Is it time to start thinking of digitals cameras as microwave ovens?

Discussion in 'Casual Photo Conversations' started by sanford, Oct 4, 2016.

  1. In other words, I look for the cheapest I can find, preferably about to be discontinued, and hope to get a good year or two out of it before throwing it away and repeating the process. 2K for a digital camera? Ridiculous!
  2. Very simply, "people", and I use that term as an option to, "Photographers," are obsessed with throwing money at their perceived improvement to the process of picture taking with the hope it will develop into, "Art." The latest and greatest will not change vision. Camera manufacturers LOVE IT!
  3. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    I don't buy the cheapest microwave oven. There is a bit of risk that microwave can leak from a cheap model. Once upon a time, a friend of mine's 4-year-old daughter punched in something like 1 hour instead of 1 minute of cooking time into their microwave. (I know, it was the parents' fault letting a 4 year old operate a microwave.) Needless to say, the thing overheated and caused a fire that burned down part of their house. A microwave that has overheat prevention and auto shutoff could have saved the house ....
    That is a bit off topic, but I also don't buy the cheapest camera either.
  4. I wish the forums had an easier way to reply to someones comment or like a comment. Shun though your post is off topic I appreciate the humor and I personally do think it is relevant.
    I know that I can get the same photos with a different camera than I do but I chose the camera I have because not only does it help me get the photographs I want but it is FUN to use. I enjoy holding it in my hands. I like how the controls are. Could I adapt and use a cheap camera and still get great photos? Sure. I just don't think I would be as motivated to go out and take photos because I wouldn't enjoy my camera as much. Though maybe there is a cheap camera out there that I would enjoy just as much.
  5. Sadly, $1K isn't that much money anymore. Buy a decent refrigerator, computer, TV, bicycle, guitar etc and a thousand bucks just gets you into the door of good quality. Just. The hedonic treadmill not withstanding, I hope my expensive $3K camera lasts me more than a couple of years. In any case, regardless of its depreciation, I'm surely not going to throw it away. Based on the individual and their circumstances, we all have a cost/comfort curve on what we will spend on anything.
  6. All my digital cameras are still working with the oldest one bought in 2001. I had a microwave oven (a cheap one) since 1995 and it was still working when I moved and gave it away in 2011. My current microwave oven which is in my current home built in 2003 and it's still the original one.
    If you want to throw things away that is up to you. You just don't have to.
  7. 1. Yes. 2. If you wait for your camera to cook your dinner you will have a long wait.
  8. Off off topic. With the US surrendering control of the Internet, anyone notice any glitches last few days?
  9. One day, the cell phone will have a micro beam app for heating up, say, a burger and coffee. It shouldn't be all that difficult, they are self imploding already:) Just channel the heat into a burn beam via the flash light function...
  10. Trade in you digital camera for a Samsung phone. Not quite a microwave oven, it can start a fire ;)
  11. I just bought a brand new, never opened Nikon advanced compact (P7700) camera for under $250 with a warranty here in the US. In good light it yields excellent raw files, and in low light not too bad up to ISO 800 with its f/2 lens. It will last for many years, if I can just avoid wandering eyes. I think digital cameras could last a lot longer in consumers' hands, if we weren't so tempted by what are usually not great advances in technology from one year to the next. I clearly don't need to spend $1k or more on a camera to find something solid that is up to my technical abilities.
  12. Well, to begin with, you'll never be able to cook a high quality dinner in a microwave oven, especially a cheap one you can replace with a 'better' one within two years..
    Such a quality level microwave oven usually is used for warming up micro wave dinners most if not all of the time (and I don't think I need to say anything about how those taste)

