April 18, 2024

As found by Gear Patrol DReview from Amazon

In March, dReview announced that Amazon’s parent company was shutting it downand the world of photography entered a state of shock and disbelief.

For 25 years, DReview has consistently been a trusted and authoritative voice on photographic equipment. But photography enthusiasts didn’t head straight to DReview to tease Canon’s newest lens or compare Sony and Nikon’s face-detection autofocus capabilities. It was an active forum where we could (yes, I’m one of those photography people) hang out and geek out.

It was a blow to many to banish such an extensive archive of photographic knowledge and the strong community it nurtured to the abyss — the plan was not even to archive it but to turn it off completely. The announcement drew over 5,000 comments on DReview, 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 isn’t specifically about cameras – came to the rescue. He finalized a deal to buy DPReview from Amazon for an undisclosed amount in June 2023. I was excited to speak with Eric Yang, founder and CEO of Gear Patrol, to find out what inspired the purchase and what he learned from the process.

Authority and community

Yang was driven to bring DPReview under Gear Patrol’s umbrella for a variety of reasons, and while it made business sense, there was also a personal motivation.

“It’s a business, so it’s not a completely altruistic endeavor,” Yang told me. “But DReview means a lot to me. It makes sense to a lot of people, I think, who have grown up on the internet.”

DReview has an extraordinary knowledge base that Yang was reluctant to see gone. But this knowledge base isn’t just in the huge archive of reviews, buying guides, editorials and advice; this expertise is also nurtured in the strong community. For so many people, DReview has been a safe place to express opinions, ask for advice, or just be photography geeks. All of this, together, was precious to Yang.

A natural fit

Yang describes Gear Patrol as a place that empowers people to pursue their interests and passions with confidence, which is why he believes Gear Patrol and DReview are a natural fit. “We want to help people know that they need to pursue their particular passions in the best possible way,” Yang said.

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