The $10 Camera Photographers Are Snapping Up

A well-made camera that can make great pictures and only costs $10 sounds too good to be true, right? Here's why you need to add a point and shoot to your camera bag.

For many of us, the perfect camera is one that we can carry around with ease and don't worry about breaking or losing. With most modern smartphones or cameras costing hundreds if not thousands of dollars, there is the possibility that you don't always have a camera at hand when the perfect picture opportunity comes around. Enter the Canon SD1000 that was bought by photographer Gable Kimbrough for a whopping $3. While this camera from 2007 may only have 7.1 megapixels, the pictures that can be made from it still pack a punch.

In his latest video, Jonathan Paragas of KingJvpes experiments with these point-and-shoot cameras and shows the results as well as the limitations of using a camera that was first sold over 16 years ago. The video starts with both photographers taking pictures with the camera and talking about their reasons for loving such old technology. It's obvious to see how fun these cameras are, and at such a low price point, you'd never have to worry about losing them. While these types of camera don't come with a high megapixel count, the guys dismiss this issue as not being important, and I couldn't agree more. These cameras can still make impressive pictures and are worthy of a place in your camera bag.

The video is jam-packed with examples taken from these point-and-shoot cameras and illustrates well what you can expect from using one. To me, the results look film-like, especially when you shoot with the on-camera flash provided. If you like the look of the Canon SD1000 but are struggling to find one, there are several similar cameras out there if you do a little research into cameras of the era. Just be sure to check that you can still get replacement batteries for these older bodies, as the originals may not hold much of a charge after being around for well over a decade. These cameras are not going to replace anything you already own. They will, however, help you to see the world a little differently and allow you to make pictures you may not be able to with your more modern gear.

What do you think of these older cameras making a resurgence? Would you consider adding one to your camera bag? We'd love to hear from you in the comments below.

Paul Parker's picture

Paul Parker is a commercial and fine art photographer. On the rare occasion he's not doing photography he loves being outdoors, people watching, and writing awkward "About Me" statements on websites...

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18 Comments

The cheapest one on eBay is $80!

Funny, I just picked up a SD200 last year after reminiscing on all my 'cameras of years past'. It has been a lot more fun to play around with than i anticipated.

Many of those old cameras were quite capable for the time period, especially with firmware mods such as CHDK which would enable 12 bit raw files, which drastically improved image quality and detail.

One of the largest issues with those cameras in general is the jpeg processing prioritizes speed over quality, especially when it comes to noise reduction, which was especially bad on those cameras. The low end sensors and noisy pipeline already lead to higher noise levels, and the really bad noise reduction destroyed fine detail at all ISO levels.

Taken a very long time ago with a Canon powershot SX230 HS using the CHDK mod to enable raw capture. Image of the CCD of an ancient point and shoot camera, as well as the inside of a capacitor.

Fascinating. Thanks for the share!

Make sure the camera you get comes with a battery or preferably a few batteries and also a working battery charger. It can be very difficult to find those things afterwards.

We have an SD1100 that we bought when it first came out; great little camera. However, I bought a Canon G5X Mk II a couple of years ago and it is a significant upgrade for a compact camera. Not inexpensive, but much better image quality and it is not much bigger. We spent over a month in Europe recently and I took about 60% of my photos with it, mostly when we were out and about. We spent 3 weeks of the trip on cruise ships where I mostly used my Canon 90D, but I was happy not to carry it around when off the ships.

I think for the nostalgia factor it could be a fun camera to carry around, but honestly aside from the trolly shot I wasn't exactly blown away. A Smartphone can produce beyond this, though the slight motion blur was kind of cool.

Maybe I just want to appreciate street photography more than I actually understand it.

Buy piles of cheap p&s on ebay over a few months, post viral vid of them, drive price up, $$$

What do I think? I think it’s meaningless bollocks not worthy of a mention and hardy a video, though if the author ‘likes’ it and is having ‘fun’ then fine and that should be that. Unfortunately it does not stop there….
In an effort to find traction feed the beast and appear ‘out there’ different or cool ( am I still allowed to use cool?) different people are pulling out various bits of random crap from here and there and then producing various pointless videos about the marvellous things the crap they have huffed and puffed new life into can do. I just wonder if he had bought a shitload of these for a simple song and is now selling them on eBay for a full opera!
It’s just one of the downsides to social media that can whip up hysteria and convince people they should pay £20 for s can of fizz that’s worth £1.
Who knows next week it will be the wonder of Apple’s Quick Take and how those 640 x 480 images really knock socks off.
It’s not easy being an old cynical photographer, but honestly give us a break! Or is gullibility now the new cool!

I have a fully functional Nikon Coolpix 4500.

I STILL use my 2012 Samsung DV300F. 16MP, with WiFi transfer to my Android phone for quick sharing. I'm not much for selfies, but it has a second screen in front for the proper framing of selfies. Currently about $50 on eBay

Yeah? I want to know where you think you can get one for $10

Still have the Canon G2, the CRW (RAW) files are solid and the lens is sharp.

I still carry my Sony Cybershot DSC-WX150 (18MP) with me from time to time. From 2012 and takes excellent photos; better then my phone for sure (note: I don't have the best phone). Looks like it's currently going for $13 on ebay.

I gave my daughter my original 2007 era SD800 and picked up a used SD850 for my son for $15 a short while later once they outgrew their toy cameras. They've been perfect for them.

Recently I've been checking eBay for Lumix LX5 and LX7 and the similar-era Canon s90/s95/s100 to upgrade their video experiences and most everything is over $100. For 10 year old point and shoots. Oh well.

I bought my ultra cheap point and shoot (PowerShot A2300) back in 2012 on the idea that it was better than my phone and enabled me to not have to carry a bigger camera. I still have it today and it still gets some use, too. I won't lie, though. My G5 X Mark II absolutely outshoots it. Overall though, the reasons for carrying something like this to beyond portability and image quality. It's also about how easily getting distracted is when you're using your phone to take pictures and just being more present. Hopefully, the manufacturers continue to see value in small "entry level" digicams like this because they're a great tool and easily accessible for almost everyone.

Who cares what the camera is? A decent photographer will create a decent image with anything.
Conversely, put the world's best gear in the hands of rubbish photographers and they'll produce high quality rubbish!