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Friday, 15 September 2017


Our family owns 2 DSLRs, both still seeing moderate use. The first is 12 years old and the second is 8. My wife and I have found it more difficult to carry a bulky camera and lenses around along with the kids and all /their/ stuff, so our most often used camera is a 1" sensor point and shoot that is 4 years old. Our kids share a rugged point and shoot that is 5 years old.

While my wife and I both love photography, the prints we've made with the cameras over the years have been satisfactory and so the priorities of family will likely keep us out of the upgrade cycle for many years to come. Good enough is good enough for us.

I've always bought at your point 10 or 11. If the Olympus EM1 Mark 2 makes a lot of sense for you (I agree) then a used Olympus EM 1 Mark 1 for pennies now makes even more sense.

I've been at least marginally rational in my camera buying. I started in the digital era by selling my Pentax 35 mm system to fund purchasing Canon's Eos-1Ds, at 11 mp arguably the first D-SLR that matched 35 mm film quality, in 2002. I upgraded 2 years later to the Mk II; the modest jump in resolution was less important that its much faster operation and much better LCD.
I waited until a year after the Eos-1Ds III came out, but finally got one, along with a backup Eos-5D mk II, in 2009. Their resolution suited my needs, and I used them constantly for 6 years. Shooting landscapes, video capability and autofocus speed were basically irrelevant so I felt no need to buy anything else. I finally did spring for the Eos-5DsR in 2015 because of its big jump in resolution, and the usability and focus advances were a nice bonus. 50 mp really does require basically large format technique to achieve its image quality potential, but it's well worth it. I'm still using a pair of 5DsR's for most of my photography.
I will confess to getting an Eos-5D mk IV for photographing people, with no regrets. The ergonomics, focus speed and touchscreen controls are great. But I surely didn't need it.
I've never been even briefly tempted to switch systems, because I have so much invested in high-end Canon mount lenses. It would not be remotely rational.

I assume we are talking digital here, as for film an altogether different norm applies. The longest I have kept (kept in use that is, as opposed to kept in a cupboard) a digital camera is 5 years, and that was my Olympus EM5. I only expected to have it in use for 3 years, but the updates were not compelling until the EM1 mkii appeared, and so the EM5 stayed. But I can see the update period expanding in the future and I'm quite OK with that.

I'm still using the iPhone 4 that I bought in 2010, but I'm going to jump to the X soon. I think that's a significant update as well.

I really prefer just to get something I love and then to keep it for a really long time (just ask my wife of 44 years: no updates possible – or allowed!)

It looks like I'm going to fall into a "normal" range, for a change (but just barely). My EM-1 is coming up on four years old and I hope to replace it next year with an EM-1mk2. I know the Mk.2 is expensive but (apropos of previous discussions about how the current state-of-the-art is reaching a level of sufficiency) I would hope to keep it for a long long time.
For reference (or perhaps just to muddy the waters), I used an Oly EPL-1 for two years but I used an Oly E-1 as my main shooter for seven years (2004-2011) so perhaps that's my range.

I kept my D800 four years and 8 months before I upgraded to the D810 in December 2016. Now Nikon is attempting to lure me to the new D850, but I plan to hold on to the D810 until -- well who knows. At the same time I am still using film cameras from the 1960s and 1970s, and they work great.

Mike writes:

Right now it's not just that I want an A6500 or a GX8 or an A7II or an X-T2, it's really that I want all of them.

Are you sure about that? If you really owned all those cameras, how would you manage to choose which one to take out? No camera is perfect - better to pick one and stick with it!

could you say the same about lenses?
and if so at what timeframe of obscolesence? does this has to do with sensor improvement or is it just the consequence of the improved in lens electronics?
i once remember how impressed were you with the pentax da 35 macro. will you still prefer it (or its tokina sibling if you shoot canikon ) for a crop sensor camera or you would rather have the latest sigma 35mm art that you also admire. i know the latter is heavier and full frame but i ask you to decide on image quality for a crop sensor camera.
i think the only stable technology out there will be tripods if you can carry the weight of the metal ones.

I'm currently using a pair of Nikon D4s and a D810. Until now I've bought every iteration of the single digit bodies, including the S versions in some cases. In fact I was looking at a to all intents and purposes mint D2XS sitting in my safe only this morning. But no more. I'm going to try to stretch the D4s out to eight years instead of four and get another four years from the D810, that will take me up to 2020 or thereabouts. Of course, I may dabble in Fuji in the meantime but the days of putting down the price of a new small car every couple of years for a pair of bodies are behind me.

I've wasted way too much money on cameras and lenses since starting to use digital in 2006, not to mention the accompanying never-ending update/replacement cycle for accessories (computers, back up drives, memory cards, software, filters, batteries, etc.). But I am happy with what I now have, and have even lost interest in reading about new gear (rumors, releases, reviews, etc.). If photographic gear acquisition is like riding a series of escalators up, I've reached my floor. No new gear for me until something breaks or stops working irreparably.

The oldest camera I am currently still shooting with is my 5 year old Canon 1DMKIV, and it is still gets pretty solid use. I also have a 5DMK IV (newest) and a 7DMII (second newest), which replaced their earlier versions. I shoot birds, wildlife and trains (sometimes even at the same time) so I like using several cameras at once with different lenses attached. I don't foresee anything from Canon in the future that would make me want to upgrade as often as I have in the past. Now the Sony a9 on the other hand...

I think the sufficiency of recent digital cameras is a big reason for the decline in sales relative to the "boom" years. Mirrorless lines are less mature than DSLRs, so you're more likely to see the IV have something that makes it stand apart from the III. I upgraded my A6000 to a (used) A6500 recently. But my other cameras are a D7000 (announced 7 years ago; I've had mine roughly 5 years) and an RX100 (I) which I've had for about 4 years.
Image quality is almost disappearing as a reason for an upgrade (within a format). New sensor developments are more about video or frame rates, fast readout for live view, PDAF on sensor, than about image quality. And DSLRs are pretty mature, while mirrorless still benefits from updates (and benefits more from recent sensor developments).
Consider the sensor IQ scores on DXOMark for APS-C cameras. Looking at just one brand (Nikon), 6MP cameras scored in the 50-55 range, 12 MP cameras in the 60-70+ range, 16MP cameras scored 80, and 24MP cameras anywhere from just above 80 to 87, while the newer 20MP sensors fall within that range. Big IQ improvements prior to 2010; much slower since.
A while ago, I came up with 4 years as a reasonable amount of time for me to get out of camera before thinking about an upgrade. I still think that works ... 4 years before thinking about it, not necessarily doing something about it. Not a rule (as evidenced by my recent upgrade of the A6000), just a number.

I use 3 camera bodies regularly -- Sony NEX-3 (purchased in'10) NEX-6 ('13), and A77ii ('15) -- plus an iPhone 7 ('17). I like having multiple camera bodies, keeping different focal length lenses attached at the ready.

2010 was a big inflection point for me, when cameras became "good enough". Social media sharing and printing 4x6 postcards are my primary use cases. I don't feel the need to upgrade all of the time anymore. Nowadays, I will replace when something breaks.

So, I agree,I think 3-7 year replacement rate is realistic versus the every other year of the Aughts. I'd hate to give up my NEX-3 though ... a little tank ... I was so apprehensive when I first bought that thing, but I have since embraced mirrorless for everyday shooting. I prefer DSLR-style ergonomics for sports shooting though.

