Colored cameras, what do I think? Make mine black with a splash of Sunshine Orange!

Nikon Zf
Nikon Zf is available with the option of a colored front panel insert (Image credit: Nikon)

Black or silver? Silver or black? I seemed to have had an early preference for silver until I bought my Nikon F4 back in 1986 and then it’s been all black since then, although mostly because there wasn’t any choice. 

The contention seemed to be that silver was more elegant and classier – perhaps because of the contrast with black inserts – and that a black finish was more workmanlike because it looked to be the choice by professionals. Did the black paint wear any better? Not really, but now that patinaed look of brass showing through the scuffs and scratches of a well-worn Leica M or Nikon F is highly desirable… perhaps even more so than mint examples especially if there’s provenance involved.

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Paul Burrows

Paul has been writing about cameras, photography and photographers for 40 years. He joined Australian Camera as an editorial assistant in 1982, subsequently becoming the magazine’s technical editor, and has been editor since 1998. He is also the editor of sister publication ProPhoto, a position he has held since 1989. In 2011, Paul was made an Honorary Fellow of the Institute Of Australian Photography (AIPP) in recognition of his long-term contribution to the Australian photo industry. Outside of his magazine work, he is the editor of the Contemporary Photographers: Australia series of monographs which document the lives of Australia’s most important photographers.