Why do we have to buy a camera body everytime ?

Discussion in 'Casual Photo Conversations' started by rashedahmed, Aug 26, 2008.

  1. You bought a Canon Mark3 or Nikon D3 for 4000-5000 US dollers.With in 2 years,sensor or megapixel upgrade
    makes the camera body worthless though it can work a few more years perfectly.We are bound to buy a new
    body for the sake of up-gradation.One MF digital back company recently said that they will replace the current CCD
    with the new one when it arrives.No need to buy the whole thing again.Can 35mm DSLR makers do the same ?
  2. It's all about marketing. Corporations must make money to survive, and to make money they need to make people feel the need to have the latest and 'greatest'. Not everyone falls for it, but many seem to - the story is as old as the hills. Do what you feel is right, and let others do the same...

    - Randy
  3. Spearhead

    Spearhead Moderator

    With in 2 years,sensor or megapixel upgrade makes the camera body worthless
    This isn't true at all. The 1DMk2 (non-N) runs over $2000 used and is four years since introduction. Unless $2000 is bus money to you, that's hardly "worthless."
  4. The technology you clamor for already exists. However, the cheapest digital medium format back, made by Mamiya, costs as much as the most expensive small format DSLR, the Canon 1dsMkIII. The MDR back for a Leica SLR costs as much as a Nikon D3 (or Leica M8).

    Why, exactly, does the latest camera render the last model "worthless"? I still use my D1x on occasion and still make money with my D2h and D2x. There are compelling reasons to update, including low noise at high ISO. But the main reason to upgrade is in order to remain competetive, not to own the latest shiny toy.
  5. No, they don't do that because they know that most 35mm digital users are megapixelwankers who get a stiff one if the new X or Y camera with X megapixels are released. Camera makers want to make money and they know how.
  6. The first reason is psychological. If you feel the need to upgrade then it is your own psychology about having the latest and greatest, susceptibility to marketing, etc.

    The second reason is technical. It is not just an upgrade of the sensor. There is also a dedicated image processing chip (Canon Digic, Nikon Expeed, etc) sometimes an external ADC. Many times these support multiple sensors but they would normally be designed to handle the best sensor and also the lower end stuff. A made of example would be the Expeed was designed to handle the 12MP D3 data at 9fps but could also work with the less/slower data from the 12MP D300 sensor at 5fps. Much of the image processing hardware is just that, fixed in hardware so it couldn't handle a new 20MP sensor.

    Also, with most new cameras at least on the Nikon side which I am more familiar with there is an update to the AF system which is also new hardware. Sometimes new metering hardware. New sensor features like liveview that require new hardware/software to support continuous readout.

    Your idea is certainly possible but it would require more engineering effort up front to make an upgradeable camera plus wouldn't be able to take advantage of all the new features. More importantly the cost would go up so more people would buy the cheaper non-upgradeable camera. Less people buying it will just make the cost go up even more.
  7. Making a complex device modular carries significant pros and cons. More mechanical and electronic joints/interfaces that now must be made to even higher standards, lest they fail... and which present new opportunities for dust and moisture intrusion. Standard parts interfaces presume that their designers can see the future well enough to know what they'll need for a long, long time before they even get around to inventing new things they'd want the standard to support. It's far more complicated (and potentially fragile) then most people think. You can fix that, but it costs a great deal more money.
  8. I don't have a lot of sympathy for manufacturers who make design changes to sell more cameras. But when it
    comes to cameras, II really don't think that's why the changes are made. In order to stay in business a manufacturer
    (like Nikon) makes changes so that it will offer more features than a competitor, and therefore sell more cameras
    than its competitor (Canan). In self preservation, Canon must then make changes that make it superior to the
    newest Nikon.

    This process will repeat itself until one of the players is worn out and leaves the field to the competition.

    So, you may ask, why doesn't one manufacturer simply build the finest camera possible and avoid building the
    lesser cameras altogether? Like never build the D1, and D2x, and go right to the D3. Because technology builds on
    preceding technology. Each is an improvement over the previous model, and you can't simply skip over it.

    The real answer to your complaint is to not purchase an upgrade unless and until it contains features you can't live
    without. And then you can sell the old one and recoup part of your investment.
  9. What Jeff said, but adding.........who cares what the megapixel count is...when the Loch Ness monster surfaces (just a few miles from where I live) it will matter not a whit that I use my 1DsMk2 or my shirtpocket Canon point 'n'shoot. Its the content that counts, and on either camera the image will 'look after me' comorftably into my pensionable years.
  10. Actually it is not necessary at all to buy new bodies every year or two. A current model is very capable for many years. Mostly people buy new bodies a lot is because of materialism and self image identification. A high level pro probably is different in some cases. So you could think of what your level is and what is it you photograph. Most people shoot family, vacations and hobby pictures to show to their friends and family and they go ooh my that is beautiful.

