If it isn’t already apparent, we love old things, and when it comes to cameras, you can’t beat the classics. Cameras of the past were simpler to operate, more fun to shoot, and just plain looked better. Given the choice, I’ll pick a humble Minolta SRT-101 over a Canikon D420 Mark XVIII any day of the week and I’ll look better shooting one, too. But most of the timeless cameras we all love hail from the mid 1980s or earlier. Which begs the question, what happened between the glory days of leather and metal and today’s era of DSLRs?
Well, the ‘90s happened. The decade that brought us Dunkaroos and the Macarena also brought with it a scourge in the form of plastic-fantastic, homogenous camera design that manufacturers would milk for far too long. As such, many cameras from the ‘90s are forgotten and often reviled.
What are we children of the ‘90s to do? Sure, we had Nickelodeon and the Nintendo 64, but we’re hard-pressed to reminisce about a decent Nikon, while older photo geeks wax poetic about their timeless machinations of brass and titanium. But were things really that bad? Though marred by many marketing and manufacturing missteps, the film industry actually reached its technological zenith in the ’90s, with manufacturers scrambling to outdo each other year after year. This obsession with technology combined with the explosion of the photographic mass market resulted in the most capable film cameras ever made, along with some of the most hilariously designed cameras of all time.
It’s about time we gave these machines a proper tribute, so check out our list of the five best '90s cameras over at Casual Photophile.