The 80s were a profound time of technological advancement. The snowball hadn’t quite starting rolling out of control like it did in the 2000s, but there were some really great and charming changes nonetheless. For example, the walkman made music portable in the 80s, the first DVD was released, and synth pop was invented. Long live the 80s.
Among the most notable changes that really defined the 80s was a proliferation of photography. Falling film prices, cheaper hardware, and readily available film developing stations around almost every corner made pictures ubiquitous. While before, cameras were unwieldy and expensive, the 80s were a time where basically everyone had a camera, and folks were taking pictures all of the time.
Of the cameras that were at your disposal in the 80s, there were definitely models that were more popular than others. These are the top 5 most popular cameras in the 80s that you probably owned at one time or another.
Polaroid Instant Camera
The Polaroid instant camera was a game changer. Not only did it allow you to take photos and see them right away, it bypassed the expensive developing phase. Polaroids were the camera du jour for young people, because you could take pictures practically anywhere and hang them everywhere right away. There’s nothing more 80s than posting a bunch of rad polaroids of your bestie and crush on your bedroom mirror.
Minolta Maxxum 7000
This is the dad camera. Every dad had them. Maybe there was a special coming of age ceremony that, when dads graduated, they received a Minolta camera. They were perfect for the amateur photographer. The auto focus made them easy to point and shoot, and the film was easy to load and unload. They typically came with an XL carrying case, but occasionally, you’d get the rare dad with the camera fanny pack. Classic 80s
This might be the most stereotypical 80s looking camera in the bunch. It was expensive, so only the coolest kids had them. It had all of the calling cards of a classic--great aesthetics, an LCD display, and oversized lens which made it the go-to for camera connoisseurs.
Canon has been known for making great cameras since the beginning of time. Okay, maybe not since the cave times, but since cameras became a valuable commodity, Canon has been at the forefront of innovation. The Canon F-1, the precursor to some of the more popular DSLR cameras of later years, was a groundbreaking design that changed photography forever. Available with a ton of accessories, you could soup up this camera to make it as gnarly or bare-bones as you wanted. In fact, these cameras are still collectibles and can be used today
A significant downgrade from basically every other camera on this list, disposable cameras burst onto the scene in 1986 and picture taking was never the same. Without disposable cameras, we never would have been able to take photos of school trips, summer camps, or sleepovers. Disposable cameras, due to their affordable nature, gave kids the opportunity to handle photography equipment without the fear of destroying it. This is basically the only reason that any evidence still exists of my Ninja Turtle phase.
The 80s were an awesome time for cameras. Because everyone was able to take more pictures than ever, we got some awesome photos. Don’t forget that, if you have a huge box of pictures sitting in a shoebox in your closet, Legacybox can digitize them so that you can share them on your social media!