older dslrs: when a collector's item?

Discussion in 'Canon EOS' started by michael_burin|1, Mar 26, 2012.

  1. Prices for the original D30/D60 and 1D ('classic') appear to have bottomed out near couple-few hundred dollars respectively. It doesn't seem far fetched to think one day they may be worth something as collector's items, in the same way early mac and other desktop stations now can fetch a high price. Just curious what you think: what's your guess as to when this may happen? 10 years? 100? The aforementioned computers seem to be in-between these two times; but perhaps the ever-quickening pace of technology matters here too: quicker to be 'obsolete'**, quicker to be revalued...(?). Of course, FWIW, these cameras can still take great pictures!
  2. Personally, I wouldn't waste my money as collecting anything is a hit or miss affair if you are looking for profit. If you are going to collect, I would "invest" in Nikon as there is a much larger culture of collectors on the other side of the fence. That being said, most of these cameras will end up being worthless bricks (what happens when SD/CF is eventually discontinued... what about software to process the images... what happens when replacement batteries are no longer available?) that I doubt anyone will have any real interest in older digital cameras.
    Film is film and I can load 135 in anything and appreciate the mechanical marvels of the past while still making great images. With digital, I get the same old images that I discarded those cameras for in the first place.
  3. While of course they are already obsolete, I wouldn't anticipate any significant increase in 'collector value' anytime soon.
    While I'm certain that, at some point, there will be a limited demand for such gear, which will perhaps be enough to increase their value, neither (nor any Canon really) is particularly unique, and all had enough production to minimize any value of any 'uniqueness' (like some old computers).
    Then again, crazier things have been deemed worth something for lesser reasons (beanie babies, anyone?), at least tulip bulbs were truly capable of uniqueness (though perhaps not for the value of an apartment building ;-) )... By today's standards though, no, these cameras cannot take great pictures (good, yes, but great? not really.)
  4. I'd say never. They were made in large volume and have no redeeming features. Plus if they break they are impossible to repair.
    Maybe the very first digital cameras (like this one) might be worth something one day, but not regular consumer stuff the the D30.
    I suppose if you still had a working one in a few hundred years time it would have value, but I doubt such cameras will be worth anything even as antiques in the lifetime of anyone living today.
    An Apple I is worth a lot of money. An Apple II is basically trash. You have to get them before mass production.
  5. Bob,
    Whenever I see that Kodak post linked to I am always staggered by the mismanagement and complacency Kodak have displayed over the past twenty+ years. They invented, and patented, the digital camera, as a fun side project! Oh how the mighty fall......
    And I still use my 1D, 4.1mp is plenty for many jobs.
  6. Furthermore, the 'collecting' bug may be or not may be here in the future. Collection requires more than just the item in itself. It also represent a time, or a point in time when certain things were happening. Lacking that (or a work of art) there will be no value.
  7. William Michael

