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How long do cheap P&S cameras last?

Discussion in 'Photography' started by Dennis Nicholls, Aug 26, 2019.

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  1. Dennis Nicholls

    Dennis Nicholls Executive Producer

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    My Canon Powershot SD600 has been good enough for me. Its features are now obsolete, e.g. max 2GB memory card, 3X optical zoom. But recently the switches are failing. Several don't work reliably anymore: film/still, on/off, etc. I have to toggle them several times until they work.

    I dug out the receipt: bought 17 February 2007. I guess it's time for a replacement. Just $100 buys a better P&S these days.

    How long are these things supposed to last? I know people with film cameras that are 50 years old and still going strong.
     
  2. Sam Posten

    Sam Posten Moderator
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    3 years. No more and no less. =)
     
  3. JohnRice

    JohnRice Executive Producer

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    You are talking about cheap cameras. I'd say 12 years is pretty good. Besides, you probably can't imagine how much digital cameras has improved in 12 years. Just get a new one. Don't go with a mega zoom lens.
     
  4. Message #4 of 9 Aug 29, 2019
    Last edited: Aug 29, 2019
    Scott Merryfield

    Scott Merryfield Executive Producer

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    Or, if you are happy with the zoom capabilities of your current camera, you may just want to use your smartphone. Low-end digital cameras are mostly being replaced by some pretty nice cameras on phones. My wife never uses the Canon Powershot SD model I bought for her several years ago, instead opting for her phone's camera which is at least as good for the snapshots she takes. The worst part about her using a smartphone as a camera is getting her to turn the camera into landscape mode when the shot calls for it (which is most of the time) instead of taking every picture holding it in portrait mode.

    If you want a step up in quality over a smartphone, you need to look at something with a larger sensor -- at least one inch, but ideally APS-C. A mirrorless body with an APS-C sensor and interchangeable lenses would be a huge step up, but a lot more costly and cumbersome if you are used to an all-in-one solution.
     
  5. Dennis Nicholls

    Dennis Nicholls Executive Producer

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    Canon used to offer a wide price range of P&S cameras, all the way down to the $25 range. The cheap ones have all been dropped. The cheapest one now is the ELPH 180, which Amazons for $109. I'm guessing the impact of the cellphones has been to destroy the bottom end of the market.

    I went ahead and ordered a Canon ELPH 180, with a pair of spare batteries. I have several SD memory cards around the house already.

    The 180 doesn't use the "slide switch" that failed on the 600. I guess Canon had problems with that. The 180 has similar specs to their bottom DSLR models but fits into a pocket / fannypack easier. An 8x optical zoom, 20Mpixel resolution, and you can turn off the auto modes and do most of the things you want manually. https://www.usa.canon.com/internet/p...shot-elph-180/

    I don't have/carry a cellphone. I'm single and retired. I don't have a wife and I don't have a boss, so why would I lug around a cellphone?
     
  6. David Norman

    David Norman Producer

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    50-80yo mechanical cameras with a lot less moving parts -- don't scratch the lens, don't expose it to the weather. I know my uncle still has a Japanese camera from the 50's he bought serving on the DMZ after Korea that still works great if he wanted to use it.

    Lot most things like refrig, ovens, and washers (probably cars) -- the more analog it is the easier to fix and longer it probably will be functional. Digital has large advantages, but durability/repairability is not one of them. That said, my Powershot A20 from around 2001 is still functioning perfectly (max 2.1). My wife's Elph something or another from 2008-2010 (??) still seems to be working well
     
  7. Scott Merryfield

    Scott Merryfield Executive Producer

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    Not really. The ELPH has a tiny sensor compared with any DSLR, which means worse low light performance and less detail if you want to enlarge a photo. Autofocus perfomance, responsiveness, etc. will all be better with a DSLR, too. Compact cameras can be very useful due to their portability -- after all, the camera you will bring with you is much better than one you leave at home because it's too big. However, don't fool yourself into thinking it's just like a low end DSLR.

    As for the cell phone thing, not owning one is certainly a lifestyle choice. However, I am retired and still find a smartphone essential for making my life easier. I can keep in touch with family and friends when we are traveling, manage finances on the go, navigate to destinations via Google Maps, contact friends to arrange get togethers no matter where we are, listen to my music collection while on an airplane, watch a sporting event wherever I may be, check out reviews of a restaurant beforehand while out of town, etc. -- and it's a nice portable still and video camera, too. Modern smartphones are really tiny, mobile computers that can also make phone calls. FYI, I just finished depositing a check into my bank account using my phone before checking HTF, saving me a trip to the bank.
     
  8. BobO'Link

    BobO'Link Producer

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    I have a cell phone - it's an unlocked one without cell service (I hate all phones and certainly don't want the annoyance of a portable one - even then it'll make 911 calls). I use it solely for taking photos and videos with a small amount of web stuff on occasion. I picked it up on a closeout sale a couple of years back (marked down to ~$30). For my use/needs it's perfect and is as good as most ~$100 cameras (smaller too). I just use the charging cable to transfer the files to my computer to keep it cleaned off and ready for use.
     
  9. DaveF

    DaveF Moderator
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    Would you be interested in an ultra-portable (pocketable), high quality camera with integrated photo editing software, and online backup service (that happens to include a free phone app)? I’ve got one of these and I love it! So many pictures of my cats and my vacations! (The phone app I mostly ignore) :)
     

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