Has DPR gone completely around the bend or has my tolerance level just dropped?

Discussion in 'The Watering Hole' started by Ray Sachs, Jun 9, 2012.

  1. Ray Sachs

    Ray Sachs Legend

    Sep 21, 2010
    Not too far from Philly
    you should be able to figure it out...
    I hang out a lot here on Serious Compacts and a fair amount on MU-43 as well. Over the past couple of years I've also spent a lot of time on DP Review forums. In the past I've spent a good bit of time on the Canon, Panasonic, and Sony forums, as well as always m43. Lately I'm mostly on the M43 and Fuji SLR/X100 forum, which also deals with the X-Pro gear. I also occasionally check in with the Ricoh forum but its mostly M43 and Fuji. The signal to noise ratio was always a lot worse on DPR than here or on MU-43, but I still found plenty of good stuff there and found it easy enough to avoid the contentious jerks who seem to take pleasure in tearing down people and their gear over there. But it seems like the past few months, the place has just gotten worse than intolerable. The m43 forum has long been subject to some pretty intense Pany vs Oly stuff, but lately its been all about m43 vs the world and the world has shown up to hate on m43 and some of the m43 hardcores have been seriously hating on the world. It seems like almost every thread I open these days I find myself wanting to just grabe people by the lapels and shake them and should in their faces "THEY'RE ONLY CAMERAS - just CAMERAS! - this is NOT life or death!!!". The Fuji forum isn't quite as bad but its pretty bad. Lots of people just seem to show up to go on about how horrible the X-Pro and X100 are and then some of the home-town folks get their backs up and can't even acknowledge that those cameras are less than perfect too - like all the others...

    I still have people over there I consider friends, at least of the online variety, and a few I've met beyond online. I don't want to bail on the place completely and my attitude is to just check in and see if there's a question I can answer or a new bit of information or tip I can learn from. But its getting to the point where its just about impossible to wade through the muck to get to the rare nugget. In the past few days I've found myself spending literally about 30 seconds there before getting up from my desk in disgust - its THAT bad.

    So, has anyone else who spends time over there noticed this? Is it really THAT much worse than its always been? Or is my ability to tolerate the noise just at a really low ebb? I mean there are more than a few people over there who I've learned to just totally ignore, but if I interacted with them at ALL I'd want to shoot in very short order. And I'm not one who's inclined towards that sort of feeling generally at ALL! And some of them are now so dominant its hard to ignore them because you open a thread and there are all of these huge tentacles with just those people off arguing among themselves or having sucked some poor fool who doesn't know better into their grasp and are busily flogging him or her.

    Makes me wonder if these other places would be that bad if they weren't so well moderated or if its sort of self-policing? If its just the level of moderation that keeps this place and MU-43 from descending into that level of madness, than another VERY STRONG THANKS to Amin and the other mods who keep these places civilized. Those DPR forums have started feeling like some sort of post-apocalyptic wild west. I fear I'm this close to just abandoning those forums altogether, but that would be a bummer - I've learned a lot there in the time I've been back into photography and there are some good folks who don't seem to hang anywhere else. They're just getting REALLY hard to find lately.

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  2. Pelao

    Pelao All-Pro

    Jul 11, 2010
    Ontario, Canada
    In general I feel it has become worse. I visit the same places on DPR, plus a little DSLR (Canon and Nikon) now and again.

    For me it all starts with aggressive, definitive statements. Threads and comments leading with what is an xyz 'killer', or how one thing totally 'blows away' another. It's baiting for a fight, instead of having a conversation.

    I would also say that common manners and courtesy are less common on DPR.

    I suppose a bunch of things are at work. Lots of traffic, with great Google friendly headlines such as "Nex 7 destroys X-Pro1 in tests" is a hard thing to resist. In my view, while there are real nuggets from actual photographers, DPR is a great place for those who like the idea of photography, and gear, rather than its use. These people, and their discussions, provide great fodder for marketers and manufacturers. Why moderate or drive a culture that would discourage the constant purchase of new gear, based on the sites's own reviews?

