When we talk about analogue cameras we can classify them according to two criteria.
Firstly, they can be divided by (i) the photographic film format used (which covers the size of the film and whether it comes in a canister or on a roll), and (ii) the type of mechanism that the camera uses. If you come from digital photography, concepts like compact camera, DSLR or mirrorless will ring a bell…. it's exactly the same idea.
And why is it so important to know about this? Well, very easy.
After reading this first part you will get a better picture of what types of camera you can find as well as their advantages and disadvantages. And if you are already lucky enough to have a camera in your possession this will help you identify what type it is, and therefore the film format you will need to buy to start shooting!
So the first criteria: film format, and we can divide the cameras into 3 large groups: 35mm cameras, medium format cameras and large format cameras. There are a few other formats in circulation (things like APS, 126, 620 etc) but they are rarer and we won't worry about them in this beginner's guide. We will also look at Instant cameras at the end of the section, as they don't fall into the classifications quite so neatly.