What cameras, available now, will be sought after in the future?

Discussion in 'Casual Photo Conversations' started by Colin O, Mar 24, 2021.

  1. Back around the end of the 90s and early 00s, I got a little fascination with panoramic photography. I considered buying a Hasselblad XPan for a while, and even tried one out one day - I called to the Hasselblad distributor in my city, and they let me put a roll into a demo body, and even let me wander around outside with it - I could simply have walked away and never come back. Ultimately I decided against the XPan, and bought a Noblex camera instead (which I have been very pleased with, and which I continue to use), but I always still kind of lusted after an XPan over the years.

    Now, 20 years later, I've no intention of buying one, but I notice that used prices are still strong - around about 3000 GBP on eBay for an XPan II with 45mm lens.

    What camera, available now, do you think people will be lusting after in 2040? Is there any? Maybe nobody will be interested in today's digital cameras, and XPans will still be selling strongly on the used market then.
  2. Anything Leica
  3. Its like stocks or any other investment. If only we knew...
  4. Sandy Vongries

    Sandy Vongries Administrator Staff Member

    IMO the issue is mechanical vs. electronic. Mechanical cameras can be repaired for a very long time as evidenced by the presentations made by several members. Electronic ones are dependent on batteries, media, and electronic components which frequently become unavailable. In the last year, I have purchased two older top pro Nikons. They are nearly pristine, low shutter count, work perfectly and are great fun, but I got them for a tiny fraction of their original retail prices. My older film Nikons have held value as a percentage of retail more than most of the digital. There is always gold and silver. :rolleyes:
    Last edited: Mar 24, 2021
    za33photo likes this.
  5. None of the currently available digital cameras will still function in 2040 - so no one will be lusting after them. As Sandy points out, some mechanical ones might still hold appeal - so I would be rather doubtful whether film will still be available to actually use in them.
    za33photo likes this.
  6. If only! ;)
    Fore sight would be a handy. I had the xpan w/2 lenses and after a 6 months decided it wasn't a good fit. I sold for a substantial loss to buy a nikon 9000 scanner (still holding for a good price, but for how long?) My m8 leica hasn't held a resale value very well.
    Books! As a book collector, of photography and all the arts, i have seen some outrageous resale prices. Hard to imagine who is actually buying them but the asking prices for many books that sold for 10-50$ new/used are consistently offered for hundreds and on occasion more.
    Last edited: Mar 24, 2021
  7. You said it!
  8. SCL


    20 years from now I don't think any cameras will be lusted after...although there will always be a few people looking to experiment with old technology. Probably a few mechanical cameras will hold nostalgic appeal, such as some Leicas, maybe a few Nikons, Canons, and Minoltas. But for the most part, I think today's crop of digitals will be long forgotten as historical relics, just as chamberpots and outhouses were replaced by indoor toilets.
    za33photo likes this.
  9. For people who want to make pictures out of light-sensitive materials cameras like my 8x10 field camera are available now.
    The same camera taken into the past could have made photographs before there was digital technology, battery makers, film makers, or electricity.
    In the deep future when digital, batteries, film, and electricity are long abandoned the same camera would still be able to make photographs.
    There will be a continuing demand for this sort of camera or, with the advances in 3D printing, people will be able to turn one out whenever they want one.
    za33photo likes this.
  10. Non, even now, those sought after cameras, only sought after by collectors or hobbyists.
  11. None. Well the collectable brands and as Maris points out the large format stuff.
  12. The only cameras that I can think of would be a Leica MP or M-A. That is, if film still has a valid use case. It does now, but maybe not in the future. I'm not sure.

    If we start looking at lenses, we will also find that very few modern lenses will be sought after in the future, apart from Leica M and large format lenses.
    za33photo likes this.
  13. Current stuff? Nothing digital, I doubt they will hold the same level of interest film cameras do now. It seems to be the nature of electronics, as soon as the new model comes out the old ones become doorstops. Older sound gear, computers, you name it. Meanwhile old cars command strong money and a lot of film cameras are in demand. Iā€™m guessing any decent Nikon, Canon, Leica, Hassy and others will hold up in the market.

    Rick H.
    za33photo likes this.
  14. Mechanical and electronic have different failure modes.

    Mechanical things tend to wear out slowly, work less and less well.
    Electronic ones tend to fail suddenly. I am not so sure how that will
    turn out in the end.

    I don't see why today's digital cameras won't work in 20 years, though many might not.
    Keeping enough of the appropriate memory cards around, and the ability to read them,
    will be needed. Whether we will want to use them, I don't know.

    But yes, I don't know that there will be any that will be lusted after, but
    maybe still in some demand for historical/hobbyist value.
    (There are people who use other 30 or 40 or 50 year old electronic
    equipment for historical or hobbyist reasons.)

    In recent years, the value of most 35mm film cameras have fallen pretty fast,
    though medium format not so fast. I suspect eventually medium format film
    cameras will also drop.
  15. iPhone
    mikemorrell and za33photo like this.
  16. A lot of people just plain like the old metal mechanical stuff :D.
    PapaTango likes this.
  17. Hard to say. Hasseblad & Leica, probably, esp. the MF models. As physist Niels famously once said "Prediction is very difficult, especially if it's about the future". Given the speed at which digital technology is developing, it's difficult to guess at the imaging technolgy that might be available in 20 years time. We might be wearing digital 'viewfinders' and adjusting settings via a 'Siri-like voice interface''. 'Always on-line' and AI are likely to become core functions of mobile devices.

    So you never know, there could be nostalgia for the relative simplicity of the current/past generation of digital cameras:).
  18. For people who want to live be deadened by the definitions of their ancestors ...
  19. This is an interesting question. Are any of the digital cameras from 20 years ago still desirable, or collectable, or even usable today? My Nikons and Nikkormats date back to about 55 years ago and my Rolleiflex is at least 60 years old and all of them still work and will continue to work as long as film is available.
    luis triguez likes this.

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