November,2006: First digital:Nikon D200($1600). I had it for six months, rejected and sold it off when I found out it had easily-scratched plastic viewfinder optics.
April, 2007: Nikon D2Xs($5000). Liked the rugged, heavy body. D3 announced four months later. Waste of $5000.
April, 2008: Nikon D3. Liked the rugged, heavy body. Used it for 4.5 years. Paid for itself several times over if equated to the cost of buying, shooting, and processing E-6 film. Needed more pixels.
November, 2012: Nikon D800. Don't like the relatively fragile, semi-consumer camera body. Now almost 5 years, no substantially better unit to buy. Where's my D800(D850, whatever)sensor in a D3-like rugged/heavy body? It still doesn't exist.

I'm using an EM5 (2012) and a D300 (2007). I would probably cycle through every 3 years, but I bought a house. So realistically I can easily use a camera for 10 years or more.

Every now and then someone will express appreciation for a photo I took of them (mostly surfing); oddly enough they never bring up the camera and nowadays I don't even bother trying to remember that detail.

I owned my last camera for 12 years. I loaned it to NASA for a special project. The camera and it's accessories cost about 4 billion dollars. It's shutter would have lasted for 250 million actualizations or about one every second for the 12 years. They are now 250 mil hi-res images so my iMac pro has slowed down a little bit downloading all of those images. It recently stopped working as the local area reached temperatures too high for that older camera. Unfortunately NASA destroyed it or I would have traded it for a new one to B&H.

When digital photography was new it was almost essential to have the latest, most improved camera models with their evolving image quality. Camera lifespans were short, improvements were significant, and serious photographers were forced to keep up. Evolution that had taken decades when analog (film) photography was new now took place in just years, even months.

But we have now reached a stage of relative digital maturity: many, if not most current digital cameras are GOOD ENOUGH to produce files comparable to their analog antecedents. Yet, while last year's camera that was ballyhooed as the ultimate is no less excellent now than it was a year ago, this year's new and improved model has made it obsolete (it is said that perfection is the enemy of good, and consumers' pursuit of the perfect camera is how camera manufacturers stay in business).

For the past five and a half years I have been a very satisfied Fujifilm photographer, with a Fuji X10, X20, and for the last year an X30. However this Fuji line has been discontinued, largely because buyers no longer consider its sensors big enough.

But I've decided that the X30, with its little fingernail-sized sensor, suits me just fine. A joy to use, I take it everywhere in a small camera bag, and whip it out whenever I find a subject or situation to photograph. With its tilting LCD I can even photograph at waist level - one reason I upgraded from the X20 - making me even more inconspicuous out in the field.

The X30 feels a lot like an old screw-mount Leica in my hand, and produces files that allow me to make prints as large as my printer will allow (17x22"), which look great on walls - even gallery and museum walls. Why drive a Cadillac when a zippy little Mazda would do virtually everything I want it to?

Maybe.. some day, a camera maker will make a great camera that, has a sensor and other electronics modules that can be replaced/ updated? The Red Camera (cine) did this from day one.

It seems, once I get to know and like a digital camera, it's time to replace it with a "current model". My film cameras are old pals. None of my digital gear makes it into this close group of friends.

But wait! Yashica is teasing a new camera on their website, and there may be a new entrant into your 3-year race very soon!

My digital GAS is pretty much over. The last new camera I bought was a Fuji X100s on closeout. I have no wish to upgrade to the newer versions. My last second-hand camera was a Canon EOS 5D (Mk 1) which cost me 279 GBP. I love it and I see no reason to spend 3,349 GBP on the latest incarnation. More MP would only clog up my hard drive and give me more pixels to bin when I post to the web. My photography certainly wouldn't improve.

My challenge now is finding bargain film cameras and experimenting with film again, which I'm thoroughly enjoying.

Looking back at my small sample size of digital main rigs (discounting the small point and shoots), I'm right in your ballpark (S2IS - 3 years, Rebel XTi - 3 years, 7D - 5 years). Now here we are at the 3.5 year mark with the X-T1.

I've definitely been feeling the twitch lately with the first scraps of rumours about the X-T2s. Kind of like that first whiff of something in the kitchen making you realise that you were actually hungry all along. Uh oh.

And, as a Canuck, this is a worrying proposition as there has been a quite significant price... correction... since the halcyon days of 2014. I got my X-T1 for CAD$1300 with a free battery grip since I pre-ordered (CAD$250 value). The current X-T2 rings in at a throat clenching CAD$2,100. That is one spicy meatball.

Hi Mike, I think I have my OMD EM5 for five years , I think. Could be longer. I've always liked this camera, it's solid feel, 5 axis stabilization, it still has a lot going for it. And there's me! I'm 81, and photography keeps me young, - and there's a lot of other thinks I'd like to do, but can't.
I started with just the body, and used adapted 4/3 lenses from previous Olympus cameras. I've added to that with a few primes. Lately I've found it difficult bringing a camera to family events, and especially, city excursion. So I bought a GR II, which has the usual point and shoot limitations, but is optically very good, has my picture viewpoint being a wide angle,, and is also aging and due for a major change. When that happens, I'll keep what I have.

I bought my Pentax K20D some time in 2009, and bought my Pentax K3 in about March this year. I might have bought the K3 a year earlier, had I the money. It is and isn't a replacement for the K20D. It's now my main camera, as it can do so much more or can do it better than the earlier model.

But the K20D is fitted with a Katz Eye split image microprism/screen, so is matched up with old 24 and 50mm lenses and sometimes a 80-210mm zoom; it's generally my manual focus camera. The 50 is an f/1.4 lens, which gives easy focusing for portraits.

It being an older camera I have less concerns about messing around with it to improve things. So apart from the screen, there's a square of velcro on the AF button so I can tell it apart from the +/- button with the camera to my eye.

There's a wall of Sugru around the mode dial on the left hand end of the camera that stops it being knocked to the wrong position. I've stuck a few shiny green stars to the camera so I can quickly tell it from the K3.

I plan to buy the Pentax Magnifier Eyecup for it; it magnifies the V/F image by 1.18 times and with a bit of luck will make focusing the 24mm lens easier, and the 50mm even more lovely to focus than it already is.

The K3 is the original version, which has a flashgun that's replaced in the Mk2 by a built in astrotracer/GPS gizmo. The flashgun's of use to me. The gizmo isn't. One Wednesday I had one of the last ten put by for me until the Saturday, when I could get to SRS in Watford.

Superseded by the Mk2, there were no more coming from the importers. When I arrived at SRS, it was one of the last two or three new ones in the shop. I checked the website on Monday, and even the two used ones had been sold.

Cameras I've purchased new. Canon EOS Elan 7n film camera in 2006. Canon EOS 40D in 2007. Sony NEX 3n in 2013. I still have all of them, and they still work well for me.

What will my next new purchase be? Maybe the Monochrom version of Leica's M10, if it ever arrives.

Next used purchase may be a Leica CCD 10760 Monochrom from 2012.

What will I be using five years from now? Possibly an iPhone as my only digital camera, and maybe a small/light Leica LTM camera if I still have any interest film.

“How long do you think you're likely to keep the camera you're currently using?”

An interesting question. My current cameras are a 6D and a 750D. The 6D was my first FF camera and I’ve had it a couple of years or so, the 750D is the most recent of several Canon APS-C cameras I’ve had and is about 12 months old. I have a small number of reasonable EF & EF-S lenses, but nothing too stellar - f4 lenses rather than f2.8 for the full frame, for example.

