Camera availability changing our social lives

by Andrew Lang, Seattle Goodwill
October 7, 2016

A little more than 200 years after the first photograph ever was taken by a man named Joseph Niepce—whose picture took 8 hours to develop—it’s impressive how fully photos are incorporated into our daily lives.

Surely, Niepce wouldn’t have predicted a world in which photo-centric apps such as Instagram and Snapchat have taken the forefront in our social lives.

Anyone with a cell phone can take a photos. Which begs the question, what effect has that had on photography and non-camera phone cameras? Could the rise of smartphones be killing the traditional camera industry?

Seattle Goodwill Auction Lister Steven Sutterby doesn’t think so. He used a clever Starbucks analogy to support his view.

“They’ve swamped the market and taken over, but they’ve also created this coffee culture, so it helps the independents grow on the back of that.

“If you look at that thought with phones, everyone has got a digital camera on their phone whether they like it or not. Everyone is taking photos. The internet is littered with them everywhere. So that is making more people think—people who wouldn’t necessarily think about being a photographer—about going and spending money on a camera. They think, ‘Maybe this is something I want to go pursue,’ and they make a connection with the artistic nature of it.”

Whether you’re just getting into photography, a collector or a seasoned photog looking for a quality used camera, Seattle Goodwill’s online stores have some great deals. By visiting or our eBay store, you can find the perfect camera to fit your needs at a great price. 

We have everything from SLRs, to point and shoots, GoPros, lenses and other various throwback cameras and equipment.  

Here are four things to look for when buying a used camera:

1. Check the battery compartment: It’s not uncommon for batteries to leak and create corrosion on the connection terminals. It appears as a light blue coating and can prevent power from getting to the camera.

2. Lens check: Using a nice SLR, the lens is what gives your camera most of its value. Make sure it’s clean. Dust and some dirt can be scrubbed clean, but scratches are a different story. Ensure the back of the lens is clean as well as the front. If your lens comes with lens caps, that’s a good sign.

3. No physical damage: While a few small dents to the body or lens might not mean much to you, a lens that’s taken a beating could have more damage than meets the eye. Even a small dent could mean internal damage that can affect picture quality.

4. Functionality: Perhaps the most obvious, if the camera is charged and operable, give it a test run. Listen to hear if the SLR camera winds on and clicks when it is supposed to shoot. 


Andrew is a Content Specialist for Seattle Goodwill and has a wealth of writing, communication and digital media experience. He loves all things sports related and owns a treasure trove of memorabilia. He also enjoys storytelling, the outdoors and sugar is his kryptonite.

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