    When Amin recently opened a discussion on a membership drive / marketing, a lot of people expressed concern that many new members would bring the contentious, argumentative attitude to SC and MU-43. I understand the concern, but don't share it. If you want a fight, this isn't a cool place to be.

    For a grin:
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  3. christilou

    christilou Hall of Famer

    Jul 13, 2010
    Sunny Frimley
    I used to visit DPR often but find I'm only flicking through now. Mostly a discussion begins and quickly descends to the depths and I find I'm departing rather smartly. It does seem a shame because there are people who are willing to share good info there.
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  4. Crsnydertx

    Crsnydertx Top Veteran Subscribing Member

    Jan 21, 2011
    Houston, TX
    Ray, I used to keep four forum pages open on my screen: Serious Compacts, Mu-43, DPR forums, and Elements Village (Photoshop Elements). Recently I dropped DPR from that line-up. The other three are friendly places to visit, where the "we're here to help" mission is combined with a welcoming attitude toward a very diverse group of participants. I have enough tension in my work life; I don't need it when I'm online.

    I still visit DPR when I'm looking for the answer to a specific gear question; the search engine there is pretty decent. I also read the gear reviews and news. But the forums? Nah...
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  5. dhazeghi

    dhazeghi Regular

    Jun 4, 2012
    Davis, CA
    DPR has always had bouts of insanity when new gear comes out, but the 4/3 (and now m4/3) forums have always been by far the worst. Even the Canon v. Nikon discussions are generally much tamer. I largely blame it on a handful of toxic personalities, some of whom enjoy provoking, and some of whom feel the need to defend 'their' system at all costs.

    More generally, there seems to be a problem with niche cameras (m4/3, Sigma, to some degree Pentax) and their supporters and detractors.

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  6. Andrewteee

    Andrewteee All-Pro

    Jul 8, 2010
    I only visit the Ricoh forum at DPR which is a pretty friendly forum, and you even see a fair share of photos and comments about them. However, it's a very slow forum with not a whole going on.

    Every now and then I visit another forum and in that case I'd agree with you. People defending or accusing cameras as if they are on trial for murder or something. It's not informative, interesting or even entertaining.
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  7. olli

    olli Super Moderator Emeritus

    Sep 28, 2010
    Metro Manila
    It's a strange place no doubt. I visit the Sony forums fairly regularly. I don't think the Sony SLR forum is as bas as it used to be. Around the time that it was rumoured that Sony were dropping OVF in favour of EVF on their DSLR/SLT forum the place was terrible. I think it's swings and roundabouts on different forums depending on what's happening in the wider photographic world with particular brands. I'm not sure overall that it has changed that much, but I think it more likely that the change is in you and your own development as a photographer has contributed to a sense that the place is crazy.

    It's a shame because it has potential to be a very valuable resource and I have found that asking for help generally does elicit a good response from people genuinely trying to help, but that mostly gets lost in the sound and fury. I thought of the DPR forums, among other things, when I came across this great quote from Charles Sheeler (whom I'll admit I had never heard of) on the Sonic Blog: "“Isn’t it amazing how photography has advanced without improving?”
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  8. Amin Sabet

    Amin Sabet Administrator

    Jul 3, 2010
    As everyone is saying, there is good information there amongst all the rest. I occasionally visit but rarely spend more than a few minutes. Yesterday, I made the mistake of starting a thread about trolling and repetitive argument in the Micro 4/3 forum there, and man was that ever ugly.

    The point I was trying to make was that repetitive arguments are bad for a forum. Whether it's the whole equivalence issue that is so prevalent there, RAW vs JPEG, Olympus vs Panasonic, or whatever, any time you have a few people making the exact same argument to each other over and over in a forum, it's not good, and those people have a responsibility to "take it outside" (PM, email, etc) rather than the current notion there which is if you're not interested, don't read it.

    What immediately ensued was as insane and ugly a thread as I have seen. People comparing a request for moderation to the Holocaust... me getting accused of coverting representing DPR management... blanket accusations made about evil doctors... various references to members stalking and threatening other members in real life...

    There are some people there who have long since lost all perspective.
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  9. Streetshooter

    Streetshooter Administrator Emeritus

    Jul 12, 2010
    Philly, Pa
    The street and Ricoh forums are still civil.
    Most of the rest is a cultural wasteland and requires visiting only when necessary.
    I keep that as a rare occasion.