I’m unlikely to change the 6D. The alternatives just cost too much money - the 6D2 is £2000 and while it’s certainly better than the mark 1, the upgrade isn’t compelling for the money. The alternative, the 5D Mk4, is even more money and is completely beyond my budget. So I’m likely to keep the 6D, although I’m using it less and less.

As for the 750D, it’s a good camera and I like it a lot. But I have to say that I’m tempted by the 77D (which is similar but updated and apparently has better DR), or perhaps the SL2/200D because of its small size. So maybe I’ll exchange the 750D for one of those fairly soon - there’s a Canon cash back promotion in the U.K. at present - or perhaps just keep it. So I may be near the end of the road.

Fascinating. I tend to stick with my earthly possesions a little longer. I am 55 and only have had 6 cars until now. A 67 Beettle, a 75 Beettle, an 82 Golf, an 85 Jetta, a 2001 Astra, the best car I ever had, and at the moment a 2012 Mercedes Benz. I have a few cameras, but I hate changing them. The only reason I have my X-PRO2 is because I can't use my M6's or M3's anymore. I never sell anything.The only time I did was a bg mistake. I am still trying to convince the guy to sell me back the watch I sold him 10 years ago. I have been using the same mac for almost 7 years and the same IPad2 for almost 5. One of my suitcases is almost 20 years old, and I use it 4 or 5 times a month.I have a shirt I bought in Nordstrom San Diego way before my son was born and he is in college now. Am I crazy or just cheap...?

Somewhat to my surprise, I find that most of my "keepers" are still made with the Olympus E-M5 (Mark I) that I purchased new in late 2012, despite later purchasing several newer Olympus and Pentax bodies.

That original E-M5 is weather-resistant, always in my car and thus always available.

Used with decent lenses like the 20mm/1.7 Panasonic and 60mm Sigma DN Art, that original E-M5 is more than good enough for 20x24 gallery prints and small/light enough to be easily carried about and readily used in Alaskan weather. Its loss, though mourned, would not be catastrophic.

That said, I do somewhat prefer the look of the more modern 20 MB Olympus sensor in my Pen-F but I'm not willing to put the Pen-F at risk by taking it everywhere as a utility camera.

I think my D700 (2008) will be in regular use until it dies. Not as attached to the much newer D610.

I like my GX8 almost as much as the D700.

I seem to take to the well-built, comfortable ones.

I agree that the upgrade cycle has changed. I've had film cameras and lenses since they were released (some nearly 40 years) and still use them. While digital cameras add capabilities and features that are of some advantage, my type of photography doesn't really require most of those features, at least in the vast majority of situations.

I bought my first "pro level" digital camera, a Fuji XPro-1, used during the period when the XPro2 was known to be under development but not yet announced. So the pricing for the XPro-1 was good. The XPro-2 has three features/capabilities that are of real attraction, but not enough to make me upgrade.

But I'm not in the centre of the buyer profile. I'm a serious amateur, not selling any of my work (at this time,) and of retirement age, so am facing reduced income once I make that step. And I don't use it that much lately as I'm shooting mostly film. As long as the electronics work I'll keep it. If fortunes change and I suddenly have paying work that would support an upgrade, then I'll do so. Unless I add an X100F to the mix ...

My first digital camera was a Nikon D90, which I used extensively for 5 years as my only camera. I use an Epson 3880 for output, and the files from that camera print perfectly well up to the maximum size that the printer supports (A2).

My beef with that camera, which made me buy a pre-owned D800 two and a half years ago:
1. I prefer primes to zooms, and Nikon DX as a system is lacking primes.
2. Focussing problems: My zoom lenses lacked a usable distance scale, so hyperfocal focussing wasn't possible. In addition, AF was so unreliable that it wasn't practical, and manual focussing was difficult.

The D800 and Nikon AIs primes solved these problems. On the other hand, as far as the output (up to A2) is concerned, the only difference between both cameras is that the files from the D90 have a somewhat harder gradation. That is not to say that the D90 is inferior, just different; my wife actually prefers the prints from the D90, since "they look sharper".

Summary: Judging in terms of printed output of my work, I feel that the hype around new camera models is just that - hype. I still use both cameras, and won't replace them unless they are broken beyond repair. A replacement will most likely be a camera at the end of its product lifecycle, or a pre-owned one. I don't even care about the brand, as long as it allows me to get my work done.

I bought my XT-10 in February 2016. I'm itching to upgrade to XT-2 for the larger viewfinder, weather sealing, and acros film simulation. Rumors of XT-2s may make me wait more than the 2 year minimum I had given myself. Not because I want the IS, but because the price of XT-2 will likely drop.... My general strategy is to buy last year's model.

I don't NEED anything beyond my XT-1 and a decent analog (for B&W)- am I interested in a Nikon FF mirrorless... Absolutely! Need it? Not really.

12. Anonycon ZXXXiiis in good condition fetch *what* on ebay? I mean, I know they were better than anything else of their era and arguably before or since but, seriously?

Not sure any digital camera has reached that status yet (but check out prices for the Epson R-D1). But they will.

I (currently ;~>) use both Sony A7R and A6000. I have a set of good lenses: Sony 10-18; Batis 25; Touit 32; Zony 55; Batis 85; and Sony 70-300G.

I bought everything used except the A6000 that I picked up for $398 (!!) last January when Sony had a $150 rebate running. The A7R I got open box for $1120; it's still currently worth more than that.

But I don't feel the need to upgrade anything. I use the A7R firmly bolted to a tripod (that pesky shutter shock other people seem to get, you know?) and the files are magnificent. I print up to 17x22 sometimes with an image cropped about 50%, and they look perfectly OK. So, no A7R2 or A9 or whatever for me.

The little A6000 I use as a carry-around camera, typically with the 10-18 plus 32 plus 55; or else with the 70-300 for birds and butterflies. Would the A6500 do better? Probably, better and more consistent AF, but only with the long telephoto. I can afford to wait for the "next big thing" after the A6500 and decide then. Maybe end 2018 or after.

I've still got my OMD Em5 (5 years), before that I had my Canon 30d around 5 years (replaced because of the extra reach and size advantages of the Em5), although my 10d before that lasted only 4 years (replaced because I needed a 2nd body, it was still kicking around for another couple of years). I'm not feeling like an upgrade to my Em5 is imminent either. If I found $2k on the street I still wouldn't spend it on the Em1 mk2 (my current "next camera"). I guess the Em5 is very close to the point of sufficiency that an upgrade is low on the priority list for my disposable income.

Tried to ignore photography during film's dominance, but finally succumbed to Olympus "Swiss Army Knife" IS-3 in March, 1998. Computer scientist waiting, waiting, waiting for digital... and, finally convinced by MR at LuLa, splurged for Canon D30 in May, 2001. Never mind $2,650 for the body; how about $1,348 for four 256MB CF cards! Furiously read manuals on flight to Rome with bride of 25 years. Three years and five months later: Canon 20D.

But then... nearly ten years studying: composition (OK, seems necessary), flash and macro (no thank you), post-processing (love/hate relationship with Adobe), printing (Epson 4000 in March, 2005; still going strong).