    Leica had a thing for a while for sensor and electronic upgrades but that died when the CEO was ran out of town.
  11. Nice thing about modern "classic" film cameras (Mamiya 7-II, Fuji RF cameras, Leica M and R, VC Bessas, Zeiss-Ikons,
    etc.) is that you don't have to worry about them being bypassed by new film camera developments (even thought Fuji is to present this
    year a new MF film camera). Films will likely be around for several lifetimes. You can still buy Daguerrotype materials, so why not films,
    albeit less numerous in quantity.
  12. A digital camera body is a magic box full of wonderful photographs that all have a short expiration date. You must turn the camera upside down and shake out as many photos as possible within two years. After that the magic photos disappear and you must buy a new magic box.
  13. How often and why do you buy new car?
  14. The discombobulators used by all the DSLR makers are subject to oxidation over time. Oxidation means compositions get skewed and that can be bad for pros, trying to sell their pictures.

    There's a start up in Silicon valley that hopes to make synthetic discombobulators, but their good results are still years into the future.

    Until then, we all must be mindful of the discombobulators, and well, I often store my DSLR bodies in plastic zip-locked bags to slow down the oxidation process.

    ...and besides, the chicks can't resist a guy lugging the latest black brick around with long, long glass....
  15. Dan ^ is single... by the way ;)
  16. Dan somenoe should tell my wife that, she has no problems resisting me with long glass around my neck (usually muttered comments about some "damned camera hobby" and she wanders off).

    MF cameras have that to a degree with replacable backs. Are you suggesting replacing just the sensor itself? Or the equivelent of a replacable back like MF cameras have? For a replacable sensor it would be extremely difficult, for a replacable back, I could see it being doable, but a lot of other things are changed with quite a bit of frequency.

    What I would LOVE to see someone do is come out with a replacable back for film SLR cameras that was digital. If they work on it they could probably keep the actual internals to a resonable size and then mount those innards to various different backs for different cameras. I think it would be a huge amount of engineering work, but I bet it would be doable, especially if they cut down on the features of the back, heck maybe no LCD at all, the sensor, AD converters, image processor, memory storage, small power supply, something to trip the sensor on when the shutter releases (maybe a simple photovoltaic cell with very fast reaction times) and a simple selector on the back to select ISO.

    A pipe dream I know.
  17. "when the Loch Ness monster surfaces "
    Well said John, well said. Digital technology is advancing at a rate that is much faster than the rate at which the AF film SLR's used to. These days it is easy to lose focus what really makes a photo, especially when we spend too much time reading about the latest camera body releases on the internet.
  18. Hey, I've got a great idea. Let's just freeze the introduction of any innovation. That way we can all be thrilled with our always up-to-date, never outmoded 480x640 pixel cameras! Back in the early days of computers there were efforts to make "standard bus" models that could be updated so as never to obsolete the computer. I'm pretty sure that there weren't one in a hundred of those that were ever actually updated, because it was not only the peripherals and the processor that went out of date, the bus itself was soon outdated as well. Similarly, a camera is a lot more than just a sensor. I still have a nice 480x640 pixel digital camera, it works today just as well as it ever did. No one forces me to upgrade, but I may choose to do so.
  19. The cost to upgrade the sensor would exceed the cost of a new body.
  20. I am all for other people buying lots of new bodies. I am shooting 35mm and MF film for now. I will get back into digital when they get to cheap and compact 25 MP bodies with IS and a higher dynamic range. Until then, everyone else should buy lots of new bodies every two years to drive the research and keep the megapixel wars going.

    In any case, in a few years people are going to have noting nice to say about flat-sensor cameras that don't instantly scan from right next to the camera to infinity recording the highest-contrast pixels as it goes to get everything in perfect focus.
  21. High tech product turnover, if you didn't notice, is one of the prime drivers of the modern economy. It's not just cameras.
    It's cell phones, flat-screen tvs, computers--anything electronic.
  22. Uh, I think it's time to do that upgrade now JDM.
  23. We have to buy them because nobody is giving them away.
  24. The digital camera makers are dependent on semiconductors and the semiconductor industry.

    Semiconductor companies live by constantly improving, innovating and reducing the cost of the their product. Anyone who falters dies. The camera makers, like the computer makers, are forced to constantly innovate for fear of losing their customer base and their businesses.

