Saturday, July 31, 2010

Will there be a valuable, antique digital camera in the future?

While in a VT antique shop, I sadly realized their will never be a valuable antique digital camera.
Charging cables, connecting cables, boxes and manuals, batteries, even recording media, will most likely be gone in 20 years unless you are a fanatic.
In the meantime, how many Kodak Brownies or even Canon AE-1's have you seen in antique shops or flea markets?

What do you think?


  1. Just yesterday came across heap of old cameras in Urban Ore (Berkeley, CA) and was thinking how enticing & irresistibly derelict, and then found, at the bottom, this truly crazy-looking Polaroid gizmo looking like something out of Space Odyssey. Maybe it can fly...

  2. I love walking into a junk store or a flea market and seeing some old, mechanical beast, grabbing it, clicking the shutter a few times, looking through the viewfinder, winding it, and, for ten bucks, having a camera I could use every day starting right then and there. No battery, no charging, no instructions needed. That's how I got my first Canonet (not that a Canonet is a beast).

  3. Logically there will be a time when digital cameras become antique. The question is whether they will work? Will we know how to get them to work? Some of the bakelite Brownie cameras are beautiful objects in themselves. Will we think the same of early digital cameras? As Choe En Lai once said; "It's too early to tell".

  4. I was just home visiting my wife's family and ran across a small stack of DV tapes with random footage of my son's infant and toddler years. I realized if I don't get them entirely copied over to hard drives before I misplace the camcorder, they'll be lost to us entirely. Same for the ZIP 100 disks I found, which I decided I just have to toss out. I fear we are working on a potential black hole in our collective memory through technology obsolesence, as hard as that is to imagine with the volume of work that digital allows us to pump out every second, minute, hour, day.

  5. Full disclosure: I LOVE film and I'm not a huge fan of digital photography. I don't think there will ever be a valuable or useful antique digital camera. And like Scott above mentioned, it won't be like walking into a vintage store and fiddling with a camera and then buying it and using it immediately. You likely won't even be able to see if it works in the store.

    I do use a digital camera for my snapshots but even so it fills me with heartache to do so. My lack of time means that many of my family pictures don't get printed which means that my child is missing out on remembering far away relatives and events that happened in the past. So what does this disconnection with our memories do to our children? How will affect our family relations? What will happen when my daughter sees a picture of herself with her dance class but remembers she wasn't actually at the photo shoot?

    Interesting times.

  6. Gizmos like digital cameras are built to become obsolete, whereas a camera like a Hasselblad is built to last. Planned obsolescence means more waste; throwaway objects use more natural resources; having to get the latest, greatest version also results in more consumer spending. (How many digital shooters have upgraded their cameras over and over again as the technology improves?) Profit is the tail that wags the dog. No, I don't think we'll be seeing digital cameras in antique stores.