Gen Z takes pics that look straight from the early aughts
The Future. Point-and-shoot digital cameras, unearthed by Zoomers in secondhand stores or their family’s junk drawers, are making a comeback. While many people are loading their feeds with generative art, the younger generation is opting for a vintage aesthetic that pays homage to the blurry, overlit photos of the Y2K era. If Gen Z’s enthusiasm for digital cameras is any indication, the authenticity of unfiltered content may always be in vogue.
According to NYT, Zoomers with smartphone fatigue are looking for older tools to capture their memories.
- 36% of US teens said they spent too much time on social media in 2022, according to the Pew Research Center.
- On TikTok, the hashtag #digitalcamera has 184 million views (and counting).
- On eBay, searches for “digital camera” increased by 10% from 2021 to 2022, with searches for specific models experiencing bigger jumps. “Nikon COOLPIX” searches increased by 90%.
- Camera lines like the Canon PowerShot and Kodak EasyShare are allegedly popping up more and more at parties and other social events.
Millennial trash is Gen Z treasure
Compared to today’s smartphones, digital cameras have fewer megapixels and feature built-in lenses with higher apertures — both of which produce lower-quality snapshots. But it’s this exact quirk that appeals to Zoomers.
In feeds of overly edited pics, photos taken with digital cameras impart “a layer of personality that most iPhone content doesn’t,” says Brielle Saggese, a lifestyle strategist at the trend forecasting company WGSN Insight.
In other words, they look more authentic online.
As Gen Z rewinds the clock to 2003, they prove that style is cyclical. Whatever trends from the past we hoped would fade from the collective memory will see the light of day again.