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Nearly half of photographers have unused kit they are unwilling to part with in case they need it or for sentimental reasons, according to a new survey* in the USA from used specialist MPB. The survey revealed that for most respondents, the content they can create and the skill they can achieve is far more important than having brand new photographic gear or the latest model.

Seven in ten (71%) care about the shots they can capture more than the kit they own, with 44 per cent believing that used can be just as good as new.

Interestingly, photographers and videographers are more willing to buy used kit than sell or trade in their unused items, despite having an average of three items each currently used.

Strong emotional connections to personal kit and FOMO (‘fear of missing out’) are the biggest detractors for selling or trading in personal kit. Even though four in ten (44%) of the people surveyed have cameras sitting around that they haven’t used in over two years; a third (34%) worry about parting with their unused kit because they think they might use it in future, while over one in ten (10%) feel emotionally attached to it.

Speaking about the impact of the results, MPB CEO, Matt Barker (below) said: “Kit has an extraordinarily long life and our business is about embracing that – making sure that every item can keep giving for as long as possible, enriching the lives of its owners. In our field we can make a strong contribution to the circular economy without compromising the craft or the skill of photography, so we’re really encouraged to see that so many people in the field are open to and actively seeking out used kit.”

Photographers also feel very connected to their kit, according to the survey, with almost four in ten saying they cherish items that have memories attached to them (36%), and almost half (47%) loving the pieces that captured their favourite shots the most. Family bonds are a key component of how photographers feel about their gear, with over a quarter feeling more connected to cameras that were bought for them by a loved one (27%) and 13 per cent holding onto kit so that they can pass it on to a family member.

* The research was conducted by Opinium on behalf of MPB between 17-21st December 2020, amongst a sample of 2,000 US professional camera kit owners.