Why did camera quality in the 90s look so bad compared to the 80s and even the 70s?

Best point and shoot film camera under $100

Are you speaking of image quality, or that of the cameras themselves? And which sort of cameras? Doesnu2019t really matter, becase they go together.

,The Photo Enthusiasts, Circa 1950u20131960Smaller cameras in the 1950s for serious users were really nice.

Made of finely machines metals, they were literally mechanical works of art.

,However, these were of limited interest by consumers.

Regular folks didnu2019t want to master the technological aspects of photography.

And while photography was a hobby among many, it was not as mainstream as weu2019d expect as 21st Century residents.

Most people didnu2019t take photos, and very few used such good cameras.

Kodak and others had been pushing people to shot photos and movies, but you probably didnu2019t.

But you did probably know someone who did.

In my extended family, that was my Dad.

,Dad had been in WWII, and lots of guys had got interested in photography while serving in the war.

He also became an Engineer afterwards, and so he had that kind of mind.

And so he was that guy holding film and slide shows at every family reunion, and at various other times at home.

,Neither film nor slides were easy to shoot.

Slides were not very forgiving.

Dad had u201centhusiastu201d Konica SLRs in the mid 1960s, with metering, auto exposure, etc.

More sophisticated cameras than most people would ever own, at least until the digital age.

,And then there was film.

My Dad shot double-8.

For a pretty hefty fee, you got a short roll of 16mm film.

Youu2019d wind up your camera u2014 look ma, no batteries u2014 and shoot for about three minutes.

Then youu2019d flip the roll over and shoot another three minutes.

He had a big hot light bar that allowed for a more or less constant exposure indoors, but outdoors it was an amazing mess of over and under exposure and in and out of focus shots, even with the tiny 8mm frame.

,Itu2019s likely that plenty of non-photographers saw film and slide shows shot by family members, but Iu2019m not sure that was inspirational.

The film occasionally worked, but even my Dad didnu2019t really know much about cinematography, so results were not so great.

The slides were pretty nice, though, and I know that was one of the things that got me interested.

And people, like my Mom, who would never ever think about using a serious camera.

,The Mass MarketKodak had been trying to push consumers toward shooting their own photos for years.

And while theyu2019d been successful, most people still didnu2019t own a camera.

,But in 1963 they had a breakthrough idea: the Kodak Instamatic camera.

Rather than consumers needing to deal with loading film, this camera used a smaller 24mm film pre-rolled in a cartridge.

Rather than have consumers worry about setting focus or exposure, the Instamatic didnu2019t bother: you had an f/8 lens that focused from 3ft to infinity, and you had a 1/90 second exposure.

Subsequent models boosted the shutter speed a bit, but dropped it down when using the new flash cube.

,So quality-wise, photos took a nose dive compared to 35mm.

But so many more people were taking their own photos, no one noticed.

Kodaku2019s Kodacolor film was designed to have a fairly wide latitude, and their developing process for Instamatic printing automatically adjusted each print based on the negative.

So it was much easier to get a good result than shooting on slide/transparency film.

,In 1972, Kodak introduced the 110 Pocket Instamatic.

Like the 126 Instamatics, the new 110s used a cartridge, this time with 16mm film, and were very consumery plastic devices.

But they started including more exposure controls and even automatic exposure via a pretty crude light sensor.

So while the format itself was actually worse, the cameras in general were better.

,Kodak had two marketing rationales here.

First was the basic thing: they needed to make you unhappy with your 126 camera in order to get you to buy these and lock-in again with Kodak and their new patents.

They also decided that smaller cameras would be taken along more often, and thus, use more film.

The film use, of course, was their main goal in the first place.

And so, thanks to automation and probably some slightly better lens designs, photos overall, for the average person, got a bit better.

,I should not skip 35mm in the consumer market, though it was never the mass market.

But between the Kodaku2019s and the SLRs, there were a good 20 years worth of u201ccompactu201d 35mm cameras.

These had fixed lenses, usually some kind of automatic exposure, full shutter speed and aperture control.

The better ones had fast lenses and used rangefinders, the cheaper ones used u201czoneu201d focusing u2014 basically, a system of guesstimation.

And used properly, your compact 35mm shot was indistinguishable from a pro 35mm shot.

The quality was high.

,In 1982, Kodak went completely, totally, barking mad and introduced the Kodak Disc camera.

Yeah, right on queue, they had to come up with some reason for you to dump your 110 camera and buy some new proprietary thing for the next ten years.

A disc camera could be a little bit thinner than a 110 camera, but it had to be wideru2026 in retrospect, it did move a little closer to the shape of the smartphone.

Make you wonder if there is an ideal u201ctake it with youu201d shape, eh?,The disc was actually fairly thick film.

Kodaku2019s idea was that thick film avoided the need for pressure mechanisms used in 35mm cameras and cartridges to keep the film flat, and that, plus better autoexposure and lenses, would make this a winner.

Kodak had also created a very, very sharp lens for use in printing disc images, to help improve the quality at the back-end.

,But no, it wasnu2019t.

Sure, this was Kodak, and lots of people bought them, but compared to 110 and 126, it was a flop.

As it should have been.

Many labs didnu2019t use Kodaku2019s special lens.

The image was only 8mm x 10mm, even consumer-sized prints showed noticable grain.

