Last spring, Anthony Tabrez celebrated prom like many high schoolers do today: dancing the night away and capturing it through photos and videos. snapshots Show 18-year-old Mr. Tabrez and his friends smiling, jumping around and waving their arms across a crowded dance floor.

But instead of using his smartphone, Mr. Tabriz documented prom night with an Olympus FE-230, a 7.1-megapixel, silver digital camera made in 2007 and previously owned by his mother. During his senior year of high school, such cameras began appearing in classrooms and at social gatherings. On prom night, Mr. Tabriz passed by his camera, which snapped fuchsia-tinted photos that looked straight out of the early days.

“We’ve become so used to our phones,” said Mr. Tabrez, a freshman at California State University, Northridge. “When you have something else to shoot, it’s more exciting.”

Generation Z’s childhood cameras are seen as outdated and pointless by those who originally owned them vogue again, Young people enjoying the novelty of an old form, using digital cameras TIC Toc and sharing the pictures they made instagram, The hashtag #digitalcamera has 184 million views on TikTok.

modern influencers like Kylie Jenner, bella hadid And charlie d’amelio encouraging fun and copying their early 2000s counterparts by taking blurry, overlit photos. Instead of the paparazzi publishing these photos to tabloids or gossip websites, influencers are posting them on social media.

At the turn of the millennium most of today’s teenagers and youngest adults were infants. Gen Z-ers grew up with smartphones that increasingly had everything, making stand-alone cameras, mapping devices and other gadgets unnecessary. They are now looking for a break from their smartphones; Last year, 36 percent of American teens said they spent too much time on social media, according to the Pew Research Center.

That relief is coming by way of compact point-and-shoot digital cameras, which have been uncovered by Gen Z-ers digging through their parents’ junk drawers and making vintage purchases. Camera lines like the Canon PowerShot and Kodak EasyShare are in search of them, popping up at parties and other social events.

Over the past few years, a time of both technological euphoria and existential dread, nostalgia for the Y2K era that spanned the late 1990s and early 2000s, has seized Generation Z. , Dress over a velor tracksuit and jeans. Mall-giant brands prefer Abercrombie & Fitch And juicy Couture taken advantage of; In 2021, Abercrombie reports its highest ever gross sales Since 2014. Now, there’s Y2K nostalgia for the technology that graced these outfits when they first became popular.

This time, the poor picture quality doesn’t make up for lack of better tools. It’s on purpose.

Compared to today’s smartphones, older digital cameras have fewer megapixels, which capture less detail, and built-in lenses with higher apertures, which let in less light, both of which contribute to lower-quality photos. . But in a feed of more or less standard smartphone photos, the quirks of pictures taken with digital cameras are now considered treasures rather than reasons for deletion.

Photographer Mark Hunter, also known as Cobrasnake, said, “People are realizing that anything connected to their phone is not fun.” “You are getting different results than before. There is a slight delay in gratification.

Mr Hunter, 37, cut his teeth documenting nightlife in the early aughts using his digital camera. In those photos, celebrities—including “You Belong With Me”—ra Taylor Swift and newly famous Kim Kardashian – Look like ordinary partygoers caught in the harsh light of Mr. Hunter’s camera.

Now he photographs a new group of influencers and stars, but the photos would be nearly indistinguishable from his old ones if his subjects were holding flip phones instead of iPhones. They’re rewinding the clock to 2007 and “basically reliving every episode of ‘The Simple Life,'” he said, referring to a reality television show from that era that starred Paris Hilton and Nicole Richie is involved.

But many new point-and-shoot digital cameras come with today’s bells and whistles, and older models have been discontinued, so people scour thrift stores and vintage e-commerce sites to find cameras with a substantial vintage look. Turning towards. On eBay, searches for “digital cameras” are set to grow 10 percent from 2021 to 2022, company spokeswoman Davina Ramnarine said, with searches for specific models also seeing a sharp jump. For example, searches for “Nikon COOLPIX” increased by 90 percent, he said.

Zounia Rabotson’s earliest memories are of traveling and posing in front of monuments and tourist attractions as her mother pressed a button and a digital camera sprang to life. Now a model in New York City, she’s returned to her mother’s digital camera, a Canon PowerShot SX230 HS made in 2011.

Ms. Rabbotson, 22, on Instagram posts Grainy, overexposed photos of her wearing a denim miniskirt and carrying a small luxury handbag. She says that she idolized models since childhood and that taking pictures in a similar style made her “feel like I’m who I am.”

“I think we’re getting a little too technical,” she said. “Going back in time is just a good idea.”

Ms. Robotson doesn’t completely disconnect. She showed off her camera on social media, posting her fourth most popular caption video On TikTok: “Pov” — point of view — “You fell in love with digital cameras all over again.”

On TikTok, teens and young adults now almost as old show off cameras and explain “how to get on”new beauty, Cameras aren’t always well received. Amalie Bled posted a post after the influencer video Asking viewers on TikTok to “buy the cheapest digital camera” for the “overexposed look,” some of the more than 900 commenters came up with scathing answers.

One person commented, “No, no, please no, I can’t live this era again.” “I swear I’m not that old.”

But the comments from frustrated millennials and people with more modern tastes were overwhelmed by those where users tagged their friends and asked how to upload photos from their digital cameras to their smartphones.

Among some Gen Z-ers, the digital camera has become popular because it appears more authentic online, and isn’t necessarily a break from the Internet, said Brielle Saggese, lifestyle strategist at trend forecasting company WGSN Insight. He added that photos taken with digital cameras “can provide a layer of personality that most iPhone content does not”.

“We want our devices to quietly blend into our surroundings and not be visible,” Ms. Sagis said. “The Y2K aesthetic has turned that on its head,” she said, describing mirror selfies and photos where digital cameras appear to be accessories as a “stylistic choice.”

Rudra Sondhi, a freshman at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario, started using his grandmother’s digital camera because it seemed like a happy medium between film cameras and smartphones. He estimates that one out of every five photos he takes with his smartphone is with his digital camera.

“When I look at my digital photographs” – from his actual camera – “I have very specific memories attached to them,” Mr. Sondhi said. “When I look at the camera roll on my phone, I’m reminded of that moment and it’s nothing special.”

Mr. Sondhi, 18, shares the pictures taken with his camera on a separate Instagram For@rudrascamera. These photos document the range of young adulthood, from hanging out in a college dorm room to performing with The Weeknd. When he pulled out his camera, he said, his friends immediately recognized the moment as special.

For 22-year-old Sadie Gray Strausser, using digital cameras represented the beginning of a different life phase. She took a semester off from Williams College during the pandemic and started using her parents’ Canon PowerShot. her photography instagram ForNight out and long drive listed in @mysexyfotos, low-contrast, washed out snapshots.

“I felt so far off the grid, and it was almost handheld, using a camera that wasn’t connected to a phone,” she said.

When her digital camera broke down last summer, Ms Strausser said she was “very upset”. She later started using Sony Cyber-shots of her grandmother, which had “such a different character”. Meanwhile, she said, if her iPhone broke, “I couldn’t care less.”

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