Ben O Connor: NASA just use your imagination in your next missions:
Use a Nikon D800 cam and get crazy much of Nikon sponsor money.Attach its USB III port to an Iphone and let the Jobs rest in peace.Even get a deal with a mobile company who supports those MMS to your base.If the fuel price bothers call Richard Branson and give rocket name "Virgin" Even make the whole rocket like a MARS chocklate pocket and get hell money from craft foods XD
YEah, i guess NASA scientist nowadays thinks "good all days" abvout cold war time.
In fairness to NASA, they couldn't launch an off-the-shelf camera even if they wanted to. It simply wouldn't survive the mission. The cameras that go to Mars must survive severe shock and vibration, sustained G loads, sustained high doses of radiation, and thousands of 100ºC temperature cycles on Mars, among other hazards. I had someone say to me "Why didn't they just take a GoPro to Mars?" I said to them "Why didn't you take a Curiosity Hazcam on your hike?" If you want durability the cameras on the Curiosity rover are hard to beat. :)