inexpensive but decent P&S film cameras?

Discussion in 'Modern Film Cameras' started by tomspielman, Sep 15, 2020.

  1. I think that became true once cheap P&S digital cameras started having decent low light performance. Fast lenses and cheap P&S cameras were not a common combination.

    High end phones now often have multiple cameras with different focal lengths, - not just multiple lenses, multiple cameras. Or maybe more accurately, multiple sensors. That was one area where a P&S might have been better in the past, - an optical zoom.

    But in the end I don't think young people are snapping up these old film P&S cameras for their picture quality or because they think it makes them real photographers. I think they like the fact that the pictures often aren't perfect and sometimes don't turn out at all.

    And I remember that too. I distinctly remember my brother getting back some pictures he'd taken while snorkeling in Hawaii. He didn't realize how close he had to get to something (like a fish) for it to show up in an underwater photo. He had print after print of almost solid blue. :) I still tease him about it thirty some years later.

    Not sure I agree about an LCD screen. It has its pluses put there's plenty of times I prefer a viewfinder. And I find a phone to be much worse ergonomically.
  2. If you have a chance to look at pictures before and after the LCD from someone who is P&S person you would see they compose better with the LCD. It seems to me that when using the viewfinder they are not aware of the frame. They only see the subject.
  3. One fixed focal length P&S that performs very well and is still available relatively cheaply is the Canon Sure Shot Supreme:

    SURE SHOT SUPREME - Canon Camera Museum

    A couple of years ago you could get one for the price of film and processing, though they're about double that today on ebay. But it's still a bargain compared to something like a Yashica T4 (with similar performance). The curvy styling is very 80s, which I like to think of as retro cool. It takes one of those slightly obscure lithium batteries that are fortunately still in production, in a cunningly concealed compartment you need a screwdriver to open. As it's lithium, even an ancient battery probably hasn't corroded and trashed the electronics. There's a fiddly button on the base you have to hold in if you want to turn off the automatic flash in low light, and if you get the original strap it has an even fliddlier cap you can use to block the flash sensor to force it to fire in bright light. But these questionable design choices are more than made up for by a sharp 4 element 38mm f/2.8 lens you can pre-focus with a half press of the shutter release, and the autoexposure does a good job.
  4. While the Yashica T4 fetches a princely sum, the previous model, the T3 is usually reasonable. You get fewer focus zones, but the lens is an f 2.8 (Carl Zeiss) and it still has the right angle finder and is weather resistant like its pricier successor.
  5. I think that used to be the case, but I haven't seen a cheap T3 for a long time (some have gone for £140 to an eye-watering £250 on ebay in recent months). People even want silly money for the unremarkable T Zoom because of the Zeiss name and the 'T4 halo'.
  6. I think Richard is correct. My information on T3 prices is out of date. I might recommend, however, a P&S which I've owned since 1990- The Konica A4. Has a sharp 4 element 35mm f 3.5 lens. A switch to allow close focusing as well. There's also the later Big Mini which has same lens, more focus zones, and doesn't require a switch to close focus.

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