Camera - means room in Italian
Camera in Italian means room. And think about such a place without light, and you have our beloved camera. Over the last 200 years, there have been countless variations on the basic premise of a light-tight box. Although some of these are now obsolete thanks to the discontinuation of specific film formats, many more remain usable. This is one of the joys of shooting film: there is so much more on offer than you might think. So, whether you opt for a large-format wood and brass field camera, a fully manual Leica or Hasselblad, a high-end 35mm SLR, or something in between, there is plenty to choose from. In this chapter, we cast an eye over the various usable camera types you are likely to encounter today.
In the loosest sense, a camera is simply a small and pocketable little box with a fixed lens. This covers a wide range of camera designs and styles from the past 50 years, from Cameras offering point-and-shoot simplicity through fixed lenses and limited shutter speeds to high-end models with sharp lenses and manual up to automatic shooting options.
Between these extremes lies an array of automated plastic cameras. A few of these cameras were good (surprisingly so), some were bad, and the majority were definitely ordinary. However, they did what the non-photographer of any age needed them to do. Doing it without any confusion, making them the mass-market picture taker.