Where can I find results of long term tests on digital cameras?

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by aniramca, Oct 14, 2007.

  1. aniramca

    aniramca Guest

    For car enthusiasts , you will find some car magazine or websites
    showing the performance of a car after it was driven 1, 2 or 3 years
    or more.
    Is there a website for camera or photography readers where test shots
    were taken and compared for cameras after they are used for a while?
    Example: when it is brand new, after 10,000 shots, 30,000 shots,
    50,000 shots, etc.
    I like to see whether some cameras (perhaps the pro cameras and
    expensive ones) perform better than others and do not degrade the
    picture quality with time after being used for a while. Or, is it
    because of the modern electronics that some elements of the cameras
    breakdown suddenly (therefore there is no degradation of picture
    quality... ie. only good picture and then no picture at all if they
    break down). I am not talking about exposed mechanical parts, like the
    battery hinges, or the LCD monitor, but more for the elements that
    produce and process the pictures (shutter, sensor, processing engine,
    inside mechanical parts that making the auto focusing, etc.).
    My Lumix's 3 MP camera has over 60,000 shots over 4 year period and
    still going strong. But I am not very sure if it produces the same
    picture quality pictures as when I just bought it. The other day, I
    went to the attic and found an old photo taken by my Nikon One Touch
    P&S pocket film camera (1980s) and I could not believe how excellent
    and sharp the picture quality of that photo is. The camera is still
    working now (after 20 years), but again I don't think it produces the
    same picture quality.
    Thanks for info.
     
    aniramca, Oct 14, 2007
    #1
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  2. nowhere. Manufacturers aren't interested in longterm performance but rapid
    obsolescence.
    Cameras and their release cycles are designed around the cameras being
    replaced every other year (roughly) as soon as a new model hits the market.
    The marketing campaigns are created to impress on potential customers the
    fact that any model older than the current production model is utterly
    useless and cannot produce a halfway decent image under any conditions.

    As a result a large proportion of the customerbase indeed replaces their
    cameras every few years (people are gullible herd animals, most of them) and
    often don't bother to try to sell the old equipment because the resale value
    is minimal.
    Instead they keep it around for a while as a backup (just in case) and then
    dump it in the trash, even though it's still in perfect working order and
    capable of producing results of the same quality as what they did when brand
    new 2 years earlier (and likely not visibly worse than their new equipment).

    In such an environment it's not in the interest of camera manufacturers to
    encourage such endurance tests as you are looking for.
    And as all or most publications depend heavily on advertising revenue
    provided by those manufacturers it's not in their interest to publish such
    tests either.
     
    Jeroen Wenting, Oct 14, 2007
    #2
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  3. Likely you will not find any. After all a three year old digital camera
    has very little in common with the current model.
     
    Joseph Meehan, Oct 14, 2007
    #3
  4. aniramca

    ~~NoMad~~ Guest

    Humidity and Dust are the main killers of cameras and lenses. If you keep
    your equipment dry and clean it will last almost indefinitely.

    Humidity can get inside the camera and allow corrosion and growth of
    bacteria.

    Dust eventually gets inside even the best cameras and lenses as seals dry
    and wear out.

    Complete disassembly and refurbishing is possible but very expensive.


    NM
     
    ~~NoMad~~, Oct 14, 2007
    #4
  5. aniramca

    CS Guest

    You can't really compare cars to cameras. Two different animals.

    A car can have serious things wrong with it and still chug along nicely.
    Underinflated tires, dragging brakes, valves needing adjustment, dirty
    filters, all these things can degrade the performance of a car, and most
    folks would barely notice, if they noticed at all.

    A camera depends on most everything working Just So, and if it doesn't, it
    won't work at all, or it'll work so poorly that any problems will be
    glaringly obvious.

    Modern electronics (by 'modern' I mean 10 to 15 years old) are fairly
    reliable. It's not unusual to lab test solenoids and switches to 100k to 1
    million cycles. With digital cameras, as well as some (most?) film cameras,
    mechanical parts have been mostly replaced with electronics, which are less
    tolerant, as well as less vulnerable, to wear, tear, misadjustment and
    failure.

    So, a 10 year old camera with average use should, in theory, work just as
    well as a brand spanking new camera, barring abuse and the odd faulty part.

    The sensors used in digital cameras are, as far as I know, either immune to
    degradation over time, at least for the period of time that's relevant
    (digital cameras have been in popular use for roughly 5 years or so, with
    the hard core crowd roughly 12 years or so, and I've heard of no issues with
    either CMOS sensors, which are fairly newish, or CCD sensors, which are the
    oldest. Number of exposures don't seem to be an issue. The same type of
    sensors are used in survelience cameras, working 24/7, in by far a more
    harsh environment than any still camera, and they can go on for years with
    no problems.

    So, a 'long term' test of a camera, at least in a review style comparing
    models and such, would be kinda silly, especially considering the work
    involved. A photo would have to have been taken when the camera was new,
    then the exact same photo taken after 10 or more years, for a real
    comparison. Someone would have to gather a bunch of old cameras, which
    would be a hassle. Then, as others have mentioned, there's have to be some
    significant reason to spend one's time doing all this. I doubt Nikon or
    Canon would chuck in money for something that may cost them sales.

    With a little investigation, you can find out for yourself which cameras
    stand the test of time. Word of mouth, newsgroups, and photographer friends
    are sources of information. Simply ask folks what they use and how they
    like it. You can also check out Ebay. What are folks paying for used
    digital cameras? Some, like my poor Nikon 5700, are going for roughly 20 to
    30 percent of the new price. That's actually not too shabby. Some real
    good cameras are going for about 1/3 to 1/2 of their new price. Normally I
    wouldn't rely on other people's foolishness for making my own decisions, but
    in some cases, like this one, I feel it's pretty reliable. Most fools
    aren't going to spend a lot of money on something that goes against "common
    wisdom", said wisdom being More Megapixels = Better Camera = Worth More
    Money. If folks can buy a 10 megapixel camera that's small and easy to
    carry around for $300, they aren't going to go on Ebay and spend $600 on a 6
    megapixel camera that's big and bulky. A large LCD display on the back that
    works as a viewfinder is much more fun than a tiny screen that only shows
    the shots you've already taken. Why go with an "enormous" compact flash
    card when SD cards and memory sticks are so much sexier?

    In essence, while you can't always rely on people's smarts, you can ALWAYS
    rely on their stupidity. heh

    CS
     
    CS, Oct 14, 2007
    #5
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