4th March 2024

A Virtual World of Live Pictures

Technology and Computer

A Love Letter to the Digital Camera

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at FSU chapter.

If you told a college girl of the 2000s that college kids of the 2020s had smartphones with high-resolution cameras and access to social media at their fingertips, she’d likely be jealous. She’d be even more shocked to hear that this generation of students is “rediscovering” the digital cameras of her time, with some preferring them to their smartphones. With almost every Y2K trend resurfacing (yes, even low-rise pants), it was only a matter of time before the digital camera made its comeback, and I’m here for it. Here are my favorite things that the digital camera trend has brought along with it and why I think it’s so popular.

Nostalgia

Photography has been a part of my life in various stages. When I was six, I vividly remember buying a miniature digital camera for $4 at a neighbor’s yard sale. It was so small that it didn’t even have a screen for seeing photos. I don’t think I even saw what was on the SD card, but I just remember loving the ability to take photos.

At age 10, the Polaroid revival came about with the release of their Instax Mini, and I wasted several sheets of film attempting to take close-up photos with a lens. Later, when I was in middle school, my brother (the photographer of my family) and I binge-watched thrift store film camera hauls on YouTube. Thus began our film photography phase.

For the remainder of my middle and high school years, while my brother remained focused on film cameras, I moved towards the convenience of iPhone photography. It wasn’t until I convinced my brother to let me borrow his bright blue FUJIFILM camera and bring it to my senior prom that I knew I needed a digital camera for myself.

The Revival of Candid Photos

There’s a different simplicity to photos that the point-and-shoot digital camera introduces. Let me make this clear: I’m talking about compact point-and-shoot digital cameras, not professional photography ones. The retro look that digital cameras give photos is a welcomed contrast to the sharp, auto-edits on iPhones (which I wish Apple would remove). These types of photos — warm, brightly flashed, and a bit out of focus — reintroduce a casual approach to photography. There’s this concept of “living in the moment” that they offer. No distractions like those on your phone. Just photos.

In conjunction with the “photo dump” trend, this concept of making your photos seem very “in the moment” and unposed, even if they are already, has been magnified by the revival of the digital camera. In my opinion, it’s a welcome to the “#MakeInstagramCasualAgain” trend.

Anyone Can Get One!

Possibly the best part about this trend is the fact that almost anyone can get in on it. A simple and functional digital point-and-shoot camera isn’t hard to come by. If it doesn’t already come with one, all you’ll need is an SD card and you’re good to go! Since point-and-shoots were designed for casual and quick photos, no advanced photography experience is required. If you don’t already own one, I think it’s a great introduction to photography and may make you feel a little more “official” than you do when taking photos with your phone.

So, accessorize with cute stickers and a wrist strap, and enjoy casual photography!

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