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Original photo by Emmie McCabe

This is Your Sign to Buy a Film Camera

Film is not dead. iPhone pictures are out and film cameras are in. I’m tired of seeing the same VSCO filters applied to everyone’s gameday pictures. They make your skin look orange and no one's eyes are that blue. There’s absolutely no reason you need to take 237 bursts to get one picture for instagram. There’s a better way. 

You need to get a film camera. Film pictures are the best way to capture a memory. They have the coolest grainy quality and half the fun is not knowing what the picture will look like! If you’ve never used film before, I recommend buying a disposable camera to try it out. Use it at an event like a party, a football game, or even just a day of hanging out on the quad with friends. I left one out on a table at my friend’s birthday and the pictures were amazing and such a fun surprise to see. 

If you have used a disposable camera before, you know that they can be pricey when you add everything up. The camera itself can be anywhere from $15-20 and then an additional $20 to develop. This is why if you love disposable cameras you need to think about investing in a film camera! With the resurgence of film, there are so many options to choose from! 

My camera, that I love like a child, is a Nikon One Touch Zoom 90. I shoot 35mm film and it has an automatic mode so I feel confident handing it off to anyone to take a picture. As long as their finger doesn’t cover the lense, it should be decent. These are great cameras that are resurging today, but since they were produced mostly in the early 2000’s, they can be hard to find. I found mine on Etsy, sold from a camera store in Canada; they can be found on similar websites, like Ebay and Amazon. There are a wide variety of used point and shoot cameras and as long as you read a couple reviews and make sure it is tested, you should be good!

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You can buy 35mm film at a variety of places like Walgreens, CVS, Amazon or a local camera store. I prefer to use local photography stores (yay for local economic stimulation) and they are usually less expensive. In South Bend, I buy film and get my pictures developed at Gene’s Camera Store. It’s about $15 for 3 rolls of film and $5 to develop each roll. 

Another alternative is from Lomography, which offers a new type of camera. They call it the Simple Use Film Camera and it comes preloaded with their film, which can then be replaced with 35mm film. The reviews look mixed on how well the reloading process works, so I would recommend taking the plunge for a more expensive camera that you know you will have for a long time. 

I grew up looking through my parents photo albums of 35mm film photos taken in their twenties, and I think it’s so cool to be making similar memories and taking similar photos now! These are the golden years of life and a film camera is the best way to make sure you can hold on to these memories forever and share them with loved ones later. 

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Emmie McCabe

Notre Dame '22

Hi! I am Emmie McCabe. I am a junior at the University of Notre Dame and I am from Long Island, New York. I am studying psychology and political science.
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