Are you wondering what to do with old cameras? If you’ve found your dad’s vintage camera from the 70s or your first compact camera, don’t hurry up to put it in the dresser drawer again.
It doesn't matter whether you inherited a collection of old cameras, or it's just time to replace your photography gear with new models, there are ways to make old cameras useful again. You can donate an old camera to a school, sell it, give it as a present or use this vintage device as an element of your apartment decor.
I am all about shooting with my old film camera, and you will probably find it exciting as well. It helps develop a creative eye carefully focusing on the composition since you can take a limited number of shots.
Moreover, you don't have to worry about histograms and batteries, check the LCD after every shot, or spend hours in front of your computer uploading and editing images.
However, if your old camera doesn’t work, you have to fix it first. Find a good technician and send your camera for repair. By the way, Nikon has announced that it won’t supply spare parts for some of its older DSLRs. This means that you can sell old Nikon equipment (especially broken cameras) to a repair shop for a small fee.
Electronic and mechanic devices aren’t perfect, and your robust new camera may fail to work properly one day. With a backup camera at hand, you can save the situation, whether you are going to shoot commercials or capture travel moments.
Besides, you may organize a shooting when your gear will endure certain risks. Feel free to repurpose old digital camera when taking pictures on a boat, playing volleyball at the beach, flying in a wingsuit, parasailing, etc. It is better to use your old gear for extreme shooting instead of running the risk of damaging your new expensive DSLR.
A good way to give a new life to vintage cameras is to donate them to a school, university, college, or a photography school that runs workshop programs. Old cameras will come in handy for classes on film development or photography.
Do research to find out whether your local schools have photography classes or special programs. They would like to give or lend your old camera to a student, who can’t afford to purchase his/her own device. Aside from your camera, you can donate your unnecessary darkroom equipment.
Since charitable contributions are tax-deductible in the USA, donating provides some financial reward beyond the feeling that you are doing something really good.
You can donate old cameras to a photography charity to help people in need or contribute to social projects.
Here are some organizations you can contact:
PhotoVoice creates participatory photography programs and ethical photography projects to promote positive social change in the United Kingdom and other countries.
The Film Photography Project donates film cameras to schools and educational projects worldwide.
Josephine Herrick Project organizes free education programs on photography for children, teens, adults, and elder people.
Recycling for Charities recycles electronic devices and donate the proceeds to the charity you choose.
NYC Salt creates new environments for learning photography and digital technology on a voluntary basis.
Disabled Photographers’ Society modifies cameras so that people with physical disabilities can also take pictures.
Moreover, Goodwill, the Salvation Army, and other similar 501 (C) 3 institutions are waiting for people to donate their old shooting gear. However, as with any kind of donation, check out whether you have a written receipt or letter of confirmation of the donation to prove deductions to the IRS.
If you don’t want to recycle old cameras for cash, then give a camera to your child. Children up to a certain age don’t care which features and how many megapixels a camera offers. They just want to see a picture of what the camera is pointing at.
If you don’t have kids, you may have a friend with children, who would like to experiment with a camera.
If you are a blogger and don’t know what to do with old digital cameras, why not run a giveaway, where your follower can win your old camera or vintage lenses. Running a social media giveaway is an excellent way to increase your brand recognition.
You can use a special platform such as Rafflecopter to effectively organize the process. This way you will not only get rid of your old camera but also attract a new audience to your blog.
If you are wondering what to do with old camera, selling your device may be the first option to consider. You can bring it to a local consignment shop and wait till a collector or hoarder chooses your camera for purchase.
Also, it is possible to make a good deal selling photography equipment on the auction site. Moreover, the classified section of the newspaper or a website is a great place to advertise your device.
Some people are still afraid to purchase goods online from strangers. That is why you can offer a potential buyer to meet in person and look at the camera before making a deal.
If you want to make your own suggestion for a product's price, then the best choice is to opt for peer-to-peer selling. eBay is definitely the best way to present your camera gear to a broad audience. People can find your ads anywhere worldwide, and you can specify your shipping rates for each destination spot.
To sell a camera, you need to register on the platform. After that, you can access its “completed sales” database. Here you can find information on recent sales of similar cameras and choose a reasonable price. When calculating your earnings, keep in mind that eBay and PayPal charge sellers a percentage per transaction.
As a website that accepts and processes payments, eBay also offers protection to their clients in case something goes wrong during or after a transaction.
If you are on the lookout for a more secure option to repurpose old camcorder or camera, you can sell it to a registered business online. Many platforms offer such benefits as an instant quote and free shipping.
You can address an actual camera shop that purchases used camera gear to resell it in their ‘Used’ section, or take advantage of the services that accept all types of electronic devices.
Use these sites to sell your camera online:
Such platforms as Gazelle allow you to specify the info about your product and instantly get an offer from a buyer. Many major online camera stores like B&H Photo and Adorama provide similar services. They also purchase used cameras and offer online quotes.
If you agree to the buyer's offer, the site will send a pre-paid shipping label. It helps ensure your product is shipped to a buyer. Usually, you will receive a check within a week.
The only snag in this process is finding a reasonable offer since buyers usually offer low prices. Typically, you can get around 40-50% of the retail price for newer models and 25-35% for older cameras.
Vintage cameras with large round flashes can be used to make amazing table lamps that will serve as excellent decor for an apartment or a photo studio.
You can place them on an accent table with tripod.
Another tip on what to do with old cameras and camcorders is to transform their parts into mini flower pots to complement your interior.
Besides, it is an interesting option for creating a composition for flower photography.
If you are heavily into photography and want to always have a reminder about your passion at hand, you can transform an old DSLR lens into a coffee mug.
Thus, you can enjoy both your favorite activities every time you have a coffee break.
Those photography enthusiasts who have a large collection of old cameras can mount and frame them to create a stunning artistic 3D effect. To implement this idea, you need a picture frame set and some free time.
Such a pretty thing will create a special atmosphere in your room. Moreover, you can decorate the vase with old photographs.
If your images require restoration, approach a professional photo restoration service.
You can give a new life to just some components of the camera. A great idea is to transform your old lenses into unusual bangles.
It is possible to use some camera elements to design an exclusive smartphone charger. Such an accessory will help turn an ordinary charging device into a creative decor element for interior photography.
The wires routed across the top of the old camera body can serve as excellent tools to showcase printed images or polaroids.
If any of the above-mentioned ideas of what to do with old cameras don’t work for you, consider the possibility to recycle your old device. However, think twice before doing it because cameras are made of valuable materials such as copper, platinum, and aluminum that can be reused.
Also, cameras include some components like batteries that can be harmful to our environment if they aren't properly discarded. In case you decide to recycle your camera gear, it is advisable to address a specialized service.