Thatu2019s larger than a typical smartphone sensor, but itu2019s film.

Not good.

Digital is much more sensitive to light than film, so a same-size sensor always works much better in digital.

,I credit the Disc camera, along with technology, for a big win as the 1990s came around: the 35mm point and shoot camera.

These actually replaced the Instamatic as the basic, everyday camera for the masses.

And in a very real sense, thatu2019s the best deal consumers ever got in terms of potential.

After all, the 35mm format had been serving professionals since the mid-1920s.

Not every compact 35mm camera was great, but most of them were a substantial step up from Disc and Instamatics.

,Unfortunatly, the compact 35mm market pretty much put the kebash on the compact 35mm rangefinder.

Leica still made one, but most companies either left the market or transitioned to making very consumery 35mm point and shoots.

This was really a push-pull: the cheaper automatic 35mm cameras and the rise of the consumer SLR conspired to get 1970s/1980s compact rangefinder users to move to a consumer SLR.

,So where does the camera quality issue come from? Itu2019s not the image quality, which was better.

The cameras themselves were better, for the most part, in the consumer market.

Sure, there were cheap ones, but once 35mm film caught on among consumers, there was a pretty smooth continuum of cameras from cheap dumb models, not much beyond that Instamatic, up through good consumer models and full on professional cameras.

The mid-1980s into the 1990s was kind of a renaissance in getting better cameras to average consumer hands.

,Say u201cCheeseu201d!So, there was another thing that happened in the 1990s: plastic.

Donu2019t get me wrong, there have been plastic cameras ever since the Kodak Brownie transitioned from cardbord and wood to Bakelite.

But most plastic in cameras was kept to itselfu2026 it wasnu2019t made obious, much less stupid.

Plastic in consumer cameras was dyed black or silver or covered with pleather.

In conumer SLRs, it was painted to look like metal.

,But apparently, all the leashes were cut in the 1990s, and camera design went nuts.

This, by the way, is the Konica AiBorg.

,There was also a Pokemon camera.

It was an actual 35mm film camera, believe it or not.

That tells you that, yes, depite this instanity, the average camera actually took a big step up over the 1990s in terms of image quality.

Well, maybe not this one specifically.

,I didnu2019t find a reference for this, but I think itu2019s likely: in the 1990s, the combination of good cameras, cheap film, and easy and fast processing and printing had people using their cameras more than ever.

So if you find a vintage camera from the 1990s, chances are itu2019s a bit more beat up than the one from the 1970s at that same yard sale.

,Enthusiastic Professionals Consumed!So we also had this tiny segment of the camera market occupied by enthusiasts and professionals.

That also changed a bit over the years, but pretty much stuck around 35mm film from the 1950s through the 1990s.

Yes, there were medium format cameras, and those had been consumer cameras going wayback, but by the 1970s, the larger cameras were pretty much professional-only choices.

,If you looked over my Dadu2019s enthusiast Konica from the 1960s and compared it to the Nikon F, the most iconic professional camera of the era, it would be immediately obvious they are similar species.

All metal, lots of controls, etc.

But already one difference: the Nikon F didnu2019t have a built-in light meter.

The unit shown here is probably the most iconic look because that big u201cF/Nikonu201d module on top is a viewfinder with metering built-in.

The Konica not only had built-in metering, the meter could set your aperture for you.

It was an automatic camera in 1968!,35mm SLRs in the 1970s and 1980s still pretty much stuck to the same standards: designs for heavy use by pros and enthusiasts.

They werenu2019t point and shoot, which is what most consumers wanted, but they were getting easier.

My old Olympus OM-4 here, from 1985, had shutter speed automation, spot metering, off-the-film metering, and other advanced features.

,So in 1976, Canon introduced the Canon AE-1.

This was an automatic exposure SLR, not all that crazy different in basics than my Dadu2019s old Konica, visually.

But internally, it was very differnet.

It was the first microprocessor controlled SLR.

,One of the innovations here was in manufacturing.

These were very modular cameras.

Canon sold the AE-1 and followons between 1975 and 1985.

Different models, but each one used the exact same aluminum body.

It was the first SLR to use great deals of structural plastic rather than metals, including the top panel, which is visutally similar to those metal cameras, but nope.

No metal.

And this was a very electronic camera u2014 many mechanical bits from traditional designs became, instead, electronic linkages.

,Another innovation was in marketing: these were aggressively marketed to consumers.

This was the first SLR series to sell millions, and that within ten years.

,The important thing to note here, though, is that every one of these SLRs produced the same quality images, depending on the lens of course.

And technically anyway, these could all produce pro-quality images.

,Era Of PlasticThe microprocessor and the limited bits of plastic were novel in 1975.

But by the 1990s, this was the standard for anything that wasnu2019t for the professional or high-end enthusiast market.

,Hereu2019s the Nikon N70,.

which is a big old chunk of plastic and circuit boards from 1994.

I own my Dadu2019s old Nikon N90, which is pretty much the same idea.

,Why all the electronics? The 1990s ushered in the other thing that consumers wanted for better snapshots: automatic focus.

This is the reason there is very little evidence of my wild days in college in the 1980s, but you poor fools who went in the 2000s and beyond have everything in sharp focus and perfect exposure on every social media site.

,The plastic and the electronics are not really separate issues.

