What to Do with Old Cameras: 18 Tips and Ideas

What to Do with Old Cameras: 18 Tips and Ideas

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.

18 Things You Can Do with Old Cameras and Camcorders

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.

1. Use It for Shooting

what to do with old film cameras use them for shooting

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.

what to do with old cameras use them

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.

2. Have the Old Camera at Hand in Case of Emergency

what to do with old film cameras save them for emergency

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.

what to do with old cameras use them for extreme shooting

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.

3. Donate Your Old Cameras and Lenses to a School

what to do with old cameras donate them to school

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.

donate old cameras to school

Since charitable contributions are tax-deductible in the USA, donating provides some financial reward beyond the feeling that you are doing something really good.

4. Donate Old Digital Cameras to a Charity

what to do with old cameras donate them to a photography charity

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.

where to donate cameras near me

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.

5. Give an Old Camera to Your Kid

what to do with old cameras give them to your child

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.

what to do with old camera give it to your kid

If you don’t have kids, you may have a friend with children, who would like to experiment with a camera.

6. Give Your Old Cameras and Lenses to Your Blog Readers

what to do with old cameras give them to your blog readers

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.

what to do with old camera run a giveaway

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.

7. Resell Your Old Camera to a Local Store

what to do with old cameras resell them to a local store

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.

who buys old cameras near me check out local stores

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.

8. Sell Your Camera on an Auction

what to do with old cameras sell them on an auction

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.

who buys old cameras near me check on ebay

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.

9. Sell Your Old Cameras and Lenses to Online Businesses

what to do with old cameras sell them online

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:

who buys old cameras near me check on Adorama

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.

10. Create a Vintage Camera Lamp

what to do with old cameras create a vintage lamp

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.

what to do with a broken camera create a vintage lamp

You can place them on an accent table with tripod.

11. Transform Your Old Lenses into Flower Pots

what to do with old cameras make flower pots

Another tip on what to do with old cameras and camcorders is to transform their parts into mini flower pots to complement your interior.

what to do with a broken camera create flower pots

Besides, it is an interesting option for creating a composition for flower photography.

12. Turn a Lens into a Coffee Mug

what to do with old cameras turn them into a coffee mug

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.

what to do with a broken camera create a coffee mug

Thus, you can enjoy both your favorite activities every time you have a coffee break.

13. Place Old Cameras in Frames

what to do with old cameras place them in frames

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.

14. Create a Vintage Vase

what to do with old cameras create a vintage vase

Such a pretty thing will create a special atmosphere in your room. Moreover, you can decorate the vase with old photographs.

what to do with a broken camera create a vintage vase

If your images require restoration, approach a professional photo restoration service.

15. Use Lens to Create Bangles

what to do with old cameras create bangles

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.

16. Design an Original iPhone Charger

what to do with old cameras design an iphone charger

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.

17. Transform an Old Camera into a Photo Holder

what to do with old cameras transform them into a photo holder

The wires routed across the top of the old camera body can serve as excellent tools to showcase printed images or polaroids.

18. Recycle Your Old Cameras and Lenses

what to do with old cameras recycle them

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.

what to do with old digital cameras recycle them

Suggestions include: