Sticker Shock

June 21, 2009 | By | 8 Replies More

Back in the 1980’s I learned that digital electronics always rapidly descend in price. Pretty much, if you bought a computer, disc player, or digital camera a month ago then the price would already be noticeably lower.

Canon SD1100is GoldBut I recently was told (by Erich as he took the pictures here) that the camera he (and I) love to carry has increased in price since we bought them. I didn’t believe him, so I looked it up at and at Amazon. Amazon seems to show the real prices that the  (lower) PriceGrabber links jump to.  The exact camera that I bought for $160 from Amazon 7 months ago is now a whopping $358! Un-be-(expletive)-lievable.

You may remember Erich and I raving about this little gem since he first bought his over a year ago. I shopped independently and at length to select the same camera. One odd feature of it is that it is available in a range of colors. I bought mine in Gold because it was the cheapest at the time, by $5.

Now however, the price is about $180 in blue or brown, up to $358 in … Gold! Apparently, this camera is now a hot item.

Possibly one reason besides those we’ve mentioned on this site is that hackers have been at work. One can download uncertified “patches” to make this camera do even more amazing things. See Turn Your Point-and-Shoot into a Super-Camera at

I feel that this is but another sign of our living in Interesting Times.


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Category: Consumerism, Economy, photography

About the Author ()

A convoluted mind behind a curly face. A regular traveler, a science buff, and first generation American. Graying of hair, yet still verdant of mind. Lives in South St. Louis City. See his personal website for (too much) more.

Comments (8)

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  1. Erich Vieth says:

    Dan: I suppose that your gold camera must really be made of gold to justify that price!

    As you mentioned, I carry my SD1100IS almost everywhere. It's a highly versatile camera with which I've taken tons of images. other than cropping and a few other minor tweaks, I don't usually process my photos. Many of the photos in this Picasa web album… were taken with the SD1100IS. I know that there are many other good cheap consumer grade cameras out there, but I still recommend this one (other than the gold color), because I have run it through the ringer and it is so incredibly adaptable. BTW, Blue is the cheapest color at Amazon today ($179) while gold has come down in price a bit, to $309. I just don't get the pricing . . .

  2. grumpypilgrim says:

    Hot arbitrage opportunity: buy the camera in a cheap color, paint it with a $5 bottle of Testor's paint (for plastic) and resell it on ebay for a fat profit.

  3. Dan Klarmann says:

    Maybe the pricing is calculated based on relative frequency of purchase. A weekly adjustment of each price proportional to it's difference from the mean number of cameras purchased in all colors. F'rinstance: If they sell on average 10/color, But because 12 were gold in the interval, raise the gold by $2. and drop the blue and brown (9 each) by (less than) one dollar each. Less to ensure the prices don't drop below cost.

    That may be a cromulent way of automating a supply and demand pricing engine. When the price differential causes the colors to all be ordered at the same rate, then the pricing is "perfect". Also, they know what colors are preferred by how much for future design decisions.

  4. Dan Klarmann says:

    My latest antic while appreciating my appreciating camera. A video from a cantilever off a bicycle:

    <object width="425" height="260"><param name="movie" value=""></param><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true"></param><param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always"></param><embed src="; type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true" width="425" height="260"></embed></object>

  5. Erich Vieth says:

    Dan: How did you

    A) get the SD1100SI to take this series of photos automatically? and

    B) String them into that entertaining presentation?

    Thank you for using hand turn signals. How courteous of you!

  6. Dan Klarmann says:

    One of my favorite features in the Canon Elph is the time-lapse video mode. Out of the box, it has 1s and 2s per frame modes; quite useful. The hack allows for arbitrary delay between shots, but I haven't tried it, yet.

    With my previous not-as-good camera, I shot full motion video and squeezed the time line. (Driving to Shapiro)

    An entertaining presentation? Just like in photography: Mostly luck and sweat. It took an hour to get the tripod mounted right, then over 2 hours of video and audio editing.

    As Dr. Ruth says, "Practice, practice, practice."

  7. Dan Klarmann says:

    I don't believe it. The exact little digital camera that Erich and I bought about two years ago is still selling for $100 MORE than what I paid for it. Canon PowerShot SD1100IS 8MP Digital Camera with 3x Optical Image Stabilized Zoom (Gold)

    There are three newer models in the series, selling for less!

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