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Year in review: Our favorite stories of 2023

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Year in review: Our favorite stories of 2023


This year, DPReview published reviews and stories on some of the greatest cameras and lenses we have ever seen. It’s never easy for our team to select winners for the annual DPReview Awards, but the competition felt exceptionally close in 2023, with our debates stretching late into the night.

We also published reviews and breakdowns of smartphones, software, drones, instant cameras, accessories, bags, gadgets and more. Throughout the year, we sprinkled a series of how-tos and explainer articles to get the most out of your gear. Whether you’re a weekend warrior or a full-timer making your income from photography and video, we strive to be a resource to help propel your learning. If we can make it easier for everyone to enter the wonderful world of cameras, then we’re only helping more people discover the thing we love.

During our, let’s call it “the semester abroad touring the River Styx phase,” we tried to say all the things we never said. We thought DPReview was closing and we’d all have to part ways, so it was our now-or-never moment, and we leaned in.

We started publishing those “one day if I have time” passion projects. We got nostalgic looking back on 25 years of DPReview and the history of digital cameras. And we tried to have fun with things we hadn’t tried before.

Between writing and research, we read thousands and thousands of your comments; some made us think, and others, well, we love you anyway. But seriously, thank you for spending 2023 with us. The end of the year is often a time to take stock; we’re no different and have been looking back.

There are several stories this year we’re very proud of; please enjoy this collection of some of our favorite articles from this year.



Part I: Looking back


DPReview by the numbers

It’s been a long road since DPReview launched in 1998. Take a walk down memory lane as we look over some of the key stats that defined us

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Most significant cameras of the DPReview era

In the first part of a 3-part series, we looked back at the landmarks we’ve seen in camera development and called out some of the most noteworthy. This was a fun one to work on and sparked many internal and external debates.

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Tech timeline: Milestones in sensor development

Digital sensors are at the heart of digital photography, but their development sometimes gets obscured by the marketing claims made along the way. We went back to the early days of CCDs to better understand the milestones of the past and what’s really going on today.

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Ode to my first DSLR, the Canon EOS D2000

You never forget your first love, but even more, your first love-hate relationship with a camera. Born the same year as DPReview, this trip into camera history was filled with melancholy and a little wonder at how far we’ve come.

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A history of the test scene

Is there anything more iconic at DPReview than our studio scene? It’s hard to imagine DPReview without it. We wanted to revisit how we landed on our current version while digging up old versions. Among the surprises, apparently we had a fresh flower budget in the early days.

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April Fools at DPReview – a look back

April Fools Day pranks and internet media go together like butter and toast. We dug into the archives and reached out to former staff to look back at some of our favorite gags.

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Part II: Digging deeper


The state of the camera industry, according to the people who make cameras

The camera industry has been on a roller coaster ride for years, with sales spiking and dipping as new tech arrives and casual users shift to mobile photography. We wanted to know, straight from the source, what the future holds for cameras. So we bent the ear of company executives.

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Go inside Sigma’s factory to see how lenses are made

If you’ve ever bought a new lens, you know the joy of removing a beautiful, pristine optic from its box and attaching it to your camera for the first time. But have you ever wondered what it takes to design and build that lens? We went behind the scenes at Sigma’s factory in Aizu, Japan, to find out.

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New sensors aren’t bringing better image quality but cameras are still getting better

The DPReview forums are a bastion of experts and newcomers coming together to learn, share and grow skills. From time to time, while reading forum threads, we come across an interesting question that sparks internal debate. That was the case when we noticed a chat about sensor development, whether it had plateaued years ago, and what it meant for camera IQ.

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Finer Points: Web rot is erasing our images and videos

The Internet is burning away our photos, videos and older websites daily. At nearly 40 years old, the Internet had lost much of its early history to changing technology and corporate and user desires. We look at how to save your work before it disappears.

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Intro to Colorimetry: Color measurement basics and how colorimeters work

Color accuracy is critical for modern creative work, but many creatives have no idea what a colorimeter is actually doing when you put it on your display. We go over the basics of colorimetry so you can understand how we measure and plot color, and how colorimeters use this science to confirm your display’s color accuracy.

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Interview: a camera-store-eye view of the camera industry

In the middle ground between camera manufacturers and consumers are the retailers. Last Spring, we dropped in on a Seattle camera store to ask photography’s frontline workers about the state of the industry.

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More than a number: a closer look at dynamic range

Dynamic range figures are widely quoted and sometimes discussed as if they are a measure of image quality. Not so fast there! In reality, dynamic range is an aspect of image quality but one that doesn’t come close to telling the whole picture. Taking on a bit of a mythbuster approach, we break down what dynamic range is and why putting a number on it isn’t a particularly good way to understand camera performance.

