As technology has improved, many of us have moved from those old film-using cameras to digital cameras and phones. However, that doesn’t mean those old cameras have to be disappeared. You may find that you still have one or more floating around in closets, boxes or in the attic.

In the spirit of spring cleaning, why not find a way to get revive your old camera? There are many things you can do with it that won’t mean throwing it out in the trash.

Donate It to a Charity

There are many charities out there that can put your old film camera to good use. That’s great because not only will it not be cluttering up your home, but it can potentially contribute to some really helpful causes.

Groups like The One Shot Project, NYC Salt, and The Film Photography Project are great places to donate your old camera. They represent some worthwhile causes that can allow your camera to help children either in the U.S or other countries or help with telling the stories of those who have been long ignored.

Sell It

While your old camera may not make you rich, it can be worth gaining a few extra dollars in your pocket. Pawn shops, consignment shops, and similar places may be willing to buy the camera from you, especially if you have lenses or other accessories to go with it.

Otherwise, you can likely sell it online through eBay, Craigslist or apps designed to allow people to sell or trade their unneeded items for something better. This can be a great method to use when you’re cleaning out your home to gain little extra pocket money at the same time.

Keep it as a Back-Up Option

While you may feel that all you need is your trusty phone or digital camera, it can be worthwhile to keep a backup option around just in case. That way, if one of your primary devices should break, you’ll always be able to turn to the trusty old film camera.

If you’re going to go with this option, it’s a good idea to make sure the film camera works. Otherwise, you may end up turning from a broken or lost device to a broken back-up, which can lead to a frustrating situation.

Use It as a Teaching Method

For those who have younger children, teaching them how to take care of expensive devices can be one of the toughest lessons to impart. Using an old film camera can be a great way to help with teaching this lesson without the worry of having a new phone or camera lost.

A younger child can have a lot of fun with an old film camera, and it’s something they can use to show you that they would be capable of taking care of a more expensive item. Not to mention, if they do happen to lose or break it, then it won’t be a huge monetary loss.

Use It

While the film might feel like an ancient, outdated method when compared to your digital camera, it can be nice to step back into the nostalgia of using one. Some might even argue that film-based photos have a vintage quality that you just can’t beat.

Do you remember the photo albums that your parents or grandparents kept around, displaying so many important memories? You can have them as well! Many would argue that a family photo album is much more personal and meaningful than posting the pictures to social media to see how many likes you get.

Consider Donating It to a School

Schools can often be in need of donations for their various classes. If teachers and staff need to use cameras as part of their teaching, they may appreciate the gift of a working camera. There are also sometimes photography classes and groups like student council who would appreciate having a camera on hand.

Overall, this is a great way to put your old camera to good use locally rather than sending it off to a far-away group. Just make sure to call around to local schools and see if they are in need of a camera before stopping by to drop it off.

Give It to a Friend

If you have a friend, family member or even acquaintance who has an interest in photography, they may be interested in making use of your old camera. This can be especially true if it’s a higher quality camera with lenses and other additions.

Before you toss that old camera into the trash, check around and see if you know anyone who might want it. You may not get any money from it, but it will feel good knowing that someone you know is getting used from the device.

Give It to a Thrift Store

Another option you have is to donate the camera to a thrift store like Goodwill or perhaps a more local option. This isn’t an option that will give you money in return, but it may feel better knowing that you’re giving someone else an opportunity to get some use out of it.

If you choose a local option, you can also feel good about helping a local business by providing them with something to sell. Many small business owners will appreciate a solid, working device that can help to keep their company going strong.


Before you throw that old film camera into the trash, it’s a good idea to consider some better options that can allow for the camera to get some more use rather than taking up space in a landfill. Donating, selling, or giving away the camera can feel much better overall than throwing it out.

So, take some time, look through this list and think carefully about what option works best for you and your old camera. Then, you can enjoy knowing that it’s still out there getting used rather than sitting in a closet.


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