Age, gear weight, and video converged in July, 2014: Panasonic Lumix GH4. Mo'Betta' required GH5 in April, 2017. Would buy GH6 with Sony BSI sensor tomorrow!

Ten years and counting for RRS BH-55 ballhead; why ever change? Lived with Gitzo MK2 tripod for ten years, then switched to Traveler 6X for GH4; hard to imagine switching again.

Lessons: explore, reject, refine, minimize.

Ultimate goal: DWIM (Do What I Mean) photography: f/1.0+, 10-1000mm, clean in darkness, 16 stops DR, post-capture focus (still/video), upload via subspace to cloud, embedded in my forehead... and Adobe software that actually works correctly without impossible complexity. By the way, no customizable controls: just DWIM!

As usual, cellphones for sharing, not serious.

Oly IS-3 to Canon D30 - 3y2m
Canon D30 - Canon 20D - 3y5m
Canon 20D - Lumix GH4 - 9y9m
Lumix GH4 - Lumix GH5 - 2y9m
RRS BH-55 - always
Gitzo tripods - a decade

So, with one troubling decade (lost to G.A.S., gained to learning): my few data points reinforce your 3y hypothesis.


I have lots of friends who have a "prosumer" 5 or 10 year old DSLR sitting in their closet that they no longer use because their "iPhone takes such good pictures."

So my guess is that the average ownership is considerably longer than 3 years on average.

Sorry for the double comment -

Which leads me to wonder what percentage of the DSLR or "real" camera market is attributable to people who buy one camera and then never buy another ...

If, as I do, you like semi-pro crop sensor SLRs, then the manufacturers save you from yourself by waiting a good sensible time before releasing newer models. My Nikon D300 got replaced (after many years and giving up hope of ever seeing a D400) by a Canon 7D Mk II, and it looks as if Canon is not planning to tempt me with a 7D Mk III all too quickly either.

Away from my once a week hobby of being a football ["soccer"] dad I use M4/3. I am about three years into my Panasonic GX7, and also fairly often use my eight year old Panasonic G1 when I want a second lens. Maybe if I find a nice close-out bargain on a GX80 next year I will retire the G1, but I'm not in a hurry to replace the GX7.

I am very much the outlier, my first DSLR was and is the canon 20D. Still takes great pictures which I regularly print at 13x19 and they look great. I probably keep it until it dies.

After four years with an E-M1 MkI, I recently bought an E-M1 MkII to have as a second body, and notably because it came at such a good price (US$1600).

I tend to keep my cameras a long time. I still have my first E-1 from around 2004 and it works perfectly. I even have an E-3 in fully working order.

The gap between my camera purchases has widened now as the cameras have become so good that regular updates aren't justified.

After 4 years of a Nikon D800 as the main camera I got a lightly used Sony A7r II in 2016 to try out if it suits my use better. I skipped upgrading the Nikon to the D810 because the cost would have been quite significant and the changes were incremental. It turned out the Sony and its lenses worked out very well for me, so it became my main camera. It is an expensive model, but it is a really good camera and I enjoy using it and the results I get.

An upgrade will depend very much on what's available and for what price. If upgrades are way over a grand then there needs to be big benefits to go for it. I've reached a level of image quality where there's not likely to be large advances within this format in the short to medium term, so improvements would have to be in the form of better AF, ergonomics and video.

In my photographic life of almost 70 years, I have moved from an Agfa Box through a Leica IIg, a Nikon F and a Rollei SL66 all the way to a digital Canon 5D2 and several others -- to arrive finally at the camera that is everything I ever wished for -- the Sony A7RII and several excellent lenses, and perfect A-2 prints.
I cannot imagine that GAS will ever make me want to have something better. But whenever I go out of the house with a camera, I invariably take the Olympus with the 12-100mm zoom, and I am perfectly happy with the images. Go figure...

I'm still using my two Olympus E-M5 Mk1 bodies, and that's a camera that came out 2012. OMG. Since then, I have acquired a Panasonic GM5 (becaus it's so tiny) and a Panasonic GX80 (because the price was good, and I needed a new toy). But honestly, the IQ of the 5 year old Olys is not significantly worse than that of the GX80, introduced in 2016. Guess I'll just wait for a real difference in IQ or features or whatever.

Of course, the improvement in image quality/features/handling/whatever between 2007 and 2012 was much more dramatic than between 2012 and 2017. And let's be honest: Not many people are interested in buying a 3 year old camera for a price which might reflect what you pay for it. So, I either keep them until they break. Or my grandsons will get them if they should develop an interest in photography.

When it comes to camera bodies I'm kinda stingy. Lenses are another matter and I would drape myself in velvet if it were socially acceptable. I've been on a four year cycle. I am currently at four years and can see myself hitting six or seven before I buy another.

Such an interestingly different take than my personal experience. I suppose that is in part because you are in the position of observer of the behavior of an amorphous group of other photographers via the anecdotal info of reviews, blogs and forums.

I really don't understand the complaints about the relatively short life span of digital cameras. For me, it's always been about what I could do with a camera that determined when I switched. A prior camera went on the shelf due to functional obsolescence, not wearing out. Nikon F yielded to the much smaller, lighter OM-1. OM-1 was largely replaced by the TTL-OTF AE of the OM-2n. My long run with the OM-2n yielded to the spot metering of the OM-4.

I feel that I haven't changed in this regard, but the rate of additional capabilities in digital cameras has shortened the functional life of my cameras.

My first digcam was a Canon S110, a 2 MP P&S. That showed that digital was for real.

Stephen Sharf was kind enough to lend me his D60 for a few days. That proved to me that adapted OM mount lenses would work well on a DSLR.

Next was a Canon 300D/Rebel with firmware hack to make it in effect a 10D. As I became more adept at digital and post processing and ran up against the limitations of WA on APS-C back then . . .

I bought a 5D, which met my needs, in spite of the release of many other cameras, for 5 1/4 years.

Feeling the need for a larger LCD and live view, I bought a 60D. Although I got many good images with it, I never really bonded with it.

Fortunately, Oly came out with the E-M5. Almost instant affection.

After about 10 months, I realized that my personal aversion to changing lenses in the field was making me miss shots. I had just acquired an E-PM2 as casual camera, which also appeared to meet my minimum requirements for serious field use, so I started carrying two cameras, with 12-50 and 75-100 zooms.

As the two camera experiment became normal practice, the limitations of the E-PM2, intended only as an experiment anyway, led me to try the new GX7. It happily worked side-by-side with the E-M5 for about 14 months.

Then came the E-M5 II, announced Feb. 5, 2015, my first shots Mar, 4, 2015. Headline addition was the High Resolution Mode, but IBIS was improved and there were other operational and ergonomic changes for the better, too. Did I like it? A second one replaced the GX 7 10 weeks later. Then came the really great innovation, with Focus Bracketing in a 9/15/15 firmware update. A new camera without buying one!!

Now, with a once in a lifetime type exotic photo trip starting this month I was willing to consider switching to E-M1 IIs. After much research, review reading, image comparison on DPReview's studio subject comparator, and consultation with someone more expert at IQ comparison than I, who had just bought an E-M1 II, and was deciding whether to keep it, I decided that the E-M5 II is actually a slightly better camera for me. Once again, New, Better, Shiny didn't prevail.

