|Eric Yang, CEO and founder of Gear Patrol.|
Editor’s note: We know many of you have questions about DPReview following the sale of the site to Gear Patrol. In this letter to readers, Gear Patrol’s founder and CEO, Eric Yang, shares his own photography journey, talks about the importance of community, and discusses what it will take for DPReview to be sustainable.
To the DPReview Community,
I’m Eric Yang, and I’m an amateur photographer and a long-time lurker on the DPReview forums. My primary setup is a Fujifilm X-T4 attached to a lovely and sometimes confounding Fujinon 50mm F1.0 lens. My first camera was a Canon AE-1, and my first (real) digital camera was a Nikon D90. My weirdest camera was a Nishika N8000 3D Lenticular Camera. My dad’s SX-70 Polaroid Land camera sits on my desk as a fond reminder of who got me into photography.
I’m also the CEO and founder of Gear Patrol, which many of you may or may not have known about until DPReview announced it had become a part of our company in June.
|DPReview joined the Gear Patrol family on June 20.|
But First, Thank You: I want to thank you for your patience and loyalty. Like you, as a long-time reader, I was crushed to read the original shutdown announcement. I found myself fueled by the community’s collective enthusiasm to try and do something. DPReview represented the kind of independent spirit and enthusiast passion that inspired me to start Gear Patrol in 2007.
These past few months have been quite a journey, but in the end, we were able to work with the Amazon team, who considered feedback from the community, and together, we were able to do what was best for DPReview.
Eric Yang’s Fujifilm X-T4 with a ‘sometimes confounding 50mm F1.0 lens’ sits alongside his father’s Polaroid Land camera.
Different companies rowing in the same direction
While DPReview and Gear Patrol address different markets, the two publications share a common language in our love of where products and passions intersect.
DPReview was built on world-class product journalism, and in doing so, it became a global gathering place for the photography community and its constituent enthusiasts. I have zero intention of changing that core essence. DPReview will pursue its own plans not just to exist but to thrive as the internet’s go-to destination for photography content and conversation for today’s generation and, importantly, the next.
The kids, El Matador Beach.
Fujifilm X-T1 | XF 90mm F2 R LM WR | ISO 200 | 1/250 sec | F5
It’s easy to compare and contrast Gear Patrol and DPReview. The two sites will not conform to one another. However, I believe both can impact the other to better their respective missions. We’re only at the beginning of that journey.
But before any changes are made, our teams will ask, ‘Are we respecting the heritage of DPReview with this decision?’
Helping DPReview where we can, getting out of the way for the rest
The team at DPReview had been working on plans to improve and grow the site long before they knew me. My charter is to help find ways to bring their ideas to life and put the entire operation on a sure footing. To do that, we have to be clear-eyed about the fact that DPReview is in the business of photography journalism.
E-Foil heading south, Malibu.
Fujifilm X-T1 | Zeiss Touit 32mm F1.8 | ISO 400 | 1/3200 sec | F11
The DPReview team has a desire to stand on their own. They also have ambitious plans to grow and modernize. Gear Patrol and DPReview will work together to set those plans in motion so that DPReview can reinvest in the team, its newsroom, the technology, and – importantly – the community that makes it what it is.
As for the rest, you can expect Gear Patrol to politely get out of the way.
Ensuring DPReview stands on its own
There’s a phrase we’ve been saying, which is, ‘The hard work is done; now the hard work begins.’
I firmly believe DPReview can thrive without placing a financial burden on its users. We do not plan to ask you for donations – after all, DPReview isn’t a non-profit – or immediately set up a paywall. Yes, we need to be thoughtful about how others – including AI – draft off the hard work of DPReview and its community, and we will take actions accordingly, but at the end of the day, we believe we can run a successful publication and community without asking you to pay for what’s inherently been available for free for 25 years.
“The hard work is done; now the hard work begins.”
Operating a free content model will require advertising and affiliate revenues, where we earn a small fee when you purchase a product through the links on the site. We have already been working to get these things into place, and we ask for your patience as we sort through all the logistics and processes to make this work.
Porsche Boxster Spyder [not mine], Hawaii.
Leica SL (Typ 601) | 24-90mm F2.804 Vario-Elmarit ASPH | ISO 50 | 1/20 sec | F22
In exchange, we ask you to be a regular visitor and use the site more, and when you’re ready to make a purchase or know of someone who is, please point them to DPReview’s tools and guides and purchase through our links. What we earn from advertising and affiliates goes directly to fueling this team, its journalism and the infrastructure required to run DPReview’s community. Importantly, we are doing this in a way that never interferes with independent editorial decisions or community members.
Shifts to Expect:
- Adding multiple vendors/outlets for purchasing products where possible and improving the live pricing we show you.
- Increasing editorial output and trying new formats and franchises to foster more reasons for you to come back and engage with DPReview on other platforms like email and video, revamped buying guides, quicker reviews of top cameras, and a variety of new story formats and franchises.
- Addressing technical issues to improve DPReview’s visibility in search.
- Improving the quality and increasing the quantity of ads on the site – to help our business, please consider turning off ad blockers. It will take some time for us to improve the quality and experience, so please bear with us.
- Adding new passive affiliate linking technology to ensure we receive credit when visitors are taken to retail stores and make purchases.
- What else we need from you: Invite friends, register, research and make purchasing decisions, and use the site more!
- And if you’re an advertiser or brand interested in working with us, please reach out to our advertising team – we’d love to chat about how we can help you reach this incredible audience.
The photography community’s gathering place
I firmly believe that the community forum belongs to the DPReview community and should exist here at DPReview. I want to help create whatever space or canvas is needed to contribute to its success. There will be no changes to the DPReview forums or the availability of the archives.
The sea was angry that day, my friends, like an old man trying to return soup at a deli.
Fujifilm X-T4 | XF 90mm F2 R LM WR | ISO 800 | 1/90 sec | F10
This work means better understanding the needs of the community and the moderators who work selflessly to keep these forums alive and safe. We want to learn from them and find ways to help grow the community to a new generation of photographers and creators. Beyond the business, one of the most important parts of our jobs here is ensuring that DPReview’s gathering place is brightly lit, safe, and welcoming to anyone interested in photography.
We want to foster a growing community that welcomes both longstanding members and newcomer enthusiasts who share a zeal for photography on whatever sensor/lens/mount they prefer. The world is already full of polarization; if you love photography or content creation, then you should feel welcome here.
A personal note
I’ve been reading through the comments since DPReview became a part of our company, and one thing is clear: This is a great moment and one we don’t want to mess up. As a fellow user, I also have plenty of opinions and questions. But my job is to make sure we take our new responsibilities seriously and ensure a healthier, growing DPReview. I know we need to listen, learn, and continuously improve to do that.
Everyone’s a spectator in Monaco.
Leica M Monochrom (Typ 246) | Leica 75mm F2.4 Sumarit-M | ISO 320 | 1/3000 sec | F2.8
We’re embarking on a new chapter in photography journalism, and I humbly ask for your patience, support, and continued passion as we work together for a brighter future for DPReview. Visit the site often. Encourage others to get into photography. Share stories. Be part of the community. Tell me how I can better shoot a 50mm f/1.0.
Thank you to the incredible team at DPReview (current and former), the users, and the entire photography community. Together, we may make some mistakes, but we will do our best and we will listen.
CEO and Founder, Gear Patrol