"Obsolete" cameras: is it a serious concern?

Started 1 week ago | Discussions thread
Craig Gillette Forum Pro • Posts: 10,117
Re: "Obsolete" cameras: is it a serious concern?

rapick wrote:

Many times in threads about the pros and cons of buying/using old camera models, the 'end of customer assistance'/'end of spare parts availability' argument is raised.

In my understanding, manufacturer shall (or should?) provide servicing of the camera (lens, etc.) and availability of spare parts for repairs for 10 years.

Shall and should are very different requirements.

Is this correct?

Don't know if there is a statutory requirement and would not expect it to extend 10 years if there was.  That said, many older cameras are in use and chugging along.  I would expect high end cameras to do fairly well but inexpensive consumer cameras, perhaps less well.  There are a lot of old film cameras still very capable of being used.  Beyond the "10 year" point as such and substitute batteries are required as the original batteries are no longer available.

Does this come from legal obligation, or 'industry standard', or voluntary manufacturer's policy?

I don't recall ever reading of this in an owner's manual.  Given that the manuals incorporate a wide range of mandated information, it would seem to me that if there were some sort of mandatory service/parts availability, it would be covered in the manual.

when the 10-years period starts? The date of 'end of production' should logically apply. But what about if the manufacturer never declared it? And if they terminate their whole business?

Is it a good move by the owner of an old (but still perfectly working) camera to buy a same one (used) as a safe (and relatively cheap!) source of spare parts?

While that might allow for sourcing parts, it doesn't assure one of having a capable repair person available,  nor of the quality/reliability of the parts.  The camera not being used might develop some electronic problems although I'd think there could be mechanical issues, parts sticking, lubricants drying and/or migrating.

Any of this repair activity outside of the regular warranty would be at current labor rates, etc.  The older a camera is, the comparable cost between repairing and replacing is an open question.  I'd also expect that while advances may be slowing somewhat, an older camera may end up being something one wants to use but not being closely comparable to current features and capabilities.

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