and CEO Eric Yang to find out what drove the purchase and what he learned from the process.
Authority and community
Yang was driven to bring DPReview under the auspices of Gear Patrol for several reasons, and while it made business sense, there was also a personal motivation.
“It’s a business, so it’s not a totally altruistic business,” Yang told me. “But DPReview is very meaningful to me. It’s meaningful to a lot of people, I think, who grew up with the internet.”
DPReview is home to an extraordinary knowledge base that Yang was loath to see disappear. But this knowledge base isn’t just in the vast archive of reviews, buying guides, editorials, and advice; it is also in the strong community that has fostered this expertise. For so many people, DPReview has been a safe place to express opinions, ask for advice, or just be photography nerds. All this together was valuable to Yang.
A natural fit
Yang describes Gear Patrol as a place that empowers people to pursue their interests and passions with confidence. That’s why he believes that Gear Patrol and DP Review are a perfect fit. “We want to help people have the knowledge they need to pursue their specific passions in the best possible way,” Yang said.