Point and Shoot Cameras Are Back, Baby
Smartphones have been the best cameras for many years, not only because of their convenience, but also because of their excellent photo and video quality. Most of us love that about them. But if you’re online enough, you might notice something strange: more and more young people are choosing old point-and-shoot cameras to take photos, instead of using their iPhones or even DSLRs.
Generation Z loves point-and-shoot cameras.
As evidenced by PetaPixel , the latest Gen Z photography trend is the 2000s-era digital camera (or, as some hobbyists call it, “crap” cameras). The vibe you want is a slightly washed out, overexposed or underexposed image with a classic orange date and timestamp in the corner of the frame. The bottom line is shit. The trend is to take advantage of the now “vintage” look (sorry, fellow millennials), evoking nostalgia for a more detached (if not analog) photographic past that some Gen Zers may or may not remember. .
Creators from across the spectrum of social media are following this trend, including Bella Hadid , Emily Ratajkowski , and Nicola Ann Peltz Beckham . Cameras are even used as props in typical posts such as this post from Charlie D’Amelio :
Of course, this is nothing new. Each generation is drawn to the styles and technologies that came before. Take a look at Instagram: the app started as a way to turn your high-quality (for the time) iPhone photos into “vintage” shots from the 60s and 70s. Some at the time denounced all this, abandoning the idea of taking a perfectly good photograph and accidentally putting a coarse filter on it. And who could forget the Polaroid renaissance? Instax cameras have brought back the appeal of instant, printable (usually awful) photos at a time when instant digital photos have never been easier to take and share. Prior to “point and shoot,” recycling cameras also began to make a comeback. Time is a flat circle.
Speaking of sharing, that’s another fun part about these tiny cameras: the younger generation loves that you can’t just take a picture and instantly share it with the world. If you want other people to see it, you need to take at least one extra step, whether it’s connecting the camera to a computer or copying media from an SD card. I’m sure part of the fun is learning what adapters you’ll need to connect those “ancient” cables to your modern machines.
The easiest way to pick up a soap dish today?
Some camera makers still make and sell pickups, and they’re not cheap. Wirecutter’s list of the top three point-and-shoots of 2021 ranges in price from $500 to $1,200—not a bad investment for an internet fad. But these are not the kind of jokes that you would still like to cash in on the hype. These compact cameras are expensive for one reason: they take great photos! Instead, you want something on the “cheaper” end of the spectrum, which means you’re digging up a highly coveted 2000s-era soapbox.
PetalPixel highlights a number of models popular with TikTok creators, includingthe Canon Powershot SD1300 , Canon S100 ,Nikon Coolpix L15 ,Samsung MV900F , andSony Cybershot DSC-W220 . Don’t look for them at hardware stores like Best Buy. The soap dishes they sell are too new and too modern. Gross!
Instead, you can find some of these options very cheaply on sites like eBay. You can find the Cybershot DSC-W220 for $30 to $50 , and the S100 is on sale for $18 right now . Since you’re not looking at these cameras for their quality, just pay attention to the wording on the listing and make sure they’re still in good working order. Otherwise, you may end up with a crosshair marked “broken”, which I think might still be useful as a prop.
Sure, you might have a friend or two with old soap dishes hiding (sigh) in their parents’ litter box or at the bottom of a closet, which could save you some money. But while you’re there, ask if they have any old smartphones lying around – the iPhone 3GS camera is all the rage these days and also takes downright terrible photos, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see other popular phones from years ago. like the iPhone 5 or Galaxy S5 will follow suit. After all, they were phones, basically responsible for all our favorite vines . Get ready for the fact that soon everyone will try to recreate this image.