The end of an era? Review site Imaging Resource nearing its end

Canon Rumors Guy

EOS 1D MK II
Jul 20, 2010
7,719
353
Canada
www.canonrumors.com
Imaging resource has been one of the best and most comprehensive camera review sites for 22 years. Sadly, the end may be near for the site.
Image resource has released the following statement about why they’re closing down:
We’re (probably) closing early next year, and here’s why
They say all good things must come to an end, though, and tantalizingly close to a quarter-century from when I first had the idea for it, I’m sorry to say that Imaging Resource, too, will likely be winding down early next year.
The reasons for that decision are many-fold. For one thing, the camera industry itself has been contracting for quite a few years now. That’s due in part to the arrival on the scene of high-quality camera phones which, especially for many more casual photographers, negated the need to carry a separate device on which to capture their memories. Read the full...


[url=https://www.canonrumors.com/the-end-of-an-era-review-site-imaging-resource-nearing-its-end/]Continue reading...



 

Act444

EOS 6D MK II
May 4, 2011
1,017
115
Heard about this a couple days ago on DPReview. Sad to hear about this...I really enjoyed their in-depth, fair reviews and product photos.

Back in 2000 when I was exploring going digital with my photography, they were one of 4 sites (the other 3 being DPReview under Phil Askey, Steve's Digicams and DCResource) with really helpful information which helped me make my decision. For us "old-timers", it's the end of an era.
 
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AlanF

Canon 5DSR II
Aug 16, 2012
5,748
3,078
It's a great site, a mine of useful information, and it is the repository of the defunct slrgear. It's really sad to see a real, genuine site go.
 

Mt Spokane Photography

I post too Much on Here!!
Mar 25, 2011
15,522
749
Its a serious reminder that not only Camera Manufacturers are taking a financial hit, so are related industries like Blogs, accessory manufacturers, and software providers. As a whole, there may be some very sad things happening.

I wonder if CR should start including smart phones in its scope. that's up to both Craig and the members, of course. My thought is that it might increase advertising revenue. I'm sure that smartphone users will be interested more and more in the performance of their cameras, and to discuss the good and bad. I recently updated to a S10+. Not for its camera, but the camera does seem reasonably good. Software to wirelessly transfer images to my PC is not so good. Only Lightroom seems to work well. I'm sure others have suggestions, that's why a forum would be interesting.
 
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SteveC

M50 & T6i
Sep 3, 2019
351
198
I wonder if CR should start including smart phones in its scope.
Does Canon make smart phones?

Yes, I realize CR sometimes talks about other brands, but I think talking about specific smartphones would be a total loss of focus (if you'll pardon the expression--if you won't, it'd still be a total loss of focus).
 

unfocused

EOS 5D SR
Jul 20, 2010
4,991
1,344
66
Springfield, IL
www.mgordoncommunications.com
To CR Guy's credit he has allowed Canon Rumors to evolve to the point where it is almost more of a discussion site than a rumors site. Many if not most of the people who post on this site have an emotional investment and ownership in the site. The readers really provide most of the forum content ourselves and it is a community. That's probably a more sustainable model over time, so long as there remains some new rumors content to keep interest high.

I think the problem with review sites is that the market is over-saturated and many readers/viewers seem to prefer videos to text. Possibly because hardly anyone reads anymore? Of course the contracting camera market is probably the biggest factor. I have to admit, I seldom went to the Imaging Resource site. I don't know why. Maybe they didn't promote it as aggressively as some others. Still, it's unfortunate when anyone who is trying to do real journalism fails today. There is far too little of it in every area.
 

pj1974

80D, M5, 7D, & lots of glass and accessories!
Oct 18, 2011
599
65
Adelaide, Australia
A few days ago when I read of Imaging Resource's impending closure, that saddened me. I have used that site for many years, particularly between 1999 and 2013. I got into digital photography back in 1998 (over 20 years ago)- using my organisation's Kodak digital camera. The camera was 0.3 megapixels - 640x480 pixels and was super slow to focus. ( I was already 'digitally scanning' photographs made from film for many years before that, though)!

Imaging Resource was one of the websites that helped me decide on my path to get my 'very own' digital camera, a Fuji Finepix point and shoot in 1999, then upgrade over the next few years, and next take the step to get into DSLRs since 2005. Their 'comparometer' was often open on my PC computer screens over the years. Dave Etchells and his team provided consistent information relating to cameras for many years. I have still used IR's site in recent years, but not quite as much as I used to.

Farewell, IR - though as Dave has indicated, there may be a 'IR v2.0' that survives, continues, in a somewhat different format to what IR is now. So there is some hope that Dave and/or some of the existing staff will be around to provide some of the objective data and testing results to the world through the internet (somehow...) but with less effort and resources required than are currently required in the existing format.

While I'm on the nostalgic theme, back in the early 2000's, Steve's Digicams was THE warmest forum and most beneficial group of photographers who offered support, advice, critique, and a place to share photos (albeit at a reduced resolution, but that was 'ok back then' - as our monitors weren't anywhere near HD even!) The group of us that contributed daily and helped many new photographers enter the world of (digital) photography and grow in their skills is something I still miss today. We often referred to Steve's Digicams, DPReview and IR for their helpful data when upgrading our own gear; and/or providing advice to forum / photography newcomers on what camera to buy (that best suited their needs and within budget, etc).

