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The x‐ray diffraction tool in most common use is the powder camera, yet it is usually ill‐designed. This paper presents constructive criticisms of current powder camera design, and describes briefly a series of instruments having desirable features. Among the issues discussed are: adjustments, recovery of adjustments, desirable diameters, important recording ranges, film arrangements, fitting the film to cylindrical form, design of direct beam systems, elimination of air‐scatter, specimen attachment and adjustment, and scanning. The following special instruments are also discussed: high temperature cameras, large spacing cameras, and film cutters and punches.