Main -> Photography -> Classic Cameras -> Advanced Photo System [sitemap]

Created 2 June 2007 ... Updated 6 June 2009

Advanced Photo System, APS
Canon IXUS Concept Arancia
After nearly 100 years finding the best filmtype, increasing film sharpness and accuracy, Kodak decided to bring a new film type to the market which was smaller, hence less expensive to produce and used a new film cartridge to allow for some nice features such as automatic film wind, keeping the film unreachbale for dirty hands and dust, mid-roll film change, storing exposure data on the film itself and using different formats ("C-format" Standard 2:3, "H-format" wide 9:16 and "P-format" panoramic 1:3) on the same film. The smaller negative format also allowed for smaller cameras paving the road for the small digital cameras that came out only a few years after APS became available.

The drawback of the smaller negative format is obvious, the quality is sufficient for prints up to 10x18 centimeters (4x7") but the quality for larger prints is not as good as prints from 35mm film. Of course this not only has to do with the smaller negative but also with the lower quality of the small point-and-shoot cameras and their lenses. Slide films were also not available and real black and white film, other than C41 film did not make sense since the cartridge was not meant to be used for manual film development, the idea was to have fully automated systems anywhere, from camera through film development to film printing. However, for the average user, who hardly ever needs their pictures enlarged over 10x18, the advantages of having a smaller camera and the easy film drop-in system are hard to beat.

After a couple of years the popularity of APS film started to decline rapidly, mainly due to the fact that most people changed to the hyped small digital point.and.shoot cameras. Picture quality did not seem important anymore, the main thing being the quick picture turn around time, which for digital would only be seconds.

Small APS cameras are actually rather good looking, so they also have a place in my collection. Film is cheap, development is also inexpensive and the cameras are usually small enough to be taken anywhere and very handy for snap-shots and street photography. So I've stocked up my fridge with APS film to last me for the next years :o)

camera The cameras
links Canon IXUS
links Canon IXUS Concept Arancia
links Canon IXUS L-1
links Canon IXUS M1
links Canon IXUS Z50
links Canon IXUS Z60ix

All photos copyright of M. Koning 1997 - 2007