    As long as the semiconductor industry continues to double component density every 18 months as it has for over 30 years no camera maker dares to freeze their product line and stop development of new models.
  25. 12MP is probably all that anyone will ever need for full-frame and crop-frame digital cameras. Beyond that, the reason for buying is largely going to be based on the cult of novelty. Professionals shooting for large blow-ups should be shooting medium formats anyway. There is also the issue of diffraction. At 12MP, many cameras are already facing the problem of the sensor having higher resolution than the lens can maintain stopped down to f/22 or f/16. 4/3's and crop factor cameras are pretty much already at this diffraction limit. This means if camera makers want to sell cameras at 20MP for full-frame sensors they might have to begin warning customers to keep the aperture above f/16, or sell faster lenses that bottom out at f/16. The higher the resolution of the sensor, the lower and lower the aperture number is that it can resolve before hitting softness due to diffraction... the problem is that if you want infinite DOF going from the sky to the foreground, you need those high aperture numbers to get detail. So super MP cameras will basically be screwing the user out of sharpness for landscapes.
  26. Thanks guys for your valuable comments.In film days (when there was nothing but films) we bought
    pro bodies (Canon EOS 1V or Nikon F5) and keep clicking for 8-10 years comfortabley.The films
    are upgraded by their manufacturars form time to time.
  27. The professional level films available today are absolutely wonderful Rashed. If you have a film body hanging around you should really give the Kodak Portra stuff a spin... it's fantastic! The 400 ISO films have very low grain and the colors with the VC are bright and with the NC are just perfect for skin tones.
  28. Patrick,I would love to use bromides or transparencies.I have a Bronica ETRSi in a very good condition.
    Unfortunately,our local Fuji dealer stopped processing all kinds of films.Kodak is not strong in Dhaka, Bangladesh.So,my Bronica is an antic camera now and digital backs are not affordable eighter.
  29. Patrick, have you seen the recent camera announcements? Canon 50D with 15MP in 1.6X crop. Last year's 1DsMkIII is 21MP full frame. I never shot at f16 or f22 with FILM because of diffraction so I avoid them on digital as well. Most of the people who spend $8000 on a 1DsMkIII are professionals who hopefully understand diffraction. The one person I know who has one also has a Hasselblad H2D. His opinion is that the 1DsMkIII is 90% of the camera that the H2D is for 1/4 the price. Many of the studio photographers taking pictures of models for magazines need the resolution but I doubt they are shooting at f11 or smaller.
  30. ..when the Loch Ness monster surfaces (just a few miles from where I live) it will matter not a whit that I use my 1DsMk2 or my shirtpocket Canon point 'n'shoot.
    From analysis of previous photos it seems pretty clear that Nessie, Sasquatch and the other cryptozoological wonders have an uncanny sense for the presence of high-quality photographic equipment, and avoid it like the plague. I'd suggest carrying only a pinhole camera made from an oatmeal box, loaded with whatever 10-year-old 3200 ISO film stock you can get your hands on. It should increase your odds of getting a shot markedly.
  31. Your camera's only as good as it's lenses, so invest in those if you have to chose. That said, the recent DP inovations are to great to ignore.
  32. Good point, in this particular context.

    As lens design is not evolving as fast as DP sensors and software, and excellent lenses represent a major part of cost,
    choose the absolute best lens line you can and don't worry about the camera body (versus upgrade or not), as the change
    of body (say, every 5 years or longer) is not going to be a major element of your cost.
  33. Mark Ci - The ability of cryptozöomorphs to avoid high quality photographic equipment is undoubtedly simply
    another example of the "skeptic" effect.

    It is a well-known _fact_ that scientific or controlled (as opposed to anecdotal) research suppresses all
    spiritualistic and esp phenomena. It's (as we used to say) all those "negative vibes".
  34. This is why I refuse to spend a lot of money on a DSLR. I do use DSLR's and know that they are for all practical purposes "Disposable." Now I have no problem throwing money at my medium format cameras because if the Digital back gets out dated I can simply buy a new one without tossing out the entire camera (e.g. Mamiya) For the cost of 2 modern DSLR's I can buy one medium format camera system with a whopping 22 megapixle back that is useful for many times longer than any DSLR. If 22 megapixles isn't enough, there's a 39 megapixle back available too. I really can't see the logic of shelling out $4,500 for a DSLR that you will be sick of in 3 years. Want a nice camera system that you can upgrade sensors when as needed? Stop throwing money away and go medium format.

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