Minh Thein on Petapixel has some thoughts on digital camera lifespan”
In the film days, the camera body and lenses lasted a long time; you invested in glass, got a decent body – one that fulfilled your personal needs as a photographer – and then picked the right film for the job. In that sense, image quality differences between brands were down to the lenses and the photographer.
Bottom line: the camera body now plays a much more critical role in the imaging chain because it also contains the ‘film’, and this isn’t something you can change when the equivalent of a new emulsion is released.
Before you increased the technical image quality with better lenses and better film. A 1950 Leica M can use modern Leica glass and modern film. Still the same camera body.
Also another point Thein raise is how digital camera are obsoleted by unavailability of things like batteries, and the risk of losing ones archive with file format incompatibilities, *cough* RAW *cough* , as well as storage solutions.
This is something to be thought about with our society being more and more throw away. I wonder if the amount of e-waste isn’t worse than the chemicals used for film processing and printing.