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Definition: film camera


A camera that exposes photographic film to light in order to take a picture. Used since the late 1800s, the film is a chemical emulsion on a plastic substrate that is sensitive to light. When exposed, an analogous image of the scene is created within the chemical layer of the material; thus, film cameras are analog cameras (see analog).

Film-based still cameras have been made for a variety of film types including 35mm, Advantix, 120, 220 and the larger 4x5 and 8x10 formats. Film movie cameras capture consecutive images (frames) on 8mm, 16mm and 35mm film. Contrast with digital camera. See cine.




Analog and Digital
Canon's popular analog Elph (bottom) used Advantix film. The digital Elph (top) added the huge advantage of instant playback. See Advanced Photo System.






You Have to Wind Analog Film
With the back opened, the film roll is inserted into the chamber, and the film leader is pulled out and inserted into the take-up slot. After the back is closed, the winder is pushed a couple times to draw the film around the take-up reel.






Now in Flea Markets
Analog film cameras are commonly found in flea markets where this was taken. At the top are single lens reflex cameras with interchangeable lenses. However, as of 2018, Nikon and Leica were still making a 35 mm analog camera.






Model 3 Brownie Box Camera (1919)
Eastman Kodak sold millions of roll film Brownies from 1900 to the early 1960s. The manual advised "holding your breath" to take the picture. After pressing "flash paper" onto the lighting tray (top right), it burst into flames when a lit match was placed near the hole in the back.