    So if you buy a digital camera of 'microwave oven' quality level you'll probably won't want to use it for something else then 'micro wave dinner' level pictures.
    And in that case, yes buying an expensive camera may seem a waste of money.
    That said, if you have the intention of shooting quality pictures, n a short term or maybe at a later moment, you'll soon find out that although obviously talent is the most important ingredient, having good/decent equipment will also play a role in that.
  13. A microwave oven is a complementary appliance to ones traditional oven, along with toaster ovens, pressure cookers, fryers, IR convection cookers, etc..
    In the same way, many photographers, such as ourselves, will acquire multiple cameras to complement our primary (or workhorse) camera and choose to use them accordingly.
    It's all the same; only the name changes.
  14. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    I am reading the news about Gitzo's new tripods, and there is a comment that some less-expensive imitations may cost as much as only 1/3 of the high Gitzo prices.
    It reminds me a story I heard from nature photographer Tui De Roy. She has a heavy Nikon 600mm/f4 AF-S VR lens, and she saved money on a cheap carbon fiber tripod. She had that set up outdoors under the sun. Somehow the heat "melted" the glue in the cheap tripod, which promptly collapsed and her big lens hit the ground. The repair bill was like $2000.
    It is in the same vain as that story about the microwave that burned down the house. Sometimes cheap is actually expensive.
  15. The only time any camera acted like a microwave for me, was the time that the "focus-confirmation" chip on an Nikon>Canon EF adaptor shorted out and melted down the circuit board in my Canon EOS 20D by dumping a full battery charge into it.
    I think that you can be reasonably sure that smoke coming out of your camera is not "a good thing".
    I didn't even get a re-warmed cup of coffee out of the experience.
  16. The most expensive tool is one which doesn't do the job for which it is intended.
    Shun's comment about the cheap tripod melting in the sun is probably not representative of the inexpensive Gitzo knock-offs, but you can count on Gitzo tripods to get the job done. If you need repairs, parts are easily available, and Bogen customer service has been very helpful along the way. My oldest Gitzo was purchased, used, about 15 years ago and is going strong. I trust my equipment to a series of aluminum and carbon fiber tripods purchased in the ensuing years. It's more than avoiding crashes. I depend on getting the job done (mostly video), an my reputation is on the line each time I go out on a job.
    That's true of cameras too. I can't afford to have any equipment that doesn't or can't perform the task at hand, and I don't always know exactly what that task will be until I get there. I might choose different equipment if I had special needs, like sports or auto racing. However I do need absolutely silent operation, which my video cameras and Sony A7Rii provide.
    For what it's worth, I had a microwave oven self-immolate two days before Christmas one year. That meant a lot of cold coffee until I could find a replacement.
  17. I've been doing it this way for years. I've always lusted after the snazziest microwave ovens. I used to go to appliance stores just to try them out. I regularly travel to Germany for the annual microwave oven show. I love them all! I go to microwave oven swap meets, follow the ads on Craigslist (even when I'm not planning to buy), and scour the Sunday paper inserts for sales and the gorgeous color pictures. I've replaced my microwave oven so many times that the cabinetry is starting to fail.
    I always save the boxes. There are now enough in my attic to provide serious insulation.
