Life cycle of cameras

Started Apr 19, 2012 | Discussions
caporip
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Life cycle of cameras
Apr 19, 2012

What i find interesting both on this forum and others (including other brands) is how often some users change their camera's. There are some that, it appears anyway, schange almost on an annual basis. No they are of course perfectly entitled to do this but it occurs to me that with such regular change (sometimes system wide) how can they feel they have gotten the most out the cameras that they've had. I accept that there are on occassions "game changers" that may prompt a change but I am happy to admit that i am still learning things about using my camera some 3 years down the line.
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Dannno
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Re: Life cycle of cameras
In reply to caporip, Apr 19, 2012

The cycle of ownership does seem short to me too. I am still using a Sony DSC-r1 quite a bit. I have a MInolta Dimage A2 that I use a lot (it's more or less my "beater" that I keep inthe car).

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I am also an A850 owner. Realistically, the A850 is all the camera I will ever need. However, if the next generation has live view, tilt LCD, and as good or better view finder, I may just make that move.

I think that the technologey just improves in leaps and bounds. But, for the typical amateur, manufacturer's offerings from several years ago are really more than adequate.
Dan
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janvanbogaert
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Re: Life cycle of cameras
In reply to Dannno, Apr 19, 2012

Dannno wrote:

For the typical amateur, manufacturer's offerings from several years ago are really more than adequate.
Dan

That's what I used to think. I was happy with my KM7D, so bought a second one (a lot cheaper when they stopped producing it), thinking: that's all I will ever need.

But then Sony surprised with the A700. I got one, was happy, and bought a second one (a lot cheaper when they stopped producing it), thinking: that's all I will ever need.

Till the A55 came with bells and whistles, which I could easily resist, including video, but not the noticeably better high ISO, which was very welcome at wedding/parties.

It does not seem to stop yet ...

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tbcass
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Re: Life cycle of cameras
In reply to caporip, Apr 19, 2012

caporip wrote:

What i find interesting both on this forum and others (including other brands) is how often some users change their camera's. There are some that, it appears anyway, change almost on an annual basis. No they are of course perfectly entitled to do this but it occurs to me that with such regular change (sometimes system wide) how can they feel they have gotten the most out the cameras that they've had. I accept that there are on occasions "game changers" that may prompt a change but I am happy to admit that i am still learning things about using my camera some 3 years down the line.
--

It's just that some people are gear hobbyists who also like photography. They get a lot of enjoyment out of new cameras just like some people like to buy new cars frequently even if the old one could last years longer. Nothing wrong with that as long as you can afford it. It's also why some people find major differences in IQ where only very minor ones exist. It justifies buying new gear.

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epsilon sigma taph
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Re: Life cycle of cameras
In reply to caporip, Apr 19, 2012

It's called rampant consumerism. Without it capitalism will wither and die. If it keeps going like this, the planet and everything on it will die. So what's it going to be friend? A new camera you don't really need or a sustainable future for you, your children and their children's children?

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EvilOne
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Its called technology
In reply to epsilon sigma taph, Apr 19, 2012

For millions of years man has been stuck on the ground, fast forward to maned flight... we went from being earth bound and not being able to fly, to the moon in less than 100 years.

Technology breeds technology, so the more we know, the more we can do... for a hundred years cameras were basically the same. Its only been in the last 20 years of digital technology that the need for newer technology seems important. just think back on a time when there were no computers... And that thing that Spock had in his ear was just some fancy fake sci-fi gadget...And Ohorrah was the communications officer..with the same thing.. today that's called a Blue-tooth. We've come a long way in the last 50 years... Technology? My First Corvette back in 1958 got 8 miles to the gallon ( 270 hp ) when gas was 23 cents a gallon.. Today my Corvette has 430 HP and gets 33 mpg on the highway @ 60 mph, rpms just a little over idle in 6th gear...and basically the same 8 cylinder push-rod motor... Technology !!!

Back in 2007 the collaboration between Sony and KM came about over the first frame black issue... at that time Sony agreed to pay on a pro rated basis for a KM7D . At that time they said that a camera's life span was 7 years and based on that projection, if you used your KM7D for 1 year and it failed, Sony would pay you 6/7th of your cameras original price tag. At that time it was 7 years.. I expect it to be closer to 5 years now. Today's cameras do not fail but the technology increases to the point where you want the extra features... I know " that " drives my purchases. I can still remember upgrading from Windows 3.1 back in the 80's and wondering where it would all lead. Here is the coolest thing in this era of technology... The things that will be earth shaking in the next ten years in the field of technology, be it transportation, medicine, or Cameras... Has not even been thought of as yet... not even the idea or concept. The reason for this is the next technology will allow for something that could not be thought of because that piece of the puzzle hasn't been invented yet. On the ugly side of technology... its amazing that we have not destroyed the Earth.
Sorry long winded
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liquid stereo
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disposable
In reply to caporip, Apr 19, 2012

Digital cameras are thought of as disposable. Its in part because people can afford to do so. If the buyer could not afford to buy a new camera, he or she would not. By "afford" to I mean have access to money or credit.

