How long should a compact digital camera last?

Joshua Goldman from Cnet: My first compact digital camera was a 2-megapixel Nikon Coolpix 950 that I bought in 1999 for a little more than $800. That camera is still fully functioning. However, there are no fixed-lens compact cameras in that price range, only digital SLRs and interchangeable-lens cameras. Currently, the compact market taps out at $500 and those are the high-end megazooms that, sadly, I wouldn't expect to last more than three years. They're just not built for long lives of regular use.

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