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Beyond Books and Screens


Get that retro look in your photography when you borrow from our new collection of vintage digital cameras at the Vitale Digital Media Lab.

Digicams at the Vitale Digital Media Lab

My first ever camera was given to me by my father, and like me, he had an affinity for documenting every moment spent with the people he loved (sometimes to their distaste). I was about nine when he felt he could finally trust me with his Canon PowerShot, thus began my love for photography.

Although I have steadily upgraded my camera equipment throughout the years, the joy I felt using that 2006 Canon PowerShot never dissipated, and I’ll always hold space for the years I spent bringing it along to every school field trip and playdates with friends. Recently, after coming across an instagram account dedicated to photographs taken on old digital cameras (often referred to as digicams), I decided to look into the possibility of securing some for the lab.

Thankfully, with the help of Christine Kemp of Education Commons, Vitale was able to obtain four digital cameras donated from the archive of Arcadia University’s Department of Media and Communication. Opening the kits and holding a digicam for the first time since (probably) 2011, I felt the same amount of joy as I did when I was nine.

A visit to the Poconos
Digicam photo of the Poconos

After the delivery of Arcadia’s digicam kits, I took the Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ3 on my vacation to the Poconos. Using the digicam as my primary vacation camera reminded me of why I love them in the first place: they’re compact, they’re light, and they are extremely user friendly. With a small array of presets and manual settings, the digicam is accessible to all lovers of photography, from complete novices to professionals.

While I was using the digicam to document our time together, I found myself feeling less compelled to pick up my phone to record something for Instagram or twitter. The digicam gives us the opportunity to still capture a moment without the distraction of social media, leaving room to create more intimate and beautiful memories. Passing around the same small camera for all my friends to use together strengthened the bond we already shared, something that I don’t think could have been replicated with a camera that required more attention to detail to use.

If you’re interested in creating your own digicam memories or pieces of art, you can come on over to the Vitale Digital Media Lab in Van Pelt to rent a kit, or go online to to make a reservation today. We are currently stocked with 6 digicam kits: (2x) Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ3s, (2x) Panasonic Lumix ZS3, one Sony Cyber-shot DSC-S500, and one Sony Cyber-shot DSC-P72.

Each digicam kit includes: 

  • Camera
  • Rechargeable Batteries
  • Charger
  • SD Card / Memory Stick
  • Card Reader

Happy Shooting!



January 18, 2024