FAQ

We get lots of email, feedback and forums comments from people asking the same questions about the site. This FAQ is designed to help answer those questions.

Can I email you?

I really prefer it if you use our feedback page, which also contains a link to the public feedback forum. We get well over 200 emails every day and thus it's very unlikely that we will be able to respond to any email sent. All feedback sent on our feedback page is read.

Please note, we can not and do not answer requests such has:

  • "I need your advice on x"
  • "When are you going to review x?"
  • "Are you working on a review of x?"
  • "I need a manual for my camera" *
  • "I need a driver for my camera" *
  • "Which camera should I buy?"
  • "What's better x , y or z?"
  • "I've got $x which camera should I get?"
  • "Do you know about the rumoured x?"
  • "When will my camera be replaced?"

* These questions will be answered on your manufacturers website

What about your ethics?

The authority and credibility of this site has been built on over 14 years of quantitative, consistent and totally transparent testing, with all results available for inspection, and unmoderated feedback through the user forums ensuring all visitors have the right to question our conclusions. Products are supplied for review on the understanding that the manufacturer / distributor has no right to influence the final conclusions or ratings.

No content is ever written in exchange for money, gifts or the promise of advertising.  No advertising will be accepted unless it is with the understanding that advertising on the site does not guarantee any coverage for the advertiser whatsoever, be it news, reviews or other editorial.

Manufacturers may request the re-testing of certain parts of reviews (within reason) or the correction of mistakes (with notation to the original) however requests for changes of subjective content such as reviewers opinion will be ignored.

We will never attempt to mislead visitors by mislabeling previews as 'reviews' and will never attempt to draw in visitors from search engines by the use of the word 'review' in articles, tags or URL's (hidden or not) where the article in question does not have any quantitative measurements undertaken on our own premises.

Our writers are expected to uphold absolute ethical neutrality. We always strive to maintain the perspective of a potential purchaser.

All products are provided to us 'on loan' and are returned at the end of this loan period (typically 2-3 weeks). In some circumstances we may ask for this loan period to be extended for the purposes of comparison. We have no reason to believe that any product has ever been 'specially prepared' for review, we have in the past compared our test results with those of purchased models and found no differences. Should we ever discover a manufacturer attempting to do this we would of course immediately publish this fact. We have also received 'DOA' (Dead On Arrival) products which have to be replaced.

What's a preview / review ?

Editorial definitions:

  • Preview
    • Product photography supplied by manufacturer
    • May include some photos taken in-house
    • Covered with as much detail as is available at launch
    • All work carried out by our staff
    • Includes
      • Photographs and description of camera
      • Detailed specifications
  • Hands-on Preview
    • Based on a pre-production or production quality camera
    • Camera must have been used at our office
    • Product photography taken in our studio
    • Some supplementary photos may be provided by manufacturer
    • All work carried out by our staff
    • Includes
      • Photographs and description of camera
      • Detailed specifications
      • May include a description of function and operation
      • May include screen / menu captures
      • May include preliminary timings and performance measures
      • May include a user report
  • First Impressions Review
    • Based on a pre-production or production quality camera
    • Camera must have been used at our office for enough time to offer meaningful opinions
    • Product photography taken in our studio
    • Some supplementary photos may be provided by manufacturer
    • All work carried out by our staff
    • Includes everything included in a preview, plus a user report covering
      • Initial impressions on construction and design
      • Initial impressions on handling and performance
      • May include full resolution image samples
      • May include some or all studio tests
      • May include preliminary image quality assessment
  • Review
    • Requires a production quality camera
    • Camera ‘used in real life’ before testing commences
    • Product photography taken in our studio
    • Some supplementary photos may be provided by manufacturer
    • All work carried out by our staff
    • Includes
      • Photographs and description of camera
      • Detailed specifications
      • Description of function and operation (may include screen captures)
      • Timings and performance measures
      • Image quality measures
      • Competitive camera comparisons
      • Conclusion based on test results and experience with the camera
      • Samples gallery containing unmodified original images from the camera

What do "pre-production" and "production" mean?

A pre-production digital camera is one prepared in a small batch for testing and training purposes. These small numbers of cameras are normally quite difficult to get hold of, however we often request them to enable us to deliver reviews to you more quickly. Typically finish quality (and even sometimes image quality) is not as good as the final product and we therefore clearly mark reviews based on pre-production cameras. A production digital camera is the same as one from the shelf in your local electronics store, it's made in the same mass production batch as all other digital cameras and will have a full serial numberr.