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Part III: Bucket list


Learning to shoot rodeo with the Canon EOS R3

One of the joys of working at DPReview is the chance to find creative ways to test new features. While testing the Canon EOS R3, Managing Editor Dale Baskin spent three days photographing bulls and broncos. He brought us this dispatch of his journey along with his analysis of the R3’s eye-controlled autofocus.

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One thing: What is your digital shoebox? Do you have a legacy plan for your photos?

Before the world went digital, people stored photos in shoeboxes, creating a photographic legacy for future generations. What is your digital shoebox, and what happens to your photos after you’re gone? (Okay, so technically, we published this at the end of 2022, but the theme of saving our work before it was too late hits home for how we felt in 2023.)

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A DPReview film festival

On the eve of the Oscar Awards, we wanted to do something different and curated our own film festival that celebrates our favorite star – photography! After posting our lineup, some of us made social media mini-reviews of each film as we watched them. Should we do it again with a new list this year and invite you all to watch with us? Let us know.

See the lineup


Finer Points: What would you want to see in a hybrid camera? For me it’s shutter angle and 32-bit float audio

There are plenty of hybrid cameras on the market, but often a user needs to choose between photo- or video-centric models in terms of features. Video producer Jason Hendardy explains why he wants to see shutter angle and 32-bit float audio as added features in hybrid cameras.

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A distortion of the truth? Here’s why we’re not against software lens corrections

Another hot topic often misunderstood: Is it cheating to use software correction in lenses? The short answer: we don’t think so. The long answer: we break it down with examples in this article.



Part IV: Fun stuff


Canon PowerShot Pro70 added to the studio scene database

This was the first camera ever reviewed at DPReview, way back in 1998. We had long thought it would be fun to revisit the camera with our modern studio scene and see how it stacked up. It so happened we had one handy and thought, well, it’s now for never, and went for it.

Examine the studio scene


DPReview March Madness

March in America is marked by bars and workplaces arguing over which college athletics team is the best at basketball. For DPReview, it was also an opportunity for a good old-fashioned camera fight. Over five rounds, thousands of votes were cast, and some very odd debates were had, all in good fun.

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Leica marks James Bond’s 60th* with a special edition D-Lux 7

In one of the most pun-tastic articles of the year, Senior Editor Shaminder Dulai decided to pay homage to his dad’s love of spy films and books and go over the top with as many 007 references as he could cram in. Did he miss any? Let us know.

Add your own puns


Film Friday: Xpan ‘Triptych Tokyo’ captures the chaos of city life

Inspiration is all around us, and even old ideas are new when you put your own spin on it. We don’t always get to go in-depth with creatives on their process and motivations. When we caught up with photographer Takashi Fukukawa we learned how his daughter’s frustration led to his inspiration.

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DPReview readers’ showcase: The cameras you imagined

We asked you to tell us about your dream camera, and hundreds of you cosplayed as Dr. Frankenstein to conjure all manner of plausible and implausible cameras. Thanks for the inspiration and the laughs. Who knew DPReview was full of such dreamers?

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Part V: Onward!


Behind the scenes: DPReview moves to a new studio

What’s that saying, when one door closes, another one opens? We take you along with us as we pack up thousands of items of gear, nervously document and disassemble our testing and studio equipment and say goodbye to our former home and hello to the future.

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Behind the scenes: Setting up DPReview’s studio test chart

If there’s one thing we know, our studio scene must be protected at all costs. After a few sweaty-palm tense days, we had our studio scene set up and back in operation and invited you behind the curtain to see how the proverbial sausage was made.

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Season’s Greetings and happy 25th anniversary from DPReview

We made it! It’s our 25th anniversary. The site officially launched on December 25, 1998, with the publication of the Canon Pro 70 review. We’ll be celebrating this anniversary throughout 2024. We want to extend our heartfelt thanks for sticking with us through a doozy of a year. Your enthusiasm and unwavering support are part of why we’re still around to celebrate the holidays with you. Thank you.

Celebrate with us



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On this day: Hasselblad launches first medium format mirrorless

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On this day: Hasselblad launches first medium format mirrorless


We’d never before seen so much silicon wrapped up in such a small package

Photo: Samuel Spencer

The Hasselblad X1D beat Fujifilm to the market by three months in 2016 to become the first mirrorless medium format camera. It wasn’t the first “affordable” (or, at least, sub-$10,000) medium format option: that credit goes to Pentax and its 645D and Z, but it was the first larger-than-full-frame digital camera to be designed as a self-contained ILC with no mirror.