Precision molded plastics worked hand-in-hand with circuit board subassemblies to make these cameras cheaper and easier to assemble.

Even on high end pro models, that magnesium-alloy frame surrounds a series of circuit board modules and, sometimes, yes, even plastic!,So it is a face that, in the 1990s, cameras started looking cheaper and lower quality.

En masse, perhaps they actually were, simply because the rise of 35mm left every ass market camera maker free of Kodak licensing and restrictions for the first time.

,Digital: Taking This All AwayThe 1990s was also the rise of two things that practically define photography today: digital cameras and the Internet.

But it was all pretty much crap back in the 1990s.

An so, if youu2019re judging 1970s and 1980s film cameras and chemical prints against 1990s digital, there just is no comparison.

,Digital was a huge challenge.

Take this one, the Polaroid PDC-2000 from 1996.

This looks a bit like a 110 camera on acid, sure.

It had a 1600x600 sensor (0.

96 megapixel) that delivered a 1600x1200 interpolated image.

It stored images on an internal 40MB hard dtiveu2026 yeah, a frickinu2019 hard drive.

This camerau2019s list price was $3695.

,And justu2026 yikes!! This is the Nikon Coolpix 100 from 1997.

This took a 512 x 480 pixel image using a sensor chip the size of the one in the iPhone 6.

It took a PC Card for storage.

These ran close to $1000.

,Now think about these two cameras.

In the 1990s, I got into digital through film.

I bought a Polaroid scanner that scanned u2014 via the SCSI bus u2014 at around 9 megapixels from a 35mm negative or slide.

It was a couple of hundred bucks, and I had a service that developed a roll of film, without printing, for $1.

00.

,But if you view selectively enough, particularly on the web, youu2019ll find that average photo quality dropped because of the early digital cameras.

Prior to digital cameras, we had to scan images, and given the scarcity of scanners, only pros and enthusiasts did this.

But as the price of digital fell, digital cameras caught on, despite their early horribleness u2014 you really were better off with a Disc camera! People working on the very early World Wide Web didnu2019t worry so much about resolution u2014 everyone was, after all, using only 0.

3 to 1 megapixel displays, and in Netscape, that image is only part of that screen anyway, eh?,Digital did progress, and itu2019s laneded us today as being better than film, in some aspects quite substantially better.

Camera companies have had to redesign lenses to deal with digital surpassing film and showing the flaws of the old gear.

And the growth has slowed, but things are still improvingu2026 and weu2019re just at the dawn of computational photography.

Best point and shoot film camera under $50

Youu2019re going to be looking for a used camera.

Nothing new at $50 is going to be worth owning.

Period.

You can go on Amazon today and search for cameras under $50.

What youu2019ll find are a bunch of Chinese-made cameras with brand names neither you nor anyone else has ever heard of.

Or Vivitar, which used to be a lens company, but is just a rebranding company selling this same junk.

These have image sensors worse than what youu2019d find in a smartphone, and cheap plastic lenses.

Avoid at all costs.

,Where to LookIf you search an online site like Amazon, you may see a few name brands under $50 that say (OLD MODEL) or some-such.

Thatu2019s what they call in the business u201cnew old stocku201d, which means itu2019s one or more models old, but still new-in-box.

This isnu2019t a bad thing to look for.

You can also find used cameras on Amazon.

,Another consideration is KEH, a company that specializes in used cameras.

When they rate the quality, you can believe it.

I bought my Olympus Pen-F there in u201cexcellentu201d shape, and I couldnu2019t tell that it wasnu2019t brand new, other than the fact I had about $400 more in my pocket than I would have if bought new.

,And of course, you can look at eBay.

Iu2019ve seen a few pretty good deals.

.

you can maybe an older DSLR in the 6u20138 megapixel range with kit lens for under $50, it all depends on what youu2019re looking for.

,The Best Digital OptionsAssuming you want a digital camera, youu2019re going to be looking at point-and-shoot models for that price.

Good brands include Canon, Nikon, Sony, Olympus, Fujifilm, Panasonic, Samsung.

A particularly good find would be a Canon G-series camera; Canon had some of the best u201cadvancedu201d point and shoot models of the range youu2019re likely to find.

Iu2019d stay away from anything below about 8 megapixels, but donu2019t worry about anything over 12 megapixels.

On most point and shoot cameras, thereu2019s no fundamental improvement with more pixels until you get into the 1u2033 sensor, which youu2019re not getting for $50 or less.

,One reason Iu2019d set a floor at 6 megapixels for a DSLR or 8 megapixels for a point and shoot isnu2019t simply the resolution, but the implied age of the camera.

Sensors have been getting better in ways other than resolution, particularly on noise, over the years.

A DSLR has a much larger sensor than a P&S camera, which means less noise in the same generation, so you can go a little lower in resolution and still be pretty happy with your results (see: Dave Haynies answer to Photography: What are the best examples to prove that you dont need to have a better camera to take better pictures?).

,Since thereu2019s a huge supply of older cameras and a range of opportunities for finding a deal on one, I canu2019t give you one answer.

Iu2019m looking at a bunch of these that fit the bill on eBay.

You can find something that looks reasonable, in good shape, with parts included, and then check out online reviews on places like dpreview.

com, which can give you a better idea about that specific model.

If youu2019re in a big enough city, some camera stores will have a good used section and people there to give you good advice on what to consider and what to avoid at a low price.

