The Camp Snap Camera Was Designed For Kids But Is An Addictive Alternative For Creators Tired Of Modern Perfection

Camp Snap - featured image
Camp Snap

The difference between telling your story and creating content is sometimes difficult to differentiate. Simplicity can feel like authenticity in a world of endless filters and smartphones with cameras that shoot in 4k and have AI stabilization. All of which is why the Camp Snap camera has quickly become a regular part of my everyday carry. Often at the expense of my beloved Canon R5. 

This simple, budget-priced camera is light, compact, and easy to use while delivering incredible lofi shots. The Camp Snap camera is a delightful prospect for bloggers, storytellers, travelers, and photographers. Cheap enough to be a toy, powerful and portable enough that you’ll find yourself grabbing it as you head out the door. 

Is the Camp Snap camera worth your money, even after a recent price increase? Here’s everything you need to know about the Camp Snap camera. 

What is the Camp Snap camera? 

Initially designed for parents to give their kids a low-risk camera for summer camps, Camp Snap has quickly found an adult audience. The 8-megapixel digital camera from the Camp Snap brand doesn’t have a screen. With Camp Snap, you only have two options until you get home: shoot or don’t shoot.  

Camp Snap - camera design
Camp Snap

It has a shutter button on top, a photo counter on the back, a slider for setting the LED flash to on/off/auto, and a viewfinder to peer through. There’s also a speaker on the back. You download your photos via a USB-C port on the bottom.

Design-wise, the Camp Snap looks like an old point-and-shoot 35mm camera you might find at a flea market. The company claims the device is drop-proof. After taking it on the road for six weeks, from comedy shows to a Gwar concert, I can vouch this little beast is well built. It easily survived a few tumbles from my coat, though I wouldn’t drop it down the stairs. 

camp snap camera - image of the moon during the day
Photo by John-Michael Bond

It has 4.02 GB of onboard memory, enough to take thousands of photos without a problem. On average, each photo is about 3MB, though longer exposers in low light can be more. 

Who Is This Camera For?

The Camp Snap camera has become my little joy as a photographer with a $4,000 camera that shoots ultra high-def RAW photos. Sometimes, I just want to shoot life as it happens rather than worry about settings or setting up the perfect shot. I don’t need 50MB images of every party. Sometimes simplicity is its own joy, especially in photography.  

Camp Snap - woman standing holding a cup on hollywood blvd
Photo by John-Michael Bond

It turns out, I’m not the only person who has started longing for the days of imperfect cameras that reflect the chaos of life. Gen Z has started to fall in love with older cameras that recreate the joys of 35mm film and older digital shooters. Unlike starting to shoot film or hunting down a vintage digital camera, the Camp Snap camera has an accessible price point of $65.

With a rechargeable battery, enough storage to last multiple days without uploading, and great photos in daylight, Camp Snap is like a disposable camera you never have to turn in. 

What Does The Camp Snap Camera Cost?

When I bought the camera this summer, it was just $45. Today, it’s going for $65 brand new. I originally bought this as an impulse purchase after a few beers. To be honest, I’m not sure I would have jumped on it at the $65 price as an impulse buy. 

street sign in low light, no flash, saying expect delays
Photo by John-Michael Bond

Having used the device, I would recommend it at this price. For $65, you might find an older digital camera at a thrift store that provides a classic photo look with a better flash. It just won’t be as light, cute, or simple to use. And to a degree, the simplicity is the selling point here.  

What Do The Photos Look Like?

In short, both amazing and like crap, but often the ones that look like crap also look fantastic. Let’s be honest. This is an 8MP camera with a straightforward lens. Your best shots will be taken in daylight, with rich colors and a delightful grain. For film photographers, I found it most like expired Kodak 400 film shot with a stock lens. 

For adventure shooting, this was perfect. No venue ever said to leave it in my car. It fit in my fanny pack on walks. Sliding it into a pocket when hopping out of the car to explore an abandoned gas station quickly became second nature.  

MS Paint at The Fest in Gainesville Fl
Photo by John-Michael Bond

It weighs 3.3 grams and takes up almost no space. The Camp Snap is no big deal to bring hiking or to a local fight club. However, if that fight club is in a dark basement, you better hope there’s some stage lighting. Otherwise, you’ll be left using the LED flash to brighten up your photos. 

