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What To Do With An Old Digital Camera When The Love Is Gone

Image: Copyright Gisle Hannemyr

Copyright Gisle Hannemyr

Previously I discussed what to do with an old film camera when the love is gone. It’s not the camera’s fault, I’m sure it still loves you. But things aren’t working out and, well, you’ve started seeing another camera. And it’s digital. Now then, what happens when that first digital fling is currently sitting in the back of a drawer or closet. It was shiny and new and oh so exciting back in 2005 or 2000 or maybe 1995. That’s foreverago in digital camera terms. Now what?

Give It To A Kid

If there is no interest in making cash off the old clunker…errr…asset, then my first inclination is to find a child who wants it and let them play with it. Kids, up to a certain age, don’t care about how fancy a camera is or how many megapixels they have. They just want to see a picture on the screen of what they pointed the camera at! Maybe you have a friend with kids or there are random kids roaming the neighborhood looking bored and in need of cameras. I’m sure you can find some child who would enjoy just playing with the camera as if it were a toy. Because it is to them.

Sell It

As with film cameras, I’m suggesting again that the old camera be sold. While you might want to check to see if it is a rare, one of a kind super special camera, unlike film cameras your chances of that happening are slim to none. Digital cameras just haven’t been around long enough for them to be much of a collector’s item.

The first option, if you need some wine and cheese money, is to foist the camera onto the secondary handling market. Again, sites like eBay and others are a perfectly sound option for finding a likely buyer for your old equipment. Often the camera can be used for parts if it’s a bit newer.

Pawn shops also might be viable if the camera meets certain pixel standards. One thing I have found when I go to sell certain things on the internet; there is often a whole group of people out there I don’t know about who absolutely love what I’m trying to get rid of. And if you’re lucky, you’ll find a geek. If not, you need to go…

Find A Geek

I consider myself a bit of a geek (I can send multiple reference if need be) so I use the phrase in an endearing way. Geek is simply someone who’s really into something, beyond what normal people consider sane. And that’s ok for most things like old digital cameras. The cool things about computer type geeks and digital cameras is the culture keeps coming up with cool ideas for the cameras. A geek would be happy to take your camera or know someone who would.

Become A Geek

If you can’t find a geek, become one! Start pilfering the web for ideas. I found a few on PC Magazine’s website including:

And more!

Being a geek can be fun and addicting. Mention plans to some friends and grab their old cameras as well. You’ll be the Queen/King Of Old Digital Cameras! Unless you get bored with them. In which case it’s time to…

Donate It

Thankfully there is a larger market for donating digital cameras than there is for film cameras. Take a look:

And the list goes on. DPS is a global reaching website and I’m sorry I can’t list options for every continent, yet I know you will be able to find a worthwhile group to take your old camera if you try. (A number of those I listed will accept donations from anywhere in the world)

E-Cycle It

In the USA there is an easy to use site called E-cycle which helps electronics owners find local locations to take their electronics to be properly disposed of. This is a much better option than just throwing the camera in the trash as there tend to be small amounts of hazardous materials in a lot of electronics (things like lead in solder). Minor amounts, but coupled with other electronics in landfills makes for a toxic goop. 1-800-Recycling is another site to help locate recycling options.

What other ideas do you have for a new home for digital cameras when your love for them has faded (and please point me on to other geeky ideas!!)?

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Peter West Carey
Peter West Carey

leads photo tours and workshops in Nepal, Bhutan, Seattle, Portland, Los Angeles and beyond. He is also the creator of Photography Basics – A 43 Day Adventure & 40 Photography Experiments, web-based tutorials taking curious photographers on a fun ride through the basics of learning photography.

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