Jan 23 2010

The Shelf Life of Today’s Cameras

Published by at 7:05 am under technology

This past weekend, my camera broke.  I’m not sure what happened, but the lens is stuck open and it won’t turn on.

Of course, no one even considers fixing electronics anymore, so I reluctantly started the search for a new camera on Monday.

E-gads! The last time I bought a camera is when I “went digital” in 2007.  Digital cameras had only started selling more units than film cameras.

So, I guess the shelf life of today’s camera is about 2.5 years. And we don’t even call them “digital cameras” anymore. They are just cameras.

I thought that I would just buy the same model again (having done hours of research in 2007). Ha! The landscape for digital photography has warped ahead since my last foray.

For about the same price as my last 8.1 megapixel “best in class” gizmo from 2007, today’s cameras are in 3D, shoot 1000 FPS, and record 1080p HD video.

Um, I have my work cut out for me to replace my little trooper.  I’m starting the research all over again.

Still, amortized, my camera was about $75 per year. That’s the equivalent of about 15 rolls of print film per year, or around 360 photos per year. Given that I have shot about 3,000 photos on that camera, it’s still a pretty good ppp (price per picture). At this rate of innovation, I won’t feel bad about replacing my 2010 relic in 2013.

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