Similar to timepiece, cameras are collectible items. Good classic cameras prices will increase overtime, such as limited edition Leica and Rolleiflex. Digital cameras definitely not in this category, for now.
While Leica and Rolleiflex is the high end stuff, not every collector need to spend ten of thousands on their collections. Here's a guy name John Kratz who has over 150 cameras in his collection and half of them are toy cameras, from beer can to Voltron. These toy cameras turn out to be even more rare than Leica in the long run, as people easily ignore and treat them as rubbish. For a full collection you can visit his flickr gallery.
This financial crisis definitely hit a lot of previously rich people in the western hemisphere and since early this year, I have seen many people selling/auctioning off their once pricey if not priceless film camera collection. For example, the rare and already discontinued Hasselblad XPAN II. Before financial crisis, there's less than two units found on eBay. Now, there are over ten of units available for sale at any given time.
If you are extremely loaded with cash, and not hit by the current global financial crisis, and crazy about Leica, here's a good chance for you to setup a Leica museum. A Netherlands owner is letting go his M6 collection. Fourteen of them! See them for yourself (while still available). The total cost, a cool USD75,000.
To date there's no Guinness world record for the title "World's Largest Camera Collection*", but I think Mr Sekar from Chennai come close.
Chennai: It's said that a man is known by the company he keeps. But there's someone who's known by the cameras he keeps.
C Sekar, owner of an enviable collection of cameras, chooses to call his apartment 'Camera House', an apt name, considering most of the space in the apartment is taken up by his cameras.
"There are people who collect vintage cars, or old stamps, but no one ever thinks of camera. I think I'm the first one to do it," C Sekar says.
Sekar has cameras from Britain, US, Switzerland, France. Some of his exclusive pieces are – a model wrapped in crocodile leather, an old wooden piece, that's more than a century old and to top it all, there a small lighter cum camera that clicks a picture even as you light up a cigarette.
Sekar's vintage collection could easily fetch him crores of rupees, a well deserved reward for spending almost three quarters of his earnings on his fetish. But he has other designs.
"At least two college students come to my house everyday to study about my camera. It helps them understand how things were some years ago – that's before technology came in. I want to preserve them all for posterity in a museum," Sekar says.
PS: You will need a magnifying glass.
Lastly, just to share with you, my dream camera collection. So far only collected five. Still a long way to go.
Note: There is however a Guinness world record for "World's largest movie camera collection".