Collecting Digital Compacts

Landshark

PhotoDog
Jul 15, 2010
124
SoCal
Bob
I have kept all of my Ricoh GRDs, the GRD, GRD ll, GRD III and GRD IV. great cameras I also still have my Leica d-lux3 and 4, but most of the others have gone to family, friends or charity
 

AstroZon

Rookie
Jan 1, 2014
13
Colorado Springs
I know that this is an old thread, but the topic interest me: Are there collectible digital cameras? I agree with Dan and say yes. I'd say that like film cameras, there are, or will be, collectible digital cameras for different reasons:

Technological Breakthroughs
Image Quality
Proven Ruggedness
Flagship Cameras, TOTL, etc.
Quirkiness / Uniqueness (not intentional)
Novelity Cameras (intentional)
 

AstroZon

Rookie
Jan 1, 2014
13
Colorado Springs
I'll start in the middle here with a candidate for Quirkiness / Uniqueness: The Sony Mavica FD-88. There were several Mavica FD versions in rapid succession. No Memory Stick, SD card, or Compact Flash, but a 3.5 inch floppy disk! Police forces across the country bought these for investigations and were often the first digital camera used by a given police force. These replaced Polaroids which were expensive on the film side. One selling point was that 3.5 floppys were at their production height and cheap. After the disk was full, just pop in another floppy.

Of course, megapixels soon surpassed what a floppy could store so Sony followed with the CD burning Mavica. Plus the Mavica line ran parallel to the CyberShot family which quickly rendered the Mavicas obsolete.

I often see the Sony Mavica cameras at thrifts for $10 or $20. I haven't bought one, but will when I find a pristine and working model for the right price.
 

Biro

Super Moderator
Aug 7, 2011
124
Jersey Shore
Steve
It's interesting to me that this thread was revived now. I have just sold off my Panasonic LX7 (and even the GX1), Pentax MX-1 and Pentax Q. It's not that I didn't like the cameras. In fact, I loved them so much that it was almost painful to let them go. But, the honest truth is, I wasn't using them much. So I hope they go to people who will use them as intended.

They were beautiful: I loved to look at, pick up and hold all of them. But it's clear I liked the idea of these cameras more than actually using them. When headed out the door, I would always reach for cameras that could give me higher image quality and/or were more compact in a practical sense: Typically, the Olympus E-PM2 and the Fuji XF1.

But I totally understand the appeal of such cameras and hope that others will collect good examples. In this digital age, where almost everything is considered to be a throw-away item, I hope this era of imaging will be preserved.

Meanwhile, I'm still wrestling with the idea of picking up either a Panasonic GM1 or Ricoh GR.
 

AstroZon

Rookie
Jan 1, 2014
13
Colorado Springs
  • Any of the Canon PowerShot G’s are worth buying. Early models G1 to G6 had wider aperture lenses, flip screens, took CF cards, had hot shoes and wrote RAW. All these are amazing features for cameras made between 2000 and 2004. I’d stick to these early models. Later models had bags of style, with black bodies and turned knobs, but slower lenses are more expensive and some had issues. The only models that were at all unpopular were the G7, which lacked RAW, and with some the G11, which saw a step down in resolution in exchange for better low light performance. The G10 is the model with the highest resolution to date and still sells for a pretty penny on the second hand market. If you want to show a collector how much you know about cameras, ask for the rare G4 or G8 models :wink:. There are a other Canons worthy of consideration. The IXUS 65 (SD630) was well regarded, but too common and besides, I still have my old Ixus 60 (SD600) anyway.

  • Any Leica compact digital camera is an instant classic, but they hold their value and aren’t cheap. The Panasonic Lumix equivalent were half the price, did the almost exactly the same thing and are a better deal as a practical user camera. Many people have a soft spot for the DMC-LX3 because it was small and just about the best compact digital camera available until very recently. Buy that one if you see it very cheap.

Dan​


_____________________

Dan has been a lifelong avid photographer and is a long-term small camera enthusiast. I follow Dan's daily insightful and entertaining Twitter coverage of all things photography and photo-gear related. You can find Dan on Twitter: @ZDP189. -Amin
I agree with the early Canon G Series. They were cool looking cameras - sort of a cross between a Rollei 35mm and an Argus C3. I saw a Canon G3 the other day and was impressed by its size. I like the boxy body. Anything smaller, and I'm prone to shaking it.

I also agree with the Leica / Lumix cameras. I recently bought a Lumix DMC-FX12 for $21 at Goodwill. While 6 years old and only 7.2 megapixels, it takes great photos. Especially good is its macro ability and color rendition.

Here's a picture taken with it of two of my Minolta rangefinders:

 

AstroZon

Rookie
Jan 1, 2014
13
Colorado Springs
It's interesting to me that this thread was revived now. ... But I totally understand the appeal of such cameras and hope that others will collect good examples. In this digital age, where almost everything is considered to be a throw-away item, I hope this era of imaging will be preserved.
Yea, I didn't want to start a new thread on the same topic even though it's an old thread. Also, I totally agree with you about our current throw-away culture mentality. It's crazy really.

Meanwhile, I'm still wrestling with the idea of picking up either a Panasonic GM1 or Ricoh GR.
Those are both nice cameras but quite different. The GM1 is a very nice 4/3 mirrorless, while the GR is a large sensor compact. I think I'd go with the GM1.
 

Tilman Paulin

Top Veteran
Nov 15, 2011
69
Vancouver B.C.
Tilman
I agree with the early Canon G Series. They were cool looking cameras - sort of a cross between a Rollei 35mm and an Argus C3. I saw a Canon G3 the other day and was impressed by its size. I like the boxy body. Anything smaller, and I'm prone to shaking it.
The Canon G3 was my first digital camera. Great camera, I played with it again Christmas 2012 (my Dad still has it).
With cameras like that I sometimes wish the manufacturers would make a new iteration. Just updating the sensor and imaging processor (ok, maybe the LCD too). But the lens and the general handling of these were great.

I still have (and sometimes use) the Fuji F30. My smallest camera. Still makes nice pictures and still has fantastic battery life.
Keep thinking that I should get rid of it (especially since I got the MX-1), but it's so cute. Yeah, I know, weird. But there's just something about certain cameras that other cameras don't have :)
 

Lawrence A.

Hall of Famer
Nov 8, 2012
124
New Mexico
Larry
OK. My personal favorites are the Olympus XA, a unique little honest to God rangefinder that i still use; the Leica D-Lux 4, the only camera without an eye-level finder that I've ever loved; the Olympus C5050, slow as molasses on a winter's day, but built like a tank, with a superb lens, and taking excellent 5 MP photos; and the C8080WZ.

I remain fond of many others, but those are the compacts for which I retain a special affection.
 

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