Model-----------Start---------End--------Years----Shots----- S/Yr
300D--------7/15/2004----5/28/2006----1.87---- 2,378 ---- 1,273
5D-----------5/17/2006----8/10/2011----5.24---- 12,773 ---- 2,440
60D----------4/30/2011-----8/9/2012----1.28---- 6,024 ---- 4,708
E-M5--------7/31/2012-----4/2/2015----2.67---- 12,345 ---- 4,621
E-PM2-------5/17/2013--11/14/2013----0.50---- 4,335 ---- 8,742
GX7--------11/15/2013----1/27/2016----2.20---- 2,378 ---- 1,081
E-M5 II A----3/4/2015----9/15/2017----2.54--- 12,974
E-M5 II B---5/12/2015---9/15/2017----2.35---- 8,670
E-M5s combined---------------------------------- 21,644

Of all these cameras, the only one I was glad to have an excuse to put behind me was the 60D. Perhaps not a mistake, as I don't know what else I might have done, but the closest.

All this detail is in aid of providing an anecdotal example of someone who isn't following the scenario you paint, but is, for practical, photographic reasons changing cameras pretty often. I can't believe I'm not alone. An awful lot of what one hears on the web is just empty blather. There are also lots of people who buy, sell and talk about cameras and lenses a lot, while hardly doing any photography.

In answer to your indirect question, my history has been something like 2.5 years per primary camera. As to the direct question, I expect an E-M5 III in a year or so, fall/winter 2018, as Oly has announced a slowing of the rate of product introductions. I don't anticipate any other cameras from Panny or other brands that would change that, but who knows?

That would mean a run of 3.5-4 years for the E-M5 IIs

My first camera was a Nikon F2 with 55mm micronikkor bought in HongKong in 1975. I kept that amazing camera for almost 20 years until it was stolen while I was using it in a housing underwater (too long a story to tell here). Since the digital age I've owned a Nikon D70 (2004), D300 (2008) and D800e (2012). I love the D800 but am now thinking of a D850. I tell myself this will be my last camera! Perhaps that's wishful thinking. I also have a Canon GX7, Olympus OMD-EM5 and an Olympus TG4 which is probably telling.

Do you want the camera(s) or do you want the images? Do they help you get those pictures?

OK, read previous posts by Mike Johnston and then get back to us.

In my case, I'm hanging on to cameras longer. The feature delta between new models is narrowing now that the megapixel race is over and cameras generally have low noise sensors and magical autofocus capabilities. My 5ds produces all the resolution I'll ever need and my a6500 is a damned near perfect travel camera. It's hard to imagine an improvement that will get me to shell out big money for an upgrade. The same is true for printers. My Epson 4880 produces gorgeous prints that show well and the newer models don't excite me. If I'm in any way typical, the camera companies are in big trouble.

I've had my Canon 5DIII for about five years. I'd sell it and buy a 5DSR right now, except that I have rendered my 5DIII unsellable after having fallen on the rocks where the camera and lens (Sigma 24-70 f2.8) took the brunt of my entire 250 pounds. They both still work perfectly, to my amazement, but now have some pretty serious gouges. As a result, I'd say I will be using that 5DIII for a few years to come, until I can pick up a second-hand 5DSR when the 5DSRxRRII is announced. As for changing brands (and lenses), financial considerations would dictate otherwise.

"The Olympus E-M1 Mark II makes a lot of sense for me, for example, but '2k, no way.'"

I agree 100%.

Still very happily using both the original Olympus EM10 and original EM5 I purchased in 2014. And the 5 was already 2 years old by the time I bought it.

No update plans for me in the near future. I'll replace if there's a significant upgrade, or if something breaks (that's why I bought the 10 - I fried my EPL5 with static during a storm in Yosemite after which it intermittently refused to recognise it had a lens attached. I spent the next week on the road visiting every camera store on my route between there and Portland searching for any m43 cameras - there I finally found and bought the 10 (all they had in stock.) Hence buying the 5 when I got home - to have a spare body!

RIP brick and mortar stores :-(

I am probably the outlier. For me, as long as they work, I'll keep them. I have and use a Canon 10D, 20D and G15. Also a Panasonic GF2 and Olympus E-M10.

A Sony A6XXX won't come any time soon. I'd be happy with a NEX-6 instead, but keeping the old car running is more important. If a camera made good images in the past, it still makes good images. I'd buy a new model, if I could afford one, with good high ISO or good focus peaking for use with old lenses. Just to expand image making possibilities, but the old cameras cover 90% of what I do very well.

Digital cameras remind me of the most profound takeaway I had from reading a biography of Juan Trippe, who founded Pan American Airline. His competition hoarded their early expensive airplanes. He realized that with the fast moving technology of aircraft design, they would quickly become obsolete throwaways so he chose to quickly use up his airplanes and replace them with new generation airplanes. Perhaps a similar case can be made that rather than buying the high end cameras we can go one notch down and burn through them, staying with the latest technology.

That, from someone content with an old Canon 5D and Mamiya ZD. And an ancient Piper Aztec.

I'm sorry, but are you talking about cameras or iPhones?

I'm still using a Nikon D-70 that I've had for over a decade. Need to get a new one, but not at all sure what kind of camera I want.

Pre-digital, I was quite happy with B&W, mostly Tri-X. 35mm and medium format. Landscapes and other representationals. Couldn't do people-pics. Couldn't to color. All natural light. Couldn't do abstracts. The D-70 threw all of that upside down and inside out. My favorite photos from this camera are candid portraits. I have abstracts hanging on my wall. I've also, first time ever, been experimenting with off-camera flash.

I really *want* to say that the camera doesn't make the photographer, but in my case... So when I think about my next camera, I want to know how it will change my photographs. Alas, my crystal ball is in the shop...

Personally I love the short (popularity) life of digital cameras. (Did I fail to mention I only buy used?) As you mentioned yesterday's 3-4 year old news that still take great photos can often be purchased for 20-30 cents on the original $ purchase price. I am not going to pay a lot for that camera!

I'm old enough now to appreciate what I have instead of constantly running out to acquire the latest and greatest the moment it comes out.

I have had my Oly OMD-EM1 as my main camera for over 2.5 years now. It really does everything I need it to do, not to say I don't want the EM1-II, but I'm willing to wait until it drops to a more reasonable price. So maybe in a year or two I'll think about upgrading.

I also have a Pentax K-5 which I've owned for over 5 years and haven't upgraded because after comparing the two, I actually like the image quality of the K-5 better than the newer K-3's. I just didn't feel like I would be gaining anything by upgrading, especially for the type of photography I use it for.

Personally I never see, or worry, about what camera others use though at a recent one day event on street photography hosted by PANASONIC one of the participants complained the in his view Panasonic lacked street cred.

W.T.D. (Thats 'D' for 'Duck'.... Have to be mindful of TOP's semsibilities))

It is all a matter of that lost virtue, temperance...
Perhaps rather than counting years we should count shutter actuations! Per-frame cost is a reasonable metric to target. Shall we shay that 15 cents per frame is a reasonable cost for a compact camera and that a premium one justifies 30 cents?
In the end, one should retire a camera only in case of (a) failure, (b) manifest error in purchasing it in the first place, (c) severe evolution of one's needs and/or closing of needs gap.

I have full frame Canon 6D, I've had it for 2 years, and I think I will keep for at least 2 more. I also do video, so either the 7rII or the 6500 are in my wish list. But I have spent most of my discretionary income in fast glass, I love my 50mm and 85mm f1.2's.

