|C1901 'A Brownie at the Seaside'. |
National Media Museum Collection.
Does an idiot proof camera exist? Has an idiot-proof camera ever existed? Or do we need to go back to pen and ink sketches?
Historically, camera manufacturers have produced a few cameras that have been so simple that even a child could use them and produce great images.
|Underwater disposable one-use camera|
- Kodak Box Brownie* - wind film, click button
- Polaroid Instant - one click, wait one minute
- Disposable cameras - shoot one roll, take camera back to shop. They develop film and throw camera in bin.
|Polaroid instant camera|
|Kodak Box Brownie|
*First made in 1900 the Kodak Brownie sold for $1. There were more than a hundred models of Brownies. They were affordable and democratised photography. Kodak targeted young people and kids with their advertising. Brownies were even endorsed by the Catholic Church. The Church may not have endorsed the Brownie if they had been aware of the joke that circulated
'Q. What does a Kodak Box Brownie and a condom have in common.
A. They both capture the moment'
Here are some enquiries received from photographers wanting to buy a new camera:
- Reasonably knock-proof construction, preferably beer-proof
- Built-in flash
- Decent battery life
- Instruction manual of one page or less
- Takes perfect pictures every time
She liked the APS camera because she thought it was cool looking. She doesn't need lots of features and options, just idiot proof point and shoot with zoom.
I've experienced first hand some of the brightest moments with photographers:
- The lady who travelled with me for 3 weeks but left her battery charger at home
- The man who stored his camera in a refrigertator in Borneo to keep it cool
- The lady who went to the camera shop and would buy no other brand but 'DSLR'
- The man who kept all his tour images on one card then formatted the card
- The student who processed the roll of film in a tank with no spiral
- The student whose dog swallowed the memory card
|A camera that requires the photographer to think. Fuji S3 Pro - 1/125 f11 with 1000W Elimchrom soft box. (From Commercial shoot Old Mill Theatre - 'The Importance of Being Ernest')|
And if you're a pro and looking for an idiot-proof camera, my suggestion is
'Don't give up your day job.'
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