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With the lockdown dragging on and economic uncertainty rising as a result, it’s no great surprise to hear that the used camera and lens market continues to boom. According to a new survey* by MPB, 83% of UK camera owners surveyed have either already bought used or plan to in future, with 65% added that buying used is better for the environment

“For most, the content they can create and the skill they can achieve is far more important than having brand new gear or the latest model,” MPB commented. “More than two-thirds (68%) care about the shots they can capture more than the kit they own, with 62 per cent believing that used can be just as good as new.”

Buying used doesn’t cost the earth and can help save it, says MPB

Photographers and videographers also seem more willing to buy used kit than sell or trade in their unused items, despite having an average of three items each currently used. Even though more than half (55%) of the people surveyed have cameras sitting around that they haven’t used in over two years, two in five worry about parting with their unused kit because they think they might use it in future, while one in five (19%) feel emotionally attached to it.

Furthermore, family bonds appear to be a key component of how photographers feel about their gear, with nearly half feeling more connected to cameras that were bought for them by a loved one (47%), and one in 10 (12%) holding onto kit so that they can pass it on to a family member.

“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,” added Matt Barker, CEO of MPB (above).

“It is crucial that more people sell and trade in their unused kit, so photography can be enjoyed by more people without costing the earth. We know that people become emotionally attached to their kit – but when someone opts to sell, they are playing an active part in driving the circularity our field relies on to continue to become as sustainable, accessible and diverse as possible.”

* Research conducted by Opinium on behalf of MPB between 17-21st December 2020, amongst a sample of 1,000 UK professional camera kit owners.

Further reading
MPB announces Hall of Fame cameras
The best second-hand full frame camera bargains
Best second-hand cameras under £500 part 1 and 2