55% of photographers have gear they haven't used in 2 years!

55% of photographers have gear they haven't used in 2 years
(Image credit: MPB)

Over half of photographers won't get rid of their unused photography kit, even if they haven't used it in two years. 

In fact, not only do 55% of photographers have camera equipment that they haven't used in two years, but 65% have gear that they haven't touched in a year. That's according to a new survey by retailer and second-hand kit specialist, MPB. 

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The company's very first kit survey, 'The Big Picture', was a deep dive into all aspects of how photographers regard their equipment, spanning everything from environmental concerns to accessibility to cameras among underrepresented communities.

The big takeaway is that over half of us have equipment that has been sitting unused  for two years – and that we don't want to get rid of that kit "in case we need it" or "for sentimental reasons". 

There may well be a correlation between this 55% of kit hoarders, and the 56% of photographers who admitted that they feel a special connection to their first camera. (Hey, we all keep hold of our first camera, right? Right?) Indeed, 19% feel emotionally attached to their kit in general.

(Image credit: MPB)

Sentimentality is a significant factor among photographers who cherish their gear. Perhaps unsurprisingly, 47% feel more connected to cameras that have been bought for them by a loved one – and 12% hold onto their kit so in order to pass it on to a family member. 

As sentimental as we shooters may be, though, we're also a conscientious bunch; 83% of us have either bought or plan to buy used kit in the future, with 65% feeling that this is better for the environment.

Reflecting the fact photography isn't the most accessible interest, 34% of those surveyed felt that there are insufficient opportunities for "people like them", extending to 46% of those in underrepresented groups feeling that there isn't enough access to camera equipment or the ability to develop their skills.

“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," said MPB CEO Matt Barker. "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." 

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James Artaius

The editor of Digital Camera World, James has 21 years experience as a journalist and started working in the photographic industry in 2014 (as an assistant to Damian McGillicuddy, who succeeded David Bailey as Principal Photographer for Olympus). In this time he shot for clients like Aston Martin Racing, Elinchrom and L'Oréal, in addition to shooting campaigns and product testing for Olympus, and providing training for professionals. This has led him to being a go-to expert for camera and lens reviews, photo and lighting tutorials, as well as industry news, rumors and analysis for publications like Digital Camera MagazinePhotoPlus: The Canon MagazineN-Photo: The Nikon MagazineDigital Photographer and Professional Imagemaker, as well as hosting workshops and talks at The Photography Show. He also serves as a judge for the Red Bull Illume Photo Contest. An Olympus and Canon shooter, he has a wealth of knowledge on cameras of all makes – and a fondness for vintage lenses and instant cameras.