Following yesterday’s news that DPReview is shutting down, photographers around the web began wondering what would happen to its huge library of articles, reviews, and camera test images, including the website’s excellent studio shot comparison tool. Archive Team aims to scrape more than 4 million articles and posts within the next three weeks.
As for camera review test images, in a Reddit post, user ReclusiveEagle writes that he will be “downloading every image on the DPReview Studio Camera Comparison tool page as it is an irreplaceable tool for direct camera comparisons going back the entire history of digital photography.”
ReclusiveEagle intends to organize every image by camera, including all RAW and JPEG files shot across day and low light mode testing parameters, all ISO ranges, and pixel shift shooting mode when available. It’s a monumental undertaking.
If successful, ReclusiveEagle will make all images available to download as a single file for comparison, which will likely be uploaded as a Lightroom catalog to Github. The goal is to maintain all test images with metadata, as that will allow direct comparison using tags, which will act as a proxy for DPReview’s existing comparison tool. For users without access to software that supports lr.cat files, an uncompressed ZIP/TAR will also be available.
Once Archive Team completes its scrape of DPReview.com, it says that the entire site will be made available for browsing on the Internet Archive.
It is not entirely clear if this endeavor is wholly legal, and it should be noted that Archive Team is not directly associated with the Internet Archive, although the latter does provide disk space to Archive Team to host its scraped datasets.
Archive Team, formed in 2009, describes itself as “a rogue archivist collective dedicated to saving copies of rapidly dying or deleted websites for the sake of history and digital heritage.” The team is comprised entirely of volunteers, and they are always looking for new people to volunteer spare bandwidth, perform writing, offer up disk space, establish torrents, and download data.
The archived site will also be available as a .WARC file, which users can download and view locally with apps like Web Replay. Once the .WARC is complete, it’ll be available here. Interested users can monitor the status of the ongoing archival process by visiting the dedicated Archive Team page for DPReview.com.
For those interested in an Amazon-sanctioned approach, DPReview users with accounts, images, and text they want to save can pull their information off the site before it is taken down via a data deletion and access page. From there, users can request a copy of their data or have their accounts closed. The deadline to access data is April 6.
DPReview has been a fantastic resource for photographers for the past 25 years. Its articles and images hold immense value. While the site’s imminent shutdown is a significant loss to the industry and photography enthusiasts, many are no doubt grateful someone is attempting to keep the information available for the future.