How long can digital bodies last.......even the good ones?

Started Jun 12, 2013 | Discussions thread
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Rod McD
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How long can digital bodies last.......even the good ones?
Jun 12, 2013

Hi,

It's been interesting reading the comments pages on the new high end Leica and Hasselblad cameras. They've been unusually consistent for a DPR comment page in their negativity. It's lead me to wonder about these high end marques and in fact whether any digital cameras will ever again be able to develop the reputation they've inherited from the film era.

Leica and Hasselblad, perhaps more than any other brands, built the reputation they trade on today in film. The secret was simple - well made and highly reliable bodies matched to first rate lenses. The M6 was last of a mature product line, beautifully built to last for decades. Today's high end cameras might bear a functional and styling resemblance to their ancestors, but they are a far cry from them on the inside. They can only keep working as long as their electronic components last.......

I can't think of any electronic thing I've owned that lasted more than about ten years and many have been less. Phones, digital cameras, iPods, DVD players, remote controls, game consoles, you name it. Sooner or later a sensor, motor, LCD, processor, circuit board, etc, something - has 'died'. They worked yesterday. You wake up this morning and they're dodgy. No-one repairs them. And no-one stocks the parts. Or they don't have the diagnostic tools. Or they "no longer support that model". And even if they do it's "uneconomic to repair". It seems it's cheaper to buy a new one in the electronic (disposable) age. A friend of mine who's a repairman has multiple garbage bags of dead digital cameras to scavenge for parts that he can't buy.

That's just the bodies. These days many of the lenses have chips, circuit boards and motors too. Many have to be controlled by the camera and their utility can only last as long as the matching body or as long as the manufacturer supports that mount. Many valuable lenses are already too old to get repaired.

So what do you think? How long have your digital cameras kept working? How old is your oldest digital camera that's still working? Have others 'died' on you? And are any marques going to be able to develop/keep their reputation in relation to their camera bodies if their components are no better than anyone else's. (I acknowledge that mechanical lenses may be a different matter).

Food for thought.

Cheers, Rod

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