Forgot Password
Pentax Camera Forums Home
 

Reply
Show Printable Version Search this Thread
02-14-2013, 02:19 PM   #1
Inactive Account




Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Cheyenne, Wyoming
Posts: 18
DSLR vs SLR camera life

I have several SLR cameras with the oldest being around 40 years old. All of them still work. Do you think todays DSLR cameras will last as long?

02-14-2013, 02:32 PM - 1 Like   #2
Administrator
Site Webmaster
Adam's Avatar

Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Arizona
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 43,280
Nope, not even close IMO, considering the fact that technology is getting better every year. In 10 years today's cameras will seem sluggish and under-performing compared to the latest that's available. Lenses, on the other hand, are an entirely different story, so if you're planning to make an investment, that's where it should be IMO. After all, pro glass on a cheap DSLR is better than cheap glass on a pro DSLR

Adam
PentaxForums.com Webmaster (Site Usage Guide | Site Help | My Photography)



PentaxForums.com's high server and development costs are user-supported. You can help cover those costs by donating. Or, buy your photo gear from our affiliates, Adorama, B&H Photo, or Topaz Labs, and get FREE Marketplace access - click here to see how! Trusted Pentax retailers:

02-14-2013, 02:40 PM   #3
Moderator PEG Judges
Kerrowdown's Avatar

Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Highlands of Scotland.
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 32,872
The older cameras were more mechanical and could be fixed when they went wrong.

Today were all electronic which wont be fixable in ten or twenty years.
02-14-2013, 02:53 PM   #4
Veteran Member
JonPB's Avatar

Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Portland, OR, USA
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 430
I don't see any specific reason why the cameras won't work in a decade or two. Adam is correct that technology will progress, making current cameras less desirable...but then who would have thought that a 50+ year-old, fully manual camera would still attract the interest of active photographers? The bigger problem might be that file formats change: what are the odds of being able to buy a SDHC memory card in 20 years? How about replacement batteries? 35mm film has proven to be exceptionally resilient in the market, but look at other film formats--110, APS--that have rendered hardware designed for it completely obsolete. Sure, the cameras still work, but they don't function in a broader sense. That said, if the electronics in a camera from three decades ago still work fine today, considering how much we've learned about electronics, and assuming that we're talking about rugged mid-level or higher cameras that can be plugged into a wall--I think these cameras will still turn on and operate the way they were designed for far longer than anyone will want to use them.

02-14-2013, 03:02 PM   #5
Inactive Account




Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Cheyenne, Wyoming
Posts: 18
Original Poster
That's my conclusion also. I just ordered a new K-30 to replace my K-100D which began malfunctioning last week . That seems to be the nature of software defined cameras. My K-100D was only five or six years old. Seeing some film in the store made me think about my old SLR cameras.
02-14-2013, 03:09 PM   #6
Site Supporter
jatrax's Avatar

Join Date: May 2010
Location: Oregon
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 10,772
QuoteOriginally posted by JonPB Quote
I don't see any specific reason why the cameras won't work in a decade or two. Adam is correct that technology will progress, making current cameras less desirable...but then who would have thought that a 50+ year-old, fully manual camera would still attract the interest of active photographers? The bigger problem might be that file formats change: what are the odds of being able to buy a SDHC memory card in 20 years? How about replacement batteries? 35mm film has proven to be exceptionally resilient in the market, but look at other film formats--110, APS--that have rendered hardware designed for it completely obsolete. Sure, the cameras still work, but they don't function in a broader sense. That said, if the electronics in a camera from three decades ago still work fine today, considering how much we've learned about electronics, and assuming that we're talking about rugged mid-level or higher cameras that can be plugged into a wall--I think these cameras will still turn on and operate the way they were designed for far longer than anyone will want to use them.
I agree, there is no inherent reason that a DSLR would not be working 30 - 40 years from now. But they would essentially be impossible to repair over that time frame. And while a 40 year film camera is not really any different than one made today a digital camera will be vastly different in 40 years. If they even still exist in a form we would recognize as a camera. The hard part in keeping a DSLR that long will be batteries and perhaps memory cards to an extent. The mechanical film cameras can be repaired almost indefinitely because even if parts are unavailable a good machinist can fix or even build new parts for them assuming cost is no object. The electronics in DSLRs will be unavailable and impossible to repair.
02-14-2013, 05:25 PM   #7
Site Supporter




Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Michigan
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 2,185
Having sent (2) Pentax dslrs away for pro repair, and then having pulled (2) apart for repair by me, and reading the threads here, I would say the biggest problem is with the switch contacts (mainly e-dial, also rear buttons) , followed by the battery or power switch contacts. But maybe it is improving because I see less reports of problems with the K-7 and K-5.

