Discussion in 'Modern Film Cameras' started by jdm_von_weinberg, Jul 29, 2011.

  1. Canon PHOTURA and PHOTURA 135 - 1990 and 1992

    Kadlubek Nr. CAN1450 and CAN1480
    This ends up my 'bridge camera' theme and is, I think, the last of these things that I will be acquiring. Since I was drawn to them by their 'futuristic' design, I'm not going to give too much detail here on the operation of the camera. Manuals for these are available from the estimable Butkus ( ) and this is definitely not so rare as some of the others I have posted on.

    Not to steal a march on the following report, but the one of these that I like the most is the Ricoh Murai that I have already reported on at much greater length ( ).
    Others in the series here are the Chinon Genesis II ( ) and the Yashica Samurai ( ).

    To recap, these were cameras that were developed as autofocus cameras that would 'bridge' between a point and shoot on the one hand and a full fledged SLR on the other. They have a built-in, non-interchangeable lens, usually going from a mild wide-angle to a medium telephoto. They were advertised as a lighter and easier to use camera to replace all that heavy gear you were lugging around.

    They date from the 1980s up to the early 1990s. The first may have been the Yashica Samurai (1987 or 1989) but there are other contenders.

    The Canon PHOTURA dates to 1990 and was in the "Sure Shot" camera category ( ). In Europe these were known as EPOCA and in Japan as the "Autoboy Jet".

    A later model was the PHOTURA 135 / CAPTION of 1992 ( ). This was also called the EPOCA 135 / CAPTION, and JET135.

    There are many discussions of these on the web (e.g., )

    Here is a catalog (cover) for the Japanese version of the PHOTURA.
  2. My own involvement was more complicated than it looked to be initially. I saw a PHOTURA 135 Caption offered on eBay for a beginning bid of just under US$4. I was the sole bidder. However, when it came and I tried to put it into use, I found out that the reason it had been 'abandoned' was that the film in it the last time it was used had broken off and was still wrapped around the take-up reel. After much work and considerable force, I got the film out, loaded it up and went out to shoot. Worked for about five pictures and then it automatically rewound the film. I would guess that I probably bent something in removing the film… I just went ahead and had the film processed. Here are a couple of pictures. Looks to work OK so far as it went but I didn't feel like trying to reload it .
  3. I still wanted to try the camera out, and I noticed that an original PHOTURA was being auctioned with a starting bid of 99¢. Again I was the only bidder. This one looked to work and so here are the two PHOTURA models together.
  4. It is odd about these cameras.
    Of all the bridge models I have bought this is the only one for which not only the cameras themselves are being auctioned on eBay, but individual repair parts from them are widely offered.
    Does this mean that they are considered desirable and repairable?
    That many of them have failed and people are auctioning off the internal organs?
    I know not.
  5. The 135 model is a little more complex, but the rear and inside of the two cameras are fairly similar. The 135 CAPTION has controls for putting dates, etc. on the film.
  6. Finally, some shots with the PHOTURA. The top is representative of the fine cuisine characteristic of our college town. The bottom is an "Equivalent", of course.
  7. And of course, the university sports collective, known as the "Rec Center" - much used by retired faculty and beefy undergraduates. I guess the former are the 'wrecks' center. As I have observed before, its style is 'Brutalist Modern" to early Post Modern. Compare to the Centre Pompidou - Musée national d'art moderne in Paris, at least for the interior.
  8. That's all, f-folks. :)
    The film was Walgreen 200, looks to be the same as Fuji 200.
  9. I should have mentioned that the viewfinder can be switched from the 'straight-through' to a sort of 'waist-level' finder on top, except that you still need to have it right up to the eye to see anything. This might be handy for the 'macro' mode that is on the cameras.
  10. Now I want an Autoboy Jet. That sounds better. I have one of the Phototuras. You forgot to mention the lens is a better design than most point and shoots in this class of camera. I mean that, after you zoom it out, the aperture is not useless as it is in most other AF point and shoots. I have a Pentax 160 and a few Olympus, etc., and their apertures may start out at f3.5 or something like that but, after you zoom them, the aperture is down to f6.3, f8 or even f11. The Phototura, although it closes down a bit, still remains useable.
  11. I've found that all the Bridge cameras I've tried have decent, even excellent, lenses. The 'Autoboy Jet' is no exception, as I think the pictures show off the lens and the AF system as well.
  12. Interesting item, Thanks JDM. I never had a bridge camera. I have to say the design leaves me a bit cold. A camera in a tube sort of thing. Still it appears to work well and I guess it filled a niche in the consumer market. Nice "Equivalent" rendition!
  13. Nice shots. Never got around to getting either one of these models although I do have a couple from the Olympus IS
    series. Thanks for an informative post.
  14. I picked up one of the original models earlier this year. I shot a roll of film with it, but before I finished the roll I'd already decided to pass the camera on to someone else. Overall the design is pretty good, controls are easy to use, is comfortable in the hand. Imaging quality I have not been able to assess, as the roll of film is rolling around in a dresser drawer somewhere still.
    The downside? The cheesy plastic case was a poor design decision. I likely would have kept the camera if it'd had the same skin as the 630 and T90. Another negative to my mind is the flash in the flip-out lens cap. Even a good idea, well executed, can look like a bad idea. The fact that nobody else followed their lead says it all.
    In the end, I enjoyed using mine, but did not hesitate in parting company with it. When I want to use a bridge camera, I much prefer the Oly IS-3.
    Any plans to review the Konica Aiborg?
  15. Well, I hadn't planned on it but the close similarity of the Konica to a Power Ranger mask does make it sort of intriguing, doesn't it?
  16. For latecomers, an early announcement of the Photura from Popular Photography, July, 1990.
    178K pdf file
  17. Much later:
    Other posts done by me on "Bridge Cameras" here at
    Bridge Cameras posts

    Yashica Samurai X3.0 (1987 or 1988) -
    left-handed" Samurai -

    Chinon Genesis II (GS-8) 1990 - ,

    Ricoh Mirai - an 1988 modern AF film camera -

    Canon T50 (as Bridge) -

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