Since I wrote this, it seems there is a renewed interest for those old cheap cameras, and the prices have a bad tendancy to go crazy. I since connverted most of them for Infra-Red photography.
back in 2019:
Take the little Panasonic FZ100 bridge camera that was sold for $500 in 2010. Now it's cheaper than a Nikon EN-EL4a battery...It is a so called super-zoom camera, featuring an almost wide-angle 24x zoom lens (equivalent to 25-600mm F\/2.8-5.2 in 35mm), 14 megapixel and 5fps continuous shooting at full image resolution with AF tracking and a buffer of 11 photos. There is a small articulated lcd screen, a terrible electronic viewfinder, the optics are just ok and the flash is basically useless, but it has PASM modes and can record RAW.
The FZ100 was infamous for its alleged noise at base ISO, even for a small 1\2.3" sensor.
So what? Its imperfections make it interesting. Like the 5MP compact Olympus X500 aka c470Z that had absolutely nothing special, or the 7MP Fuji Z10fd, Many Samsung digicams, or the Pentax X90, yet another generic super zoom compact bridge.
All crappy cameras with almost absolutely nothing worth it, that you can get for 10 bucks or less at a thrift store.
All producing the same dull noisy soft overprocessed jpegs.
Still, that makes them interesting from a creative point of vue. At the time, they sucked. Period. barely good enough for vacation shots.
Frame before you shoot: that is basically all you can do with these cameras. Then, just let the imperfections of the overprocessed photos trigger your inspiration: emphasize them, or do all you can to turn them into something good. It's interesting in that you will learn a lot about your post processing software(s).
Just unleash your creativity. Are the jpegs too saturated? try to unsaturate, or add saturation. It's too soft? let topaz plugins invent the missing details. Too noisy? just add even more noise: or use extreme denoising. And all the options in between.
Obviously, even when they were sold brand new, these cameras weren't good at casual photography. Shoot something different. Experiment with new subjects, go full abstract.
I'm not talking here of turning a crappy photo into a great photo: no post processing can do that. It's all about turning a pixel mess into art. The lomo of digital somehow.
shooting an outdated camera is actually quite fun, and turning the photos into something special is even more fun.