Having written that, the photography world is still a super exciting one, and as a middle aged guy, I enjoy being a photographer - and sharing skills, continuing to learn (yes, we can all continue to grow in our skills) - and I am very glad that Canon Rumors has become part of my regular online photography community in more recent years. It's a fantastic time to be a photographer, even basic smart phones and P&S cameras of today, let alone more advanced cameras - can do SO much more than that first Kodak digital I used back in the late 90's! Peace, everyone!
 
Jul 12, 2013
248
78
To CR Guy's credit he has allowed Canon Rumors to evolve to the point where it is almost more of a discussion site than a rumors site. Many if not most of the people who post on this site have an emotional investment and ownership in the site. The readers really provide most of the forum content ourselves and it is a community. That's probably a more sustainable model over time, so long as there remains some new rumors content to keep interest high.

I think the problem with review sites is that the market is over-saturated and many readers/viewers seem to prefer videos to text. Possibly because hardly anyone reads anymore? Of course the contracting camera market is probably the biggest factor. I have to admit, I seldom went to the Imaging Resource site. I don't know why. Maybe they didn't promote it as aggressively as some others. Still, it's unfortunate when anyone who is trying to do real journalism fails today. There is far too little of it in every area.
"many readers/viewers seem to prefer videos to text"

Unfortunately...this.
 

Canfan

I'm New Here
Jul 17, 2019
11
5
Sad to see them go.
Camera manufacturers need to change their business model. They still believe that having a brand makes them immune to failure when trends today are more than ever influenced my social media.
They fail to satisfy consumers with what really matters. Take canon for example, I bought a 6D and a bunch of EF glass coming from a 70D, I missed the dual pixel, focus and flip touch screen of the 70D felt that I had to sacrifice that for improved image quality of the 6D and pro glass. The size and weight of the 5D didn’t interest me at that time. So I struggled with the inferior ergonomics and focus of the 6D.
Then the 6D mkii came along and the improved the ergonomics but placed a half baked autofocus of a cropped frame camera into a full frame camera, which means you still have to focus and recompose at a hefty upgrade price.
Mirrorless cameras like the EOS R came along and I was once again excited again but had a number of short comings like IBIS.
Maybe I’ll will get a M6 mkii which would fill the need on long hike, everyday use, winter hikes, street, travel. The small size is so convenient but wait it’s not weather sealed?!!! No floppy tilty touch screen can live with the lack of view finder support and hopefully some more pro glass will be on the way. But the lack of weather sealing makes no sense basic every camera phone now has weather sealing.
They may seem like simple additions but camera manufacturers continue to omit them thinking that they will sell more cameras or push consumers to upgrade sooner. However there are other options out there.
For a beginner makes no sense to by an expensive camera when I can buy a high quality cellphone which can get me good pictures and easier to carry, faster, less awkward to use. I have numerous friends who have bought rebels and entry level cameras and use them a couple times only to sit in their basement collecting dust or use their phones instead.
For the enthusiast the just pass up on the upgrades and wait until the next one comes out, hopefully it’ll be worth upgrading to...
From a consumer perspective this has lead to the contraction of the industry. Pros started off as beginners with an entry level camera and as they got more involved and excited about the art upgraded
Even pros now leave their bigger cameras and gear at home and take smaller mirrorless cameras for travel.
 

keithcooper

EOS 7D MK II
It's going to be tricky keeping such sites running as a business capable of paying for staff. I too will be sorry to see them go.

A while ago I was invited to Dublin to talk to Google about advertising (in connection with the Northlight Images site) and they showed me a lot of graphs and charts that showed the interest in such sites following pretty much the camera sales curve. Given the ongoing decline, visitor numbers and hence ad revenue are going down.

For the Northlight site, our peak ad revenue was 2012 and declines pretty much match the shape of the camera sales curve (just not quite so precipitous). However there's just me writing the articles/reviews and the site is there to support the photo business which my wife runs (i 'just' take the photos ;-) )

Writing 'real' reviews takes a lot of time - I like to have a large format printer for at least a month for example. The reviews take several days to write, and if it wasn't that I quite deliberately set up the photo business to have plenty of spare time it would be a lot of work for relatively small returns. All the reviews and articles are at heart my studying aspects of photography, and honing my skills (something a lot of working photographers miss out on). Oh and I get to play with new kit ;-)

I'm not sure how such sites as IR 'adapt' - personally I'd love to have a look at the historical visitor numbers for sites like DPR (and a few others) since I suspect they have a significant ageing demographic. I've long believed that Mr Askey was pretty shrewd in selling off DPR when he did - I hope he did well from it ;-)
 

keithcooper

EOS 7D MK II
Even pros now leave their bigger cameras and gear at home and take smaller mirrorless cameras for travel.
Not all - I hate not taking my TS-E17 and 24 with me ;-)
If I'm travelling and might get a unique shot, I want to have the same quality I would if on a paying job...

