The Camera Never Lies (2019), by David Rawlings

This could have been better. The first problem came before I even opened the book - a cover photo of a Nikon F2 (with the logo erased) representing what we soon find out is an Olympus Infinity HS-10 (not a real camera name, as far as I can tell, although there were lots of Olympus Infinity cameras with various words, letters, and/or numbers attached, all plastic point-and-shoots, not “heavy, black, and silver” as described here). And what’s with all the talk about “clarity” (not sharpness, not contrast, not color saturation) before anything is established about the magical qualities of the camera? And how does a 35mm cassette show that it came from an old, not a new camera? The editor must have been daydreaming when he passed over all of the Old Spice references - one would have been enough. The story concept is intriguing, how “the camera never lies” but the author overplayed his hand when the pictures started changing, sometimes right before the characters’ eyes, like something from Harry Potter or Back to the Future. And don’t get me started about the preachy tone that comes through the character Simon. Two f-stops (out of five).  

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