Bill sits down with DPReview’s Chris Niccolls for a one-on-one interview to discuss the future of film cameras. Chris Niccolls has made hundreds of YouTube videos reviewing the hottest cameras on the market. We learn how Chris first started in photography and now is the face for one of the largest organizations for photographic equipment reviews. He offers his insight of cottage industries like Reflex and Japan Camera Hunter filling a void left by camera typhoons like Canon and Nikon.
Okay, I geeked out a little bit on this interview. Chris Niccolls is one of biggest names in the photography world. Chris and Jordan have filmed hundreds of videos for The Camera Store and setting a standard for camera reviews in a journalistic, non-biased, approach. In early 2018, Chris and Jordan team up with DPReview to continue the tradition of reviewing cameras.
I’m sorry Chris, but I had to find the video you referenced. One of the earliest videos The Camera Store published: The Store Tour.
I invited Chris to get his insight on the film camera industry. Earlier this year, Canon announced they’re pulling the plug on their last film camera: The EOS-1 V. Nikon, though they refuse to publicly announce it, is believed they have followed suit. Nikon USA has not updated their inventory for the F6 and the FM10 for quite some time. Nikon India lists the F6 as ‘discontinued’ while US retailers show the F6 as ‘backordered’.
Is this the end to film cameras? Well, not exactly. Giant camera manufacturers have left a giant void in the film community and it is now being filled by entrepreneurs who have a love for film photography and believe they can deliver a successful film camera to a significantly smaller market. The first two that immediately come to mind are REFLEX and Japan Camera Hunter.
While these two plan to deliver a well-crafted film camera, progress faces its challenges. REFLEX’s Kicktarter is starting from a concept and going through engineering iterations. Japan Camera Hunter faces difficulties in finding a manufacturer that will consider building the his concept for a premium point-and-shoot camera; akin to the Contax G2/T2. With these challenges, the film community patiently waits for these to come to market.
Chris believes Canon and Nikon ships have sailed with new mirrorless cameras as their course. He believes we will see huge advancements in mobile photography tech from Apple, Google, and many more phone manufactures. However, he is excited to see companies starting with their passion for film photography as their main drive to deliver a much needed product. If DPReview gets their hands on the cameras, they will certainly give it a fair shake in their reviews.
Overall, interviewing Chris was incredibly insightful. He signs off with his film processing recommendation:
Find a roll of Neopan 1600, pull it to 640, and develop it in Rodinal 1+100.
*Image courtesy, Chris Niccolls