Now that the megapixel race has slowed down and I have a full frame camera I feel fairly happy with my setup.
I try to double mt megapixel count before I upgrade, I went from 6mp, to 10mp, to 18, to a full frame 20. And thats why the 35mp 7RII is in my list, that and 4k video.

Let's see, I'm currently using (in order of preference):

- Pentax Q-S1, bought a month ago, replacing a Samsung EX1 bought ~7 years ago whose charger I lost with a bag.

- Panasonic FZ200, bought a year ago, replacing a Fuji S5600 bought ~9 years ago because its sensor was no longer up to the task and FullHD video sounded nice.

- Sony A390, bought ~7 years ago, replacing a Pentax P50 bought ~12 years ago whose shutter started to drag.

So, pretty good turnover, all things considered. Of course, I "cheated" by staying away from photography as a hobby between 2013 and 2016 -- I'd take photos at family events and when asked to by friends, but otherwise focused solely on my non-photographic career. But still. In fact, I would've gladly taken that NEX-6 off your hands -- it's actually a better camera than my entire current kit, in all respects people who compare cameras seem to care about.

Oh, and my estimate for upgrading them? as long as it takes for them to die... or their chargers and/or batteries; finding replacements is hard enough in a third-world country even when they haven't been discontinued by the manufacturer years ago at the time of purchase.

Makes sense. It takes three years to figure out how to use the typical digital camera. Next!

You could add 12:
Available used quite cheap bacause the outdated camera lineup also gets an update with each camera that's replaced by its successor.

I'm not sure if the A6500 is really the successor of the A6300. The A6300 is still there and older iPhones also are. Maybe to make the price of the latest model not look as insane as it is ;-)

Literally until the arse falls out of them. I had my last three cameras until they died, through user stupidity, mostly involving vast quantities of water. Unfortunately none made the 7 year mark. I'm more careful now, so hopefully my D810 and I will have many more happy anniversaries.

I still use an F5 and d3x along with several other newer cameras

I've had my Nikon D3 since the day of release. That was 10 years ago?It's actually my only camera besides the iPhone. It isn't odd for me to have a camera for 10 years, it's odd it's my only camera. I used to shoot four different formats. I still use mostly screw drive AF lenses from the 90's also. People still buy homages from this old "crap".


Looking back I'm surprised to find that the two digital cameras I kept longest were my two digital compacts. My first digital camera was a Canon Powershot A620, purchased in November 2005. You could hardly see anything in the LCD screen and the viewfinder was appalling, but I was nervertheless excited by the new fangled possibilities it offered. I eventually disposed of it earlier this year, so it saw 5 years of use (alongside 'film cameras') and was kept for 12 years. A Samsung EX1 that replaced it in August 2010 was only given away earlier this year. This also functioned as a second camera.

A Panasonic GH2 purchased in 2012 lasted me just under three years. This was followed by a sequence of cameras that all proved frustrating for one reason or another, and were sold rather quickly.

I now have two (bought in July 2015, and April 2016) that I like a alot and expect to keep for a while. One is likely to go when an as yet mythical Fuji or Panasonic rangefinder style camera with IBIS and articulated screen eventually becomes affordable.

For comparison I kept one of my two Spotmatics for over 40 years.

As a Pentax user I recently developed taste for CCD sensor + Limited lens combination. So while keeping k50 for high ISO capabilities I added k200d with grip and k100d super as lighter body, all for under $300, and I'm planning to use them until they fail or I pass away, whatewer happens first

My main camera is my Leica VLux4 (2014), now discontinued, and it's a kinda do-it-all camera (24-600mm zoom, constant f2.8 aperture). Your estimate is spot on, and I think I am going to keep it for about 4-7 years.

I used my D700 for about 4 years. I should sell it, but I never get around to it.

I used my Olympus E-M5 version 1 for about 4 years.

I see no reason that I won't use my E-M1 version 2 for at least 4 years.

I update my phones more often. But that's for non-photographic reasons.

Historically I've bought my cameras at step ten and then skipped a cycle before buying the next. If you don't care about letting the leading edge sweep past you, it's the sane choice. The Fuji XT-1 completely upset that cycle for me when it came out in Spring '14. It was so precisely what I hoped that a digital camera could be that I sold all of my accumulated Nikon gear and preordered it. Now my next camera will likely be the XT-3 when it reaches step 10 in 2020. So, that will be six years.

I just viewed a collection of breathtaking images from the Cassini Spacecraft (New York Times). Brain power, visionary thinking, digital imagery from the dawn of visual 1's and 0's. This technology is over 20 years old and has been working flawlessly in the most inhospitable conditions imaginable. It didn't breakup and self immolate until it was traveling 70,000 miles an hour.

We are way to spoiled with our quest for more resolution, more dynamic range, more everything. (Guilty as charged).

It is weird but I feel like I just lost a friend. RIP Cassini and thank you to every person that had a hand in pushing the boundaries of our knowledge and imagination.


Most used digital Cameras:

Leica M9 - 8 years old
Nikon D3 - 8 years old
Fuji XPro-1 - 5 years old
Olympus OM-D E-M5 (bought used) 4 years old

and I just spent a 1,000-image weekend in NYC with a Pentax K5 (also bought used from KEH.com) - 7 years old, but new to me.

I have often commented here at TOP that image quality has been "there" (for me) at least since 2010, so now my purchase decisions are driven by price, ease of use (buffer size, focusing system with MF lenses), backwards compatibility with lenses etc.

I did stop by the chapel of B&H in NYC and fondle the newer Fuji's, the current Pentax, Nikon and Olympus etc. My "to buy" list now includes the Pentax K1, the Olympus Pen F and the Fuji XPro 2. But here's the thing: I am in no hurry about it. The cameras I am currently using are just so dang good. . . I might even consider replacing the D3 with [UL]another used D3[/UL] if my workhorse gave up the ghost in its machine. Since this is playtime for me I am committed by the realities of my finances to play the trailing edge of technological development and I have decided to turn that necessity into a virtue. The majority of my gear is purchased used these days. And I have to tell you, the image quality off that "old" Pentax K5 chip? Amaaaazing . . .

The other thing? I find the current crop of cameras a little too physically small for my liking, with the exception being the Pentax K1, which I find just so well designed for my needs. My hands kind of miss the heft/haptics of that Leica M3, which just seemed right to me. So add that to the list: image quality has topped out, and camera sized had bottomed (out/?) for me.

I had my first digital camera in 2009 December, a d300 (not the S), as a replacement of F3HP (which had a frozen shutter). This year I replaced it with a df. Can't be happier that I did. All my old full frame lenses now work as they should, and the shutter is more responsive and quieter than ever on a Nikon.

I'm still using my D700, which I bought secondhand when the D800 came out. No plans to replace. The only new cameras I ever bought are my FM3A, which is the main workhorse, a D200 (sold after five years) and a E-Msomething mirrorless Olympus, which I sold after a couple years.

I bought a D200 in 2006, and also a little Panasonic DMC-whatever, which didn't survive residence in my jacket for long. The D200 was the first Nikon DSLR, which was both affordable for me and usable with legacy lenses. I found that I didn't enjoy sitting in front of a computer for hours, and that for my way of taking pictures, going back to slide film on a Makina or Fuji 617 was more enjoyable. The Nikon D850 and the medium format Fuji have me thinking again.

