point and shoot.

I've been struggling lately with the non-permanance of digital photography in the modern day. We take more photos than ever (1.1 trillion worldwide in 2016), and it seems like the point of it all has shifted from documentation and preservation for one's own self to showing off and making other people jealous (17 million selfies per week posted to social media in 2015). I watched my teenage stepsons taking lots of pictures with their iPhones during Spring Break, but when I asked them about how they back up or safeguard their photos in case something happens to their phones I got blank stares. They weren't at all interested in keeping those photos long-term. They don't even download them, they just delete them to make room for more as their phones fill up! As a teenager, I pretty much the only one who always had a camera out, and I paid for triple prints at the drugstore so that I would have a copy for myself and one to give to whoever was in the pictures. I still have those photographs, so I seriously don't understand this mindset of taking pictures to show people and then dispose of. If it's worth photographing, shouldn't it be worth keeping?

Now that I'm completely overwhelmed by digital photos, and in my longing for those simpler days, I decided to buy a 35mm film camera similar the one I would have used right before buying my first digital in 2002. I can't actually remember which 35mm camera I had then, although I remember paying almost $200 for it, a big investment for me at the time. It was a point and shoot, with not too much zoom, and small enough to always carry around in my purse. Nothing too fancy, nothing too manual. But I like those photos as much as the snapshots from my DSLR.

For $40, I picked up three cameras (representing three different decades of technological advances in photography!). I bought number one for $20 from etsy because it has a decent, fast lens and had great reviews (although the camera I bought was listed as a different camera, so the good reviews I read before buying were not applicable*). I bought camera number two, for $10 on ebay, because it has a wide angle lens (and was previously used by a police department!). And then I bought number three, also $10, also ebay, because it is exactly what I probably would have purchased in 2003 (hello pink accents). And then I had to make myself stop buying cameras.

There are just so many different cameras out there to buy, and so inexpensively. It literally costs more to buy the batteries to run some of these old cameras than to buy the cameras. At one point, my husband asked me if I was becoming a little more excited by the cameras (and film) themselves than by the prospect of, like, actually taking pictures.

#1 - Olympus Infinity Jr. (aka AF-10), 35mm, f/3.5 lens, circa 1987.*
In 1987, this camera sold for 39,300 yen, which was around $245.

#2 - Olympus SuperZoom 2800 (aka SuperZoom 80 Wide) QD, 28-80mm, f/4.5-7.8 lens, circa 1994.
In 1994, this camera sold for $420.

#3 - Canon Sure Shot 80u (aka Prima Zoom 80u) Date, 38-80mm, f/4.7-9.4 lens, circa 2003.
In 2003, this camera sold for $120.

I'm still waiting for two of the three to come in the mail, and have no real idea if they will even work, but I figured I might as well keep track of all of this, you know, for posterity.

*The buyer I bought my Infinity Jr. listed it as being an AF-10 Super. It isn't. From the research I did after buying mine, the Infinity Jr. comes in different models, the main difference being auto-flash only or flash control (auto, off, or fill-flash). Both styles are labeled Infinity Jr. without a distinction in the name, but the different models can also be labeled AF-10 (auto-flash only) or AF-10 Super (flash control). In other words, all AF-10 Supers are Infinity Jrs, but not all Infinity Jrs. are AF-10 Supers. I was a bit peeved that the etsy seller had mislabeled my camera, especially since he has a camera-selling business, rather than someone who came across an old camera in their parents' garage. And since I could have bought a real AF-10 Super for the same price. And now I feel like I need to buy a AF-10 Super.

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