The END of the “Disposable Digital Camera Era” is Here.
By Steve Huff
Hey to all, and happy Thursday! It’s been a great week with the new Leica TL and I put in the word to Leica that I also want to review the 50 Summilux for the SL. So as always, more and more to come. Today I wanted to talk about what I feel is an era that is coming to an end. The “Disposable Digital Camera Era”.
I even made a Video on this Subject ; ) Watch it below…
I remember back 9-10 years ago when this website started. Digital cameras were being released every few months at that time and it was an EXCITING time. BTW, I can’t believe how much time has FLOWN by since I started reviewing gear and I thank all of you who still come here day after day. You are appreciated.Even as soon as 2 years ago, some manufacturers (SONY) were still on that track of constant upgrades. This meant for some of us, that over the last 10 years, we have been buying and then selling “disposable digital cameras” to always upgrade to the next model. For many of us, it was an obsession. For some of us, it was a necessity and others it was just for fun.
In 2010, Digital camera sales peaked like never before and it has been a slow downward trend ever since. Today, cameras are not selling anywhere near the numbers they were in 2010-2012. Not even close. That goes for DSLR, Mirrorless and the now dead Point and Shoot.
Some say it is the smartphone that led to this, manufacturers making less and less bodies. Yes, it is true, the smartphone is the most popular camera in the world. It is used by more than any traditional camera so I will say as I have in the past…that the phone has indeed led to much slower sales of actual cameras. This slowdown has led to some camera makers releasing higher end models over cheaper models.
Look at the recent major mirrorless releases and recent casualties.
Also, IMO, SAMSUNG is now DEAD for Digital Imaging. I doubt they will release anything new.
Prices are going up on cameras and lenses but at the same time, these bodies are incredible. Which means, we can keep them for many years without even the urge to upgrade. I know for me, the Sony A9 is what has shown me this. I use it for photos, for video, for low light work, whatever I need, and it works without me becoming frustrated about something it can not do. It does it all for my needs.
Sure, I lust after cameras like the Leica M10, SL and others but money is money, and these days I need to go with what works for my actual work. I do video work for 1-3 hours daily outside of this site, and I need a camera that has fast AF, great IQ and can work in lower light. Nothing does that better for me than the A9. In fact, as I said, it leaves me wanting for nothing.
This means I will have this A9 for a long long time, for as long as it will work and survive. I think this applies to many out. there with many different cameras. Some are thrilled with the Fuji’s, the Panasonics, the Olympus cameras and Leica.
The M10 today is as good as a digital rangefinder could ever be IMO. It’s like an M7 but digital, and the M7 has stood the test of time. The Olympus EM1 MKII has its weaknesses from the sensor size but it too is an amazing camera capable of doing what may need without fail. Fuji released the Medium Format body after years of rumors and some are enjoying that.
There are so many amazingly good cameras out there that fit almost anyones tastes, that we no longer have the constant need to upgrade. Even the $1300 range with something like the Fuji X100T. It is so good, I can’t imagine needing or wanting more in a new X100. The T I could be happy with for years. It’s fast, it’s beautiful and has no issues for what it was meant to do. Take Photos
I see more and more of this coming. Higher end prices, nicer cameras that have all we need, and less and less of us doing the whole upgrade game every 6-12 months. I think many are tired of the upgrades all of the time. I know I have lost a fortune over 10 years buying, selling, buying and even re-buying things I have sold when I missed them, only to sell again!
Yes, it is called G.A.S. (Gear Acquisition Syndrome) and for me, most of that has been cured by recent releases and cameras that do it all. It’s a nice change of pace, as when you keep that camera longer, you can bond with it more, and get more enjoyment from it.
So what more do YOU need or want in a camera over what we have available today? What would be the camera that would make you happy for 10 years or more? DO you already own it or has it even been made yet?