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500 Cameras: 170 Years of Photographic Innovation [Paperback]

Todd Gustavson , George Eastman House
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
List Price: CDN$ 32.95
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Book Description

Nov. 1 2011
From the world-famous Eastman House comes a lavish, expansive guide to nearly 200 years of photographic invention and innovation. Richly visual and wonderfully informative, it showcases 500 groundbreaking cameras from the museum's collection that forever changed our perception of the world, and of ourselves.
Todd Gustavson, curator of technology at the George Eastman House, organizes the cameras into genealogical categories--from detective to digital, stereo to subminiature. Alongside the 35mm, you'll see curiosities like stereoscopic cameras, postcard cameras, and spy cameras hidden in watches, buttons, and fountain pens.

Essays by experts in the field--including Robert Shanebrook, Martin Scott, and Mark Osterman--trace the technological development of the camera and provide insight into the innovators behind the lens.

Frequently Bought Together

500 Cameras: 170 Years of Photographic Innovation + Camera: A History of Photography from Daguerreotype to Digital
Price For Both: CDN$ 39.42

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Product Description


"With so many pages of beautiful photographs and text, this is a book that any photographer or camera collector would want to own . . . Highly recommended." --Choice 

About the Author

Todd Gustavson is curator of technology at the George Eastman House in Rochester, New York. He is responsible for the cataloging, storage, and maintenance of one of the world's largest collections of photographic and cinematic equipment, containing more than 20,000 artifacts. He has curated or co-curated many exhibitions for the museum, including the critically acclaimed traveling exhibition “The Brownie at 100.” His previous book, Camera: A History of Photography from Daguerreotype to Digital, was published by Sterling in 2009.

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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Cameras April 6 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
If you would like to know more about some of the best camera's manufactured then this is the book for you. Great photo's and well written text.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding book Dec 16 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I love cameras so I love this book especially since it contains great images and excellent essays by some of the top experts in the field of historical photography who are also staff at the foremost museum of photography in North America, George Eastman House. Well worth addition to the library of any vintage camera enthusiast.
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4.0 out of 5 stars A must-have for fans of photographic history Dec 31 2011
The author is curator of the incredible camera collection at George Eastman House in Rochester, and surely among the top experts in the field. The cameras on open display at the museum are a tiny fraction of the holdings. In May '11 I had the pleasure of him giving me a behind-the-scenes tour of the collection, truly stunning in its warehouse-sized scope and perhaps the world's finest. I also saw some early proofs for this book.

While 500 seems like a lot of cameras, narrowing it down to "only" this many from thousands of arguably worthy candidates in the collection was a difficult task, but one I think the author did well. Serious collectors could quibble with some inclusions and omissions, but that would be so no matter who did the choosing. The text is well written, does not assume the reader has camera history expertise, and the production quality is excellent.

If you are interested in how photography evolved to where it is today, you absolutely should own this book...and I'm not biased just because my own collection includes a mint Bell & Howell Foton like the one embossed on the cover.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.4 out of 5 stars  28 reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A well photographed coffee table book..... Dec 21 2012
By Charles Woodhouse - Published on Amazon.com
Todd Gustavson's book is limited by being based on cameras available from the George Eastman House collection, and it is too full of errors and omissions to be a serious reference. For example he repeats the old furphy on page 252 that the Contax S was the first 35mm SLR with a pentaprism and on page 256 where he should mention Rectaflex as the true holder of this title he only describes the extraordinary Rectaflex Rotor. Unfortunately the book is littered with small but annoying errors such as this.
However it is still a useful book for camera collectors, but should not be regarded as gospel.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Too many cameras, not enough time June 22 2012
By Weldon Pops - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Delightful, a history of featuring great pictures, brief description all broken into different categories ; field cameras, twin lens reflex, 35mm, sub-miniatures, etc. There is the odd little info pages thrown in as well, history of Eastman, history of Lieca, erc.

It is written by a guy who worked and catalogued for the Eastman museum so it features ALOT of Kodak equipment BUT does balance it with everybody else, Germany, Japan, Britain, France ...

Worth the purchase although I now am haunting eBay looking at these classic beauties ... be warned!
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Nice Survey of Cameras Feb. 3 2012
By rniederman - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
One of the nice things with books about the GEH collection is that we get to see cameras that range from common to rare and unusually exotic. While no book is perfect (and yes, there are a couple flaws), the depth of the collection and presentation is more than adequate for most any collector or individual interested in photographic apparatus. As a specialist in early American wood and brass cameras, I find this book enjoyable because it is a reminder of the incredible creativity and imagination of those who strove to improve the way we captured memories; be it personal, photojournalistic, or otherwise. And the relatively low price of the book and high quality production makes it a good addition for experts and new collectors looking to build a library of references.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Informative Nov. 15 2011
By kenmet - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
As a Graflex collector, I thoroughly enjoyed Mr. Gustavson's presentation of these cameras. The cameras were crisply photographed, accurately described and presented with insightful comments. Also, the indexes of cameras and subjects are a plus. I assume this high level is given to other cameras; therefore, I would recommend his book for the collector and general reader.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars awesome reference for camera buffs May 12 2013
By cambridgeflowerchild - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
this book arrived and I couldn't wait to dive in. I love old cameras and this book did not disappoint. every page is a different camera beautifully photographed with interesting text to match. a great book for those of us interesting in vintage cameras. the book goes back to the earliest cameras and includes some modern ones as well. a great reference book. highly recommended.
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