Longtime fans of dpreview.com are understandably worried that the digital photography review site’s recently-announced acquisition by Amazon will hurt editorial independence. Also understandably, the site’s founder is focused only on the upside:
“We’ve worked very hard over the last eight years to deliver consistently high quality content to our readers”, founder Phil Askey said. “It will be fantastic to be able to expand and build on that without compromising our quality or independence. With the support and resources of Amazon we can achieve this.”(link).
Here at ConsensusBest, we’ve used dpreview.com as one of the many sources of quality review information on which we base our own recommendations. But it is just one source. Will it continue to be? That depends. Surely the ownership could cheapen the value of the site’s reviews, but that’s not a foregone conclusion. It may make them better. After all, it’s not as if dpreview.com didn’t have affiliate relationships with third-party retailers before. No one suggests that those relationships resulted in reviews being skewed in favor of higher-priced (and more profitable for the site) cameras.
Amazon has a great history of innovation in fostering independent product reviews: user reviews, wikis, customer photos, etc. We’re inclined to believe that they’re wise enough not to undermine the value of their new purchase by doing anything to prompt its community to question the site’s integrity.
As always, we’ll continue to rely on our guidelines for source credibility, specifically:
On the best available ratings, reviews, and recommendations of unbiased product experts and consumers like you. To identify the best products, our editors turn to the most trusted sources of online and offline product reviews, from consumer publications where scientists test products in the lab to niche Web sites where enthusiasts put them to use in the real world.
So we’ll continue to use dpreview.com as a resource until something they do gives us reason to stop. Stay tuned…