If you have not heard yet, there is a significant shortage in key microchips. This has caused problems for Qualcomm, General Motors and Ford. If you want to check the available facts around this issue, go do your own research. The reason I am posting this in a photographic forum is to look into the question of whether "we" photographers can be affected, and what this might imply to choices we make this year. Can we be affected? That much is simple. Yes, we can. But how much? That's where the trouble researching this issue starts. At this point, it is very hard to say. The problem is most obvious looking at the more advanced chips which are produced at the "big" fabrication sites. Notice I say "more advanced" and not "most advanced". The "most" advanced chips, like those we are familiar with from Intel and AMD and Nvidia, are generally in short supply anyway, but so far there has been no word of anything unusual in their supply. The bottleneck is occurring somewhere below that level. Which and Why? The chips we are hearing about seem to be something like "the next level down". They are made in "microchip fabrication facilities" (aka "fabs") which are booked in advance and make a run of one type of chip for a while, then switch to another type of chip for a while, and so on. The fabs are in fairly constant use. So a company using those fabs have to estimate how many chips they will need between production runs and make that quantity during the time they have available. The problem probably happened because of the sudden drop in demand for chips caused by Covid-19. Orders were probably cancelled or reduced while we waited for demand in end products to get back to normal levels. Since this was an unusual situations, mistakes were made regarding stockpiling for when sales picked up again. Clearly, there was not enough stockpiling to cover the re-start of production of cars. So now, key chips are in short supply to complete the construction of Ford and GM cars needed to fill demand. Qualcomm is an industrial supplier to (among other things) cellphone makers, so there might be supply shortages of certain cellphones for a while too. So What About Photography? Are key photographic chips made in these fabs? I would expect so, but the only way to know is to disassemble a camera and look at the chips, and the chips might not be marked in a way that indicates their origins. Actually, they are already "hidden" to some degree. Canon, Nikon, Sony and the rest are probably mainly using re-labelled chips. There might be real chip design work being done in "graphics" chips, but even that is not necessarily being done. It might just be differences in programming. But that is the body. The lenses are probably not that advanced. The first automatic exposure adjustment in cameras was electro-mechanical. It was a photo-cell powering a needle that was mechanically trapped stopping the aperture to stay open at a certain F-stop. Similarly, the first image stabilization was just a set of weights and balances that moved internal lenses swinging around inside a lens body. There was no need for "microchips" for those technologies. So even today, the chips inside lenses are probably not that advanced. So fabricating them might be going on in smaller facilities, and they might be fairly deeply stockpiled. So what does this imply? It seems to me (my best guess) is that if you want to buy an advanced camera body and a lens or two, and you have the money to get some of these, then you might want to look first at whether you can get the body, and give it priority. I think that lenses might be left for a lower priority. Also, cameras and lenses are probably worth prioritizing over camera bags, tripods, light stands and tee-shirts. I would still prioritize sandwiches, no matter how low-tech they might be. That is just a thought. I could be wrong about a lot of this.