It was built around the same 50MP CMOS sensor as the 645Z, which also underpinned the Fujifilm GFX 50 models, producing some excellent image quality. Hasselblad’s modern minimalist design was eye-catching, and the operability improved significantly through a series of firmware updates (though it never offered the mass-market slickness of the GFX models).

One of the factors that allowed the Hasselblad to be so small was the decision to build leaf shutters into all the XCD lenses, rather than having a physical shutter in the camera body. This resulted in a camera that could sync with flashes all the way up to each lens’s maximum shutter speed. Though this came at the cost both of higher lens prices and of polygonal bokeh, as the shutter/aperture mechanisms had relatively few blades. This second issue was somewhat resolved by an update that allowed the aperture to be opened a fraction beyond the widest listed value, so that the blades don’t intrude on the image.

Click here to see the nearly 200 photos we’ve published from the X1D

Alongside the X1D came the first series of medium format lenses designed specifically for 44x33mm digital, giving some excellent results (to the point that moiré is a significant risk even when stopped-down to F5.6, given the lack of low-pass filter on the X1D’s sensor). It also led to the only instance we’ve seen of a manufacturer referring to equivalent f-numbers. It’s probably no surprise that it would be one of the only companies to solely produce larger than full-frame systems.

We were in the fortunate position to borrow a Hasselblad, Pentax 645Z and Fujifilm GFX 50S at the same time and use them alongside one another, and looked at their comparative strengths and weaknesses. We hope to do something similar with the more refined 100MP cameras from Hasselblad and Fujifilm in the coming months.



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On this day: Hasselblad launches first medium format mirrorless

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On this day: Hasselblad launches first medium format mirrorless


We’d never before seen so much silicon wrapped up in such a small package

Photo: Samuel Spencer

The Hasselblad X1D beat Fujifilm to the market by three months in 2016 to become the first mirrorless medium format camera. It wasn’t the first “affordable” (or, at least, sub-$10,000) medium format option: that credit goes to Pentax and its 645D and Z, but it was the first larger-than-full-frame digital camera to be designed as a self-contained ILC with no mirror.

It was built around the same 50MP CMOS sensor as the 645Z, which also underpinned the Fujifilm GFX 50 models, producing some excellent image quality. Hasselblad’s modern minimalist design was eye-catching, and the operability improved significantly through a series of firmware updates (though it never offered the mass-market slickness of the GFX models).

One of the factors that allowed the Hasselblad to be so small was the decision to build leaf shutters into all the XCD lenses, rather than having a physical shutter in the camera body. This resulted in a camera that could sync with flashes all the way up to each lens’s maximum shutter speed. Though this came at the cost both of higher lens prices and of polygonal bokeh, as the shutter/aperture mechanisms had relatively few blades. This second issue was somewhat resolved by an update that allowed the aperture to be opened a fraction beyond the widest listed value, so that the blades don’t intrude on the image.

Click here to see the nearly 200 photos we’ve published from the X1D

Alongside the X1D came the first series of medium format lenses designed specifically for 44x33mm digital, giving some excellent results (to the point that moiré is a significant risk even when stopped-down to F5.6, given the lack of low-pass filter on the X1D’s sensor). It also led to the only instance we’ve seen of a manufacturer referring to equivalent f-numbers. It’s probably no surprise that it would be one of the only companies to solely produce larger than full-frame systems.

We were in the fortunate position to borrow a Hasselblad, Pentax 645Z and Fujifilm GFX 50S at the same time and use them alongside one another, and looked at their comparative strengths and weaknesses. We hope to do something similar with the more refined 100MP cameras from Hasselblad and Fujifilm in the coming months.



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Our favorite ‘natural worlds’ pictures: DPReview Editors’ Challenge results

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Our favorite ‘natural worlds’ pictures: DPReview Editors’ Challenge results


June includes multiple days devoted to celebrating nature, including World Environment Day (June 5), World Oceans Day (June 8) and World Rainforest Day (June 22). In that spirit, we chose ‘Natural Worlds’ as the theme for our most recent Editors’ Choice photo challenge, with over 100 readers submitting entries.

We love seeing your work! Thanks to everyone who submitted. We couldn’t call out every image we liked, so we restrained ourselves to a baker’s dozen (in no particular order).

If you don’t see your work here today, don’t despair. We’ll soon announce a new Editors’ Choice challenge.

Also, a quick reminder to keep comments constructive and civil. These are images submitted by your fellow readers who took the time to share their work. Rule #1: Be nice. That’s it, there is no rule #2.



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