Actually, the question is, will the hipster shops survive the end of the hipster? The hipster shops are catering to a trend, and that's it. (And the Guardian article is fluff.) Freestyle Photo has listed a lot of its Holga and other lo-fi cameras as closeouts.
Originally Posted by David A. Goldfarb
Here's what I do know about me and my Holga: I have never seen anybody else using one of these, ever. I do know that I've run quite a few rolls through it. What do I feel when I use it? It's a camera, and I don't care about it. If it gets messed up, I don't care. If it gets stolen, I don't care. I'm happy with a lot of stuff from it, because it's like, "hey, the camera worked again!" I've put tape over the light leak holes, cardboard in it to provide friction for the supply roll, bent the clips on the side so they won't accidentally fly off the camera, and some tape over the red film window. And I just feed it cheap film.
But of course you don't need a Holga to do lo-fi. The other day I ran paper through almost all of my 4x5 holders trying to spot a light leak. (The lab was the light leak, and it was only on my contact prints. The camera and holders are fine.) What did I see? Some interesting stuff when I used expired paper. I exposed at something like EI 3, and developed for 30sec. Expired paper definitely doesn't react the same as fresh film! There's a few interesting images that I didn't expect.
The real question is, how many new photographers has the Holga and its ilk brought to film photography? That's one question that is hard to answer.