Just thought I would post this. Some camera brands that I think have changed photography. I didn't included the big two Canon and Nikon, we all know about them!
For Leica, retro isn't just a style, it's a way of life. And that goes for the company's recent digital offerings which wouldn't look out of place in a Leica catalog from 50 years ago. The newest digital Leica is the 12-megapixel X1 which resembles a miniature version of its classic rangefinder models. The X1 isn't a rangefinder camera though; it's a digital compact that uses a large APS-C (23.6 x 15.7mm) CMOS sensor. The camera's throwback look includes such old-school amenities as a dedicated aperture dial and a wheel for manually electing shutter speeds from 1+ second to 1/2000 of a second. The X1 has a built-in fixed focal length 24mm (35mm equivalent) f/2.8 lens and a pop-up flash that tucks away discretely in the camera's body.
When you hold the retro-style EP-1 with its Mad Men-era stainless steel body; snazzy detachable lenses; and solid overall balance, you're quickly smitten. In fact, this 12.3MP camera is an update of Olympus' now defunct PEN series of film cameras and the company has done a great job of being true to its past while looking to the future. The EP-1 uses a Micro Four Thirds sensor which enables the camera to stay compact even while using interchangeable lenses. Other design
touches we liked include the recessed mode dial which comfortably locks into
place; the knurled metal wheel on back for scrolling through settings; and the iridescent green light that illuminates the on/off switch. The EP-1, which can also record high def video, is available in a white version (and the new EP-2 is black) but we dig the silver steel model because it's, well, so cool.
Rolleiflex's classic twin reflex cameras really do come in all shapes and sizes. Take the Rolleiflex MiniDigi AF 5.0 which is just three inches tall but includes some fairly decent digital features including autofocus (between 10CM and infinity); 5MP interpolated image files, and a 1.1-inch screen on top of the
camera for reviewing your shots. The coolest part though is how much it resembles a shrunken version of an original Rolleiflex which used two lenses, one above the other, a hand crank lever, shutter release, and hooded viewfinder. The crank lever on the new MiniDigi prepares you for your next shot 'rather than advancing the film'while the classic pop-up hood and viewfinder lets you do some traditional-style 'waist-level' shooting and prevents stray light from getting in. Another interesting throwback is that the MiniDigi AF 5.0 shoots digital files in a square format just like in the old days.
Though fading under digital's domination, film-based photography is still
showing some signs of life thanks, in part, to the lomography movement. Lomo's purposely low-tech and deliberately flawed plastic cameras produce images with pumped up colors, wacky exposures, and unpredictable blurring which can result in photographic 'happy accidents' (or just plain accidents.) Though there are lots out there in the Holga and Diana varieties, we'd take the classic Lomo LC-A+ which is about as top-of-the-line as these cameras get. The Lomo LC-A+ uses fast zone focusing and the same automatic exposure of the original Lomo LC-A model. The original camera's Russian Minitar-1 32/2.8 lens has also been duplicated on the LC-A+ so colors are intense, contrast is extreme, and vignetting is distinctive. The LC-A+ also has a multiple exposure switch, expanded film ISO
setting to 1600, and a cable release thread.Price: $250
To paraphrase Mark Twain, reports of Polaroid's death have been greatly
exaggerated. PLR IP Holdings, LLC, owners of the Polaroid brand, announced
at CES 2010 that it would release the Polaroid PIC-1000 which the company describes as 'a completely redesigned, modern version of the Polaroid OneStep camera.' The PIC-1000 will use Polaroid Color 600 Instant Film which is still being manufactured by The Impossible Project. (The Impossible Project acquired Polaroid's original film production equipment when the company announced in 2008 that it would no longer produce instant film.) The PIC-1000 will come in a metallic plastic or a faux wood throwback model which reminds us of our parents' station wagon from the '70s. The Polaroid Color 600 Instant Film will work with both classic and new Polaroid cameras and will come in packs of 10 pictures. Prototypes of he PIC-1000 were shown under glass at CES but PLR IP Holdings plans to have the camera in stores this year.
Price: Under $100 (Estimated; actual pricing TBD)