I love shooting with Classic DigiCams for their unique character. I have found that different makes and models produce various aesthetics, and are good for different situations. Below are my current DigiCams, with a short history and description of each, including what I like about it and when I use it, plus a few sample pictures. Maybe one or two will stand out to you, and you’ll purchase that model yourself.
There are so many different DigiCams produced over the years, it would impossible to write about all of them, so I’m only featuring the ones that I own. When I obtain a new one, I’ll add it to this list.
Without further ado, here are my DigiCams!
Samsung is a well-known electronics brand, but it actually started as a grocery store in the 1930’s. They’ve made cameras for longer than you might expect—beginning with film—and they’ve produced digital cameras since the mid-1990’s. The Samsung ST76 was released in March 2012, right as the DigiCam market was collapsing.
This camera is incredibly tiny! It’s my smallest DigiCam, measuring about 3.5″ wide, 2″ tall, and 3/4″ thick. It has a small 1/2.3″ 16-megapxiel CCD sensor and a f/2.5-6.3 25mm-125mm (equivalent) 5x zoom lens. The camera uses a Micro-SD card, and I use an adapter so I can transfer the files to my phone. It originally retailed for $130, which means it was a low-to-mid range DigiCam. I paid about $18 for mine, which I found at a Goodwill.
Aside from the size, there wasn’t anything that seemed especially special about the Samsung ST76 until I discovered the Retro Style Smart Filter. The rest of the Smart Filters—plus the standard rendering (Smart Filter Off)—aren’t worthwhile, and I wouldn’t use this camera if I had to choose one of those options; however, the Retro Style Smart Filter is absolutely wonderful! The pictures that it produces have a 1960’s and 1970’s color film vibe—sometimes similar to some American New Color photographs—and not the quintessential DigiCam aesthetic.
If you are after a typical DigiCam look, this camera (in its standard rendering) is so-so for that, but if you want vintage-analog-like pictures with a warm-brown fade, the Samsung ST76 camera using the Retro Style is incredibly good. I love the pictures from the ST76 so much that it’s my absolute favorite DigiCam! I often carry this camera with me throughout the day.
Nikon CoolPix S7c
Nikon began making cameras in 1948. Their work in digital photography dates back to the 1980’s, and they are often credited with creating the first DSLR (although there is some debate on this). They have been a top-three camera manufacturer for many decades. Nikon has made many, many digital cameras, and nearly 200 different DigiCams!
The Nikon CoolPix S7c is a “Style Series” DigiCam released in August 2006 with a retail price of $380—solidly mid tier at its introduction. I paid $27 for mine on eBay. It’s a cool looking camera with a slim design that is almost Art Deco—I really like the aesthetic of the camera body. It has a tiny 7-megapixel 1/2.5″ CCD sensor and an f/2.8-5 35mm-105mm (equivalent) 3x zoom lens. It uses an SD Card. The camera does require a special dock for charging, which mine didn’t come with, but thankfully a third-party battery and charger were inexpensive. It supposedly has some level of WiFi capability, although I’ve not figured out how to use it.
The camera has five picture profiles, and I personally prefer the Vivid Color option. It produces punchy pictures that are still fairly true-to-life. It has almost a slide-film-like quality, and I especially like it for landscapes. The Nikon CoolPix S7c is a fun one to use, and one of my favorite DigiCams—just a really cool little camera.
Fujifilm FinePix AX350
Fujifilm has a long history in photography, and for many decades were renown for their film stocks. Despite being one of the very first digital camera manufacturers, Fujifilm didn’t really make a name for themselves within the digital camera market until the last decade. Prior to that, Fujifilm mostly made inexpensive DigiCams, like the FinePix AX350.
Released in January 2011, the Fujifilm FinePix AX350 originally retailed for $100, making it a low-end model. My camera came in a bundle from Goodwill, and after selling some of the other items, the camera was essentially free. It has a small 16-megapixel 1/2.3″ CCD sensor and an f/3.3-5.9 33mm-165mm (equivalent) 5x zoom lens. It takes an SD Card and AA batteries.
In a lot of ways, the AX350 is a quintessential DigiCam—the outward design, the internal specs, and the image quality all are very typical. If you want that Classic DigiCam shooting experience and picture aesthetic that’s popular right now, this camera will deliver. I like to use mine with the F-Chrome color profile, which gives a slight analog quality to the pictures.
Fujifilm FinePix AX655
The Fujifilm AX655 is almost identical to the AX350, with only minor improvements and changes—the specs are practically indistinguishable. Released in March 2013 with an MSRP of only $90, it was a low-budget model. I paid about $17 for mine at Goodwill. Because I also have the AX350, I use this as a black-and-white camera, which it does well for.
I really like black-and-white photography, but it’s not an aesthetic typically associated with DigiCams. Fujifilm’s monochrome rendering is excellent, and this camera is a solid option for anyone wanting to capture some B&W pictures.
Sony CyberShot DSC-WX9
Sony began in 1946, and soon became an iconic name in electronics. While they were one of the early companies developing digital cameras, they didn’t really make a name for themselves right away within the camera industry. In fact, it was Sony’s purchase of Minolta (a long-established but struggling camera brand) in 2006 that allowed them to become one of the top digital camera brands over the last decade. Sony also established themselves as the largest camera sensor manufacturer, producing essential components that other brands used.
The Sony CyberShot DSC-WX9 was released in January 2011 for $220 (I paid about $18 for mine at Goodwill), which made it a lower-mid-level model. It has a small 1/2.3″ 16-megapixel BSI CMOS sensor and f/2.6-6.3 25mm-125mm (equivalent) 5x zoom lens. Most DigiCams have a CCD sensor, which contributes to the picture aesthetic, while this camera has a BSI CMOS sensor—a “modern” sensor type found in many digital cameras and even cellphone cameras over the last decade. It was cutting edge at the time, first introduced just one year earlier. But, if you want that Classic DigiCam aesthetic, this camera won’t produce that as well as others—which is not to say that the image quality is worse, only that it is slightly different.
This camera produces some crazy lens flare sometimes, including an occasional double-rainbow effect, which is cool. Overall, however, the Sony CyberShot DSC-WX9 is one of my least favorite DigiCams.
Nikon CoolPix A10
The CoolPix A10 is one of Nikon’s very last DigiCams, released in January 2016 with an MSRP of $125, which means that it was a lower-end model. I paid about $18 for mine at Goodwill. It has a small 1/2.3″ 16-megapixel CCD sensor and f/3.2-6.5 26mm-130mm (equivalent) 5x zoom lens. It does produce that quintessential DigiCam look, but I prefer the Fujifilm FinePix AX350 for that instead.
Something rather interesting that the Nikon CoolPix A10 can do is, when in the Playback mode, you can press OK on a picture and reprocess the image using Quick Effects. There are four Cross Process and two Toy Camera effects that are actually decent. Yes, maybe a little gimmicky sometimes, but sometimes pretty good. I don’t use this camera often, but when I do it is to get a lomo look, an aesthetic that isn’t possible with my other DigiCams.
Until recently, I used to have a Canon PowerShot N, which was an unusual little DigiCam released in January 2013. When in Creative Shot mode, the camera would produce five very different versions of the same picture that you just captured, and sometimes one or two of those would be interesting. Unfortunately, this camera took a fall and broke, so I no longer have it, but I would love to buy it again someday.
This page contains affiliate links, and if you make a purchase using my links I’ll be compensated a small amount for it.