May 15, 2007

Will Amazon click with photography reviews?

Source: CNET
Written by Greg Sandoval, CNET

Digital photographers on Monday were debating whether a retailer can also offer professional camera reviews without creating the perception that the opinions are biased.

The discussion was prompted by’s announcement that it had acquired Digital Photography Review, a London-based Web site that specializes in reviews and news for shutterbugs on both sides of the Atlantic.

Amazon, of course, has for a long time posted user reviews to its site. But with its purchase of, the e-tailer picks up a company that features professional reviewers who have amassed considerable credibility with a growing community of photography buffs.

Does the difference between reviews written by amateurs and those written by professionals matter? Amazon has never been seriously accused of gaming user-generated reviews and, though it hasn’t disclosed the price of the acquisition, it would be hard to imagine the e-tailer would do anything to make Dpreview’s 7 million monthly unique visitors question its integrity.

“One of the things we like about Dpreview is the fact it provides readers with unbiased, in-depth reviews,” Patty Smith, an Amazon spokeswoman, said in an e-mail. “We don’t want to change the features that Dpreview customers enjoy.”

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