To quote the source of all knowledge in the know universe : Wikipedia
“The Holga is a medium format 120 film camera, made in Hong Kong, known for its low-fidelity aesthetic.
The Holga’s low-cost construction and simple meniscus lens often yields pictures that display vignetting, blur, light leaks, and other distortions. The camera’s limitations have brought it a cult following among some photographers, and Holga photos have won awards and competitions in art and news photography.”
As you can see in the images below, the camera really does have all the qualities mentioned above, but thats why people love and buy this type of camera. There are many different variants of Holga cameras, this one is quite an unusual variant as it is extremely wide format, when a lot of other Holgas are square format at 6x6cm or 6×4.5cm.
I purchased my camera from the Photographers Gallery in London as they have a very well stocked store of books and different camera equipment. The gallery is also the largest public gallery in London dedicated to photography. It located just off Oxford street, down a small alleyway to the right side of boots (if memory serves). You can also purchase the camera from Lomography
Lomography produce and sell many kinds of unique plastic and toy cameras, accessories and analogue film. Lomography cameras have become very popular in recent years, due to their unique designs, relatively low price and plastic lens qualities like the Holga. Lomography have a shop in Spitalfields Market, London and their products are also available from their website Lomography
One great thing about this camera is that it captures the entire scene in one take, which is a rare quality in panoramic format cameras, especially for below £100. The other camera i know of that has this feature is the Fuji G617, which i have seen going for over £2000 on ebay and ffordes. Admittedly this is a professional camera with interchangeable lenses, so the price is justified – I would love to own one.
The other methods include stitching – taking multiple photos and aligning features in the photos to make one wide image. and slit scanning – Where one thin part of the image is captured, the camera rotates slightly and captures another thin part of the image until the entire image is captured. This is how the Lomography Spinner works, and is commonly used for digital panoramic photography. Notably in cameras like the Spheron and the Seitz 6×17 – Also which i would love to own