Additionally, people buy all sorts of things out of want rather than need for a variety of reasons and motivations. Some buy looking for happiness. Some buy because they're bored. Some buy because they're into feature X, Y, or Z.

Most know that buying ≠ happiness. And in the words of Biggie Smalls, "and if you don't know, now you know."

I refrain from judging as these people are the ones who must live with themselves and their decisions.

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seilerbird666
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Re: Life cycle of cameras
In reply to caporip, Apr 19, 2012

caporip wrote:

What i find interesting both on this forum and others (including other brands) is how often some users change their camera's. There are some that, it appears anyway, schange almost on an annual basis. No they are of course perfectly entitled to do this but it occurs to me that with such regular change (sometimes system wide) how can they feel they have gotten the most out the cameras that they've had. I accept that there are on occassions "game changers" that may prompt a change but I am happy to admit that i am still learning things about using my camera some 3 years down the line.

I buy a new camera at least once a year. I am a wildlife photographer and I do a lot of BIF shots. Every time I upgrade my camera I am always impressed with the increase in the number of keepers. Going from 6.5 fps with my Canon 50D to 10 fps with my a55 was a major game changer. I have been an early adaptor all my life and proud of it. I want the latest and the greatest. I am not interested in learning things about using my current camera. I know everything I need to know about it to do the job I want it to do.
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Stflbn
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Re: Life cycle of cameras
In reply to seilerbird666, Apr 19, 2012

Nex-5n - 4 months ago... just received A65 yesterday. I wanted and needed the larger body, stabilization and lens choices.

I'll likely consider the A99 when it comes out because I've never owned a quality full frame digital camera. My situation at the time will dictate whether I replace the A65 or keep both around for a while.

I'm a professional designer and photography is a supportive and enhancing asset to what I do, even though I'm not a 'professional photographer'.

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moimoi
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Re: Life cycle of cameras
In reply to caporip, Apr 19, 2012

caporip wrote:

What i find interesting both on this forum and others (including other brands) is how often some users change their camera's. There are some that, it appears anyway, schange almost on an annual basis. No they are of course perfectly entitled to do this but it occurs to me that with such regular change (sometimes system wide) how can they feel they have gotten the most out the cameras that they've had. I accept that there are on occassions "game changers" that may prompt a change but I am happy to admit that i am still learning things about using my camera some 3 years down the line.

That is indeed pretty sad. Some people are so impatient that they are willing to spend some significant amount of money to get the most updated technology. This is something that we have noticed since the digital era has taken over its analogue counterpart. Look at all electronics, and you will find out that the life span of any new products is indeed pretty short. Mac products are good examples, ipad > ipad2 > ipad 3, iphone series, etc. Digital photography follows somewhat the same trend, and most people do not take the time (due to the lack of patience?) to appreciate what they have in hands. I bought an a900 this past October, and I think I intend to keep it as long as the camera can take photos, and then move on something (whether it is Sony or another brand, depending on what Sony offers in the future). I don't expect to buy anything soon because I am simply happy about what I have (sometimes I must admit it can be quite tempting to sell and buy the newest technology). In that sense, I am not a good customer in general, but I tend to appreciate what I have more and more. Cameras like the D700, 5DII, A850/A900 have normally long life expectancy since they have been mini-breakthrough in digital photography. While it is true that newer generations of FF cameras feature interesting assets, it all depends on your shooting style and what you are willing to do with it. Personally, I found the last generation of FF cameras to be extremely satisfactory, and I can shoot whatever I want to do with my a900, and that's good enough at the moment.

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surfnet
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Re: Life cycle of cameras
In reply to moimoi, Apr 19, 2012

We should be thankful for people buying stuff. The economy needs help and research needs new findings.

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tbcass
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Re: Life cycle of cameras
In reply to epsilon sigma taph, Apr 19, 2012

epsilon sigma taph wrote:

It's called rampant consumerism. Without it capitalism will wither and die. If it keeps going like this, the planet and everything on it will die. So what's it going to be friend? A new camera you don't really need or a sustainable future for you, your children and their children's children?

That is both an exaggeration and an over simplification. I'm not buying into that hyper environmentalism clap trap. I've been listening to it for over 50 years and according to the alarmists back then the Earth should be a wasteland by now. Intelligent use of resources will allow consumerism and capitalism to go on for the foreseeable future. All the doomsday predictions are based on nothing changing but Capitalism and consumer habits are constantly changing to allow sustainability. One thing I have learned is the worst case and best case scenarios never come true yet those are what gets the most publicity.

