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A Digital Camera Photobook: Christmas in London & Why The Digital Camera is The Perfect Gift

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at St. Andrews chapter.

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Vintage digital cameras from the early 2000s are trending again, their augmenting popularity going hand-in-hand with the revival of 90s and early 2000s fashion. Reviews of these point-and-shoot devices, which their users have decorated with gemstones and stickers, can be gleaned across TikTok and Instagram. These digital cameras have a nostalgic feel and aesthetic, producing photographs that mimic the slight grain of film due to their “charmingly crappy detail” and their soft flash, warm tones, contrasting hues, and “blooming highlights.”  Through my own experience with buying and using one of these digital cameras, I highly recommend it to anyone who is looking for an easy and creative gateway into photography or anyone who wants to change up their social media or just having high-quality, vintage-feel photos of themselves and their friends to look back on. Here are the top reasons why these cameras, which can be found super cheap on sites like eBay, are the perfect Christmas gift, as explored through a digital camera photobook of London during Christmas.


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I first bought my camera sometime right before exam season hit, when I was about to visit my mom and sister in London and decided the ideal way to procrastinate was to distract myself by scouring eBay for the perfect early 2000s digital camera to take with me to photograph my trip to London. I began my research by looking at online reviews and photography websites but found that the most helpful pro-tips came just from searching “digital cameras” on TikTok. Through sorting through the array of reviews and opinions on the app, I was able to more directly look for the exact feel that I wanted as a lot of videos included photographs and photoshoots from girls who similarly had an interest in street photography and fashion.


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I loved seeing all the different niche feels of each vintage camera. As someone who has been doing photography for the past six years and has dabbled in film photography, made their own pinhole camera, and used bulkier, high-quality cameras, I still always think about a comment a photography teacher of mine made to me about cameras. He said: “A lot of people think that if you have a better camera, you are automatically a better photographer or going to have much better photos. People don’t realize that older cameras often have something unique to offer that new ones don’t. They come with really cool effects and features that new cameras don’t have, and these features make them fun to experiment with and are guaranteed to produce interesting results.”

This experimental aspect of photography with older cameras holds true with the early 2000s cameras. Although they do not produce as high-quality images as a modern-day digital Canon or Nikon camera, their more limited abilities and subsequent use of the flash allow for a feel of authenticity and nostalgia that a modern-day camera could simply not offer due its more advanced technology. They are also a lot crisper feeling and higher-quality than a fair number of cellphone cameras. I even got a clear picture of the moon in London, something my iPhone always seems to fail at capturing when compared with my digital camera.


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After looking for a couple of weeks, I ultimately decided on the Canon IXUS 140, mainly based on their aesthetic capacities as exhibited in TikToks (#1, #2 and #3) and the fact that the seller on eBay included a charger and battery with the camera. The price was reasonable, especially given that the latter items were included. Some of the most popular vintage digital cameras I gleaned from social media included the Canon IXUS, the Canon Powershot (SD960, IXUSs970/110, ELPH 180), the Nikon Coolpix, the Olympus Digital Camera, and the Panasonic Lumix.

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Perhaps the best thing about these digital cameras is you can easily find them for a mere £20-40 all over eBay. Even for the more expensive listings of these second-hand cameras, which are usually priced around £100 from what I was able to observe, these cameras’ prices still pale in comparison to the prices of modern-day, highly technologically advanced digital cameras, which according to PetaPixel average around $623 US dollars.   Although a lot of these vintage 2000s cameras do not come with SD cards and are missing chargers and/or batteries because they are second hand, which, unfortunately, means you will have to purchase these essentials on your own, the iconic and vintage feel these cameras provides alongside the low price ultimately makes them the perfect gift. If you are looking on sites like eBay, Depop, or Etsy, look out for missing parts and ensure the seller has the camera listed as TESTED before purchase. I also would recommend eBay over Depop, where sellers tend to up their prices.

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Small Size

As someone who has felt the pain of carrying around a super hefty, bulky camera around their neck as they walk several miles around a new city or natural landscape, I have come to love my digital camera for its small, lightweight size which means I can easily carry it around in a tote bag, backpack or even in my jacket pocket. It’s the perfect camera for going on vacation, and it was especially fun to bring to London’s Christmas markets and Chinatown as I could easily pull it out in the bustling crowds.

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Another thing I love about these cameras is they are incredibly accessible. You don’t have to adjust the ISO, aperture, or shutter speed or even know much about photography to easily use them. You can virtually just turn them on, leave them on automatic, and press a button. I find this makes them approachable and accessible, especially as someone who sometimes finds camera settings intimidating even after years of doing photography. It is also super easy to download these cameras to your phone using an SD card reader for cell phones, where you can quickly drop them straight into your camera roll without having to go through the process of uploading them all to your computer, sending them to your phone and then divvying them out to all your friends.

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Christmas in London Overview

When I walked around the streets of London, I left my camera on its automatic settings, meaning that the flash often came on in low-exposure settings. I loved the vintage feel of each photo, which perfectly captured London during Christmas with its bustling Christmas markets that sold mulled wine, hot chocolate, and strawberries slathered in warm, gooey chocolate. I’d highly recommend the trip to anyone as many tickets from Edinburgh to London can be found on Ryanair from as low as £13 but will more realistically be from £20-40. I wouldn’t be the best at finding hotels, as I have always stayed with friends when I’ve visited London but there are plenty of cheaper hostels around the city.

These cameras ultimately prove to be a perfect accompaniment throughout my trip and an excellent gift for anyone who likes photography as they offer an iconic vintage aesthetic, are affordable, a great size, and are accessible to anyone who wishes to use them. From my trip to London, which was the first trial run of my camera, I completely fell in love with my IXUS 140 and will be using it throughout the year.  

Devon Davila

St. Andrews '26

Devon is a second year from Los Angeles, California studying English at The University of St. Andrews. She is passionate about tackling political, social, and cultural issues such as women’s rights, systemic racism, and climate change while also taking an interest in popular culture and mental health. She has won several photography and writing awards throughout her life and hopes to pursue creative writing and journalism beyond university. Outside Her Campus, her interests and hobbies include listening to music (particularly obsessing over Taylor Swift), photography, studying in coffee shops, singing and playing guitar, hiking and exploring nature, traveling, drinking hot tea in bed, writing poetry, and reading.