Advanced Photo System (APS) (1996 – 2004)

Advanced Photo System or APS was a film format for still photography introduced in 1996 by a number of camera manufacturers including Kodak, FujiFilm, AgfaPhoto and Konica.

APS film was 24mm wide, and could take photos in three image formats or aspect ratios, Classic which was equivalent to 135 film aspect ratio (3:2), High Definition which was wider (16:9) and Panoramic which was wider still (3:1). Most APS cameras could use all three aspect ratios.

Film was available with 15, 25 or 40 exposures. Film was automatically wound and rewound, and in certain cameras partially exposed film could be removed and used later. The film cartridge had indicators to show the state of the film, such as whether the film had been processed (since processed film was stored in the original cartridge).

The film surface had a transparent magnetic coating, and some cameras could use this information exchange (IX) system for recording information about each exposure such as aspect ratio, date and time the photo was taken, captions, or information such as shutter speed and aperture setting. Cheaper cameras such as disposable models used an optical system to record aspect ratio only.

APS film was mainly used in amateur point and shoot cameras, and although some SLR models were available, it never caught on with professional photographers due to its smaller film area and small selection of film speeds and colour formats.

A few years after its introduction the falling price of digital cameras saw APS camera sales plummet and in 2004 Kodak ceased APS camera production.

Sources / Resources