The Cost of Cameras

The Price of Cameras


I keep an eye on the prices of cameras, lenses, bags, photography things in general. We all like the idea of a bargain, right?

Every January the cost of equipment is kicked to the forefront of my mind as that’s when I need to renew my camera insurance.

The policy is on a new for old basis so I have to price the replacement value of my equipment or probably be under insured.

This year held a few surprises. My main camera is a Canon 5D2. It was introduced, I think, in 2009 and I bought mine in 2012 when the 5D3 was released. With hindsight, it was more camera than I needed for shooting stock.

The 5D3 was priced in the region of £2500 on release, slightly over £1000 more than I had paid for my camera. This price dropped to around £2300 over time. These prices are dealer prices. The camera could be bought cheaper but then there’s the risk of gray imports.

Now the current Canon 5D, the MK4, is on sale for about £3600. Cameras are always expensive in the UK compared to most other markets but lately this has been compounded by the drop in the value of Sterling. I think the manufacturers may have taken the opportunity to slip in a price rise as well.

I have no doubt that the Canon EOS 5D4 is a fantastic camera, light years ahead of my 5D2, and I want one. But £3600? No, not for me. I don’t see how it can be worth that price to any stock shooter. Not with the current return on stock images.

As an aside (and I know there’s a lot more expense involved in a brand change than a camera body) a Nikon D810 can be bought for over £1000 less.

A full frame Canon alternative would be the EOS 6D. It’s a fine camera, but a bit long in the tooth. The MK2 is rumoured but will no doubt be expensive.

Back to my insurance. I found that the 5D3 was still on sale so my camera is insured for £2300.

I know that I could move to a cropped sensor Canon, the 80D leaps to mind, but I’m used to the larger sensor. It follows also that start to think of change of sensor size then you open up to other ideas or opportunities including other camera brands.

I’ve recently added a post about mirrorless cameras and £3600 will buy a lot of Fuji, Olympus or Panasonic kit.

While, at present anyway, I wouldn’t try to argue that smaller cheaper mirrorless cameras can replace an SLR. They mostly can if you shoot just stock.

© 2017, J Orr. All rights reserved.