the 10D feels like it will still be going strong in 10 years+
To be honest, I suspect the camera body is probably over engineered - it probably will last 10 years, but I don't have the same faith for the innards.
While we expected our old fashioned steam powered SLRs to last a lifetime, I wonder if this will hold true for DSLRs? Thinking of my various electronic devices over the years, I don't think any have lasted 10 years without problems (mind you, there's not many such devices that have a useful service of 10 years!).
Areas I think the DSLR might be inherently time expired include:
Shutter - I've read the 10D/300D shutter is tested for 50K operations. Given that most people will shoot a LOT more frames than they would with film, I don't know that this is particularly generous. Now I have heard of shutters going for 100K with no problem, but others have failed at 30K.
Rear screen - as I understand it, this technology does not have a particularly long life expectancy.
- again these can fade in time. I recall with my old T90 the top panel LCD
had an expected life expectancy of 5 years, though obviously this depended on use.
The sensor. I have no idea if this has any inherent life limiting feature, however, it is a sensitive device, it will get dirty and will need cleaning. Odds are, sooner or later, it will get damaged.
Of course all the above can be repaired/replaced at a price, however, if DSLRs follow the pattern of other consumer electronic devices, it is very unlikely that such repairs would make economic sense after, say 3 years - certainly not after 5 years. Already I don't think replacing the shutter or sensor on a D30 would make sense.
Bottom line, in my opinion a DSLR should not be thought of as a long term investment, any more than a PC
should. Most organisations would write off a PC
in 3 to 5 years. I see no reason not to think of a DSLR in the same way.
Colin K. Work, Pixstel