The mystery of the missing camera

The mystery of the missing camera

It’s been a while since I’ve paid attention to the photography gear scene, but these days it appears that there are very few affordable, and more importantly newly released enthusiast/prosumer interchangeable lens cameras available on the market (at least here in India). The least expensive DSLR camera I found was the rather underwhelming Canon EOS 3000D (priced ~ ₹27,000), followed by the EOS 1500D (priced ~ ₹37,000), both of which were released in 2018, and are entry-level in Canon’s range. But strangely, no other brand, not even Nikon seems to have stock of any affordable entry-level DSLR models in the market. Even in the mirrorless range there are very few affordable or newer models and most are priced even higher than they were at launch.

Of course, I do understand that the global semiconductor shortage has hit the camera market particularly hard, but even then I expected to find a few more affordable entry-level mirrorless cameras since mirrorless is a fairly mature technology and has been around for a while now and most camera manufacturers have completely stopped manufacturing DSLRs. While I can understand the non-production of DSLRs, I am quite surprised that not a single manufacturer has come up with a truly affordable entry-level mirrorless.

I ran a few random searches for mirrorless cameras and prices on various online stores using google for the cheapest prices I could find for some of the available models. Bear in mind that most of them were released several years ago and are hardly bleeding edge. I’m quoting the price I found for brand new rather than pre-owned:

  • Canon EOS M200 (~ ₹42,000)
  • Nikon Z50 (~ ₹70,000)
  • Panasonic Lumix G7 (~ ₹42,000)
  • Canon EOS M50 II (~ ₹58,000)
  • Sony Alpha A6000Y[1] (~ ₹54,000)

I’m not even getting into Fujifilm, Olympus or other brands. The INR prices quoted are absurdly insane, and it seems that most models not even available on the markets.

Maybe this phenomenon is India-specific though, since even at the best of times the duty on imported electronics severely impacts the final marked price and many of the newly released models take ages to reach the Indian market anyway. Coupled with the semiconductor crisis that doesn’t seem to be abating soon, I think we have a market where you shell out a premium even for several year old entry-level models.

  1. The dual lens kit. The A6000L single lens kit with the 16-50mm is ~ ₹43,000[]

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