The other problem is damage consequential to dis-assembly. One pro repair was returned here with the original button problems fixed, but the flash did not work.

I had same problems on re-assembly, with the top plate circuits wires breaking, diopter mech, and flash parts etc being difficult.
Even with a donor camera, I was not able to fix a faulty e-dial switch because it is surface mount on the top main flex. Used contact spray right into switch but it only lasted 3 months.

If you have an older Pentax dslr, be sure to exercise all its buttons and switches occasionally, I had 2 button failures that came OK with repeated use.
02-15-2013, 01:10 PM   #8
Pentaxian




Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Ontario
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 2,570
We're harder on the mechanical bits than in the film days. I'd wager that not many k1000's had 10,000 pictures taken with them per year.

There's also less incentive to repair, especially with a 5 or 6 year old 'entry level' camera. By this point, the new models are a noticeable improvement and what you 'save' by not repairing your k100d you can pretend is taking a good chunk out of the price of the k30. For cameras in the multi thousand $$ range, prolonging the life by repairing might be more financially attractive.

02-15-2013, 01:25 PM   #9
Veteran Member
mrNewt's Avatar

Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: ON, RH
Posts: 2,170
Yes, I think they will still work if you take care of them (and we consider good quality cameras like K10D, K5 etc) - I see no reason as to why they won't.

Somewhere deep down inside a drawer I have a 10 year old (if I remember correctly) digital Olympus and works just as good as when I got it (I was actually having a few laughs a couple of weekends ago with it - that IQ is sooooo bad ).

Obviously though, as features and speed and IQ, they will be outdated!
02-15-2013, 01:45 PM   #10
Pentaxian




Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Alameda, CA
Posts: 3,198
What are the most delicate mechanisms in SLR & DSLR? Mirror and shutters.

Technologies may advance, but those two are virtually unchanged for several decades.

In addition to those two, SLRs have film advance/rewind, which is pretty simple and easy to fix. DSLRs have sensors and gazillions other electronic items. Fixing electronic items, while possible, in most cases does not make economic sense.

I think in general, DSLRs do not last as long as SLRs.

On the other hand, P&S digital cameras, which do not have many moving parts, probably last very long.
02-15-2013, 02:04 PM   #11
Site Supporter




Join Date: Apr 2011
Photos: Albums
Posts: 3,516
Modern electronics such as must be used n DSLR to make them a reasonable size and weight presents another problem. The chip feature sizes are at the small end of what is currently achievable in chip making. The feature sizes are now of the order of a small number of atoms making the chips much more vulnereable to imperfections ofthe chip and to diffusion of the doping (which is what makes them work). The effect is that there is likely to be failure of one or more devices after a small number of years. This is one reason why mobile phones fail after 3-5 years, but most people do not care because they turn them over for a new model after the two years of their telco contract. In the days of discrete device electornics (as in the old SLRs) or old, large feature chips, the reasonable lifetime was of the order of 20-25 years, and it was reasonable to hope to find a replacement part, or drop in equivalent, when repairs were needed. Now the devices which are most likely to fail are usually made for OEM supply only, never offered to the public, and only supported for the original production run of the OEM and their orders for warranty repair demand and few left over for safety. This makes them a bit like product specific mechanical components, but without the possibility that someone with drawings could fabricate their own replacement.

SDHC cards will disappear sometime in the next decade or a little more. But unlike film, old ones will still work. Solution, buy a few and treat them gently so they do not get broken. Another advantage of making the investment of buying good quality rather than the cheapest you can find.

But since computers will probably not have SD slots in a modest time make sure you do not lose the USB cable with the special size connector that plugs onto the computer. But then, how long will USB be supported?

