My suggestions include:
4x5 Speed Graphic. Most of the world's news images were made on this camera for over 20 years
Leica M3 from the Korean war on, the photojournalists camera of choice. The later M series built on its success.
Rollei 2.8 Planar. In the hands of art and fashion photographers such as Penn, Avedon and even Helmut Newton made medium format an acceptable pro choice-accessable to amateurs everywhere
Honeywell Pentax-started the SLR revolution by brining good technology to the amateur world.
My suggestions include:
I had not thought about the Speed Graphic, but you have a good point. The problem as I see it is that there is no real criteria. For example, are we are talking about the top 20 historic cameras, the top twenty ground breaking cameras in terms of technology or the top twenty cameras in terms of popularity or . . .
I guess this could give Shutterbug a basis to stretch this series out forever -- and I'd have to subscribe accordingly.
Anyway, I like your suggestion.
I would certainly nominate the current Zeiss Ikon. Already a classic.
Clearly the lack of any criteria gave Jason free reign to pick his favorite cameras. The Instamatic, while it allowed completely clumsy and inept people to load film, was a step backward. 126 film is good only in fixed focus cameras. With no ability to ensure flat film, the high end 126 SLRs provided less than desired results. I agree that some Press Camera must be included. In historical photographs from before 1910 into the 1950s, press cameras such as the Speed and Crown Graphics as well as their ancestors, were standard equipment. Pentax and Olympus introduced small, relatively light full function SLRs, both with ground breaking metering. The Nikon F and the following F models were the standard for virtually all press photographers from its introduction through the switch to digital - nearly 50 years. The C-3 Brick has also been mentioned. While ugly as an outhouse, this workhorse 35mm rangefinder is one of the most durable cameras ever built. Nearly two million individuals had the opportunity to use a solidly built 35mm rangefinder camera with interchangeable lenses for much less than the few high end models most could not afford. If the original Brownie qualified because of its affordability, the Brick certainly qualifies. The problem is the artificial number 20. Jason could probably come up with good lists of the top 10 Leica, Zeiss/Ikon, Rollei, Nikon, Asahi, Mamiya, Minolta, Hasselblad, Kodak, and Graflex cameras. To pretend a list of 20 cameras is truly a list of the top cameras was folly.
Colo -- I think you hit the nail on the head. A major part of the genius (no sarcasm intended) of this series was to say that these were the "top" cameras. "Top" is entirely meaningless. There were no criteria for "top" apparent to me. "Top" does not mean the most durable, most innovative, or anything else. I enjoyed the series and I agree with some of the choices. But my list would be very close to yours. Dave
gotta go with the Kodak Funsaver