Dilesh Parekh started collecting cameras in his teens. In the fifty years since, he has collected more than 4,000 cameras and has made his way into the Guinness Book of Records for holding the world's largest collection of cameras.
The 65-year-old is a photojournalist from Mumbai and his family has been collecting cameras for many generations. In the 1970s, his grandfather passed on his collection 0f 600 cameras to Dilesh, asking him not to sell the cameras but to add to the collection instead. Staying true to his grandpa's words, Dilesh started collecting cameras. With no one in his league to compete with, he keeps breaking his own record every year. In an interview with The Indian Express, he said,
“These cameras belong to the period between 1890 and 1970… Cameras have been my heart and soul ever since I started collecting them 40 years ago. I wish a museum could be made to house my collection. This will ensure that people from across the globe can view the varied range of cameras I have collected over the years.”
In 2012, Dilesh entered world record by owning 4,425 cameras and now he owns more than 4,600 of them. Though he stopped collecting cameras sometime ago, he keeps receiving them from people all across the world.
Dilesh's collection includes a whole variety of cameras including spy and antique cameras and wooden cameras. He is also the proud owner of cameras that captured important moments in history like the one that captured India's first Parliamentary session with 545 members.
Dilesh has cameras from most parts of the world and some of them are available only with him according to Scroll. In his words,
"Almost 90 percent of the cameras in the world are in my collection. (That includes) some of the rarest cameras in the world that are not even available now, like Leica 250, button cameras by Petal, Panorama cameras by Kodak and even the ones from World War II."