I'm definitely a state 10 buyer. I got an Olympus E-510 after the E-520 was released and used it for eight years. I bought an EM-1 13 months ago after the Mark II was out and at this point I'm thinking in terms of keeping it until it can't be repaired. But even we frugal types have GAS of a sort, so watch for further developments. I kept my last film camera for 30 years (an OM-2s). I doubt if I'll do that well with a digital body--you can't get a sensor upgrade with every film improvement, but who knows?

I used film cameras until 2007 (lots of them and I kept them all - they are simply nice). Then came D200. I didn't like the viewer, too small for my eyes. A friend of mine used FF Canon and I liked the viewer. So 2012 I bought D800e and was happy. In windy weather I often could not change lenses, so 2017 I bought D810. Right now I am into stitches (big mountains need big files), so D850 is on the list as soon as it is here. D800e will become IR.
As a side note: Around 2015 I bought Df for my wife. She never got used to it, but I did. Use it only occasionally, my rucksack is already 15kg without it. But when in use, it is really a joy. One does not need to print the pictures, the experience was so fulfilling.
Side note two: 2015 and last week I bought a Sinar p 4x5 and Sinar Handy. In two days we leave for Italyscapes, in winter our darkroom comes to life again.
With D850 I should be finished with acquisitions. I need time to take photographs and to process them. I am 64 and reckon, that heavy rucksacks will be not my thing in future. Oh, I forgot: When family or company is around and in need of attention, Nikon 1 is in use. So even for this period there are precautions met.

One's "last camera" is the camera one happens to own when one dies.

I tend to buy and use the same cameras for a long time. Currently using a D3 which I Haven hae for five years and a Xpro1 almost aa long. Thinking of getting a Xpro2 and a DF at some point.

Leaving out a lot of details and side trips, I had an Olympus EM5 for a long time; actually made enough money with it to finance an EM1, but not until that camera had been out for at least a year.
I like the EM1 a lot; when the MkII came out, I considered it and then bought a second MkI for not very much money.
At $2000, Olympus has reached my point of price resistance. The MkII is a very nice camera, but I don't think it has enough additional content to justify that price.
I had the EM5 converted to B&W infrared, and (on impulse) bought a Panasonic GX-85 for almost nothing. It's tiny, and uses the same m4/3 lenses as my main cameras.
For now, I'm fine where I am.
Oh, and I really did have a "last" film camera. I bought a Nikon F3, I think in the late 80s, and another one in the 90s. I still have, and use, both.

To quote the Bard:

"O, reason not the need! Our basest beggars
Are in the poorest thing superfluous.
Allow not nature more than nature needs,
Man’s life’s as cheap as beast’s."

Some of us never get rid of the old cameras. Almost all of mine continue to be used in one form or another--including all the film ones. But adding to the herd is about every three years.

Favorite film camera is the OM-3Ti, favorite digital camera is the E-1.

Almost without exception, nearly all acquisitions are secondhand or given to me.

Unfortunately, in view of the extent to which my FrankenKameras were designed and assembled around the Sony A7R body, there is no upgrade path available for me as the A7R now approaches its fourth birthday.

For the type of low-ISO, long-exposure, nighttime photography that I do, the A7RII body has proved not to be an upgrade from the A7R. Ditto for the A9R.

In fact, the A7RII has actually proved to be a downgrade, thanks to the "star-eater" firmware Sony was either forced to or chose to (your choice) implement along with its 42 MP back-lighted sensor.

At the moment, there is no other camera on the market, available at any price, that has a 24x36 sensor and performs better overall for my purposes than the Sony A7R.*

(Unfortunately, when photographing at the margins as I often am, APS-C sensors are too small to gather enough light hence they are both theoretically and practically too noisy. Even with the A7R and its larger sensor, I have to take a series of between seven to sixteen photos of each scene and then stack and median-blend them during post-processing to get files that have sufficiently low noise so I can recoover details in the darkest shadow areas.)

Thus, for now, at least, I don't have to spend any time pondering when to upgrade from my A7R, because there's no upgrade for it available, period! 8^)

In some ways, this is a good thing, but it doesn't bode well for the future unless Nikon's upcoming mirrorless camera knocks it out of the park with its performance and also ultizes a short enough lens register distance so that I can readily adapt my FrankenKameras to accommodate it.

However, given my historical luck in these matters, I will not be holding my breath. 8^/

* Except possibly the QHY367C, which is a $4,379 dedicated astrophotography camera that shares the A7R's 36 MP sensor and also incorporates active sensor cooling, which is potentially a huge benefit when photographing on a hot Arizona summer night with an ambient temp over 100 degrees.

But the QHY367C also requires a laptop computer to operate, which complicates matters considerably for me, because I like to walk around on foot when I photograph, using a camera that is (relatively) small and light. This simply isn't possible using the QHY367C setup because of the large battery capacity required to simultaneously power both the camera and a separate computer for several hours. 8^(

I’ve been Digital since 2005, when I purchased a secondhand Canon Eos 1Ds. The 1Ds was bulky but capable and lasted until 2013 when it was replaced by a 1Dx by my very lovely insurance company. Unfortunately I disliked the 1Dx so replaced it in 2014 for a Sony A7r. Even more unfortunately the flimsy, poorly built Sony needed repairing twice, never seemed to focus properly, even in good light, and felt horribly unbalanced with anything heavier than the Zeiss 35/2.8. I grew to properly loathe Sony and all their works... so in 2016 I moved back to Canon with a 5Ds and hope to keep this as long as the old 1Ds!

Alternative Timeline

[. . .]

4. The reviews are mostly negative. The new Anonycon ZXXXiii is missing the feature [a/b/c/d. . .] which the most vociferous participants in Internet discussion forums say is a deal breaker. Also, Anonycon products are out of fashion among prominent bloggers. Other bloggers, taking their cues about what matters from what they read online, focus almost exclusively on the exact same set of issues that the other online reviewers have already covered. This creates a self-reinforcing cascade of negative reviews. Sales are disappointing.

5. Retailers discount the new Anonycon ZXXXiii by 50% to clear their inventory.

6. Bargain hunters start to buy the Anonycon ZXXXiii based on price alone.

7. Reviews appear on Internet discussion forums and blogs, saying that the Anonycon ZXXXiii is actually a really good camera with a couple of minor weaknesses.

8. Anonycon Industries abandons the Anonycon ZXXX concept.

9. Photo hobbyists and equipment manufacturers move on to the next batch of new and exciting products. The Anonycon ZXXXiii is forgotten by almost everyone except for the people who are still using it happily.

I pass my cameras on because I don't gel with them for one reason or another. There is either some glaring gotcha I can't get round which nags at me, usually AF, handling or weight, or I have a really bad QC and service experience.

This has been the case with every camera I have owned to date.

So far, the Xpro2 is a keeper. There is nothing about it I dislike enough to care, and many things I love about it. It also fixed most of what was wrong with previous gen Fujis.

24MP is enough for me.

It's small enough to be portable, and large enough to be usable.

Fuji lenses are good and I have all the ones I want.

I plan to learn how to extract the most from it, and keep it as long as my car (10 years and counting).

I finally went digital when the Pentax K100d was released, switching from a Nikon system. After 6 years, I finally updated to a K5 (original) in 2012. With a great buffer, solid high ISO, and class leading performance at the time, I'm still using it today. There is nothing in the incremental upgrades (Pentax or even Canikon) that is compelling. It all feels like more of the same; a little better, but not enough to matter.

