Member George Dunbar recently came across this c1955 picture of Kim Philby at a London press conference captured by traditional press cameras and this strange device (click on the camera icon at left to see the entire photograph). The photo was on the Toronto Star web site and George speculated whether the odd camera was an early “camcorder”.
This speculation was promptly brought to earth by editor Bob Lansdale who wrote as follows:
“Looking at the background at those press cameras: they ALL have strobe flashes, not a mix of flash bulb and strobe so it must be well into the 1960s ???? Does the picture come with any ID or date?
“and they look like modern speed graphics or a British cameras built like it. Great Britain was cash strapped for a long time after WWII and would not allow any new cameras into the country for some time. You relied on trading old cameras But ten years after the war I think they would ease up on restrictions.
“The movie camera has that cross hatch metal that was so typical of British made movie cameras. Early TV cameras were so bulky as to be impossible to carry freely in one’s hands.”I don’t have many updated BRITISH JOURNALS ALMANACS…… but a 1961 that I grabbed off the shelf had this James A. Sinclair portable High Speed 35mm NEWMAN SINCLAIR KINE CAMERA.”
I did a quick Google search and agree with Bob Lansdale’s assessment. It is apparently a Newman Sinclair AutoKine model G camera used to make 35mm film clips for TV news etc.