    Sometimes I boil water for tea not because I want tea, but just to have an excuse to touch those sensual buttons a few times.
    I used to just buy whatever camera Sears had on sale, but no longer. From now on, I'm going to think of digital cameras as microwave ovens.
  18. We live in an age where more consumers want cheap rather then quality. Manufactures have listened and are more then happy to supply us with cheaply made goods that will have to be repalced (rather then repaired as in the old days) in less then a year. Whenever I pick up a dslr kit aimed at the consumer market, I'm always surprised at how cheaply made they feel.
    Now, here's my story. I've always valued quality and am willing to spend the extra money to get it. Take shoes for example. I wear mostly leather lace ups like oxfords, spectators, and some slip ons. I like the Italian made one of course but I wear mostly Allen Edmonds which are made here in the US. They are very well made shoes and at full retail they are approaching about $400 a pair these days. So I wait for sales and sometimes order from their clearance page online. One day a buddy of mine was admiring a pair I was wearing and when he asked me where I got them and for how much I replied they were bought from the website on a markdown for about $275. He looked at me like I was nuts. He couldn't believe anyone would spend so much on a pair of shoes. So I explained to him that these shoes are actually in the long run cheaper then the Nike athletic shoes he was wearing because while my shoes were already about five years old his Nikes might last a year at best and then he'll throw them away. So while he'll spend $100 or more on Nike each year I have Allen Edmonds that are over 20 years old and still look and feel great that I paid only several hundred for.
  19. Marc R ... your post is pretty funny! One reason: There is an underlying truth to what you say. To me, a microwave oven is just a tool that gets used to heat food. They are all essentially the same. If it breaks, you toss it out and get a new one at Target. But cameras? Very different ... as you poke fun about in your post. But it's true! To me, a camera isn't just a tool. A camera allows me to express my feelings and create art. No microwave oven can do that. All that said, there will always be people who treat cameras as though they were microwave ovens. As a former co-worker of mine used to say: "It takes all kinds to fill the freeways."
  20. A microwave oven is a complementary appliance to ones traditional oven, along with toaster ovens, pressure cookers, fryers, IR convection cookers, etc..​
    I tell myself this, too. But somehow the microwave and the X100T seem to be getting more use than the oven or the SLR...
  21. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    Shun's comment about the cheap tripod melting in the sun is probably not representative of the inexpensive Gitzo knock-offs, but you can count on Gitzo tripods to get the job done.​
    I didn't ask Tui De Roy about the exact brand of tripod she had, and I probably don't care. I have similarly heavy lenses as she does and have a couple of different big Gitzo tripods to support them. So far the expensive Gitzos have never failed me. One of them I have been using since 1999. In other words, you pay a high price up front, but those tripods last a long time. And I'll probably never find out whether the glue on the cheap tripods is generally reliable or not.
  22. I have trouble looking at cameras as appliances in the same way as I look now at computers or tablets. Yeah, everyone,well lots of folk, complain about the cost of a good machine. In the way I look at the cost of an espresso drink. So maybe I cook my own coffee and spend a little more on a fine camera and lens. Why sub- optimize for the temple of frugality. You know?
  23. Sandy Vongries

