Many of us are sitting on a goldmine: according to research published in 2022 by MPB, the world’s leading platform for selling and buying used photo gear, more than half (56%) of millennial and Gen Z consumers have at least one unused camera. If you add up all the unused devices Americans are holding onto, across all age groups, that number tops out at a whopping $650 billion.
Here’s another startling stat from MPB: 50% of consumers have never traded in their used gear to get something new. With all that untapped potential, it’s past time to reconsider—and revolutionize—our shopping habits.
With holiday shopping now in full swing, we’d do well to take a look at one final number: according to estimates, consumers send 23 million unwanted gifts during the holiday season. This year, resist the urge to impulse shop (and overspend!) and instead take a moment to pause and reconsider the sustainability of our choices, from an environmental standpoint as well as a financial one.
First, forget everything you think you know about selling used camera gear. MPB has revolutionized the process by streamlining it to just a few simple steps:
If you don’t accept the offer, no worries: MPB will send your gear back to you, insured, at no extra cost.
If you’re in the market for an upgrade, you can sell your gear in exchange for something new. With every upgrade, MPB offers a free warranty. Every item is photographed individually, so you know exactly what you’re getting. On average, a visual storyteller who buys a camera from MPB saves a third of what they’d spend buying new.
MPB’s business model is circular, and the company embraces environmental sustainability as a core value—not an afterthought. MPB’s first Impact Report, published earlier this year, underscores just how much of a difference keeping tech in use—and out of landfills—can make. In 2023, MPB recirculated 485,000 pieces of photo and video gear—that’s a 39% increase from the year before.
45% of the electricity that powered MPB operations—from its buildings to its data centers to its courier services—came from renewable sources. Their site in Berlin has already achieved 100% renewable electricity. Their goal is to reach that number across all building locations. Finally, MPB sent zero waste to landfills. Across three locations, 70% of waste was recycled, and the rest was processed into energy.
Heading into 2024, selling, buying, or trading used cameras is a no-brainer for both your wallet and the environment—and, as the largest platform of its kind, MPB has everything. Whether you’re upgrading for yourself or saving up for gifts for your photographer friends, here are some of our top recommendations for all genres of visual storytellers:
Nikon Z7 II: One of our favorite cameras for landscape photographers, the Z7 II combines a 45.7MP sensor with a lightweight mirrorless body, empowering you to traverse rough terrain in search of the perfect vantage point.
Sony A7R V: Equipped with a stunning 61MP sensor, this powerful camera is beloved by landscape and portrait photographers alike. With low noise and high sensitivity, it’s also a go-to for shooting in low light.
Canon EOS R5: Wildlife filmmaker Hannah Stitfall recently borrowed one of these mirrorless cameras from MPB and paired it with a 100-500mm lens for a breathtaking journey through northern Sweden. She especially appreciated how light the camera was: the moment she spotted a bird in the distance, she could reach into her backpack and grab the shot.
Ricoh GR III: Another choice for street photographers is this ultra-compact camera. It has a 28mm-equivalent fixed lens, a 24.2MPAPS-C sensor, and a weight of just 257 grams.
Canon EOS R3: Sports and news photographers, this one’s for you. With 4779 autofocus points and the ability to shoot at 1/64,000 sec, you can be sure to catch those blink-and-you-miss-it moments.
Nikon Z9: This beast of a camera is prized for its video specs as much as its stills performance. For sports and wildlife photographers, it combines image quality with speed for a game-changing experience.
FujiFilm XT-5: This crop-sensor camera made headlines when its 40MP sensor was revealed, blowing the 26.1MP sensor of its predecessor out of the water in terms of resolution and sensitivity. In addition to tracking eyes and faces, it also recognizes moving objects, such as cars and bicycles.
Sony A1: Known for its speed, this 50.1MP camera is beloved among sports and wildlife photographers. Jason Fenton, a travel and wildlife photographer, chose to trade in his previous gear and upgrade to this camera before heading out on an adventure of a lifetime to photograph white-tailed eagles in Scotland.
“One of the most impressive things about the Sony A1 is its autofocus system—one the most responsive and accurate autofocus systems in the industry—I was always able to lock on to the eagles as they approached,” he told MPB.
Fuji GFX-100S: This 100MP, medium-format mirrorless camera packs a powerful punch for a relatively affordable price. Due to its large size, it’s perfect for portrait, still life, and other studio photographers. It’s a camera that inspires you to slow down—something we’re hoping to see more of this holiday season.
As we head into Black Friday this year, remember to pause, and buy used. With thousands of options available on MPB for a fraction of the cost of new, it’s never been easier to make the right choice for the environment, your budget, and your photography. Embrace the circular economy: spend less, and get more.