Ob­so­les­cence

Amateur Photographer - - Your Letters -

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

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