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moimoi
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Re: Life cycle of cameras
In reply to surfnet, Apr 19, 2012

surfnet wrote:

We should be thankful for people buying stuff. The economy needs help and research needs new findings.

If you buy without thinking, you can make the whole economy collapsed...look back in 2008, that's a good example.

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Tom2572
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Re: Life cycle of cameras
In reply to caporip, Apr 19, 2012

Another view of this is that without the people who are willing to spend their money on the latest gadget whether they need it or not, the pace of innovation would slow to a trickle as companies waited for return on investment.

So, in all honesty, I applaud you who are willing to shell out bank for stuff you have no business needing. People like me will be right here waiting to buy the 2nd-hand stuff off you for 1/10th the price you spent 2 years ago while you're off on your next adventure...:)

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surfnet
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Re: Life cycle of cameras
In reply to moimoi, Apr 19, 2012

This is hardly the same as 2008 when the housing market collapsed because of rampant cheating and abuse.

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Tom2572
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Re: Life cycle of cameras
In reply to moimoi, Apr 19, 2012

moimoi wrote:

surfnet wrote:

We should be thankful for people buying stuff. The economy needs help and research needs new findings.

If you buy without thinking, you can make the whole economy collapsed...look back in 2008, that's a good example.

You're thinking (potentially) appreciating assets like securities and real estate. Any camera not named Leica is a depreciating asset.

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stan_pustylnik
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inflation, productivity, resolution
In reply to caporip, Apr 19, 2012

Camera that my grandfather bought me 30 years ago was mannualy assembled.

This full manual film SLR was more expensive than modern crop DSLRs, if inflation would be included into price measurment. MF lenses were manually assembled as well - costing lot of money as well.

Why would anyone then want to buy new camera if they changed media (film) after 36 click? Advanced photographers knew then, that photo magic is in dark room.

Mom&Daddy photographers were satisfied by IQ from 4X5 prints from corner store drop service.

Does 4X5 print compare to HD LCD resolution on your giant monitor? Of course, all blemishes jump into your face, forcing you to get "better camera" and better lens.

Technical revolution is not linear, but parabolic. First cameras were used for decades, next for years. Now only very best cameras survive 5 years of heavy use.

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Person is taking photos, not camera. When photograph is bad, it's because photographer doesn't know how to choose settings optimal to "own preferences". Then blames camera for bad IQ.
This is same as blaming car about arriving to wrong destination.

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moimoi
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Re: inflation, productivity, resolution
In reply to stan_pustylnik, Apr 19, 2012

stan_pustylnik wrote:

Technical revolution is not linear, but parabolic. First cameras were used for decades, next for years. Now only very best cameras survive 5 years of heavy use.

Stan, you are indeed making a very god and wise point.

People's mentality has become: Buy > Junk > Replace & Buy > Junk > Replace & Buy and so on...the more they want, the more they get, and they are losing sense of satisfaction...

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Person is taking photos, not camera. When photograph is bad, it's because photographer doesn't know how to choose settings optimal to "own preferences". Then blames camera for bad IQ.
This is same as blaming car about arriving to wrong destination.

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moimoi
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Re: inflation, productivity, resolution
In reply to moimoi, Apr 19, 2012

moimoi wrote:

stan_pustylnik wrote:

Technical revolution is not linear, but parabolic. First cameras were used for decades, next for years. Now only very best cameras survive 5 years of heavy use.

Stan, you are indeed making a very god and wise point.

I meant "good and wise point"

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Person is taking photos, not camera. When photograph is bad, it's because photographer doesn't know how to choose settings optimal to "own preferences". Then blames camera for bad IQ.
This is same as blaming car about arriving to wrong destination.

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EvilOne
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Re: inflation, productivity, resolution
In reply to moimoi, Apr 19, 2012

Not too many people are still using out door plumbing, or getting to work in their Stanley Steamer.

As a point of argument... back in the 60's, cars weighed 2 tons +.. got ten miles to the gallon and the motor lasted on average 60,000 miles... points plugs and condenser was every 5,000 miles

Today's cars are lighter, handle much better and are more efficient, plugs are now changed every 100,000 miles, no points or condenser now..
cars now get 30 mpg and i'm talking cars with 400 + HP
oil changes every 10,000/15,000 miles
and the motors last 300 to 400,000 miles.
Technology is a curse, and an enabler

I don't think anyone is looking for the good old days when it comes to technology.

I don't think anyone would want to be on their 1980's version IBM computer. Or look at that 12 inch B&W TV with the big magnifying glass in front of it. Or watch test patterns after 9PM... and who was that Indian anyway?
Don't need that tin foil to get those local UHF TV stations .. LOL

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