,Going For Film?If youu2019re interested in shooting film, there are crazy options at under $50u2026 thatu2019s because film is really a specialty thing now.

Just a quick look on eBay I see nice DSLRs like the Nikon N80 or the true vintage F-1, many Olympus OM-series in good shape, even with lenses, Canons like the AE-1 and the F-1, etc.

You do have to real listings carefully, because at those prices, some are selling clean good working cameras, some are selling u201cfor parts or repairu201d cameras.

If you shop for an SLR, youu2019ll find many are body-only, you need to find a lens separately.

Best point and shoot film camera under $200

Wellu2026 maybe.

Letu2019s first take a look at vinyl records.

They have indeed rebounded lately.

,14.

3 million units in 2017u2026 not too shabby, eh?,So yeah, some people are buying vinylu2026 but itu2019s not exactly u201cbacku201d.

And the largest-selling vinyl album in 2017? The Beatles u201cSgt.

Pepperu2019s Lonely Heartu2019s Club Bandu201d, moving about 72,000 units.

Number two? u201cAbbey Roadu201d, same group, 66,000 units.

And it was a 40-year old recordu2026 most of the top-ten vinyl sales are u201cback catalogu201d remixes.

Not actually a bad thing, as that suggests the same formula can work this year.

,Still, that meant that in 2017, vinyl amounted to 14% of all physical media sales, about 8.

5% of album sales.

But if you take into account streaming and downloads, vinyl was about 2.

5% of all music sales in 2017, its best year in nearly two decades.

Not in any danger of taking over again.

,But growing.

A total off 77 albums sold 20,000 or more copies in 2017, so this wasnu2019t just a Beatles thing.

The growth between 2016 and 2017 was 9%, but itu2019s been averaging 5% for the last twelve yearsu2026 if itu2019s a fad, itu2019s a long-lived fad.

And vinyl numbers actually look better than they should because vinyl is growing, while other physical media sales are still dropping every years.

Downloads and streaming are king.

,Mirrored by Film?So, is the rise of the LP mirrored by the rise of film? Well, maybe a bit.

Kodak Alaris, Harman (owns the Ilford technology), Fujifilm, and a few others have been seeing 5% annual growth in film, lately.

Some companies are expanding their very limited film lines.

,Itu2019s impossible to know for certain just how much the rise in film demand is and if and when it will plateau, because of the way the film business was shut down in the first place.

Film manufacturing shut down various films for various reasons, but that didnu2019t suddenly mean you couldnu2019t get that film.

As long as the film hasnu2019t expired, youu2019re good if you get the film you want u2014 thereu2019s no need for immediacy as there is with musicu2026.

well, at least as far as new release sales go.

,So weu2019re certainly seeing the exhausiton of old stocks and the downsizing of various companies that acutally works in filmu2019s favor.

Take Kodak Alaris (KodakAlaris), which is a spinout company devoted to imaging products only, including film, scanners, photographic paper, digital printing stations, and some related software products.

So they have far fewer distractions than the old Kodak, and photo chemistry is once again at the forefront.

That doesnu2019t mean theyu2019re a guaranteed success u2014 they did shut down one of their five plants in 2016.

,But they probably do have a future, film or no film.

Not all of chemical photography has necessarily left us yet.

But itu2019s more of a specialty item than in the past.

If youu2019re getting color prints u2014 maybe a rare thing itself these days u2014 youu2019re likely to get inkjet prints, whether you do it at home or send it out.

And thatu2019s not a bad thing, because most chemical color printing technology has poor longevity.

Color prints not kept out of UV light can noticably fade in a year or so.

The long lasting Cibachrome/Ilfochrome process, using pigments rather than dyes, was only rated for about 25 years.

I have some old Cibachrome prints in my photo booksu2026 Iu2019m not sure if thereu2019s fading or thatu2019s just a representation of my printing prowess at age 16u201318.

,But in black and white, you probably get a noticably better print going to a chemical gelatin print over an inkjet, just sending out an image to print, largely because most inkjet printing isnu2019t optimized for B&W printing.

And these prints last about as long as the paper you choose, thus, comparable to the best pigment inkject printing.

Of course, the best black and white printing is a specialty done by professionals.

Let those same professionals tweak a printer for multi-tone black and white printing, and youu2019re just might get something thatu2019s generally superior to chemistry (Achieving High Quality Black and White Inkjet Prints - Image Science).

,The Improvement FactorHereu2019s the other thing: the relative quality of the digital over analog/chemical format.

In the case of LP records versus CDs, the CD wasnu2019t just better than the LP, it was dramatically better.

So why the surge in vinyl sales?,Ok, some of it was certainly just the hipster culture, always embracing the old as better.

That is a factor, and to deny it is to misunderstand the problems.

But there was another factor.

Simply put, audiophiles were also going back to vinyl.

,There were certainly technical issue in the early days of the CD player, but those were resolved long ago.

Unfortunately, what we got instead was what amounts to an intentional sabotage of audio quality on CD by the record industry.

Simply put, major releases had dynamic range compression to make them sound louder on-air, bruising or ruining the actual dynamics in the music produced by the artist.

But this technique could not be used on LP.

,The other factor was the market.

If you bought a mass market CD, you probably got a pretty bad compression of that sound.

In some cases, you even got digital clipping on music release.

