What really defines Holga is its plastic lens. The focal length is approximately 60mm for the 120 format cameras and 47mm for the 35mm format cameras. To focus, rotate the barrel of the lens to the icon displayed that best corresponds to the shooting situation. The focal length ranges from 3 feet to infinity.
Since Holga is a completely manual camera, film advance is all up to the photographer. After the first shot, advance the film one full frame to the next image or shoot limitless times on the same frame to create a multiple exposure. By advancing only partially, you can create panoramic or overlapping images.
Holga 120FN has a built in white flash. To add some color, there is Holga 120CFN which has a color wheel filter in the flash. Any Holga which does not have a built in flash has a standard hot shoe mount that can accommodate any non-dedicated flash unit. Holga offers many styles of non-dedicated flashes to choose from. Holga can even fire strobe lights with the on camera flash or by using a hot shoe-to-PC adapter.
The shutter speed of a Holga is approximately 1/100 of a second. There is the added option to put the camera in "B" bulb setting. The bulb setting allows the shutter to stay open for as long as necessary for long exposures. This makes it possible to do night photography, getting images without a flash in low light situations or even painting with light. Both a tripod and cable release are recommended when using the Holga in the bulb setting.
Holga has essentially two apertures, f/11 for sunny days and f/8 for cloudy days. There are some that say these f-stops are so close that they are undistinguishable from one another but try them out and see.
Holga 120 models use 120mm medium format film and have two film masks for two different image options. There is a 6 x 4.5cm format for a vertical, rectangular image and a 6 x 6cm format for a square image. When using the 6 x 4.5cm mask the result is 16 images; using the 6 x 6cm mask yields 12 images. Make sure to switch the arrow on the counter window to correspond with the mask being used. Holga 135 models use 35mm film and do not require a mask. To have the best of both worlds, a film adapter accessory to convert 120 Holgas to accept 35mm film is available.
All Holgas come with a camera strap and a standard tripod mount. Holgas with a built in flash require two AA batteries to power the flash.