The beloved relic of the 2000s has made a comeback into our nostalgic hearts. People are digging through their parents’ drawers and hitting up secondhand stores. Canon Powershot and Kodak EasyShare cameras are among their finds, showing up at parties and social events. This time, the poor picture quality isn’t for lack of a better tool, it’s on purpose. If you have a digicam gathering dust, it might be time to give it a shot.
It may come as a surprise in today’s world where phone cameras are both incredibly convenient and high quality, that a piece of technology that peaked in popularity 15 years ago is making a huge comeback. We’re talking about the old point-and-shoot cameras of the early 2000s. Those tiny cameras with single-digit megapixels and cheap plastic bodies. Yes, those digicams are making a triumphant return!
Despite the decline in industry revenue for the past decade, searches for “digital cameras” on eBay have surged by 10 percent from 2021 to 2022,according to Davina Ramnarine.
The younger generation is embracing the nostalgia of retro aesthetics, showcasing their digital cameras on TikTok and sharing their photos on Instagram. This trend is not just about the visual appeal of the photos but also a way to get away from the constant connection to our smartphones.
With the resurgence of flip phones and wired headphones, it was only a matter of time before digital cameras became the next big thing. But what’s driving this sudden interest?
When celebrities like Bella Hadid are seen wearing them and promoting them on social media, it’s only a matter of time before the rest of us follow suit. But there’s a deeper meaning behind this trend. For Gen Z, it’s about seeking meaning and expressing their values through their technological choices and creating a personal narrative.
Some love using digital cameras because it gives their photos an artistic, vintage feel that is less harsh and more unique than the perfect, filtered photos we see on social media.
Aperture Priority, a Depop shop that sells second-hand cameras, has seen a big increase in demand for digital cameras in recent months. Digital cameras are not only affordable, but they’re also a great entry point for people who want to get into photography.
According to Jo, the head of Aperture Priority, we have become numb to the novelty of things because everything is on our phones now, and the cameras on our phones are all pretty similar. Digital cameras, however, all have different aesthetic.
This trend is also quite sustainable compared to others. You can find old digital cameras lying around many homes, or you can buy them second-hand for as little as $15. These compact digital cameras are both cheap and easy to find, and they produce unique and specific image qualities.
Nostalgia plays a big role in the trend cycle, and digital cameras are no exception. Using a digital camera can be a simple, nostalgic experience, from changing SD cards to transferring photos to your computer.
Vintage digital cameras produce unique, striking images with a textured, rebellious feel that’s often even better than film grain. Plus, the recognizable aesthetic of these cameras gives photos a dreamy, past-like quality without the need for expensive printing or hours of photo editing. Best of all, digital cameras are a budget-friendly option for many people.
Cover credits: Mark Hunter