Keep in mind, this is not being done for the most part by your favorite artist, this is being done as part of the media-specific mastering process.

But itu2019s making fundamental changes to the music.

,But when they mastered for the audiophile market, things like DVD-Audio, SACD, or Blu-Ray Audio, this was not done.

And thatu2019s the same small divisions at big companies making the records.

So any large companyu2019s vinyl is being made by their audiophile division.

Curiously, music for video game inclusion was often through these same branches within the big companiesu2026 making the occasional embarrassment when a track included in a video game is far, far superior from the CD/Digital release.

,So back to filmu2026 what is the thing about film that youu2019re going to find, long term, superior to digital? If there is one, that bodes well for the future of film, at least for artists and some work done by professionals.

But given the limitations of film versus digital, itu2019s unlikely.

We already have digital cameras bringing in some much resolution that lenses have been tested to new levels not important in the days of film and early digital.

As an artistic choice, film can live forever.

But I donu2019t yet see the case to be made that parallels that of vinyl in music.

Sony, Canon, Nikon, Olympus, Fujifilm, etcu2026.

theyu2019re not intentionally screwing up their images!,The One Unexpected FactorThere is, currently, a renaissance in film photography you might not even have noticedu2026 but one company sold 5 million film cameras in 2015, 6.

6 million in 2016, and something around 7.

5 million for 2017.

Theyu2019re selling 4x as many analog cameras as digital.

And no, itu2019s not Lomography, itu2019s Fujifilm.

,Instax is a true global phenomenon.

How much of one? Leica makes an Instax camera called the Sofort.

I couldnu2019t find any hard numbers on Instax film sales, but thereu2019s a very good chance that Instax film is more popular than all other kinds of film on the planet at this point.

Combined.

,A Weird Hardware MarketSo back in the mid-2000s, my Dad decided to sell his Nikon N90 and N8008 film cameras u2014 pretty nice cameras, and he wasnu2019t going to shoot film anymore.

He looked on eBay and found these were selling for under $200.

He just didnu2019 have the heart to sell such nice cameras so cheap.

So he gave them to me.

I was still occasionally messing with film in those days, but I also promised to keep them around, to have great film cameras for all the grandkids to use.

And a few of them have, even after Dad was gone.

,So that dynamic has been both a blessing and a curse: really great film cameras have been so cheap, itu2019s awfully hard to sell a new one.

And so most companies making film cameras just stopped.

They saw no business there.

,And a big part of understanding the long-term health of a market is understanding factors that keep it going, and those that could help kill it off.

If new film cameras are made, film could last forever.

If the set of working film cameras available today is all there ever will be, as those fail, so does the market.

,Nikon still sells film cameras, but actually, as of last year, itu2019s film camera.

Last year, they cancelled the FM10, leaving the F6 as their only film camera.

Now, the FM10 wasnu2019t actually made by Nikon, it was made for them by Cosina.

And Nikno had a dismal 2016, losing around $300 milion, and much of that not in the camera business.

The F6 is still available, but itu2019s a $2400 film camera.

,Curiously, one new one appeared at the same timeu2026 sort of.

u201cReflexu201d is a new mechanical 35mm camera on Kickstarter.

Reflex is the First New 35mm Manual SLR Camera Design in 25 Years.

This is also quite unusual in that itu2019s a 35mm system with a removable film back, and it can take a variety of lens mounts.

,And thereu2019s one company thatu2019s thrived in the film business as everyone else left: Lomography (formerly Lomo), an Austrian company that, years back, started sellling cheap film cameras and popularizing the style of that sort of lo-fi photography (Lomography).

,But today, they are true film shooting madmen, in the good way.

They sell pinhole cameras.

They sell the worldu2019s only remaining new twin-lens reflex camera.

They sell Instax cameras, pretty good ones, as these nearly disposable cameras go.

They sell film.

They have some beautiful classic lenses.

They have a variety of 35mm cameras, none too expensive.

Theyu2019re the Leibowitz of chemical photography these days.

,The Technical IssuesThereu2019s one thing about vinyl thatu2019s really helped its growth: itu2019s a pretty low-tech process.

A small company can put together a vinyl press in a big garage.

,And thatu2019s pretty much how itu2019s been going, as most modern vinyl records are pressed on gear made in the 1980s or before.

But there are a few companies now working on modern, computer-aided versions of the process, driven entirely by demand.

,Color Film, on the other hand, is surprisingly complicated, especially color film.

Thatu2019s why itu2019s good when a company like Kodak Alaris rises from the ashes of the old Kodak, and especially then they decide to put Ektachrome back into production, as they did last year (Kodak Ektachrome Film is Coming Back from the Dead).

,But the good news is that black and white film and printing are simple enough, it will probably never entirely die.

In fact, most of the people who make these absolutely breathtaking platinum/paladium prints (which you can only experience in person u2014 and you should) do it with home-made chemistry.

,The Failure of SuccessItu2019s also important to understand that, in both of these cases, thereu2019s a certainly element of success as failure.

In short, when a company gets big enough and successful enough, they lose interest in small but still-profitable markets.

Look back at the record industry and you can see that it was basically reduced to five big companies.

Sure, they had subdivisions that sometimes ran independently, but the overall push from these huge conglomerates was for optimizing profit.

They saw that happening like the big guys in Hollywood did: you need blockbusters every year, and youu2019re wasting your time on small efforts.

