Chemical-based image storage medium.
Advanced Photo System (APS) is marketed by Kodak under the "Advantix" brand name, and is licensed to other vendors.
APS is not compatible with common 35mm cameras. APS offers three formats (panoramic, "normal" and "large") and a mechanism for storing exposure information as well as time, date and a user-selectable title with each frame. photofinishers use this information for adjustments during the development process.

It should probably also be noted that when the camera is set to take one of the three types of shot (C, H and P), this is marked on the film so it initially developed how you intend, but the image captured is the full size (H).

        H&P
|------------------|              (type) (width x height)
         C                   
  |--------------|                C - 6" x 4" (152x101mm)
 __________________       _ _     H - 7" x 4" (176x101mm)
|_|______________|_| _ _   |      P - 11.5" x 4" (289x101mm)
| |              | |  |    |
| |              | |  | P  | H&C
| |              | |  |    |
|_|______________|_| _|_   |
|_|______________|_|      _|_
The figure above is a representation of how the film is used for the different sizes of photo, not the sizes of photograph to scale. All three sizes are 4" tall. Thanks for telling me that needed to be explained better, Sverre.

The advantage of this is that you can convert a panoramic that didn't turn out so well into a regular-sized photograph, or vice versa.

The only other real advantages of the APS system are a) easy loading, archiving, and b) an index photograph provided.

The con for the system is easy; higher priced film, higher priced developing, more expensive cameras with less features.

2002.04.09@02:19 C-Dawg says re Advanced Photo System: Easy film loading is not to be sneered at! That's why I bought an APS, though I use digital now.

The APS film system

-From a photographer's point of view

What does APS mean and who invented it?

APS is an acronym for Advanced Photo System. It was introduced in February 1996, by Canon, Kodak, Fuji Photo Film, Minolta and Nikon. As far as I know, it was developed mainly by Kodak, but with backing from the others.

How did they come up with such a great new idea? A new film format?

Well.. It isn't really such a great idea - depends how you see it. Most advanced amateurs (or prosumers, if you will) are actually far better off sticking to the 35mm film format.Besides, the idea isn't exactly so very new:

  • In 1963, the 126 (instamatic) film was introduced. This was 35mm film with a cardboard thingie, designed to easily being dropped into the camera
  • In 1972, the 110 film was introduced. This was 16mm film with the same caracteristics as the 126 film
  • In 1982, the disc film was introduced. This was film on a disc which rotated instead of rolled
  • In 1992, APS enters the scene

(from the history of Kodak, see sources)

Is you can see, roughly every decade, Kodak coughs up a new and better film format, aimed at the consumers. With the new film formats, consumers have to buy new cameras, and invariably, shell out the usually more expensive developing fees for the new formats.

My tear of sadness: It's been a decade since the APS was launched.. I am sitting in my chair writing this, shuddering in fear and disgust, about what they come up with next.

What are the advantages?

Sure, despite my ramblings toward the opposite, the APS format has advantages:

  • Ease of film loading - "foolproof
  • Three picture formats - Normal, "widescreen" and Panorama
  • As the film canister is smaller, cameras can be smaller (try to fit a 35mm film in an IXUS, for example :)

.. And the disadvantages?

Photographing area - A 35mm# negative is 36mm * 24mm. This means it has has 8.64 cm2 of recording material. An APS negative, however, has 30.2 mm * 16.7 mm = 5.04 cm2 of recording material. The difference is a whopping 58 %! For regular prints, this obviously means little. But if you ever want to enlarge your prints, then this might be a problem

The different picture formats. A picture taken in panorama is the exact same size as any other picture, but when the picture is taken, the camera stores on the film "Print this as a Panorama picture". This is not necessarily a bad thing. Except: When the picture is printed, the area of the negative that is used is only 30.2 mm * 9.5 mm. This is just a third of a 35mm negative!

#) it completely defies logic that a negative measuring 36mm * 24mm is called 35mm film, but that's just the way it is..

How about digital?

Let's have a look at this: It's commonly accepted that the maximum data you can get out of an ISO 100 negative is about 8 Mpx. This would mean that you can get about 4 Mpx from an APS negative. Considering that digital cameras at 4 Mpx now are commony available, the target group for APS photo equipment may be starting to drift off into the digital market instead, despite the price difference between digital and analog equipment

Conclusion

APS is a great invention if you are an amateur photographer who wants to take pictures on holiday, and who never ever needs their pictures enlarged.

Oh, and by the way.. Don't even think of getting an APS SLR .. That's the ultimate waste of money - APS is for compact cameras, 35mm (or bigger) is for anything else.

 

Just as a little addition: APS film comes in c-41 (regular negative film), e6 (slide film) and, recently, a few black and white films were launched.

--------

Sources:

Agfa,
Kodak (http://www.kodak.com/US/en/corp/aboutKodak/kodakHistory/)
Photo.net,
Dale Labs, FL
and a bit of my own memory

-30-

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