Camerapedia.org (Camerapedia) was founded in 2004 by User:Lbstone as a noncommercial wiki about cameras, lenses and photographic accessories. It contained text freely licensed under GFDL, but the photographs and other illustrations within the articles were linked from other websites, with the permission of those websites and the copyright holders. User:Rebollo_fr became the most prolific author, giving the encyclopedia a strong coverage of vintage Japanese cameras and their makers. In 2006 the Flickr group Camerapedia was founded as a high-capacity, high-bandwidth illustration resource for the wiki. Camerapedia.org's webserver was financed by Lbstone, the owner of the domain name; the image resource space was provided by the Flickr community.
In January 2011, Lbstone completed negotiations for the sale of the domain name camerapedia.org to the for-profit "wiki farm" Wikia, but had not announced this at Camerapedia or, as far as is known, even privately informed any contributor. When Lbstone revealed the Wikia takeover, few contributors were convinced of the benefits and felt that their volunteer efforts were being used for other's profit.
After Wikia took control of the domain name, the Camerapedia wiki was shutdown. Wikia made the individual page addresses of camerapedia.org redirect to the corresponding pages of camerapedia.wikia.com. In the early stages of the takeover Wikia employees were involved in numerous incidents of wrong user attribution of wiki texts and unauthorized image uploads; all were later reverted by Wikia after protests from copyright holders.
Meanwhile, the Camerapedia community of admins and editors found a response to the unwelcomed takeover. User:Voxphoto created a new Flickr group, and flickrmailed invitations to anyone who seemed likely to help. User:Steevithak had done some hard thinking about what steps would be involved, and in the course of a discussion in the new group he proposed a plan that eventually was followed very closely. In the night of January 23rd 2011 they "forked" Camerapedia, duplicating all its article pages and moving them to a new installation of MediaWiki. User Heritagefutures and others encouraged Voxphoto and Steevithak to make these efforts to launch Camera-wiki.org as a new home for the Camerapedia community. 
Wikia added advertising two months later, making Camerapedia.wikia.com a commercial site in the eyes of many Camerapedia contributors, meaning its use of images with "non-commercial" Creative Commons licenses was questionable. Many of the original flickr photo contributors explicitly revoked their permission for Wikia to use their photos on the Camerapedia.wiki.com website.
A majority of Camerapedia admins and contributors moved to the Camera-wiki.org project. Wikia was unwilling to remove the unauthorized photos, leaving the job to Camera-Wiki.org volunteers who have been slowly removing photos and associated stub pages from Camerapedia.wikia.com as time allows. Camera-Wiki.org has continued to grow, adding over 1,000 new articles since the split. Many existing articles have significantly diverged as well, leaving the Wikia site largely as a historical snapshot of Camerapedia as it existed in Jan of 2011.
- For example, www.camerapedia.org/wiki/Fujica_G690 was the address within camerapedia.org of the page about the Fujica G690 and closely related cameras; since January 24th 2011 this has been a redirect to the derivative article within camerapedia.wikia.com on the same subject.
- Camerawiki Flickr group, at Flickr.
- Discussion about forking Camerapedia, at Flickr.
- Steevithak's proposal, at Flickr.
- A more detailed account of the events leading up to the split can be found in Steevithak's blog: Goodbye Camerapedia. Hello Camera-Wiki.org
- Parts of this article are based on the Camera-Wiki.org articles: About Camera-Wiki.org and Camerapedia