Here's a sobering stat: since 2018, internet searches for disposable cameras have more than tripled. In that same time, searches for traditional cameras have dropped by over a third.
We all know that film photography has seen a huge resurgence in recent times. The best film cameras (opens in new tab) and the best 35mm film (opens in new tab) are in greater demand than they have been for years, and even within modern mirrorless photography there is a movement towards the best retro cameras (opens in new tab) that look like old-fashioned SLRs.
What we didn't really appreciate, however, is just how much demand there is for the best disposable cameras (opens in new tab), too, with a new report revealing that there has been a 338% jump in searches in the past 5 years.
That's according to data compiled by Max Spielmann (opens in new tab), a specialist photo printing chain in the UK. The report showed that "35mm film" went up by 158% in that same time, and "film cameras" jumped 75%, while "DSLR cameras" slumped by 37%.
Sue Burden, Retail Director at Max Spielmann, explains the findings:
"While we expected to see some form of rise in searches for the more 'retro' camera options, a leap of 338% in searches for disposable cameras since 2018 was what really piqued our interest to investigate further," said Sue Burden, retail director at Max Spielmann, noting that "a picture is painted of a generation of budding photographers who want to move away from digital modes of photography.
"There’s even a massive increase of 169% for the term 'film developing near me', so not only are more people choosing to shoot on film, but they're also opting to visit stores in-person rather than send off their rolls online.
"Whilst this might be due to the complications of shipping film eg. potential damage, it would also suggest that, much like the renewed interest in physical film, there’s a renewed interest in visiting physical stores as well."
Given that this has been happening for five years, we have to ask: at what point does a trend become the norm? Either way, it's even more concrete evidence that film isn't dead.
If you enjoyed this article you might be interested in buying and using film cameras (opens in new tab), and the best online photo printing (opens in new tab) to develop your film. And don't forget to check out the best instant cameras (opens in new tab) for another fun form of film photography.