Camera Reviews

Camera reviews in 2020

It seems to be a “thing” among film-photography blogs this year to recount the year’s camera reviews. I don’t normally jump on bandwagons, but this one is just too good to let pass by.

Even though I’ve spent the last few years intentionally shrinking my collection to a manageable 50 or so, I still like trying a new-to-me old camera. I’m just likely to pass it on to a next owner now when I’m finished with it. I did keep a few of these 14 cameras, though!

Kodak Retina IIa

Kodak Retina IIa. This is the second Retina IIa I’ve owned. My previous one was in better cosmetic condition, but this one worked and made a bunch of lovely images for me.

Pentax ME Super

Pentax ME Super. The Pentax ME is my favorite SLR ever, simply because it’s so small, light, and easy to use. The ME Super improves on the ME with a faster shutter and the ability to set aperture and shutter speed manually.

Kodak No. 2 Hawk-Eye, 50th Annversary of Kodak edition

Kodak No. 2 Hawk-eye, Model C, 50th Anniversary of Kodak edition. This box was specially produced for Kodak’s 50th anniversary, and given to children who turned 12 that year. It makes portrait-oriented images on 120 film.

Kodak No. 2 Hawk-Eye, Model C

Kodak No. 2 Hawk-eye, Model C. This is the same camera as the one above, but it was made 20 years earlier. It functions and performs the same.

Kodak Retina Reflex III

Kodak Retina Reflex III. This 35mm SLR is surprisingly complicated to use, and it wasn’t in good working order. But I got it to work well enough for one roll of film, and it returned some lovely images.

Pentax IQZoom 170SL

Pentax IQZoom 170SL. Pentax’s compact cameras are a mixed bag. But this one is a hit: light, well built, capable. This one gets to stay in my collection.

Minolta Hi-Matic AF2

Minolta Hi-Matic AF2. This is my father-in-law’s camera, and he used it for years to document family gatherings and trips he took with his wife. It was a good choice for him, and a reasonably capable camera even today.

Canon Snappy S

Canon Snappy S. I’ve been curious about Canon’s Snappy line for a long time — since they were introduced, actually. They were the first point-and-shoot 35mm cameras I ever saw. I would have been pleased to own one of these new, at least at that time.

Sony Cyber-shot DSC-H55

Sony Cyber-shot DSC-H55. What? A digital camera? Well, sure. I’m not a film-only snob! This was an okay point-and-shoot for its time.

Olympus OM-2n

Olympus OM-2n. What a terrific 35mm SLR! I could see this becoming my go-to SLR. It’s small, light, capable — and so well made. It feels better in the hand than my beloved Pentax ME.

Pentax IQZoom 60

Pentax IQZoom 60. I didn’t take to this blobby point-and-shoot. It just didn’t feel good in my hands, and its zoom range wasn’t that useful. Yet I got some lovely photos from it.

Olympus OM-4T

Olympus OM-4T. This is one heck of a 35mm SLR, crammed full of advanced (for the time) features. It did good work for me, but I preferred the OM-2n.

Pentax K10D

Pentax K10D. Another digital camera, this time a DSLR. It’s an older one, with the low-light limitations that go along with that. It’s also big and heavy. But I like it, especially with the 18-55mm kit lens.


10 thoughts on “Camera reviews in 2020

  1. Olli Thomson says:

    That’s a very impressive year’s output. I also love the idea that 50 cameras is a ‘manageable’ collection!

  2. I have way fewer film cameras now – but they’re more colourful. Literally, as I kept things like Rainbow Hawkeyes and Kodak Petites and some plastic 620 specials in vibrant colours. Hey if you’re going to decorate with cameras … :D

  3. Funny, I almost picked up that same Minolta Maxxum a year or so ago, when someone had one locally for sale at a decent price. I didn’t want to venture into a new camera mount (I’m primarily a Canon FD shooter) so I passed on the opportunity.

    • I’ve discovered that 35-70 and 28-80 zooms for the AE/AF cameras are universally inexpensive. So when I am offered a body with no lens I say yes, because I know I can pick up one of these zooms for cheap. Yeah, sure, a prime would perform better. But a zoom is fine for testing the camera. I can keep the zoom and sell the camera on. Then the next time I find a body, I already have a lens.

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