What Can You Accomplish With a $79 Camera?

Photographers love their advanced and expensive gear; it makes our jobs much easier and can produce some absolutely stunning results in the right hands. But what can you accomplish with a $79 camera that's over a decade old? The results might surprise you. 

Coming to you from Toma Boncu of Photo Tom, this great video follows him as he shoots with an old Canon PowerShot camera from 2007 that he found on Amazon for $79. I have to admit that I had a soft spot for this, as I had a very similar model that I learned a lot with back then. I always enjoy these types of challenges, as they strip everything down to the fundamentals of technique and creative vision, and sure enough, that's exactly what we see on display here. Toma also makes a very interesting point about leaving more advanced interchangeable lens cameras to professionals and recommending bridge cameras to passionate amateurs. It's a great reminder of how strong fundamentals can take you far. Check out the video above to see how the Canon performed and to hear his full thoughts. 

And if you really want to dive into landscape photography, check out "Photographing The World 1: Landscape Photography and Post-Processing with Elia Locardi." 

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10 Comments

C Fisher's picture

Idk, in this age of 64mp phone cameras does anyone really need a bridge camera? A phone is pretty much that today.

I used to own an S5is when it was released and always loved the images from the ccd sensor. Ended up picking a mint one up on ebay for about $35 last year. Great for leaving in the car.

He would have got even better images for even less. Bought a Praktica camera with a 135mm f2.8 lens for £12, medium format Zeiss Ikon Nettars for £25 each, a Nikkormat any iteration goes for £49-79.

C. Broken's picture

Been there, Done that and still continue to do that. Camera: Kodak Easyshare M1093 is Sometimes you have to use what's available even if it was broken. For the longest time, all I was able to use while on shoots was broken or used cameras. At one point I had even considered using a kids camera because it was drop proof and those cameras as about $70.00 or so. In essence, if one wants to really test their skills or is new to the world of photography then need to actually buy a cheap or kids camera, before spending thousands of dollars on expensive gear only to learn they can't use it.

I've been taking incredible shots with my $79 Minolta x700. Also just had a beat up Canon AE-1 Program gifted to me which I'm shooting on now. You can get fantastic flagship cameras with lenses for cheap if you go back 30 years. My local store has a $30 lens bargain bin you can dig through too. Learn film and you'll never want to go back to digital

Nicholas K's picture

I always recommend bridge cameras to people just starting out or who don't seem to have the time or inspiration to master interchangeable lens cameras. I had a Panasonic bridge camera before I made the move to DSLR and it was brilliant and it took me a couple of years to learn to make images as easily as I could with the bridge camera. I still miss the insane zoom range in a single lens.

79 dollars for a 1/2.5" sensor CCD camera? You can usually find that all day long. And newer and better too.
For about the same price you can get a Sony A100 or Pentax K10D or K200D, all with the same APS-C CCD 10MP sensor that is wonderful for landscape photography using ISO 100. I still use my K10D quite a lot.

John Dawson's picture

"What Can You Accomplish With a $79 Camera?"

Very likely 10X what Ansel Adams could with his.

I have this model and loved it when I used it. I'm inspired by the article to dust it off and see what I can do with it.

I do note that it nails my exposure far more often than my 5DS. 90% of my S5 shots were good to go right out of the camera. Go figure.

this is a great article, unless my wife sees it. I'll have to take my D50 out. To me, the real gain for any "new" camera purchase is typically the improvement in exposure controls with automation, and to a lesser extent, resolution.