So they cut their artist rosters and pushed hard for huge records every year.

,Letu2019s look at the most successful film camera company on the planet: Fujifilm.

Theyu2019re also a very significant presence in the digital camera industry, and, like Kodak, Fujifilm was a huge film company, but one thatu2019s made the digital transisiton better than Kodak did.

And yet, in 2018, they have a buch of film being discontinued (Fujifilm Killing Off More Films in 2018, and Things Look Grim).

Itu2019s quite posible the big success of their Instax format has the company lining up all of their film efforts in that direction u2014 the regular, small film business for 35mm on up, just not interesting enough.

,Curiously, this helped to save vinyl.

This made small record companies viable again, able to attract more talent, etc.

And they understood what the big guys didnu2019t about talking to the customer, figuring out what the customer wants, and reacting to it.

This is also why, in my industry, small companies and startup companies so often get a big jump over billion dollar behemoths.

These smaller companies saw that collectors, superfans, audiophiles, whomever, still had a taste for vinyl.

And in fact, the bad treatment of music put on CD by the big guys gave vinyl a repuation it didnu2019t exactly deserve, only because that kind of messing with sound was impossible to put on vinyl.

,Read MoreInfographic: The Surprising Comeback of Vinyl RecordsU.

S.

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Best point and shoot film camera

There are several important differences.

,The first one is that it is an SLR.

Single lens reflex.

What does this mean? Essentially that behind the lens there is a mirror, which reflects the image through a prism for you to see through an optical viewfinder.

,If there is no optical viewfinder, it is not an SLR.

There are some newer cameras that have interchangable lenses but are not SLRs - see the Sony NEX, Olympus Pen, and other similar models.

These cameras generally have a sensor sized similarly to an SLR, but lack the mirror/prism that SLRs have.

,Believe it or not, there have in the past been digital SLR cameras with fixed, non-removable lenses and small sensors, such as this Olympus:nhttp://www.

dpreview.

com/reviews/olympuse10/In an SLR, this means that the sensor or film is behind a physical shutter AND a mirror.

When you take a photo, the mirror flips out of the way, the shutter is opened, and then the exposure occurs.

This differs from a point and shoot camera because there is no mirror, and in the P&S, the sensor is actually on.

The image you see on the P&S LCD screen is from the sensor.

Modern SLRs can sort of duplicate this in Live view modes, but the experience is non-optimal in most cases.

,The next major difference between a digital SLR and a point and shoot is the focusing system.

,In a point and shoot camera, the sensor is always on, always receiving an image.

The way they focus is simply looking at the contrast in the image in a certain area, and it adjusts the lens until the contrast increases.

This is because if something is out of focus, it is more blurry, and therefore a solid line does not appear - it tweaks the focus until there is more contrast.

There is no technological reason why the point and shoot camera could not focus anywhere in the image, but typically there are computer algorithms that make a best guess as far as what you are taking a photo of.

,nSLR focus systems work differently.

Because the sensor is not receiving a signal, the input from it can not be used.

The autofocus system is actually in the area where the prism is! Essentially, it works on the same concept as the point and shoot systems.

It looks for contrast.

But it cant focus just anywhere.

It has sensors, which are basically lines (-) (|), crosses (+), (X), or even the + and X combined.

The focusing sensors ONLY work along those lines, and they, again, are detecting contrast, but this time in a MUCH smaller part of the image.

,This has a major advantage - you can precisely choose what point you want to be in focus.

It is also MUCH faster than the autofocus systems in point and shoot cameras.

But it also has some limitations.

If you have a - sensor and you are trying to focus on a horizontal line, it will not work, because there is no contrast! This is not a major issue in use.

That is where cross shaped sensors come in - they are much more likely to be able to grab on to contrast.

,This focus system is MUCH more precise than the ones found in point and shoot cameras, because it gives you much better control of what is in focus.

This is very important with an SLR, because SLRs have larger sensors, larger lenses, and larger aperture (light openings) than point and shoot cameras, so there is much LESS in focus.

So its much more important to be able to focus on an exact dot.

If youre shooting a portrait, you want the persons eye to be in focus, not their nose!,This is the viewfinder from a pro digital SLR.

See all the focus points? There are always many ways to control the way autofocus works on digital SLRs - even relatively low end models.

You can use them in full auto mode where it picks from them all, or go so far as simply choosing one focus point if you need exact focus accuracy.

,http://www.

dpreview.

com/reviews/canoneos1dmarkiv/page4.

aspLow end SLRs use the same kind of focus system, but have less focus points, less focus points with cross sensors, and less computing power and focus options.

For example, my Canon 7D, a midrange SLR, has five different modes for choosing focus points, whereas a Rebel may have 3.

,nThere are other differences too, which tend to be ergonomic - but the main functional differences are the presence of the reflex mirror and the way autofocus works.

The other differences are of functionality and ergonomics that are side effects of the design of an SLR, and the needs of the people that use them (controls, flash hotshoes, and the like) - Theres nothing stopping anyone from making a point and shoot digital camera with flash hotshoes that use the same flash systems as SLRs (Canon and Nikon do, actually, look at the G12 and high end Coolpix cameras to see).

,nA camera does not need to have interchangeable lenses to be an SLR, but every SLR these days does have interchangeable lenses.

