On eBay, there are a number of Olympus Trip 35mm cameras – for prices around £18.00… or in “new money” about the value of 2 hours at the minimum wage. Back at its launch in 1967, it cost £16… about an average week’s wage (how much were your parents earning at that point – indeed did they ever talk about money in those days?)
The Olympus Trip sold a staggering 10million units over its two decades of availability on the High Street. In its 1st year, 1st Apple iPhone sold 7million… in contrast, the best selling Nokia has surpassed all records with in excess of 250million units sold – interestingly enough, its value on eBay is similar to the Olympus: less than £20… but of course, few “bought” a Nokia, we all paid for it through an initial payment then topped up its manufactured price through the minutes we used sold on at a time when we might have bought “smartphone” packages of 50minutes of talktime a month.
But the one thing that cameras such as the Olympus Trip offered (and still offers) is film quality… inexactly speaking, the equivalent of 200mB per 35mm image… 20+ times the resolution of even the smartest of “smartphones”
So the next time you look back at all your old prints & transparencies thinking “we’ve come a long way since then”… arguably… we haven’t. In fact, the amount of information on your negatives is vast and scan then a judicious use of Photoshop could bring forth results you would never have imagined.
And manufacturers of yesteryear’s cameras were not all racing to create products which were waterproof in case they were dropped down the toilet & selfies were the result of a mechanical timer plus a lot of running away from a camera balanced on a wall!