Not sure what to do with your old camera? Five ideas
Somewhere in the deep, dark recesses of our homes, there is likely to be an old camera gathering dust.
Perhaps it’s a DSLR that was a gift a decade ago, before the rise of smartphones and social media. Perhaps it’s a much older family heirloom; a classic passed down from father to son or mother to daughter.
It’s natural to wonder if rather than allowing it just to sit there, there’s something more useful you could do with your old camera. The lazy option and one we would urge you to avoid is to throw it away. A good camera deserves to live on, so where are five ideas that might help if you are not sure what to do with your old camera.
1. Sell it
At the very least you should consider selling your old camera to someone who is either collecting them or someone who wants to learn the art of taking magnificent photographs. Not only does it allow someone else to gain some joy from your old camera, but it also allows you to make a few quid from the sale of it.
And if you can't find anyone to buy it, there are plenty of companies who will help you recycle it. Currys, for instance, collect, reuse and recycle as much as 65,000 tonnes of electrical appliances every year. Cameras included.
So, before you throw it away or put it in your loft never to be seen again, think about whether you can either sell it on to a new home or take it to somewhere like Currys, who can recycle it for you.
2. Donate it to a local school
One thing you could do with your old camera is to contact the local schools and see if they would be interested in taking it off your hands. Many teach photography as part of the art curriculum, and with money tight, your camera could make a real difference.
Start with secondary schools, also ask primary schools and then move on to colleges and universities. Just think, your camera could spark a passion for photography in a young person and start them off on a career that they may never have considered before. What better way to extend the life of your old camera than by giving the gift of a love for photography to the next generation?
3. Give your camera to charity
There are a number of charities who accept old cameras. It is worth considering Oxfam, while organisations such as the Disabled Photographers Society</a> are always looking for donations of unwanted cameras.
If your camera isn't for you anymore, that's fine; it’s your decision. But please remember there are lots of people out there who enjoy collecting cameras and enjoy bringing older cameras back to life. So do your best to ensure it ends up in the right hands. Your camera and the person who ends up with it will thank you.
4. Repurpose your own camera
It may not be brand new anymore, but it could still be brought back to life with a clever approach.
You could convert your old camera into a pinhole device or even an infrared camera. If you have more than one, you could even experiment with turning your camera into a 360 or Virtual Reality camera.
5. Use it
The last idea (and arguably the best) is simply to start using your old camera again. Digital may be dominating our everyday lives now, but there is nothing quite like seeing your own life captured on film. The quality of the images, the magic of the process, the wonder of taking the time to frame a shot, knowing that you can't simply take a thousand more if you get this one wrong, is hard to beat.
Here is a revolutionary idea for you: the next time you are going on holiday, leave your digital devices behind. Enjoy the freedom that brings you, the time you will get back and the leisurely pace of life. And, instead, take your old camera with you and a few rolls of film. Shoot your holiday snaps in a new way, think about your photographs, take your time, and you will be delighted and surprised at the results. We promise. Good luck.