Six Smart Things to Do With Used Camera

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Written By Lively

Perhaps you have an older camera, digital or film, that is currently occupying shelf space in your closet or taking up room in a drawer. Alternatively, you may have acquired photography equipment from a deceased loved one. Another possibility is that you simply chose to keep your earlier 6-megapixel DSLR camera, which is now a decade old.

What are the potential options for disposing of old or unwanted photo equipment?

Apart from the obvious choices, there are a few compelling alternatives that could infuse your camera equipment with renewed purpose, support others, or rekindle your own passion for photography.

Below is a summary list with further details for each alternative:

  • Sell
  • Donate to Schools
  • Donate to Charity 
  • Repurpose
  • Backup
  • Use


If you require funds to purchase additional photography equipment, it is possible to trade in or sell your current camera gear.

If you have an old camera and lenses that you no longer want, there are several options for getting rid of them. One choice is to take them to a consignment shop in your area, where they may catch the eye of a collector or hoarder who would be willing to purchase them. Another alternative is to list your equipment on an online auction site and see if you can generate interest from potential buyers. You can also consider placing an advertisement in the classified section of your local newspaper or website.

If you wish to make things simpler, you have the option to sell your equipment to a used camera shop allowing them to sell it for you.

It’s worth noting that as an ardent photographer, you’ll almost certainly regret the decision to sell your first camera – this is true whether it’s a high-end model or a more affordable one. It’s a good idea to hold onto it as a piece of personal history. Several photographers I know have held onto their initial camera, while others rue the day they let it go.

Donate to schools

Donating your equipment to a worthy cause is an option that is frequently overlooked.

If you have unused film camera equipment lying around, you can donate it to local charities or thrift stores. However, consider donating to more deserving causes, such as art programs in high schools. These programs may have students who cannot afford their own equipment and would appreciate the opportunity to use yours. Additionally, they may also accept your darkroom equipment.

It is true that various educational institutions, ranging from primary schools to community colleges to art academies, have the possibility of accepting your donated photographic equipment.

Donate to charities

Multiple charitable organisations specialising in photography accept previously-owned equipment.

It would be worthwhile conducting an online search for charitable organisations that are willing to accept your camera equipment donation. These non-profit entities may be grateful to receive your gear, and your contribution could potentially qualify for a tax deduction.

While the monetary value of your photographic equipment may fluctuate, the act of donating your second hand camera to a deserving cause holds immeasurable worth. Who knows, it might just land in the hands of the next visionary artist in the field.


If you want to enjoy using your old camera and lenses in a fun way, getting something new, faster, or more attractive could be just what you need.

If you are an experienced camera enthusiast, you may be interested in exploring infrared photography or creating your own lens mount. Alternatively, you could transform an old film camera into a pinhole camera, which could be a unique and enjoyable experiment.

You have the option to buy inexpensive imported trinkets from your local home decor store, or you may choose to exhibit your trendy cameras on your living room shelf. As for me, I have adorned my space with a few cameras; though on occasion, I remove them to partake in physical activities.


It’s always a good idea to have an old, slower digital camera as a reliable backup for your new, fancy digital camera. It’s important to remember that electronic and mechanical devices are not flawless, so your new camera might suddenly break down. In such a situation, Having a backup camera within reach could be a lifesaver, especially during a commercial shoot or vacation. Additionally, when going into risky photo shoots, like taking pictures in a boat, on the beach, or while wing-suit flying or parasailing, it’s recommended that you use your older gear to avoid damaging your newer, more expensive equipment.


If you have upgraded to a newer digital camera model multiple times, you might find it difficult to justify using your older camera. It might not make sense to take out your 6-megapixel Nikon D100 for a photo shoot when your D500 has a fully charged battery.

Although digital technology can become outdated quickly, film cameras continue to hold value. As long as the lens’s aperture diaphragm and camera’s shutter are functional, one can enjoy capturing images without worrying about constantly updating digital technology. Film cameras afford photographers the freedom to focus on the art rather than the technology, without the need to spend valuable time checking histograms, worrying about batteries, or processing images on a computer after a day of shooting.

Consider this unconventional approach: instead of relying on digital technology, take your film camera on your upcoming getaway and leave your digital devices at home. Remember the days when we used to create physical photo albums to share with our loved ones after a vacation? They were a tangible representation of the memories we made.

Even though digital photography has become increasingly prevalent, it is important to remember that film still holds value in today’s world. If you have primarily been shooting photos digitally, don’t discount the worth of your film camera. Take some time to shoot with film and appreciate its unique characteristics.

Pass it on

We would certainly advise against throwing your used camera equipment away. Instead, consider selling it or giving it to someone who could benefit from it. You can also experiment with it or continue using it. A high-quality camera can last through generations and is a valuable item to pass down.