Pro DSLRs Depreciate More Slowly than Consumer-Level DSLRs

screenshot terapeak study

The dilemma of anyone that gets lured into gadget obsession is to always have the latest model. This holds true in all areas where the latest device models dictate whether or not you have cutting edge technology, or just yesterday’s outmoded toy. It happens most notoriously with smartphones, computers, video games, and tablets. Cameras are no exception, especially after the medium turned digital. As a photographer, you take comfort in knowing you have the best possible camera that technology can offer, of course, that is within reach of your budget.

So how do you make a wise purchase? First you try and buy the camera that will give the most bang for your buck; second, you also consider finding a model that will hold its value longer, just in case you have to sell to upgrade. This purchasing criterion has been supported and substantiated, based on Terapeak’s recent study.

terapeak for ebay study

Using a study tool called “Terapeak for eBay“, which summarizes and analyzes dealings on the website, data about the latest Canon camera body sales were imported into the tool, and then evaluated. Superior quality cameras such as the 1D X and 5D Mark III decrease in value at a similar rate, that is they both hold their values well, in spite of the fact that one is nearly double in price. Both are professional model cameras. However, a full frame 6D model losses its value at roughly the same rate as the entry-level 650D, which are both consumer-grade models.

terapeak graph on eos camera depreciation graph eos camera depreciation

The study showed that after 26 weeks, the 1D X and 5D Mark III are still valued at approximately 90% of their original published price; on the other hand the 6D and 650D nose-dived in value down to around 70% of their original price during the same duration.

This study shows that purchasing a higher model camera (such as the 6D), but still within the consumer-grade product line, does not ensure it will hold its value better. To get superior value down the road, any professional model (such as the 5D Mark III) will likely be a better investment, since the device is liable to keep a higher value, and hold it there for a longer time. Quality really costs less in the long run, after all.

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Patricia Ramos

Patricia Ramos

I am a freelance photographer who is no stranger to smudged lenses, long hours in front of the computer, heavy camera bags (and the back aches that ensued) and missing lens caps. If you know what I'm talking about, you probably have as much love and passion for photography as I do.