The Digital Camera Effect

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Your photos are seriously lacking, but don’t bother digging up your Polaroid or disposable film camera. There’s a not-so-new hot girl in town: the digital camera. This pocket-sized scrapbook is the perfect addition to your night out, a picnic with your best friends, or even on your own time as a new hobby and it can seriously change how you take photos forever.

Photo from @lucijaglavan on Instagram
The D.C.F. (Digital Camera Friend)

Anyone who owns a digital camera knows the snowball from the first time you nervously pulled it out at a pregame months ago, to it becoming a necessity at every event you attend. There’s a unique feeling of being important because of your camera — not everyone owns one, so they need you to provide that service. Inevitably everyone loosens up (maybe after a few drinks) and you hear the infamous words: “Where’s your camera?”

Suddenly the flash is going off like fireworks at the party. Everyone wants to be included, so everyone is ready for their shot. You keep hearing “Let me get one!” “My turn next!” and “I need to get one of these!”

If you’re friends with a DCF, offer to take their photo too (they’re the one with the camera after all!).

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The Anticipation

We’re all used to the usual photo methods of our era: spam the capture button on your phone camera to hopefully snap one good picture. This method gives you choice, but is choice always the best option when looking back at photos from the night before? And while you’re still at the pregame, looking at the photos you keep trying to take and not being satisfied can ruin your mood for the rest of the night.

One key feature of the digital camera experience is the need to download your photos after the night ends and while this sounds like a hassle, it shouldn’t be looked at negatively. Anticipation of that moment when you get to see everything that happened last night makes the download so much sweeter.

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Looking at all your (embarrassing) photos from last night is a right of passage as a digital camera owner (so are texts from people asking if you’ve downloaded them yet). A secret perk that your DCF probably also doesn’t want you to know is that they can choose to send out only the photos that they look good in, preventing that terrible moment of getting tagged in an unflattering post online.

You can look and laugh at the pictures of moments you forgot happened and admire the ones that turned out better than any iPhone photo could. Because the camera isn’t so easy to spam, it captures the most important moments of the night, too. The aura of digital camera photos has a unique charm — the overexposure, poorer and poorer framing as the night goes on and the faces of people who don’t know how to pose in front of the foreign device are priceless.

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It’s clear that the digital camera is perfect for a night out, but that shouldn’t be the limit of your usage. These cameras can be used in almost any setting — dinner with your friends, a walk through a new city, a hike through nature, the options are endless. Your vacation photos could jump up a level by using a digital camera just because the photo quality is that much better

Although it may take a few tries to figure out the best settings for each scene, the digital cameras that are popular today are not too difficult to get used to. With a little persistence, you can become the professional photographer of your friends and family and you could even discover your new hobby.

If you like getting dressed up for photo shoots with your friends, a digital camera can elevate those photos, too. The resolution of digital cameras is higher quality and the intense flash can make the photo shoot have more of an editorial feel.

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One and Done

Finally, digital cameras are much more economical than any other camera choice. Many brands sell new cameras for less than $100, but if that’s still too steep for you, eBay and other secondhand websites have a good selection of used cameras. And let’s not forget the best place to find forgotten gems for free: your parents’ house (we know they have one from your childhood hiding somewhere.) While other popular cameras like disposable or regular film cameras require more financial investment long term, the digital camera is a one-and-done purchase.

If you’re the DCF, recommend your favorite camera to us at @valleymag on Instagram!


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