    We all know that place is a dump. If you go there, then no surprise so no reason to be upset.
    It is what it is........
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  10. pdh

    pdh Legend

    Jan 2, 2011
    I rarely visited DPR (as a poster) but a few months ago placed a technical query in the Sigma forum; the thread was bombarded with OT comments mostly about Nex superiority complete with hotlinked images from Nex cameras. I left a few choice comments and haven't been back to look since. As others have said, wading through the unpleasantness to reach the gems doesn't seem worthwhile.

    The forum rules here at SC are strictly enforced, and that can sometimes make it feel like I have to walk on eggshells a bit, but rather that than face the thread-hijacking, personal abuse and hostility that even the most innocuous thread can generate at DPR (and RFF, a personal bugbear as they have some interesting and informed people otherwise).

    When I see this issue discussed on other forums, I often see comments along the lines of "well that's the internet isn't it, you just have to put up with it/filter it out/not take it personally" ... but I don't think we do have to put up with it, as this site shows clearly ... too often, there seems to be a confusion of tolerance of contentiousness and heated debate with tolerance for rudeness and hostility ...
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  11. BruPri

    BruPri Top Veteran

    May 11, 2011
    Seattle, Washington USA
    Bruce J. Pritchard
    I must agree Ray. I was really excited when I'd accessorized my X100 with the new RRS L-plate and grip and posted two pictures of my camera, the first comment out of the gate:
    "No offense....Its your camera and you can dress it up however you like...but.......... Really ???
    You took a nicely designed well sized retro camera and turned it into a bulky oversized mess !
    Enjoy it !"

    Where do you suppose this thread went from there? It certainly wasn't general banter about ergonomics, balance, handling and the benefits thereof. I was so done at that moment, I've not been back since.
    That's my story and I'm sticking to it, back to you...
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  12. Luckypenguin

    Luckypenguin Hall of Famer

    Dec 24, 2010
    Brisbane, Australia
    I sometimes read DPR, but never post. Maybe what they should do is require you to have a different login for each different forum. Painful if you have reason to visit multiple forums I know, but the greatest problems seem to be caused by people trolling forums that have nothing to do with them.
  13. Ray Sachs

    Ray Sachs Legend

    Sep 21, 2010
    Not too far from Philly
    you should be able to figure it out...
    Yeah, I saw that post and thought to myself Uh-Oh, and then just waited for the vitriol to pour in. It must have taken a solid 15 seconds for it to go bad. I made a similar mistake in the Fujitalk forum (not the SLR/X100 forum) a few months back when the X10 orb wars were in full swing. It had all been said so many damn times I merely suggested that we all agree to a set of facts (which weren't really in dispute) and stop all of the screaming while Fuji either did or did not address the problem. I was beaten soundly about the head and face for 150 posts until it shut down. I haven't been back to that forum since, except to lurk and see what people were hearing about the new sensor shortly after it was announced.

    Someone from DPR actually asked me if I'd be interested in being a "community moderator" which I guess they're thinking of adding for the m43 forum, if not others. I basically said if they give me nearly dictatorial powers to ban certain longtime offenders and to delete posts as soon as I see a thread going in a bad direction, I'd think about it (not that I'd really want to take it on). But to the extent I'd have to play games with these idiots, some of whom are fairly determined to obey the letter of the law while destroying the spirit of the law, there's just no way I'd want to get into it. I'd want to deal with it sort of how the Supreme Court decided to deal with obscenity or pornography or whatever it was - "I can't specifically define it, but I know it when I see it". I haven't heard back, much to my relief but not to my surprise!

    It just seems worse. Maybe it IS me and my shorter fuse. And maybe the crazies just feel the need to take on the hot camera, which seem to be the OMD and X-Pro at this point, but was the Nex 7 and will soon be the D800 / D4 and whatever else.

    Oh well, so it goes...

  14. Brian

    Brian Top Veteran

    Jul 7, 2010
    I've seen worse. But there are some things that we just don't need to put up with.