As for batteries, that is a good reason to have a camera which is capable of using common type, standard supermarket size batteries, such as AA alkaline or AA NiMH. Even if the battery technology advances, there is so much legacy stuff around that battery makers will make the new technology compatible with old kit to increase their market for their batteries.

Summary: a DSLR body life is probably more like a decade, after which other issues may make it obsolete.

These things will also be a serious issue for the archival storage of photos. It is much less likely that there will be discoveries of photos sets in the attic from the presnt period in 2110 than it is now to find previously unknown stashes of early 20th century photos.
02-15-2013, 02:50 PM   #12
Pentaxian
redrockcoulee's Avatar

Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Medicine Hat
Posts: 2,135
I do not see SD cards being a problem in the future, cassette tapes and VHS tapes are still around. In film 110 has made a comeback last year with at least 3 new 110 films coming out. A couple of years ago we borrowed a Fuji GX680, a beast of a good medium format film camera however the battery would not charge and are not available. There are work around solutions that costs hundreds of dollars. We took the battery to a automotive battery place and for $40 they rebuilt it and it worked great.

The point I am trying to make is it is almost impossible to guess what will continue to be supported in the future. Ten years ago who thought vinyl records may be still made even after CDs production ceased and yet that looks more likely. There may be some feature that the current digital cameras provide us that will be lost in future models that will be come popular and if the Impossible Project can make instant film again without the assistance of the original formulas surely CD cards can still be made. The electronics may fail and the cameras may no longer work but those that do work might still be able to be used. On the other hand my 90 year old view camera has no parts that cannot be remade today easier than any digital repair. As long as there is a desire to have them work some one will make it so. Even though we are in a much more disposable society than when film was the only image capture means around (and some think that is still so)
02-15-2013, 02:54 PM   #13
Pentaxian
Lowell Goudge's Avatar

Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Toronto
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 15,400
Considering I have every camera I ever bought, and they all still work, it is hard to tell, but I will say one thing, with exception of my k5 and this is only because it is the newest body, every one of my DSLRs has taken more shots that my three film bodies combined. The fact is we take more shots with digital than film, it all 7 of my Pentax camas still work
02-15-2013, 08:06 PM   #14
Veteran Member
Pepe Le Pew's Avatar

Join Date: Jan 2013
Photos: Albums
Posts: 589
K-30 is my first DSLR Camera...........

It Better last more then 10 years..............:P
02-15-2013, 08:29 PM   #15
Loyal Site Supporter
monochrome's Avatar

Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Kirkwood (St. Louis) MO
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 20,455
Unfortunately I think they'll be like a GM truck - the engine will last forever but else everything will fall off the frame around it.

Last edited by monochrome; 02-18-2013 at 08:45 AM.
Reply

Bookmarks
  • Submit Thread to Facebook Facebook
  • Submit Thread to Twitter Twitter
  • Submit Thread to Digg Digg
Tags - Make this thread easier to find by adding keywords to it!
camera, cameras, dslr, photography, slr
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Using Film SLR Lens Filters On DSLR Lenses Racer X 69 Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 19 12-14-2012 03:16 PM
Camera comparison: One X vs Galaxy S II vs Nexus vs N8 vs iPhone 4S jogiba Non-Pentax Cameras: Canon, Nikon, etc. 3 04-12-2012 07:41 AM
Turn your iPhone 4 into a DSLR using real SLR lenses interested_observer Non-Pentax Cameras: Canon, Nikon, etc. 24 08-02-2011 12:41 AM
newer film slr lens... dslr camera... ? CEWren Pentax DSLR Discussion 8 09-06-2010 08:25 PM
Old SLR Lens Work on DSLR Camera? TexasTom Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 9 11-04-2007 10:59 AM



All times are GMT -7. The time now is 04:50 PM. | See also: NikonForums.com, CanonForums.com part of our network of photo forums!
  • Red (Default)
  • Green
  • Gray
  • Dark
  • Dark Yellow
  • Dark Blue
  • Old Red
  • Old Green
  • Old Gray
  • Dial-Up Style
Hello! It's great to see you back on the forum! Have you considered joining the community?
register
Creating a FREE ACCOUNT takes under a minute, removes ads, and lets you post! [Dismiss]
Top