How come you gave camera X a Gold Award in 2013 and the new camera Y only a Silver Award this year?

Ratings are given at the time of review based on the state of the competition. Camera Y may well be a far better camera than camera X but it receives a lower score because of its performance in comparison to other cameras in the same category at the time of review. It is impossible to rate cameras based on a 'future prediction'.

In what order is your review 'overall conclusion' rating?

Best to worst, pre 2009:

  • Highly Recommended
  • Recommended
  • Above Average
  • Average
  • Below Average
  • Poor
Since 2009 our scoring system has changed. Visit this page for details.

Can I get a list of your reviews sorted by rating?

Yes you can, just click here.

Where are all the reviews? I'm sure you used to publish more in the old days...?

Although this is a common refrain it is far from accurate. When the site first launched the vast majority of reviews were relatively simple compact cameras. As the era of the affordable consumer digital SLR arrived we started to get increasingly angry feedback whenever we posted compact camera reviews and it became clear that our audience wanted us to prioritize SLR reviews over all else (this wasn't just based on feedback - the data speaks for itself, with the average SLR review garnering 10x the traffic of the average compact camera review). As compact cameras got cheaper and more numerous we shifted our attention to SLRs, mirrorless cameras and lenses, giving only the most interesting compacts full reviews and producing the occasional group test.

SLR reviews take a lot more work and a lot more time than compact camera reviews, so inevitably the absolute volume of camera reviews published has fallen since the earliest days of the site. In 2001 we published 4 DSLR reviews and 28 compact camera reviews (average 6 pages long). In 2006 we published 9 SLR reviews out of a total of 35 reviews/previews. In 2013 we published 26 full SLR/mirrorless/large sensor fixed lens camera reviews (16-29 pages long) and a total of 112 cameras, lenses and printers were covered in individual and group reviews / previews.

Why has a preview of a camera not turned into a review yet?

Previews (in depth, hands-on articles published at or near the time of announcement) are produced, where possible, for all major camera launches. Previews usually contain a lot of information and commentary (and may be tagged as a 'first impressions review', and may have image quality samples and some studio tests. They are some of the most popular content on the site. But they do not take anywhere near the amount of time a full review takes. We simply do not have the resources to turn all previews into reviews, but we will always try to keep adding to a preview (images, test results etc) so they become a more useful resource over time.

How come you review brand X more than brand Y? Are you biased?

We often get accused of having shady agendas when deciding which product to review, when, but the truth is that we base our decisions on a number of factors, including the level of interest (as measured by search queries, traffic, feedback, forum activity and so on), our own interest in the product, the level of innovation and, of course, availability. It's not unheard of for reviewable cameras to be unavailable for weeks, sometimes months after launch.

What we do not base our decisions on are commercial pressure from advertisers or retailers (we have never been asked, and we would never do so). We do not know, or care, how much margin GearShop or Amazon makes on any product, nor does the editorial staff have any visibility into advertising spend or scheduling. If we were paid for content we would be required by law to fully disclose that information.

Finally, we do not 'favor' one brand over another. We make every effort to produce accurate, objective review content, and a look at our reviews scoring and awards spread across manufacturers certainly supports this. In the past 14 years we have been accused of bias towards, and against, every single manufacturer, and of 'loving' or 'hating' them all. This too would suggest that our favors are applied pretty evenly.

There is one thing that is true, however. We do tend to favor popular cameras when prioritizing our review schedule. If we can produce a review of a product from brand X that will be read by 10 or 20 times more people than a review of a product from brand Y then we will review the brand X product first. We try to make sure that we dedicate a large proportion of our resource to covering products we know people are coming in the largest numbers to read about. We have to disappoint some proportion of our audience, and we're trying to keep that proportion as low as possible. It is only by covering these popular or high interest products that we can even afford to spend a month reviewing products that will never cover the cost of producing them.

How come you've not reviewed camera X yet ?

Probably because the manufacturer hasn't sent us a review sample or that they have and it's simply too pre-production (too flaky, not representative of final product) to review. We also have a limited amount of resource to review cameras, we'll often select the most interesting / innovative or popular camera to review in great detail rather than trying to review everything in a shallow manner.

You said you're working on a review of this camera, how come you've not posted a review yet ?

