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Your Old Digital Camera

Updated on August 19, 2014

What Should You Do with an Old Digital Camera?

Digital cameras get more talented all of the time as features and resolution continue to grow. This is great news for enthusiasts and novices alike. The only drawback is that often when deciding to buy a newer model, there's an old digital camera to consider.

Should you hide it away in a drawer, toss it in the trash, or perhaps sell it on e-Bay? Read further and see what some of the options are for your now unwanted, old digital camera.

Maybe You Could Still Use Your Old Digital Camera

Of course the first thing to consider is whether or not you know someone who might be able to enjoy your old camera. Children certainly come to mind. If you have a basic point and shoot camera, it can be worth the time to teach children the basics of handling and caring for the camera. Cameras are actually great learning tools and a great deal of fun to boot. You can find suggestions for activities on our Cameras for Kids page. Kids who are older can of course handle a more complex model. Throw in an appropriate book and they can learn all on their own.

In other cases everyone you know may already have the camera they need. Don't despair, you may be able to use your camera in ways you never imagined. This article from PCMagazine highlights some more creative ways of using it; from building a fish eye lens to using it as a webcam.

Of course it never hurts to have a back up camera. If your new device is nice and expensive do you really want to take it out on the trail with you when it may be exposed to the elements? Or perhaps you want to be sure to take a camera on a business trip to the west coast, but your spouse is taking the kids to the zoo while you're gone. No problem, your old digital camera can make this a no-brainer.

Perhaps You Could Donate Your Old Camera to a Good Cause

If you decide you can't really put your old camera to good use then there's probably someone else who can. If you search around a bit you can find a number of charitable causes that would love to have it.

For example, Global Classroom Connection accepts donated digital cameras for use with children ages 5 to 19 years. The program pairs classrooms in countries across the globe to promote learning and cultural understanding. PhotoVoice has their Cameras for Charity which accepts a variety of cameras and related equipment for conducting photography work shops around the world

Another charitable opportunity is LOVE or Lens of Vision and Expression which accepts old cameras which are functioning for the purpose of conducting workshops in conjunction with non-profit organizations serving "marginalized children". In addition, eBay offers it's Rethink program which includes "eBay Giving Works" allowing users who sell their old electronics through eBay to donate the proceeds to one of a number of charities.

Of course local schools and community organizations are often interested in cameras as well. Scanning the local paper or sites such as Craigslist can help identify current initiatives.

It's Possible to Sell Your Old Digital Camera Too

If you want some cash for an old digital camera there are a number of alternatives for this as well. Online there's Craigslist to give you a hand and of course, eBay. Other for profit sites include Gazelle, Adorama, and Used Camera Buyer among others.

Of course if you don't find what you want online, there are always yard sales, newspaper ads, and so forth.

If you're just hoping to trade up there are some manufacturers and retailers who offer trade in programs that will provide a discount for your old camera. Kodak, Olympus, and Sony all offer such programs. Other companies often provide these opportunities at the end of the year. Contacting your camera manufacturer may reveal similar programs. Some retailers such as Best Buy provide these services too.

If it Doesn't Function, Recycling May Be Best for an Old Camera

If your old digital camera no longer functions, you can't sell or donate it. Shoving it into a drawer or tossing it into the trash to end up in a landfill are options but not a very good ones. It would be better to have the precious metals rescued and the plastics recycled for reuse.

Opportunities abound online and locally. Manufacturers are increasingly involved in recycling efforts so contacting them can often be a good first step. Sites such as E-Cycling Central can help in finding recycling centers near you. Other options include Freecycle, MyGreenElectronics, and Recycling For Charities.

Photo Credits

Introduction and Use Your Old Digital Camera: elsie esq.

Donate Old Camera: MGSpiller.

Recycling: Dan Gregson

Let Us Know You Stopped By!

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    • vekoslavr lm profile image

      vekoslavr lm 5 years ago

      Good thinking..

    • profile image

      gizmodose 6 years ago

      people who own a lot of gadgets should read this lens. We should be responsible gadget owners. I found that what you said here is true across many gadgets like laptops, cellphones, etc.

    • Andy-Po profile image

      Andy 8 years ago from London, England

      Good advice. I have at least 8 cameras, so I'm not very good at recycling them, although most of these are old 35mm and medium-format film cameras in my collection.

      Thanks very much for rating my links on Redgage. I tried to access the Redgage web-site several times today, but it seems to have died: Too much traffic perhaps. I'll try again in a few days.

    • profile image

      anonymous 8 years ago

      I was oundering how I could use the parts from the inside, Im shure I can do some increadibly crazy things =)

    • TreasuresBrenda profile image

      Treasures By Brenda 8 years ago from Canada

      We still have 35 mm cameras hanging around! I think some of this progress is horrible for the planet...just like computers, when they age become garbage.


    • rebeccahiatt profile image

      rebeccahiatt 8 years ago

      I traded one old digital and gave away another. Someone can always use a camera somewhere.

    • GlennaJones profile image

      Glenna Jones 8 years ago from Orlando, Florida

      I have to admit, I have an old 35mm camera, an old polaroid and an old digital lurking in my closet. I'll have to think about this.

    • chefkeem profile image

      Achim Thiemermann 8 years ago from Austin, Texas

      Good ideas here, mulberry! My 7MP camera just broke down and I wouldn't mind spending a few bucks on a 3-5MP camera so I can continue taking pics for the web, until I can buy a new camera again. 5*s