August 4th, 2017

World Photo Day: The Evolution of the Camera

Olympus film camera

Photography wouldn’t be possible without the incredible invention of the camera. According to Kodak, “the use of photographic film was pioneered by George Eastman, who started manufacturing paper film in 1885 before switching to celluloid in 1889. His first camera, which he called the ‘Kodak,’ was first offered for sale in 1888.”

It truly is amazing how much the camera has evolved since then. In came the digital camera, and the debate between film vs. digital began. Today, people appreciate the merits of both, and choose based on their preferred aesthetic.

If you love the nostalgia of film, you’re not alone. Film offers a creative challenge for photographers. Shooting analog photographs is an art form that truly embraces the candid nature of photography. The excitement of having your film photos developed, anxiously awaiting the final images, is a feeling many people love. There is something to be said about the simplicity of shooting with film too; without a Photoshop program to edit with, the result is a much rawer, visceral image. There is also a great deal more thoughtfulness involved in film photography, as you are limited by the amount of film you have. This is one of the reasons why many people recommend starting out on a film camera, even if you want to shoot digital. Being forced to be more selective with your shots will ultimately make you a better photographer, whether you shoot on film or digital.

Meanwhile, if you prefer to shoot digital, there are plenty of benefits that come with the ever-evolving technology of digital cameras. They are more convenient than ever, and are constantly being upgraded with more advanced features. Photographers can choose from point and shoots, DSLRs, and even compact mirrorless cameras, depending on what the situation requires. Today, many digital cameras also come with added features such as WiFi and Bluetooth. This allows you to directly transfer images to your smartphone or tablet, making it super easy to share all of your great moments.

Nikon camera and Nikon lenses

As digital technology has progressed, mobile phones have become the camera of choice for many people who wish to snap and share moments instantaneously. Some of you may remember seeing the #shotoniphone7 campaign, which inspired iPhone users to take incredible photographic shots simply using their phones’ camera. Today, millions of photos are uploaded every minute, allowing us to share our snapshots with the world in seconds, and find inspiration in the talent of other passionate photographers worldwide.

Whichever you prefer, London Drugs proudly offers a large selection of both digital cameras as well as film, and still offers film developing.

If you’re looking to upgrade your current gear, whether it’s a phone, film camera or DSLR, World Photo Day is a great time to see what’s out there and try something new. Our LDExperts can help you choose the right camera for your interests and needs. London Drugs’ selection of photography gear doesn’t end with cameras, either. We also have an extensive collection of lenses, camera accessories, photo printers and photo editing software to help you achieve the best images possible.

Follow us on Twitter and Instagram to stay tuned for our World Photo Day deals (including a very special drone offer, available exclusively on August 19th)!

May 17th, 2016

Film Processing is Alive and Well at London Drugs!

While cell phones and digital cameras have largely taken over the photographic industry, FILM PHOTOGRAPHY IS NOT DEAD! It’s alive and well in the London Drugs Photo Department and particularly attractive to a generation that never had to wait longer than half a second to see the results of their snap! To accommodate these up and coming film photographers and artists (and those who are just too darn stubborn to make the leap to digital) we have been hard at work making sure we have the tools, the know-how and in some cases the creativity to give our customers the quality they expect from a London Drugs photograph.

Single Use Cameras

If you want to give film a shot and you don’t want to invest in an eBay camera, a single-use camera could be for you! It used to be that people carried one of these little guys around with them everywhere “just in case” they had to take a photo. These days, everyone is pretty well soldered to their cell phones so nobody is without a camera when they need it, but there are still times when a single-use camera could come in handy.

Since the only part of the single-use that actually needs a battery is the flash, a dead battery doesn’t leave you completely camera-less unlike a phone that could leave you high and dry after 52 levels of candy crush. So if you’re camping or find yourself with no phone (GASP) or a dead phone battery, a single-use camera could save the day!

Worried you might damage your new iPhone while skiing? Single-use camera. Afraid your DSLR will get lost or stolen at a concert or festival? Single-use camera. Want to allow the guests at your wedding to take some photos from a different perspective? You guessed it – single-use cameras.

These cameras also come in an underwater style which means yes, you can take them underwater! They’re reasonably good for snorkeling or perhaps in the swimming pool where there’s still a decent amount of natural light available as these cameras do not have a flash. So while you can’t catch the Loch ness monster at 40 meters, you might be able to at 5-10!