There are many reason a review can be delayed, just some of which are listed below:

  • We find something that requires further investigation, which if it requires studio work could add a week. This is reason number 1.
  • We need to re-shoot things.
  • We are so concerned with the results that we need to source another sample (sometimes multiple samples).
  • We send our findings to the engineers in Japan for comment, which delays things.
  • We're just waiting for the sun to come out so we can finish the gallery. This is probably the second most common reason.
  • A manufacturer may send us, mid-review, a new firmware update that affects image quality, so we have to re-shoot everything.
  • We may have to put reviews on hold because we get pre-release products to write about at very short notice. Even a busy news day will delay reviews.
  • Some way through a review the product may get replaced, or something way more interesting may come along that we really want to review quickly, and we never get back to it (both scenarios are pretty rare).
  • More often, we're about to start a review when something more interesting presents itself, so the process starts late.
  • We might be waiting for raw support from Adobe (or from the manufacturer itself).
  • All the usual stuff, like people being sick, computers crashing, site bugs etc

I'm posting on the forums, is my email address protected?

Yes, in a word. Please refer to our full privacy policy for details.

Can I copy your news / reviews / articles / etc. and put them up on my site?

No. Please read our copyright statement. If you're interested in licensing material from the site then please contact us.

Where can I see full forum rules?

Forum posting rules are listed here

Do the forum rules apply to private messages?

We offer as part of our service the ability to contact other members directly, using the Private Messaging feature. Although these messages are not displayed publicly we request that members follow the same basic rules of civility that they would in the public forums. The swear word filter is operational in private messages.

Does anyone else have access to my private messages?

We do not monitor private messages between users routinely, either manually or programatically. Moderators do not have access to users' PMs. Admins do not access or read user-to-user messages except in exceptional circumstances.

When an accusation of harrassment, illegal activity or commercial solititation (spamming) has been made against a member, we may pull logs or transcripts of those private messages as part of our investigation.

When monitoring moderator actions following a complaint we may access logs or transcripts of private messages between the moderator and the members who have complained about the moderator's actions. You should expect that any communications you have with a moderator may be accessed by admins or other DPReview employees as part of such investigations. Such moderation monitoring is not performed routinely or systematically and will only occur when an investigation is triggered by a complaint, even if you personally did not make the complaint. In all cases we will attempt to obtain your approval before accessing your private messages, but as per our terms and conditions we will not consider such approval necessary before doing so.

Short version: we don't read your private messages except in the very rare situation where a serious complaint has been lodged against you or a moderator you have communicated with. In all cases we will access only the specific messages direclty related to the issue being investigated (i.e. we won't access all your PMs, only those between you and the person you are complaining about, or who is complaining about you. We will not share your personal messages with a third party unless required to do so by law

How can I find out how to enter or host Challenges?

Please visit this page for details, or ask in the challenges forum to ask for advice

How do I upload to galleries?

Please visit this page for for information

How can I write for DPReview?

We are always looking for new freelance writers. Please contact us using the feedback form (category 'General Feedback') or contact an admin directly. You can also write your own articles, blog posts etc using our articles editor - to learn more click here

Can I change my username?

You cannot change your username yourself, but you can request a change via our feedback system. Please indicate your preferred username and offer at least one alternative as the one you chose may be already taken. Contact us using the feedback form or PM an admin directly.

Can I close my account?

You cannot close your account yourself, but you can request an account closure via our feedback system. Please note the following:

  • By closing your account, you will lose access to your account on both Dpreview and GearShop (gearshop.dpreview.com)
  • You will lose access to any images in your gallery, and the images will be purged from our system
  • You will lose access to your Private Messages
  • Closing an account will not automatically remove your posts in the forums or comments, though your username will no longer appear on such content. We reserve the right to remove or not remove your written content from the site after an account closure.
  • We can't transfer the history of an account to another account. Any open GearShop orders you have will be canceled.
  • If you have a remaining GearShop promotional credit balance, you won't have access to use the funds.
  • Returns and refunds can't be processed for orders on closed accounts.

If you wish to close you account please contact us using the feedback form or PM an admin directly.

I've forgotten my password or log-in email, how can I reset it??

You can change your email address or password by choosing 'Change email/password' from the drop-down menu next to your name in the top bar (or by clicking here). If you've forgotten your password you can reset it here.. If you can no longer access the email address you registered with (which you need to log in and to reset your password) then you will need to contact Customer Service by telephone or email as detailed here. Note that all these links take you to gearshop.dpreview.com - this is where our accounts are held, but you will be redirected back to dpreview.com once you have completed the password reset.

Where can i get help with other user or site issues?

Contact us using the feedback form - this allows you the option to ask questions in public (using the site feedback forum) or privately.