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A History of Photography in Fifty Cameras


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About the Author

Dr. Michael Pritchard, FRPS, has over thirty years' experience as a researcher of photographic history and technology. He has written and lectured extensively and was awarded the Fellowship of the Royal Photographic Society for his work on the history of photography. He has contributed to numerous journals and publications, including The Oxford Companion to the Photograph and the Encyclopaedia of Nineteenth-Century Photography. Michael has been director-general of the Royal Photographic Society since 2011.


There are many, many fascinating cameras profiled in this book from the ones you'd expect such as the Pacemaker Speed Graphic of 1947 and the Nikon F and the Pentax Spotmatic of the 60s and 70s to the eclectic such as the Scoville Book Camera of 1892 and the Ermanox of 1924 and into the future with the Nokia Lumia 1020... One of the things I liked most about this book is the inclusion of the years the cameras were produced, the country they were produced in, and the manufacturer... This is an excellent book that will not only appeal to camera lovers, but photography and history buffs as well. The cameras, photographs, and photographers highlighted in this book are well selected and the author, Michael Pritchard is about as high an authority on cameras as you can get so you know you are getting accurate information. If you love cameras and photography this book belongs in your collection. Even if you, like I, live in a virtual world where everything is "disposable" and you no longer buy books or haven't bought one in a while, "A History of Photography In 50 Cameras" deserves a spot on your shelf.--Sam"Camera Legend Blog" (12/02/2015)
A wonderful reference.--Natosha Miller"Test Try Results Blog" (06/17/2016)
(starred review) This beautifully illustrated and meticulously researched book is highly recommended for camera enthusiasts, amateur and professional photographers, and history buffs.--Publishers Weekly (12/07/2017)
If you're new to photography or photo history--or if, like me, you just love cameras--you may want to pick up a copy of this new book. A History of Photography in 50 Cameras comes to you from a reliable source, Michael Pritchard, the director-general of the Royal Photographic Society in England. The book covers the full timeline of commercially available cameras, opening with the Giroux Daguerreotype in 1839, and closes appropriately with a camera-phone, 2013's Nokia Lumia 1020. Throughout its pages you'll find familiar names, from the Kodak Brownie to the Leica M3 and Nikon F, each described with a short history and illustrated with several images. Perhaps more interesting, however, are the unlooked-for and unusual. You'll no doubt want to spend some time getting to know the Enjalbert Revolver de Poche, a pistol-shaped device which produced images on tiny glass plates within its barrel. Pritchard also reveals the surprisingly long history of surreptitious photography in describing cameras shaped, variously, like books, packs of cigarettes, and even cravat pins. While this book is sure to please photo nerds, it's much more than a list of camera facts. A History uses each of the cameras Pritchard has selected as a jumping-off point to discuss a moment in the medium's history and the people who made use of the technology.-- (11/25/2015)
The book explores 50 cameras that played a huge role in photographic history placed in chronological order... It tells stories and facts about the inventors, how it was conceived, the designs, its impact on photographic history, and the people who used them. Aside from the photos of each camera, you will also find photos and illustrations of their inventors and samples from that camera... So if you are a photographic historian or a film camera buff, you will find yourself very happy with this book... As a fellow photographic enthusiast, I highly recommend this book. You will always find something new that you didn't know about photographic history in a readily available and condensed form, I know I did.-- (12/04/2015)
This new volume in Firefly's wonderful Fifty series outlines the history of photography through a chronological look at various cameras, from the Giroux Daguerreotype of 1839 through the smartphones of today. The entry for each device discusses its creation, design, usage, and place in history. Important people in photography are profiled, and illustrations and photos are included for each entry. This book goes beyond just facts, however, by offering a snapshot (sorry) of each era, with trivia and pop-culture references--for example, the entry on the Kodak Nikon DCS100, from 1991, discusses how an AP photographer was able to transmit a photograph of President George H. W. Bush to news outlets around the globe less than a minute after he was sworn in (seems practically prehistoric in the selfie age!). This readable volume is recommended for most public libraries and is a must-purchase where there is any interest in photography.-- (01/01/2016)
A meta-gift for photography lovers, this modest photo book presents the history of photography as told through 50 cameras, from daguerrotypes to digital.--Los Angeles Times (12/06/2015)
(An) excellent book... Such things surely seem quaint when anyone with a halfway decent smartphone can take a halfway decent photo and our lives are awash in images. A History of Photography explains the technological and scientific changes that brought us here.-- (01/06/2016)

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