This page describes the quality standards to be achieved by a page about a camera, and gives some suggestions.
Title and scope
Before beginning a page about a camera, you need to think about its scope. For example, will the page describe a specific model or a camera series? It is sometimes better to group all the information about a series of cameras in one page than to make multiple pages with redundant contents. If someone later wants to expand the section about some particular version, he will create a new specific page.
The title should be reasonably short and describe the scope of your page.
The first thing to mention about a camera model or camera series is its name, in bold face. Very close to it, the reader should also find a link to the maker's page, a brief description of the image support (digital, 35mm film...), general design (SLR, point and shoot...) and the approximate dates of production.
You can present the camera specifications either in the text or in a list. There is also a Camera Template but it is likely to suffer modifications in the future.
Some specifications should be added (if they are known):
- image support, with number of pixels or film format
- kind (single lens reflex, twin lens reflex, viewfinder, rangefinder, etc.)
- lens (name, focal length and aperture) or lens mount
- shutter type and shutter speed range
Other specifications are important too:
- dates of production
- alternative names
- exposure metering system and exposure modes
- ASA/ISO range
- focusing distance
- whether there is a flash connection and/or built-in flash
And you can add any other specifications you feel useful, depending on the camera type:
- digital processor and sensor name
- number of lens elements
- shutter name
Photographs of the camera are welcome. See Adding Images for how to add them.
You are welcome to add a description of the camera. This is particularly useful when there is no photograph of it.
If you can't immediately think of the best or standard term for something, try looking for similar cameras and see if the term appears there.
A common problem involves left and right — is the "left" of the camera the left as seen in a show window, or the left of it as held while taking photographs? For clarity, add an explanatory phrase: "As the photographer looks into the viewfinder,...", "Looking at the front of the camera,...", or similar.
Handling notes, and use
You can add notes about the camera's use, mention issues and give some tips. But keep in mind that other authors could disagree with your particular opinion about a camera. If you want to write your personal feelings, you can create a page in your own user namespace with a review of the camera, for example User:John_Doe/Nikon F.
You are welcome to summarize (i) reviews of the camera that have appeared in camera magazines and so forth, or (ii) any comments about the use of the camera by noted photographers (roughly defined as those who have had books published, or exhibitions). All such material should of course be clearly attributed. For the latter kind (comments related to photographers of note), be wary of comments that may be little more than advertising.
Intellectual honesty demands that you credit your sources. And people will have no reason to believe what you say if you fail to do this. For how to do this, see Citing sources.
The links from a camera page can include reviews, repair information, collectors' pages, the manufacturer's official website, etc.
However, don't turn articles into link farms, and don't use this as an opportunity to give a leg up to websites run by friends (or of course to your own site).
Please credit the links that you insert, by giving the name of the author of the page or at least the name of the website, and by giving a direct link to the main page of the website whenever possible, in addition to a link to the specific page.
If you notice that a link already in an article doesn't work, look in a search engine to see if the page has moved. If you still can't find it, try looking for it at the Wayback Machine. If that doesn't bring it, comment it out (by putting it within <!-- -->); somebody else may later have better luck than you did.
You may on the other hand find a page that you want to cite but fear could be short-lived. Consider using WebCite to archive a copy. Link to the original and add the WebCite link either in a comment within the article or in the article's talk page.
Sample image galleries
You may link to pbase.com or some such site with a database of images that can be sorted by camera. Please remember that sample pictures have their place only if they demonstrate something specific about the camera, and that the purpose of this wiki is not to publicize your or your friends' photography.