The year was 1983, and photography was at a stage where change was gathering pace, as the use of electronics in all major brands was increasing.

While most people seemed to be against it at the time, we had started to move away from the traditional – no battery needed – mechanical and manual exposure mode only cameras.

The camera I have in mind that changed the world would not be on my top five models, but change the camera world it still did.

©JohnClements_JCI316350892In 1983 the Nikon FA SLR camera entered the Nikon system as the top enthusiast camera sitting just below the professional F3 series on par with the FM2n. It  was a complete cutting edge counterweight to the latters cameras mechanical heritage.

But the reason I think it changed the camera world, is that it introduced multi pattern metering to not just the Nikon system, but since virtually all.

it’s version was called AMP (Auto Multi Pattern). I remember well the reaction of the traditional photographers both pro and amateur… it will not catch on, ‘I do not need it as I know how to use centre weighted metering’.

Nikon now have Matrix (various versions), Canon Evaluative and Olympus ESP metering to name just three of today’s designs.

And while that original FA with its AMP metering (it had centre weighted as well) was targeted at the amateur who maybe had not yet mastered the alternatives.

AMP stood for ‘Auto Metering Pattern’ from memory and the camera had a five segment design.

Multi pattern metering has become so universal that most images around the globe are now taken with it on all makes of camera it seems to me.

That I think is a bit of a shame, as alternatives still have their role, and I still use them, but from the pro to the beginner, we now live in a multi pattern world.

The Nikon FA mapped out that road ahead. The accompanying image was an advert Nikon used the following year after the camera won won of the worlds most prestigious titles.

End. (19/03/13).