As I noted before, there are other types of cameras that can produce similar image quality to digital SLRs, but are not.

They are either rangefinders, which are manual focus only (Leica makes rangefinders, primarily), or are similar to the large sensor interchangeable lens cameras I had mentioned earlier - and those cameras use autofocus systems that are the same as found in point and shoot cameras.

,If you have any questions (You probably do!), please ask - Ill flesh out more details as needed.

Point and shoot Film Camera 35mm

Olympus XA.

It rocks.

,Olympus trip.

Good but older design.

,As to price, go to eBay and you should be able to find plenty.

Cheap point and shoot camera

Is it possible to take a good, professional looking picture with a cheap point and shoot camera?That depends on whatu2019s meant by two of the words in this question: u201ctakeu201d and u201ccheap.

u201d,Last one first - cheap.

The least expensive professional grade camera, including only one lens and no peripheral equipment will cost thousands of dollars.

That means that u201ccheapu201d can be argued to mean anything from $500 and down.

Thatu2019s a big scale that covers a lot of ground.

Lots of $500 cameras can easily produce on full automatic (making them point-and-shoot) high quality images in the hands of knowledgeable user.

So in that framework, yes.

,But I grew up in a time where u201cpoint and shootu201d meant Kodak Instamatic cameras - cheaply made plastic boxes with single-element lenses, fixed focus, limited exposure control and very little quality control, relatively speaking.

Under optimum conditions in all attributes - lighting in a range the camera can handle, distance such that the lens has the best chance of rendering as sharply as possible, high quality film processing - then, no, not really.

,The modern day equivalent to the Instamatic could be argued to be either a no-name digital camera with no user-adjustable exposure or focus control or a cell phone camera.

For the former, the answer is still, no.

Such a camera would not have enough software sophistication or optical quality to produce a workable image beyond the needs of a snapshot.

The cell phoneu2026.

.

maybe.

,Which is where the other word - u201ctakeu201d - comes in.

I once knew a musician who could take a cheap guitar or an out of tune piano and make remarkable music.

They understood their craft and could adapt to the limitations to make, to my ear anyway, not just recognizable music but enjoyable music.

,The same holds true for a talented professional photographer.

Given less-than-professional equipment, a trained photographer can usually figure out where the shortfalls lie in a camera.

They will be able to make do in a surprising number of situations and produce the kernel of a usable image.

Thatu2019s the u201ctakeu201d thatu2019s in question, though.

,For any final, finished image, the exposure in a camera is only the first step in a process that can either add or detract from the final output.

In film photography, processing and printing is an art unto itself.

In digital photography, while much of the basic color and contrast adjustments can be highly automated, the fine-tuning, the post-processing done by a professional is every bit as much an art.

,So, given a Kodak Instamatic or its digital descendant, a professional photographer will be able to determine just what parameters are in play.

If the camera is utter crap, a plastic lens and a two-leaf shutter, the best hope for any kind of u201cprofessionalu201d output might be to go to abstraction, creating an exposure that is likely to capture shapes and colors but very little else.

If the camera is a few steps above utter crap, the composition can incorporate important, selected details to be rendered sharp.

And the post processing will bring out exactly those qualities that the photographer had in mind when they pressed the shutter.

The result wonu2019t be a razor-sharp, technically honed image suitable for blowing up to billboard size, but it will make the statement that the photographer had in mind.

Because a professional understands that their craft isnu2019t limited to a given camera or even a given toolbox.

When limits are imposed, they work within those limits.

,But if u201ctakeu201d means press the shutter and then take the results to a drugstore for printing, then, no, professional results are not possible.

Best point and shoot film camera 2022

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FAST EASY AND FUN This Point and Shoot the camera speed allows you to shoot a new photo while printing the previous shot.

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Kodak Printomatic Instant Camera (Blue) Basic Bundle + Zink Paper (20 Sheets) + Deluxe Case[EXTRACTO]ALL-IN-ONE PHOTOGRAPHY - The PRINTOMATIC Camera offers a combination of a powerful 5MP sensor with a wide angle f/2 lens that instantly prints vibrant photos.

Fast easy and fun forget computers Forget cumbersome printers just point and shoot the cameras speed allows you to shoot a new photo while printing the previous shot.

,ONE STOP PRINTING - The Kodak Printomatic camera instantly prints 2x3 photos.

The camera uses Kodak Zink Photo Paper, so no ink cartridges, toners or film are needed.

The photo prints are durable, water-resistant, tear resistant and smudge free,CHARMING DESIGN Comes in Variety of Fun, Bold Colors.

Compact design Slips neatly into your shirt pocket.

Make it easy to carry around as you go about your day, ensuring you always have Your Printomatic with you,INSTANT VALUE - Kodak Printomatic Camera is an easy-to-use product.

Saves photos to a MicroSD card.

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Kodak Printomatic Instant Camera Bundle (Grey) Zink Paper (20 Sheets) - Case - Photo Album - Hanging Frames.

[EXTRACTO]ALL-IN-ONE PHOTOGRAPY - PRINTOMATIC Camera offers a powerful 5MP sensor and wide angle f/2 lens.

The Printomatic is ideal for capturing and sharing vibrant prints instantaneously wherever you are.

FAST EASY AND FUN This Point and Shoot the camera speed allows you to shoot a new photo while printing the previous shot.