Said flash is a glaring weakness and a loveable feature all at once. It isn’t very powerful, and the LED light is not warm. But as a photographer, this is a quirk I’ve come to adore. Shooting with Camp Snap at night is an exercise in learning to trust your eye and enjoy the randomness of photography. 

Your photos without the flash in low light require a steady hand and lots of ambient lighting. The reward will be grainy yet character-filled shots you’ll love forever, alongside a bunch of blurry junk you’ll delete. Using the flash in low light often delivers overly washed-out portraits, but that’s part of the joy.

Comedian Lizzy Cassidy at The Fest 2023
Photo by John-Michael Bond

After all, the imperfection of a lived-in moment is part of what makes it lived in. Camp Snap photos look alive, even in the messy moments. 

Are Camp Snap Photos Any Good? 

Speaking as someone who shoots 35mm, mirrorless digital, and full frame DSLR photography, I’ve learned to love lots of different image types. Heck, I even have a Canon PowerShot in rotation. The photos from the Camp Snap camera feel right out of a disposable film camera. If you’re too young to remember those, think about how your baby photos look that were taken on old smartphones. 

There’s grain, there are imperfections and occasionally blurs from movement. But what’s most remarkable is just how often the photos look perfect for what they are. It is not ideal for a magazine spread but is perfect for reliving a memory.

Camp Snap - The Green Man art instillation at the Two Arrows gas station in Arizona
Photo by John-Michael Bond

These photos don’t look like content; they look like life. No screen means you’ll end up with more group shots where everyone looks in the wrong direction. Sometimes, you’ll miss someone walking into an image’s edge. 

Frankly, that rules. Content creation has infected every element of creation, often teaching the importance of perfection and performance before the joy of just making stuff. The Camp Snap camera is all of the randomness of a point-and-shoot disposable camera without the frustration of only having 35 shots. 

Camp Snap - Andy Peter and Kevin White at The Fest 2023
Photo by John-Michael Bond

Are they good? Yes, and sometimes no. That’s what makes them great. 

What’s Bad About The Camp Snap Camera?

If there is any downside to the Camp Snap camera, it’s the flash. The included LED flash is feeble and overly white, meaning I often found myself only using it for group shots at night. You’re better off finding a place to put the camera down in low light, turning off the flash, and letting the camera take a longer exposure if you see a cool sign or something at night. 

camp snap - Star Community Bar in Atlanta
Photo by John-Michael Bond

This issue can be fixed if you’re the sort of person who keeps a small panel light with you. But that defeats the purpose of having the Camp Snap to begin with.  

Camp Snap’s only other downside is its obnoxious sounds. Turning the camera on or off makes it beep, and there’s a click every time you shoot. This makes it awkward for street photography if you want to go unnoticed. Thankfully, Camp Snap has released a free firmware that turns off the sounds. Accordingly, we’re going to mark this as a minor complaint. 

Camp Snap - Photo of a photographer in a burned out gas station
Photo by Emily Effler

Should I Buy A Camp Snap Camera?

Photographers often convince ourselves it’s a good idea to take our favorite camera everywhere. We want the best possible shots from every moment. But using Camp Snap has made me reconsider what I consider the best possible shot. It turns out that sometimes, a fine shot that feels alive is better than a perfect shot that feels sterile.  

At $65, the Camp Snap is an affordable tool that’s easy to recommend for creators. It’s a way to leave your house with a camera that forces you to get lost in the wonder of shooting. At its best, you’ll get wonderfully warm photos that capture the texture of your adventures. When it goes sideways and delivers a blurry mess, you’ll laugh and learn a little more about digital lowlight photography. 

camp snap - photo of found art outside of the Two Arrows gas station in Arizona
Photo by Emily Effler

But the real joy here is not worrying. It’s the thrill of shooting a shot you can’t immediately look at. We’re so used to grids, filters, guides, and fixable live photos that the sheer act of taking a picture and praying feels revolutionary. And unlike film, you can now get this sensation without blowing hundreds of dollars on development costs. 

Ultimately, $65 is a bar tab for the holidays. It’s a new video game or a tank of gas. 

Is the Camp Snap perfect? No. But that’s part of why you’re going to love it. This is an adventure in photography. But it’s an adventure that will take photos you’ll cherish forever and want to share. Whether you’re making memories or content, this is a simple investment you won’t regret.

Content for Creators.

News, tips, and tricks delivered to your inbox twice a week.

Newsletter Signup

Top Stories