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Cameras politically incorrect, says report

The most recent report on cameras by an organisation out of the UK called ‘The Ethical Consumer Research Association’ has concluded that, based on its assessment of their environmental/political credentials, there is not one camera manufacturer worthy of consumer support.

If you want to feel less unethical about buying a new camera – get a Sigma!

It advises consumers to buy a second hand camera instead! ‘No camera stood out clearly as an ethical option. Our best buy is a second-hand camera,’ the report states. ‘To avoid companies with links to either surveillance or trophy hunting, we would recommend buying from Sigma, Hasselblad or Olympus…for DSLR and mirrorless cameras, or GoPro for compact ‘action’ cameras.

Measures it considers include involvement in conflict minerals, the handling of toxic materials intrinsic to electronics manufacturing, and even whether the manufacturer also makes binoculars which people might use for hunting.

For instance both Nikon and Leica ‘both actively promote trophy hunting through the manufacture and sale of equipment and through their marketing and sponsorship programs’ and are marked down accordingly.

The CCP’s treatment of the Uighur minority (among other things) makes camera component manufacturing in China ‘problematic’ according to Ethical Consumer.

Canon and Fujifilm come in with a score of just 4.5 out of 20 – close to the bottom of the league table. Panasonic Lumix scores 4. At the top of the table with a score of 9 out of 20 comes Sigma, with Hasselblad and Ricoh/Pentax next with 7.5.

But how ethical is The Ethical Research Consumer Association when it’s not pontificating on the ethics of other organisations? Reading through the report, Inside Imaging experienced an involuntary raising of the eyebrows when we saw that ‘ERCA’, if we can call it that, runs display advertising on its website  for Sony (score 5.5) to sell the very cameras to advises us not to buy: ‘Ethical Consumer makes a small amount of money from your purchase. This goes to fund our research and campaigning. We ethically screen all the sites we link to.’

So if you buy an ‘unethical’ camera brand (bad) from an ‘ethical’ outlet (good) and some of the proceeds go to Ethical Consumer Association (good?) – are you a good person or a bad person? Hmm…




  1. Nicholas Grocott Nicholas Grocott April 8, 2021

    If that’s how the ECRA measures “ethics” they have a serious problem with credibility. This mob considers whether a Camera manufacturer produces “binoculars which people might use for hunting” in its assessment of the Co’s ethics. What a mindless “Woke” metric. Does the ECRA also take into account the microscopes made (by Nikon, Leica) to assist researching life saving drugs? How did the idiots behind these metrics ever make it out of the cave and walk upright, or have they?

    • Keith Shipton Keith Shipton Post author | April 9, 2021

      Yeah nah I don’t think microscopes cancel out rifles scopes in Ethical Consumerland, Nicholas.

  2. Geoff Lane Geoff Lane April 22, 2021

    UK’s ‘The Ethical Consumer Research Association’ says “there is not one camera manufacturer worthy of consumer support”. Seriously? Perhaps they would advise a return to hand-painting on cave walls in ochre to document life on earth.
    I haven’t read such tripe in years.

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