The only think that has even tugged at all are the Fujis. Someday i might get a used x100t and see if that pulls me away. But I haven't yet.

I have a pair of D810s that have their lenses semi-permanently attached. I've been using them since 2014 and don't see a compelling reason to move to the D850 (although it has some nice features). By the time Nikon readies a D850 replacement it will be around 2020... the two lenses I use most won't owe me anything and the old D810 bodies will only be worth $500 or so (as are still excellent 2007 D700 bodies). .

At that point Nikon better have something pretty amazing to keep me from considering other brands. I imagine the camera market will be much changed by then. I expect the major brands to have professional mirrorless bodies and some interesting lenses. But I wouldn't be surprised to see a Chinese tech company to have some refinements to computational multi-lens cameras that start to outperform traditional gear. Perhaps I'm too optimistic to say they will be professional quality this early but I bet they are coming and will be disruptive.

The early 2020s will be a fun time to reconsider my gear. Hopefully I'll be nimble enough to learn some new tricks.

1 x Canon Powershot A620 (working fine but rarely used) - 2006
1 x D200 (kept as an unnecessary back body for the D3) - 2006
1 x D3 (going strong) - 2008
1 x DP1 (the first version- still used for street "sketching") - 2008
1 x DP 2 (ditto) - 2008
1 x RX1 (has years and years left, although I can feel a 42 mp RX2 calling) - 2014.

I'm guess I'm not an "upgrader". I tend to buy new and and use my gear until it falls apart and is not worth repairing. Although I have started using my SX-70 purchased new in 1973 again, now that film is being made, some might call it hoarding...

I bought an EM5 in 2013 when I did a major switch from Nikon.

I am still using this camera along with two other bodies I picked up SH for €300 to avoid lens changing.

Olympus have not brought out anything newer that makes me want to trade in my EM5s. The M43 sensors still give more or less the same output and the added features on recent models do not interest me.

So I think I will plod on with the EM5s until the die on me or for three or four years more, which ever comes first.

I must say the EM5 is the most fantastic camera I have ever owned. IBIS has opened so many photographic doors for me that i cannot think of buying a camera without it.

"ZXXXiii" is this just a rebranded of "XYZZY"? What an Adventure that digital photography has been. I suspect the hold onto it answer is different for a Pro versus a Serious Amateur versus an Enthusiast. A pro is going to turn over bodies as they are on a depreciation table. A serious Amateur is likely to upgrade based on having the latest features. An Enthusiast might hold onto a camera just because they like it. I like the M9, M Monochrom, M8, and Nikon Df. When they stop working- I will get new ones.

As far as longevity of digital: my Nikon E3 still works, and the Kodak DCS200ir still works. People rarely buy a new digital camera because the old one stopped working.

I see similarities between buying cars, phones and cameras. As such, there are 3 types of people, that I just made up;
1) Bleeding edgers - always buy new, may not be each new model. Gain warranty comfort, & bragging rights, at expense of new price premium. Sells before maintenance arises & to help fund next cycle.
2) Used traders - similar to 1), but will buy used, 2-3 models behind current. Happy to pay some maintenance, but sells while there is still some value & before major maintenance or compatibility problems arise. Avoids new price premium & any introductory QC issues (Nikon!) & may only get used dealer warranty.
3) Until death do us part - buy & hold strategy. Will pay maintenance until no longer maintainable & completely incompatible. May buy new or used.

Of course 2) doesn't apply to Nikon users, like me :), due to risk of grey market bodies which you can't pay Nikon to repair. I tend to favour refurbs as a compromise (D600, AW1 & lenses). Speaking of, I think the modern AF & IS/VR lenses are going down this path too - due to materials, complex circuitry etc. I found this out the hard way with a 35-70/2.8 AFD that used dealers wouldn't touch. Nikon has me by the AI/S lens :) Sometimes I think I'll just buy a mechanical body (FM2n or FM3a) & digital be damned. And I started in digital!

Historically, I've ussed my digital camerass for a long time, >5 years....I shot my racing work with a 1D MkII-series body from 2005 to 2016.

My "changoever" with the Fuji X-series was more rapid, but this was due to their building out their lens lineup more than the body itself. My X-T1 purchase was driven more by the X-T1s wonderful EVF being much more suitable for use with longer telephotos than the X-Pro1. When's the last time you saw some shooting with the Fuji 50-140 f/2.8 on a X-Pro1? Like, never?

The X-T2 significant overall performance increase let me finally dump my Canon pro gear for my racing photography, but this camera is so capable I do not see any need for replacing it for several years, and have no plans to buy the XT-2 "S" if it indeed debuts (which it likely will as it will bring a lot the table for Fuji for video work). And personally, I see virtually no need for more than 24 megpixels on an APS-S sensor...

The GFX 50S, other hand, I could see buying for landscape, architectural, portrait, fine art, editorial, commercial, etc. because it's image quality is staggeringly good.

My 12-year-old Canon DSLR still outperforms me. But I'd pretty much quit using it some years back because I simply was tired of schlepping it around.

After a couple years of using my smartphone, I bought a used Fuji X-T10 last year. I expect it to last me at least 15 years, and I hope it'll last me the rest of my life, which likely will be a lot longer than that.

Learning a new camera is a pain. Almost a year and a half after buying the X-T10, I'm still learning things about it, and there are still times where I reach for a button in the wrong place.

By the time a camera gets obsolete for me, I dont even bother to sell it. Like its now with E-P1/P3.

"New" cameras, when bought, are always a cycle behind the current crop and therefore cheap. Like E-P5 new for € 450,- and E-M5 used for € 220,-.

Lenses are far more important, thats where the money goes, like a new 60mm Macro or a used 12-40.

Oh my, always a dangerous topic trying to rationalize the gear we buy. And so much of what we buy many times is only marginally better than what we have. So why rationalize, I guess it makes us feel better about our buying choices, but it also adds agony to the decision process. Example: Should I or shouldn't I, is it really that much better, should I switch to a larger sensor (even when it flies in the face of what got me into micro 4/3 anyhow, i.e, smaller lenses), etc., etc.

So I decided to stay in micro 4/3 and ordered a Olympus PenF body; it is supposed to arrive tomorrow. Here's hoping I will be content for awhile, but as Mike points out it is a camera well into into its model cycle. Gee I am sure the Pen F Mark II will be marvelous.

Add me to the Pentax K-5 fan club. I bought mine in 2010 and it's still going strong after more than 7 years being battered and abused as my main travel camera. If Pentax still made the K-5 it would be my first choice as a replacement should my current one fail. (I don't want more than 16MP in an APS-C format camera.)

I now use my K-1 for most non-travel photography but I have no plans to "upgrade" from my K-5 to another APS-C camera.

Several years ago there was a brilliant cartoon in The New Yorker: salesman at counter showing customer a camera and saying: "And this light here lets you know when the camera becomes obsolete."

I'm traveling so am getting to this very late. But to add comment 100...many of the remarks here strongly suggest that the era of frantic upgrading in response to spurts in tech/ergo development is past. People seem ro have realized their points of sufficiency with digial cameras. They have what they feel they need, although they might actually want something more.

Me? I'm traveling with two cameras. One is my iPhone 7 Plus. The other: a superb pocketable 1" tiny powerhouse...and not the Sony RX100 V! That combination is all I need for coverage on most trips. The lighter is ALWAYS the better for me.

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