    Sandy Vongries Administrator Staff Member

    Quality is always quality, old or new, and a pleasure to use. Crap starts out the best it will ever be and rapidly goes down hill from there. Buying cheap tools of any kind is foolish, unless of course one doesn't know the difference or can't afford better.
    As to microwaves, I don't think of much of their output as food. A defroster and coffee warmer. Of course, as with cheap cameras, there are products that claim to be edible which can be heated in a microwave. Of all of my cooking paraphernalia the microwave is the most expendable.
  24. "In other words, I look for the cheapest I can find, preferably about to be discontinued" - Sanford's initial comment
    I couldn't agree more. I bought a D2x in 2006 for $4,500 (I obviously had money to burn, unlike now) and sold it before it became "worthless" in 2009 for $1,300. As an enthusiast, digital gear is not an "investment".

    I kind of got back into film for awhile and next bought a new but discontinued D7000 in December 2014 from Amazon for $484, and I think it's still available there. I'll take an older model for roughly 1/3 the cost of the introductory price any day.
  25. I'm going to wait for the exploding camera to come out.
  26. I haven't bought a microwave oven in fifteen years. The last one I bought cost less than a hundred dollars, and it's still working just like it always did. I bought what I needed when I needed it, and I use it for what I need it for. Why would I throw away a microwave oven that's working perfectly well just to buy another one? What the hell are people doing to these things that makes them need a new one every year or two?
    As for cameras, my current D7000 I bought used, for $500. My lenses I also picked up used, watching for good prices on eBay, for the most part. I don't toss them away, or sell them to buy something else, until and unless I'm not going to use them anymore or I have some good reason to change. Mostly that means I use what I buy for the purpose I bought it. I do the same with computers (usually get about seven or eight years out of one before I need something faster or more powerful). I buy what I need when I need it, and use it until I either don't need it, or need something different. I've never bought any kind of appliance, instrument, equipment, or gear, just because it was out there.
    Who would buy stuff just because they read an ad somewhere?
  27. Who would buy stuff just because they read an ad somewhere?​
    Lots of people! That's why Madison Avenue is so successful.
  28. A camera allows me to express my feelings and create art. No microwave oven can do that.​
    I don't know about that. I find Peeps in a microwave to be quite entertaining, and I express a great deal of feeling as they morph and contort just before they explode. I did have to get friendly with a strange, and older microwave recently. Using it was the only way to easily make coffee so we could have some while watching and photographing the sunrise. Probably expensive in it's day, it still worked. I was content with my faithful XSi and a cup of nuked instant coffee.
    Many times we get what we pay for, and other times there is good value to be had. I usually strike a balance depending on the item in question. If I could buy a DNA decoder ring for fungi, I'd do it in a heartbeat. I'd probably be willing to spend more on that than any camera I own, but it would be a good companion for fungi photography. If it took the form of a Star Trek tricorder, that would be even better.
  29. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    Cooking is a form of art as well, and a microwave oven could be a tool for that purpose, just like a camera. :)
  30. I guess what I should have said is, "No microwave oven can do that for me."
  31. I agree with the idea of not buying a brand new item which is so hot that it can command a hefty price. Or shoot, pre order every new model..As an example, I just bought a second copy of the Panasonic GX 7 from KEH for $400.00 with warranty. Yeah, If I compared it to the Canon A-1 I bought new 30 + years ago, using a constant dollar ratio with inflation adjustment, it would come out about the same or less. LIkely less.. I have never needed sought the features of the cutting edge equipment, but I do not go for low grade either. And the GX 7 is easily above the capacity of the A-1 in my estimation...longevity I can't say for sure... I can say that I do not think of cameras in the same way as a can opener or household appliance, and I doubt many do here. E.g.The last 37" bedroom TV was a Viera bought about 5 years ago,-top grade- and it still looks super fine. I doubt many here look at thje ubiquitous cell phones as do the quote younger generation thought. That makes us mature folk SMART. right?
  32. 30 years ago the Canon A-1 body only is near $400 when new. So if you apply inflation the Panasonic is much less expensive.
  33. Peeps in a microwave to be quite entertaining​
    Another sure fire (even literally) display is to microwave optical disk media. I read it was a good way to destroy the information on them. It certainly did that in a fairly spectacular way. The microwave still works, but I haven't repeated the experiment.
    Some people do come to love blenders and coffee grinders, but I consider cameras to be more like cars than appliances in the stricter sense.
  34. Who says you only get a year or two use out it? Who says you have to always buy the latest and greatest? It sounds
    more like your "keep up with the Jones spirit" and falling for every new camera sales pitch than anything. Im quite happy
    with my 20D from 2005 (it was about $1600 new). I hope to upgrade only for better noisesless ISO. But if youre only
    using your camera for two years, thats on YOUR mindset.
  35. I'm not sure what you're cooking in your microwaves, but mine seem to be like the Everready bunny....they just keep going, sometimes for a decade or more.
    Yes, $2,000 is too much money for any camera. Especially considering that a $50 film camera loaded w/ Tri-X or Porta will blow away any expensive digital camera away in terms of colour, tonal value, etc. But digital cameras aren't about the best image quality, they're about convenience, speed, and autofocus and auto exposure that let the neighbor's kid take great photos w/o even trying. Let the flaming begin!
  36. $50 film camera loaded w/ Tri-X or Porta will blow away any expensive digital camera away in terms of colour, tonal value, etc.​
    Oh dear...any expensive digital camera: even a $20,000 'blad with 100MP back? Hyperbole alert. A film camera, however, will be "blown away" by an inexpensive digital camera, I'm pleased to announce.

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