When I took up photography in the 1990s, I started with second-hand Pentax Spotmatics and Canon SLRs from the ’70s. They were great, but I aspired to greater things like the Leica M6 and Pentax 645, and took out an expensive bank loan over two years to buy them. However, once I paid off the loan, that was it – I had some quality kit that would last a lifetime.
Then came digital, and what is an expensive purchase now becomes technically obsolete overnight, with little or no resale value. But it gets worse. You can buy a top- of-the-range £1,000 iPhone and take pictures with it, and as soon as you get it home, you learn that the next model is already planned. How can we ever play catch up here? I would never buy an iPhone as a camera. What’s the point? As soon as it’s paid for, they expect you to buy a replacement. Andrew S Redding No one buys an iPhone, or any other phone, just to use as a camera. But if you’re going to buy a smartphone for all the other benefits, then you may as well factor the quality of the camera into the equation. Yes, technology is always improving and the camera on the next one might be better, but your obsolescence point is only an issue if you insist on always having the latest model. If a camera (or phone) suited your needs when you bought it, it doesn’t suddenly not suit your needs any more just because a newer and better version has been released. The alternative would be to stop technological progress in order to avoid upsetting people who bought a previous model – Nigel Atherton, Editor