It also comes equipped with a light sensor that will automatically turn on the flash in low-light settings.

,ONE STOP PRINTING - The Printomatic uses Kodak Zink Photo Paper, so no ink cartridges, toners or film are needed.

The photo prints are durable, water-resistant, tear resistant and smudge free.

,CHARMING DESIGN Compact design Slips neatly into your shirt pocket.

Make it easy to carry around as you go about your day, ensuring you always have Your Printomatic with you,INSTANT VALUE - Despite its many digital technological advancements the Kodak Printomatic Camera is an easy-to-use product.

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ALL-IN-ONE PHOTOGRAPY - The 10-megapixel, point-and-shoot PRINTOMATIC Camera offers a combination of a powerful 10MP sen[EXTRACTO]ALL-IN-ONE PHOTOGRAPY - The 10-megapixel, point-and-shoot PRINTOMATIC Camera offers a combination of a powerful 10MP sensor with a wide angle f/2 lens that instantly and automatically prints hi quality color or black and white photos directly from the camera body, just point and shoot making it the ideal all-in-one solution for capturing and sharing vibrant prints instantaneously wherever you are FAST EASY AND FUN Forget computers.

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Forget cumbersome printers just point and shoot the camera s speed allows you to shoot a new photo while printing the previous shot.

It also comes equipped with a light sensor that will automatically turn on the flash in low-light settings.

No computer necessary,Stunningly vibrant detail - Premium quality photo paper recreates every color and memorable moment with outstanding and brilliant detail.

Every image boasts remarkable color integrity that is perfect for printing smartphone shots or social media photos.

,photos - zinc paper eliminates the need for costly film and wasteful cartridge, Ink, and toner zero ink technology is a natural printing solution that is easy to load into your camera and prints in a single pass.

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ALL-IN-ONE PHOTOGRAPY - The 10-megapixel, point-and-shoot PRINTOMATIC Camera offers a combination of a powerful 10MP sen[EXTRACTO]ALL-IN-ONE PHOTOGRAPY - The 10-megapixel, point-and-shoot PRINTOMATIC Camera offers a combination of a powerful 10MP sensor with a wide angle f/2 lens that instantly and automatically prints hi quality color or black and white photos directly from the camera body, just point and shoot making it the ideal all-in-one solution for capturing and sharing vibrant prints instantaneously wherever you are FAST EASY AND FUN Forget computers.

Forget cumbersome printers just point and shoot the camera s speed allows you to shoot a new photo while printing the previous shot.

It also comes equipped with a light sensor that will automatically turn on the flash in low-light settings.

No computer necessary,Stunningly vibrant detail - Premium quality photo paper recreates every color and memorable moment with outstanding and brilliant detail.

Every image boasts remarkable color integrity that is perfect for printing smartphone shots or social media photos.

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ALL-IN-ONE PHOTOGRAPY - The 10-megapixel, point-and-shoot PRINTOMATIC Camera offers a combination of a powerful 10MP sen[EXTRACTO]ALL-IN-ONE PHOTOGRAPY - The 10-megapixel, point-and-shoot PRINTOMATIC Camera offers a combination of a powerful 10MP sensor with a wide angle f/2 lens that instantly and automatically prints hi quality color or black and white photos directly from the camera body, just point and shoot making it the ideal all-in-one solution for capturing and sharing vibrant prints instantaneously wherever you are FAST EASY AND FUN Forget computers.

Forget cumbersome printers just point and shoot the camera s speed allows you to shoot a new photo while printing the previous shot.

It also comes equipped with a light sensor that will automatically turn on the flash in low-light settings.

No computer necessary,Stunningly vibrant detail - Premium quality photo paper recreates every color and memorable moment with outstanding and brilliant detail.

Every image boasts remarkable color integrity that is perfect for printing smartphone shots or social media photos.

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,u2705 9.

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Kodak Printomatic Instant Camera Gift Bundle + Zink Paper (20 Sheets) + 9 Unique Colorful Sticker Sets + Case + Markers + Hanging Frames + Photo Album + Accessories[EXTRACTO]ALL-IN-ONE PHOTOGRAPY - The 10-megapixel, point-and-shoot PRINTOMATIC Camera offers a combination of a powerful 10MP sensor with a wide angle f/2 lens that instantly and automatically prints hi quality color or black and white photos directly from the camera body, just point and shoot making it the ideal all-in-one solution for capturing and sharing vibrant prints instantaneously wherever you are FAST EASY AND FUN Forget computers.

Forget cumbersome printers just point and shoot the camera s speed allows you to shoot a new photo while printing the previous shot.

It also comes equipped with a light sensor that will automatically turn on the flash in low-light settings.

No computer necessary,ONE STOP PRINTING - The Kodak Printomatic camera instantly and automatically prints high-quality vibrant 2X3 photos.

The camera uses Kodak Zink Photo Paper, so no ink cartridges, toners or film are needed.

The photo prints are durable, water-resistant, tear resistant, smudge free and adhesive-backed.

The Kodak Printomatic camera is fast, fun, and easy to use providing you with on-the-spot results,INSTANT VALUE - Despite its many digital technological advancements the Kodak Printomatic Camera is an easy-to-use and an accessible-to-all product at a price point you would expect to pay for an analog instant camera the camera has slots for attaching a neck strap, and saves photos to a microSD card