Finding Your Forever Camera

There’s an expression amongst house hunters – “finding our forever home” – which means finding the property you plan to spend the rest of your life in.

But how does this apply to us photographers?

Is there such thing as a “Forever Camera”?

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Personally I can name a handful of digital cameras I could happily use exclusively for the rest of my life.

The Ricoh GX100, Ricoh GRD III, Pentax Q, Panasonic Lumix LX3, and most recently the little Canon Digital IXUS 870 IS.

These are all cameras that delight me enough – and deliver impressive enough results – that I don’t need to look any further.

But what about the lifespan of these cameras and the energy sources and media they rely upon?

In 40, 50, 60 years’ time, it’s highly unlikely any of them will still work, or the batteries, memory cards and file formats they depend on are still available and usable.

So they can’t be called Forever Cameras in this sense.

Given that I’m hopefully not even half way through my life, there’s only one camera I own that I can say with confidence could be my Forever Camera.

The Asahi Spotmatic F.

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It does take a battery for the meter, but I haven’t had one in it for years, and used to rely on either Sunny 16 or use a light meter app on my phone.

The essential functions are all mechanical, and it feels silky smooth to use. Same with my favourite M42 lenses I own.

It might need a service in a decade or two, but can quite feasibly still be fully working many decades beyond that.

But what about film, and processing services? Will these be available in five years, let alone 15 or 30? 

Due to all of these unknowns, we could quite feasibly say that no camera in existence today will still be used to its fullest 30 or 40 years from now.

Which makes this question for anyone planning to live that much longer almost redundant.

But these practicalities aside, which camera(s) do you own and use now that could easily be your Forever Camera?

Do you think about your current camera’s longevity, or do you plan to just upgrade every year or two or five for the rest of your life?

Please let us know in the comments below, we’d love to hear your thoughts (and don’t forget to tick the “Notify me of new comments via email” box to follow the conversation).

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Finding Your Forever Camera