Type 1. The Kodak Class. Although I never use a Kodak, yet I am often compelled to recommend a camera of this type. To the tourist and traveller to whom bulk is of paramount importance, who won't consider any camera that involves changing in the dark, who simply wants a record of foreign travel and who is content with " pressing the button, while someone else does the rest," the Folding Pocket Kodak type can hardly be beaten. These cameras are simple and convenient, but I cannot recommend them to the photographer whose only aim is exact and perfect work. Much excellent work can be done with them and the inexperienced photographer will often get better results with a simple camera of this form than he would with a more perfect instrument, which of necessity is not quite so simple in design. The enthusiast may perhaps start with a Kodak - or even use it as an adjunct to his ordinary work - but as a general rule he will wish for an instrument with a greater range of movement, a better view finder than can be obtained in the limited space, and the peculiar uncertainty and unreliability of films. In cases where the price is not so material as perfection of result, although the advantages of lightness and simplicity are essential, I should advise either a Kodak with Zeiss or Goerz lens or a Sinclair " Traveller " Roll Film Camera, which, in addition to a Goerz lens, is made as a fixed focus camera with time and instantaneous shutter " everset." Being of the box form it is always ready for use and is admirably adapted for all-round work.
Type 2. The Automatic Changers. Cameras of this type have not maintained the popularity they formerly enjoyed and are now generally made in the cheaper forms, ranging in price from 10s. to £3 3 o. Nearly all the makes on the market are reliable, so far as the plate-changing mechanism is concerned, and their value for photographic work may be usually gauged by the price. They will do quite good work in sunlight and are admirably adapted for presents to young people, in whom it is desired to inculcate a real love of photography by allowing them to develop their own plates and do their own printing. As a general rule, the lenses are not of a very high class and very frequently are too slow for the speed of the shutter, unless in brilliant sunlight ; there is a tendency to dust from the plate-changing mechanism, and they usually lack the very desirable movement known as a " rising front." Of course, when these instruments are properly made and fitted with a really good lens and shutter, the very best work can be done with them.
Type 3. Box-Form Cameras. In these last forms these instruments are excellent for hand-camera work, and they are certainly superior to Type 2, as the bag changing mechanism with which they are usually fitted is not so prone to dust as is the case with automatic changers. Of late years, however, cameras have been wanted with a greater range of movements than the box cameras afford, and they have been almost superseded by Types 4 and 7.
Type 4. Reflex Cameras. These cameras were produced primarily for those who wanted to get the exact focus of extremely near objects, or to photograph objects moving at a high rate of speed, but the fascination of viewing the actual object that was being taken on a full sized finder has made them very popular with a much larger class. In general design they consist of a box in which is a mirror behind the lens, reflecting the Image, on to a ground glass in the top of the camera, and this ground glass is usually coven d with a viewing hood. To make the exposure, on pressing the release, the mirror which is pivoted at its upper end flies up to the top of the camera, and in so doing releases the shutter, which immediately takes the picture. Such cameras, to be reliable, must necessarily be expensive, as there is much mechanism in their construction.
In the last edition of this Handbook we pointed out the disabilities of the Reflex cameras as then made and which all had focal plane shutters. We stated that the Focal-Plane Shutter, although very suitable for high-speed work, was not the best for general pictorial work. Moreover, it is likely to produce dust, and consisting, as it does, of fabric coated with indiarubber, perishes quickly in very hot or very cold climates. And perhaps the greatest drawback is the unsuitability of the camera for the work for which it is primarily intended, namely, the photography of near objects - at least unless such objects are at rest. The shutters as fitted, work perhaps from 1/1000th of a second to 1/15th of a second. To make this type really serviceable the shutter should be of metal and exposures should be possible, say, from 1/4 to 1/100th second, in addition to time exposures. It is very rare that a higher speed than an actual 1/100th is required, in fact in my own experience I rarely require less than 1/32nd, and use constantly 1/4 and -1/8th second."