Depends what sort of 'pro' I suppose - my day to day work is architecture ;-)
 
Aug 22, 2010
1,621
317
48
Uk
www.GMCPhotographics.co.uk
Curiously, the photography market has been shrinking for the last 10 years. Many in the UK wedding photography market have seen expectations go up and margins go down. While at the same time, the photographic gear market has been expanding at an unsustainable rate due to the digital revolution...which is now pretty much over. Now that the gear market bubble has effectively peaked and burst and is now in a rapid decline, we can only assume that the gear market envelope has now caught up with the "people who want to pay for photos" envelope. Expect more casualties to follow....including stock agencies. There is a direct correlation with the rise of the "reluctance to pay for images" and the quantity of cameras being made. It has devalued photographs remarkably, mainly because good photos are no longer rare anymore. They are actually very common.
The drive for mirrorless has nothing to do with the end photographer requirements....but everything to do manufacturing economics. A mirrorless camera sells for the same price as a similar spec DSLR, but the mirrorless is a lot cheaper to manufacture. The Mirror box and prism is a complex item and requires a lot of engineering. The AF system on a mirrorless camera is basically a software based system. Where as on a DSLR the AF is essentially a precision hardware based sensor system.
 
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expatinasia

EOR R
Aug 18, 2011
1,707
3
Asia Pacific
Sadly they aren't the first, and won't be the last. Advertising dollars for websites are getting harder and harder to come by. Some are lucky enough to have a few solid partners and even viewers who donate on a regular basis, but many do not. More and more people use adblocking software and even if they don't, a lot of people simply do not click. Even a newspaper as established as the Guardian in the UK has to ask for donations. It is a real shame, and I wonder how much social media is to blame as well. People's habits have changed totally. They'll find an article, go to the site, read it and then move on. I come across occasional paywalls only to go back and search for the same or similar article on another site. I wonder what we will be left with in 10/20 years time. Many of these sites are now turning to events, organising conferences and seminars and making money that way, but that too is an already oversaturated marketplace. Sad.

Even pros now leave their bigger cameras and gear at home and take smaller mirrorless cameras for travel.
Not all. I don't, though I sometimes wish I had.
 
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Oct 18, 2019
5
3
I would HIGHLY recommend sites like these to start a patreon page for added revenue and support. Best decision I ever made for my business. Ads are just too saturated and you're totally at the mercy of algorithms and policy makers.
 
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keithcooper

EOS 7D MK II
I would HIGHLY recommend sites like these to start a patreon page for added revenue and support. Best decision I ever made for my business. Ads are just too saturated and you're totally at the mercy of algorithms and policy makers.
Interesting idea, but I have a deep personal dislike of the concept of effectively charging for access to my content.

I guess it's a combination of my academic research background and having used the internet for 25 yrs, but I've always taken the attitude that freely sharing knowledge was the most important. I'm happy to accept donations if stuff has been useful, but the idea of charging just grates (I have two prices: free or our full commercial rates)

I suppose that means the articles/reviews (and the rumour pages!) never was a proper business after all ;-)
 
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Oct 18, 2019
5
3
Yeah, I can totally understand that. Still, that's what's fantastic about patreon. You have control over how you want it to operate. It's not a store of distinct products that you sell and people buy. You can provide early access to the same content that is eventually freely available. You can pepper more in depth posts in-between the freely available content. If you're doing quality work then people are HAPPY to support you.

I agree that the more knowledge exchanged in the world (generally) the better, but I prefer for my favorite content makers to continue to exist.
 
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expatinasia

EOR R
Aug 18, 2011
1,707
3
Asia Pacific
I would HIGHLY recommend sites like these to start a patreon page for added revenue and support. Best decision I ever made for my business. Ads are just too saturated and you're totally at the mercy of algorithms and policy makers.
Seriously? As far as I can see you have two posts, both promoting patreon.

I have tried patreon, maybe it works for some sites, but personally I think it is BS. Unfortunately sites have to find better ways to monetize.
 

keithcooper

EOS 7D MK II
I can see how Patreon might support some business models, but for something like IR or even LL with their subscription option, I don't feel it is a sustainable solution.

The problem that I see with all subscription models is that you need to find ways of getting new subscribers convinced of the value of the subscription (or whatever you wish to set it up as). That's a tricky balancing act.

We all run the risk of conflating our personal recollections of the usefulness/relevance of sites like LL, IR and DPR 10 years ago with their actual appeal today.

For myself, I dislike video, and find it an awful way to explain things or to learn new skills (other than things like removing the instrument cluster of my car) - I know full well that many people see youtube as the place to go, seemingly oblivious to the utter dross you have to go through to find things. Yes, from a marketing POV I'm (maybe) missing out, but that isn't going to change my 7,500 word printer reviews. TLDR is still an admission of intellectual laziness in my world ;-)
 
Oct 18, 2019
5
3
Seriously? As far as I can see you have two posts, both promoting patreon.

I have tried patreon, maybe it works for some sites, but personally I think it is BS. Unfortunately sites have to find better ways to monetize.
I’ve lurked here for years. I happen to run a very successful Patreon page and felt my input could be relevant to this post.Simple as that my friend.
 
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