Fujifilm Quicksnap Waterproof Camera shown above


Toy Cameras


This is where things get seriously, legitimately FUN. If you have a tinkerer in your life – you know – the one who takes your new alarm-clock apart to see how it works and pulls all the guts out of your computer to see what’s in it – they’re going to LOVE this. There is a KIT that you can buy to build your own film camera! If you can build IKEA furniture, you can build a camera from scratch AND it actually works!

Konstruktor_part 2
Diana series

If you’re not into building your own, you can also buy toy cameras that are completely made of plastic – some even come with multiple lenses similar to an SLR. The neat thing about these cameras is that every one is a little bit different. The lenses may be slightly warped or something might not fit quite perfectly which lends itself to light leaks, flares and differential focus. I can literally hear your OCD squirming, but seriously, this is like the original Instagram! If you want funky colors and effects that make your images truly one-of-a-kind, this is an AWESOME way to go.

The Diana Instant Camera - Black - HP800INST. Just one of a number of film cameras in store


And don’t forget World Toy Camera Day is October 16th this year!

Pinhole Cameras

If you really want to get down to the nitty gritty and McGyver a camera out of a matchbox, a pop can some film and tape…GO FOR IT! I’m not kidding you. It really is this simple to create your own pin-hole camera and you may even have everything you need on-hand right this second. There are plenty of tutorials on the web for different ways to create one of these truly DIY cameras, but don’t be afraid to experiment with different equipment and methods – you might create some pretty unique looking artwork!

C-41 Process (35mm & 110 film)

Being the most recent predecessor to digital photography, this is the most common type of film processing. It relies upon the development of silver throughout several chemical baths to create an inverted copy of the image you have taken. Our technology allows us to pass the negative through each chemical bath at a controlled speed to ensure that each photo on your roll is properly developed.

Some of these film processors have been with us for more than a decade and these old gals require some tender loving care to keep them in tip top shape which is why we clean them regularly, refresh the chemicals as needed and run a control strip every day to ensure our chemicals are in balance.

Many of our locations can still accommodate film developing in an hour.


E-6 Process (slide film)

Remember the good old days when Grandma & Grandpa came back from a trip to Hawaii and the whole family gathered together in front of the projection screen to see the gorgeous slideshow of the entire journey? No? You are MISSING OUT! Slide film can produce crisp, vibrant photographic-like tiny images on what’s called a ‘positive.’ During the chemical process, slide film undergoes a process called a reversal bath which creates the positive image.

If you wanted to, after you’d shot a roll of slide film, you could keep the little cardboard framed beauties as images all on their own. It could make for a kind of neat instagram-like display if you put them up against a light colored background, but more often than not you’ll want to print those bad boys or put them on a CD to share instantly with your friends and family – and guess what, London Drugs has you covered there too!

120/126 and ‘other’ films

Not sure if we can develop or print from the film you found in your great-grandmother’s hat box? Bring it in and we’ll take a look! In many cases we can send your film out to another location to be developed, or we can scan and print your images directly from your already-processed odd-shaped negative on our high quality flatbed scanner.


About the Author

meganMeghan is a meal-planning, food-prepping, Pinterest addict. She likes coffee – a lot. A mom of 2 boys, Meghan has a Bachelor of Arts with a major in Psychology, which she uses on a daily basis when helping customers create memories. Meghan is honoured to witness your histories unfold in real-time.

Known as “a social media pro,” LDExpert Meghan blogs about her experiences as Photolab Manager at You can also follow her on Twitter.

September 7th, 2015

Enlargements and lens options


How many different lenses are available at Oh, probably a million or so. If the selection seems overwhelming, there is a cure: speak to a London Drugs camera expert in-store.

We’ve been talking quite a bit about enlargements here on the Photoblog. The fact is, however, that if you aren’t shooting with enlargements (or fine art prints or gallery wraps for that matter) in mind, you’re simply not going to have a great range of options. If you’re even thinking of printing an enlargement or two (and I strongly recommend doing so as a centerpiece for at least one of your walls) your photos will definitely need to be high-resolution. Fortunately, when you order prints of any size through the Photolab, the web app will indicate if your image file is too low-res and thus the print quality will be compromised as a result.

