In the age of smartphones, millennials are buying film cameras
This is Clued In, a column that will give you insight into some of the New York Times crossword clues and answers.
“Some camera”, three letters: SLR.
“SLR” has been used in 100 New York Times crossword puzzles. It has been identified in several different ways, including “Photographer purchase” and “35mm camera type”. It first appeared in The New York Times Crossword in 1995. More recently, it appeared in The Tuesday Puzzle, Constructed by Ross Trudeau.
The single-lens reflex camera has been around for decades, but its popularity has been eclipsed by smartphones in the 21st century. Today, 35mm film SLR cameras are making a comeback. Although largely out of circulation as new products, used SLR cameras are being sold and snapped up quickly on sites like eBay and Etsy.
Sales of vintage film cameras have steadily increased since 2015, and the coronavirus pandemic has supported the boom in popularity, according to Dawn Block, eBay’s vice president of durable goods and collectibles. A cohort of new amateurs and old amateurs with spare time has doubled down on film photography and camera collecting, she said. The most popular DSLR camera model on eBay, the Fuji GW690III, saw a 217% increase in sales between 2020 and 2021. Sales from Canon, Pentax, Nikon and Leica have all skyrocketed in the last two years, with sales increases of between 42% and 79%. . “The trend goes beyond personal passions,” Ms Block said. Consumers are using eBay to buy collectibles like sneakers, trading cards and luxury pieces, and film cameras are emerging as a new category for investment-conscious shoppers.
Etsy’s trends team has also seen increased interest in DSLR cameras. In the past year alone, Etsy saw a 76% increase in searches for DSLR cameras on its site, compared to the previous year, said Dayna Isom Johnson, trends expert at Etsy.
Gen Z and millennials are largely fueling this increased interest. “Analog devices have become a novelty, especially among younger shoppers who have grown up in the all-digital age,” Ms Johnson said. She compared the renewed interest in film cameras to the resurgence of vinyl records. Both revived trends evoke feelings of nostalgia and remind shoppers of “the simpler times of decades past,” she added.
Because there is a lag time between taking a photo on a film camera and actually seeing it, film photography does not offer instant gratification. Many people are drawn to this aspect of the hobby because it’s “something we see less and less of in our modern world”, Ms Johnson said.
Leila Yavari, a 25-year-old graduate student who lives in Atlanta, has five SLR cameras – two from her father’s collection of old film cameras and three that she bought herself when she started experimenting with film photography. Ms. Yavari says her nostalgic nature and her obsession with family records make this medium a perfect choice for her. She made a friend on vacation who used an SLR camera and loved how the photos turned out when they were developed. His hobby also spread to his friends. “There have been many times where a hangout with friends has ended in a successful eBay purchase of a new starter camera,” she said. “I love it. I love it when my friends want to make art the way they feel called to do it, and I’ve personally found SLR photography to be a really rewarding medium.
Dylan Robin, a 31-year-old social worker who lives in New Jersey, also has a growing collection of SLR film cameras. The film has an “inherent cool factor that’s hard to describe, but you know it when you see it,” Robin said. “We live most of our lives through iPhone screens and Instagram filters now,” he added. “And as we root ourselves deeper into our own digital worlds each year, I think the magic of film becomes even more enchanting.”
“‘SLR’ as an answer word is suboptimal – and borderline downright bad – because it’s nearly impossible to write an interesting clue for which. Lindsey Hobbs and I identified it as “Sharp shooter , for short?” in The Times’ 6/27/21 riddle, and that’s about all you can do. — Ross Trudeau, Puzzle Builder