    William Michael Moderator Staff Member

    If I were collecting the "The Canon Beginnings" I would want a set of three - the EOS DCS1; EOS DCS3 and EOS DCS5 and then, also the EOS D2000 and maybe the EOS D6000 and only then add the pair of the D30 and the D60.
    IMO the latter pair are an incomplete set, without the former three (perhaps now forgotten cameras) and at least the D2000 included in the collection.
    And then I would want to add the 1D and the 10D and also the 20D to identify those transitions.
    The 7D and 5D would be the next two icons I would collect.
    Co-incidentally I was just chatting to a friend about this topic of icons.
    (I would be collecting for collection passion, not with the intention of making a profit)
  8. William,
    If I ever retire my 1D I will send it to you for your collection, I have the box and all original packaging and paperwork, I wouldn't clarify it as mint but it is pretty good :)
  9. I would suggest that you don't buy them in the hope of making money. Even old Classic and well made cameras such as the Nikon F and Canon F1 have not really appreciated. My Canon F1 is worth about what it cost almost 30 years ago. This is clearly a classic and does not suffer the usability issues of a DSLR (there are two good solutions to the Mercury battery issue and the camera will work fine without any electrical power). If these quality mechanical devices have not appreciated what hope is there for a DSLR. In the case of my Leicas the situation changes and the bodies have appreciated slightly while the lenses have done very well. That said I bought them to use not to speculate on.
  10. Electronics are inherently more prone to failure and obsolescence than mechanical cameras. There are still cameras and enlargers from the 1930s and earlier in use today, still producing fine images, but how many people really want to use a digital camera, computer, or inkjet printer from even the 1990s?
    In 2001, Nikon offered a choice of two professional cameras: the F5 film SLR and the D1X DSLR. The F5 was priced at $1500 and the D1X at $5000. Today, KEH has a used F5 in EX conditon for $429 and a used D1X in the same condition for $349. The film camera has clearly held its value better.
    Old film cameras can become classics. Old digital cameras just become junk.
    That said, it will be interesting to see what happens to today's DSLRs as time goes by. Will a 5D Mark II or D700, with decent resolution and good high-ISO performance (by today's standards, at least) hold its value better than the D1X, which has pitiably low resolution and is useless above ISO 400? Or will camera buyers of 2022 look back and laugh at the thought of a 21 MP full-frame DSLR that is usable up to ISO 3200? Time will tell.
  11. The "value" of collected cameras has nothing to do with money - it's the stories behind them. My most valuable camera is my father's
    Balda Jubillette, from around 1938. My earliest memories are of squinting into the sun while he fiddled with the f-stop and shutter speed.
    I have no idea what it would sell for, but I would never sell it. If your stories come from digital cameras - maybe your first, or the one you
    thought was so cool but you couldn't afford it, or perhaps the one that gave you your first truly great photo - then those cameras are
    valuable to you. If you collect for this type of value your investment will never go bad.
  12. Rationally predicting collecting behaviors is challenging, as collecting is not a rational activity. People collect all sorts of bizarre things. D30s were mass produced but what fraction of them are still working? In time there will be very few of them. Working batteries and memory cards will also become scarce as they are thrown out and degrade. They may not have to function in 20 years, of course, depending on the fad. Functionality is not important to stamp collectors.
    When people are recording images directly off of their retinas (or whatever else replaces digital cameras) some people will fondly recall when they were younger and camera sensors were made of old-fashioned silicon. They may pay money for this nostalgia.
  13. I'll be a contrarian. I wouldn't bet my future on the potential value of digital cameras as historical articles, yet...
    ... other items that were regarded as equally modern at one time eventually came to be regarded as being very old and acquiring the patina of age turned out to be valuable.
  14. William Michael

    William Michael Moderator Staff Member

    Thank you!
    I shall now begin tracking down a trilogy of EOS DCS cameras, for my top shelf.
    To the OP - Michael
    Maybe classic or "one hit wonder lenses" are more suitable "collectables" - arguably they hold "value" better than digital cameras - EF50F/1.0L, maybe.
  15. Thanks - some interesting and I would say prescient comments here. By the way, I already have a D30 and an original 1Ds, so I'm not looking to invest; only wondering if it is worth putting them in a time capsule of sorts. Incidentally the 1Ds compares quite favorably to my newer 7D.
  16. Something's collectibility is directly inverse to how many were made

    In toys Beanie Babies are worthless, same with Cabbage Patch dolls

    Look on EBay at the price of 35mm cameras, only a few like Leica are worth much
  17. david_henderson

    david_henderson www.photography001.com

    Anyone who believes that those cameras will one day be worth a fortune problably already keeps all their food packaging, magazines,books and music media, and checks the dates on all their coins.
  18. William Michael

    William Michael Moderator Staff Member

    "Something's collectibility is directly inverse to how many were made"​
    Good general rule, but probably, you do not collect Grange.
  19. With rare exceptions Japanese products are not collectible. Doesn't mean you can't collect them it just means you will probably loose money. German film cameras are collectible. Buy Leica and maybe get a return on your investment.
  20. It's collectable (to you) if you enjoy owning it. It doens't have to be a thing of great monetary value. I picked up almost all of the antique cameras in my collection for a song, and I don't expect I could sell them for much. However, I really enjoy having them.
  21. I knew a guy who used to say: "If I can stack it, I'll collect it!"
  22. I am collecting myself...and that is a lifelong endeavor... :p
  23. I have a 486 processor notebook computer I bought for school in 1994. Its useless now. I haven't thrown it away because it seems wrong after since I spent two grand on it and it takes up little space. As illogical as that is, I don't harbor any notions that 'It may be worth something one day'.
  24. William Michael

    William Michael Moderator Staff Member

    Canon released a Limited Edition Red EOS 1100D, Twin Lens Kit, and Camera Case. The bodies individually numbered and with certficates of authenticity. Some advertising included: "for collectors".
  25. Naturally, collectible value isn't just based on the number of "things" produced, it's based on the quantity of that thing that currently survive, in what condition...and of course, the demand for said thing. Many of the cameras being discussed here will, no doubt, be stored away for posterity, while many of them will be recycled when they have worn out there usefulness. Since there are no population surveys from grading services (as in coin collecting), it will be hard to know how many working examples survive. In which case, the market alone will dictate the value. Regardless, whomever has the nicest one at the trading table is likely to command the greatest price.

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