Composition is also critical when you’re looking at enlargements—and of course, the lens you choose will have a huge impact on your composition. There are a number of informative past Photoblog posts on the subject of lenses, such as these:

Certainly, you’ll find no shortage of options when it comes to adding to (or beginning) your lens collection. Yet for the purposes of this post let’s look at two common lens options—telephoto and wide angle.


August 26th, 2015

10 Instagram Accounts That’ll Make You Proud to Be Canadian


We never get tired of double-tapping photos of Canada’s majestic scenery. So why resist? To celebrate the growing popularity of #beautifulcanada on Pinterest (above), we’ve decided to collect our 10 favourite Canadian photographers posting to Instagram. Follow them and just wait for the magic to hit your feed.

1. Hannah Keiver

A photo posted by @hannahkeiver on

Vancouver-based Hannah Keiver uses her feed to demonstrate her love for adventures and the outdoors. Think epic mountains and sunshine.  READ MORE

August 13th, 2015

History of the Camera

The Diana Instant Camera - Black - HP800INST. Just one of a number of film cameras in store

The Diana Instant Camera – Black – HP800INST. Just one of a number of film cameras in store

World Photo Day wouldn’t be complete without properly acknowledging the device that makes photography possible. So let’s start things off with a little camera trivia, shall we? Try to answer this one without looking it up:

What year was the first camera invented?

Now, if your guess was 1839, while you’d be wrong, you would at least get points for reading last year’s WPD post. The actual answer, however, is the year 1888. According to

The use of photographic film was pioneered by George Eastman, who started manufacturing paper film in 1885 before switching to celluloid in 1889. His first camera, which he called the “Kodak,” was first offered for sale in 1888.


May 11th, 2015

Change Your Lens, Change Your Perspective

May 13 Newsletter

One of the best things about vacations is that they allow you to shift your perspective. Sometimes it’s just a slight adjustment, and sometimes it can be a sea change, depending on where you go and what befalls you while you’re there. But every vacation moves you in some way, which is part of their awesomeness—and their necessity. The human mind needs to be refreshed once in a while. A change in perspective is a change in thinking. Or maybe it’s the other way around.


The thing about this kind of perspective shift, however, is that it typically fades away over time. In the weeks and months after you return from your vacation, real life has a way of steamrolling everything back to normal—including your thinking.


April 27th, 2015

Tech Talk: GoPro

If you haven’t already heard, GoPro’s are the next big thing and London Drugs has all the accessories and items you need to capture the perfect video. On Monday, April 20th, London Drugs tech expert David Levett sat down with anchor Darrell Rumold on CTV Morning Live in Regina to discuss the latest GoPro and some of the newest accessories to go with it.

The GoPro HERO4 Black is the most advanced GoPro ever. It features improved image quality and a 2x more powerful processor with 2x faster video frame rates. The high-resolution 4K30 and high frame rate 1080p120 video  enables a stunning, immersive footage of you and your world.gopro hero4 black

David discussed a few of the accessories that can be paired with the GoPro HERO4. The GoPro Scenelapse is a mount for the GoPro that gives a 360-degree panorama. David suggested attaching the mount to the top of a car to get a perfect circulating shot. For those that are interested in seeing what the world is like from their dog’s point of view, they can purchase the GoPro Dog Harness. David explained how individuals would be surprised by the images their dog’s see by simply attaching their GoPro to their pets.

For those that are into other activities such as target shooting, David suggested to check out the GoPro Gun Mount. Individuals can attach their GoPro to the end of their shotgun to document their target shooting. Or, for those that are into documenting the social events with their friends, the GoPro Selfie Stick is perfect for their social gatherings. The selfie stick gives individuals the ability to take photos of himself or herself with more than one person.

Solo_White_AngleHowever, the latest accessory to come into London Drugs stores that will take your GoPro filming to the next level is the 3DR Solo Drone. The Drone has the ability to take GoPro’s up to 400 feet and can be controlled as far as a mile and a half away from your starting location. Individuals can tap into the GoPro camera attached to the drone from their smart phone, giving them a bird’s eye view.

The GoPro and its accessories can be used for a variety of activities. Whether you like to document taking your dog for a walk, or view your house from 400 feet in the air, the GoPro HERO4 has accessories to give you what you need with a high quality, durable camera. Make sure to check out all the different GoPro accessories here.

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