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The Student News Site of The Bishop's School

The Tower

The Student News Site of The Bishop's School

The Tower

The Student News Site of The Bishop's School

The Tower

An (Sh)utter Success

The Soaring Popularity of Digital Cameras

In the early 2000s, digital cameras were the technology of the era. Now, smartphones are capable of capturing photos of impeccable quality — but that kind of photography isn’t what’s popular anymore. Instead, the flare of digital cameras is sought after.

It’s no secret that people are returning to trends and styles from the early 2000s. Now, Y2K (representing Year 2000) fashion has regained popularity. Low rise or bootcut jeans, velvet tracksuits, and bedazzled jackets came to be known under the name of the “Y2K aesthetic.” Celebrities started reaching for their old digital cameras and teenagers sought after their parents’. The uniqueness that a digital camera brings to a photo has inspired teenagers to try out photography with equipment other than their smartphones.

E-commerce companies like eBay noticed a 10 percent increase in searches for “digital camera” from 2021 to 2022, according to Davina Ramnarine, a company spokeswoman. Specific models, often recommended by influencers on TikTok or YouTube, saw even more dramatic changes: searches for the Nikon COOLPIX increased by 90 percent, according to Ramnarine.

Self-awareness of the excess of time spent on smartphones has been noticed by teenagers. Last year in a study by Pew Research Center, 36 percent of United States teenagers said they spent too much time on social media. Thus, an appealing factor of the digital camera is the simple fact that it is photographic equipment other than a phone. Eliana Leff (‘26) said that she enjoys taking photos on something other than her phone because she can capture a memory without any distraction. She said, “My digital camera allows me to be present and not worry about anything else whenever I’m out exploring and taking pictures.” 

Celebrities have also encouraged the use of digital cameras on social media. Bella Hadid, Devon Lee Carlson, Matilda Djerf, and Nicola Peltz Beckham have all endorsed the trend, posting pictures taken on such cameras.

Digital photography also has a unique aesthetic effect. Katherine Ge (‘24), who shoots on a Canon PowerShot SD1100 IS, said, “Digital cameras produce higher quality photos and better-looking colors than a phone camera. I’ve found that my digital camera smooths texture and usually brightens certain colors, like blues and oranges.” 

Currently, most smartphones take photos that look similar to each other which leads consumers to seek new means of photography to showcase originality. The owner of Aperture Priority, a Depop shop that sells second-hand cameras, said, “With digital cameras[,] they all have a different aesthetic.” Because there are so many different camera brands and models, each camera creates photos with a unique look, diversifying social media feeds and allowing for individuality within photography. 

Digital cameras have more shooting options than smartphones, too. On Katherine’s camera, there are three flash settings — normal, macro, and infinity — which, combined with different types of natural lighting, create special and interesting photos. In fact, it’s her favorite part about her camera.

Taking photos with a smartphone is easy, but getting into photography with a digital camera is so much more rewarding. Katherine said, “You don’t need fancy cameras or expensive film to get into photography. I’d encourage anyone to just take photos of the things they love and have fun with it.”

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About the Contributors
Emeraude Westlake, Content Editor
Emeraude is a senior and this is her second year on The Tower. This year, she is a Content Editor and she loves covering campus events and trends. Along with writing, Emeraude enjoys creating art, watching (and making!) movies, and eating food. She is on the Varsity Cross Country and Soccer team and every night, she will laugh over an episode of Modern Family with her family. 
Katherine Ge, Staff Writer

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