25 cameras that changed the world

We take a trip down memory lane, picking out some of the snappers responsible for breaking the mould and changing the game

Canon Digital IXUS

Few cameras did as much to popularise digital photography as the original Digital IXUS, released in 2000. Canon had managed to make what was then seen as a niche, expensive form of photography an attainable one: the IXUS was small enough for your jacket pocket and weighed less than 200g, yet took good quality 2MP photos and sported a 2x optical zoom.

Graflex Speed Graphic

A camera with strong links to the press – between 1942 and 1954, every Pulitzer Prize-winning photograph was taken with one – the US-made Speed Graphic was the chosen tool of Arthur “Weegee” Fellig, famed for his shots documenting the dark underbelly of New York City. Despite its moniker, the Speed Graphic wasn’t a particularly fast camera to use; its portability and reliability was the key to its popularity.

[Image courtesy of Flickr user Capt Kodak]

More after the break...

Konica C35 AF

Autofocus is the reason why most of us can take halfway decent photos, locking onto the subject and adjusting the lens so that the shot comes out sharp instead of a blurry joke – and the C35 AF was the first consumer camera to offer it. Introduced in 1977, it shifted around a million units.

Holga 120N

Plastic, cheap and made in Hong Kong, the Holga isn’t a “good” camera by many people’s standards: its photos often feature vignetting (darkening around the edges), blur and light leaks. And yet it’s these very flaws which have ensured its cult status, delivering the “vintage” aesthetic prized by Lomographers and other scenesters. Without the Holga, there’d be no Instagram.

Leica M3

The first of Leica’s legendary M series of 35mm rangefinder cameras, the M3 sported a new, more user-friendly bayonet mount for lenses, a bright viewfinder,  and an elegant design that persists almost unchanged in modern digital Leicas such as the newly-introduced M. The M series has become synonymous with high quality photography and, despite the princely sum required to buy one, has sold well since its introduction in the 1950s. 

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