About us

Campkins Cameras is an independent, family-run retail business specialising in the sale of new and second hand cameras both modern and vintage, binoculars and telescopes. We’ve been a feature of the Cambridge High Street, serving the photographic and optical needs of the local community since 1955. Owen Howell, the current owner was born into the business, learning all about the new and used camera trade from his father Barry and grandfather Tom, before eventually taking over the reigns himself. Now, with a team of highly qualified employees that are also practicing photographers, Campkins staff has over 50 years combined photography experience. Our proud heritage extends beyond expertise in photography and optics to a desire to always provide exceptional customer service, sound advice and the best value we can. At a time when surviving as an independent retailer is more challenging than ever, we understand that customers value our unique services and friendly, face-to-face interaction which can’t be found online, at a general electronics outlet or a department store.

Our People

Owen Howell

Business Owner

Owen attended his first camera show with Campkins at just 2 weeks old and while growing up, has held many positions within the business. From driver, printer, salesman and store manager he progressed through Campkins before finally taking over at the helm of the business. Whilst Owen now focuses on growing the business in today’s challenging retail environment, he also maintains an active presence in the shop and enjoys looking after both new and life-long customers that had also shopped with his father and grandfather before him. He has worked closely with all the major brands such as Canon, Nikon, Fuji, Olympus, Sony, Panasonic, Pentax, Manfrotto, Lowepro, Leica, Zeiss and Swarovski to ensure we can supply a comprehensive range of products that meet the needs of today’s discerning customers. To deliver the high standards Campkins have become known for and to implement a strategy that ensures we stay innovative and relevant, Owen has hand-picked a team of staff to continue the legacy he inherited.

Xander Sandwell

Store Manager

Our Store Manager is Xander and has been a long-time customer of Campkins. “I bought my first 35mm SLR film camera, a vintage Olympus from Owen’s Grandfather’s shop about 25 years ago as a teenager!” Having had several years experience in retail management and account management in the commercial sector, Xander also deals with some of Campkins’ key accounts such as the Cambridge University Communications Department for whom we are a preferred supplier. Xander also holds a First Class BA Honours Degree and Masters Degree in Photography and has worked as professional photographer and teacher of Photography/Photoshop. He is therefore perfectly qualified to advise you on your photographic equipment. Xander also offers bespoke one-to-one tuition to customers. So whether you are a complete novice wanting to get to grips with the basics of photography or a more advanced photographer wanting to gain new skills, he can put together a bespoke session to meet your needs. Xander is an experienced Canon Full-Frame DSLR user and also shoots with Olympus Micro 4/3 cameras and film cameras. During his professional and academic experience he has also used various medium format analogue and digital systems as well as large format cameras.

Domininkas Zalys

Photographic specialist

For the past 2 years Dom has been an integral part of Campkins whilst also studying for his BA in photography and working as a freelance social, commercial and fashion photographer. His work has been published in the Cambridge Varsity and Velvet magazines and with Vogue online. He is passionate about photography and is well placed to advise customers on their needs and also offers one-to-one photography tuition. Being multi-lingual and outgoing Dom always makes a big impression, especially with our international customers. Dom Shoots primarily with his own Nikon Full Frame DSLR for stills and Sony for video but has used various cameras on studio shoots.

Brian Naughton

Photographic specialist

Cambridge (UK) based photographer with a Masters in Photography & Moving Image from the University of Brighton (2017). In addition to my artistic practice, I moonlight as a commercial photographer - focusing mainly on events, portraiture and landscape / architectural work.