    To paraphrase my Dad to get past the word-list:

    "There are two kinds of poop in this world:

    Cheap Poop and Expensive Poop.

    Expensive Poop you have to put up with because people pay you to do it.

    The cheap poop- you do not have to put up with".
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  15. KVG

    KVG Regular

    May 24, 2012
    Calgary, Alberta
    I joined DPR and stopped going there in a timely manner. The hate and disregard people show for others is insane, and its over bloody cameras. My favorite part of forums like here and mu43 is people sharing images and friendly conversations. The way I look at it is when it comes to cameras there is no right or wrong camera, it's just what you enjoy and use to create an image. I still use my old GF1 because I like it and haven't felt the need to replace it, until recently when I tested a X Pro1(still fighting it), thus I joined this forum to explore my options and view others photographs.
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  16. totally agree

    I totally agree. As far as unbiased in-depth reviews there is no better place than the DPR. It is amazing the amount of info they have amassed.

    However the forums are crazy with unbridled passion and opinions. I must say some of the members there are extremely knowledgeable and really know their stuff. However many of the more seasoned and experienced are very harsh on new photographers such as myself. It seems more like a place for self promotion than helpfulness.

    When I was unemployed and had some free time I visited there daily. However since returning it has been several weeks since I logged in.

    Part of the issue I have with DPR is also the hard to navigate forum. Here and the few other forums I visit have categories and subforums so that if I have a limited amount of time I can immediately go and double check a couple of my favorite threads. On the DPR everything is just one long list.
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  17. texascbx

    texascbx Veteran

    Jul 10, 2010
    Canton Texas
    I spend a little time in the Sony SLR forum over there and the trolls are really no worse than they ever were. I think some people are entertained by the trolls and encourage and feed them there. So it's easy for me to ignore what are obvious trolls that start threads asking either an incredibly dumb question or a question about how sorry the EVF is on SLT cameras.

    The overlords at DPR either don't care about the trolls or are entertained by them. Either way, it makes no difference to me.

    And their forum software they use is like right up there with the absolute worst I've ever used or seen. But their reviews while not always fair, are very thorough. I think it would be fair to say whoever is paying them the most advertising money in a particular month is likely to get a fairly good review on a camera. So I always take a review with a grain of salt.
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  18. Landshark

    Landshark PhotoDog

    Jul 15, 2010
    The thing I never understand are why some people feel the need to drop in just to inform everyone they would never buy such and such camera for this list of x reasons, if you are not going to buy or use it, why are they there. I will never buy a Corvette, why would I go to a Corvette forum and tell them that I would never buy one of those cars, just seems like a waste of everyone's time
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  19. Isoterica

    Isoterica Hall of Famer

    Dec 6, 2011
    That... is one of those human nature irritations. Enthusiastic people can become tunnel minded people at times to the point of being hostile to anyone that doesn't 'see the light' or 'choose their side'. It's common in forums because it is common in society but more prevalent in forums because people feel that the internet provides them with a level of anonymity so they won't be held accountable. If anyone misbehaves or says something that could cause a problem on any one of Amin's forums, he or one of the mods see it they get to it right away. It sounds like the DPR chiefs are letting the indians run wild.
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  20. Djarum

    Djarum All-Pro

    Jul 10, 2010
    Huntsville, AL
    I actively read threads on the mFT forum over there. I also post a good bit if I have anything to say that is relevent. Some of the more civil back and forth doesn't bother me too much. When it gets ugly, I have problems. One of the issues DP review has always had is dealing with the gear vs photography issue. There are a few membes who are down right rude to others who even post images or even think about asking for criticism. There are those who want to keep photoraphs out of dpreview if they aren't specifically about how good the gear is. Then there are those who berate and belittle others instead of helping others with their photography. Since there is not moderation, certain members believe that it is ok to be rude because of freedom of speech. Sadly, on a privately owned forum, it can be moderated. Sadly, its not. Even I have my limits.

    Then there are the nit picking hair splitting science threads about noise, AF, or DOF issues that just get out of hand also.

    My blood pressure went up 10 points just thinking and writting this post, so I'll stop. I think what irks me most is that it was a good place to go.
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