It's time for a new, high-quality compact camera

Discussion in 'Modern Film Cameras' started by Paul Lewis, Mar 16, 2017.

  1. Pentax made some great compact AF cameras for several years. Like others manufactures, they got into the focal length race and started producing P&S cameras with ridiculously long zooms (one was a 48-200). While Pentax certainly produced some of the better long lens models, they were so large that the difference between one and a compact SLR wasn't much. And the f11 to f12 max aperture at maximum zoom required fast film. In defense of Pentax, though, even the compact models often had a full range of features. I'd still be tempted to buy a used IQ zoom if I found one in good condition.
  2. A good 35mm camera with a fixed 28mm lens is the Konica Off Road. Made for a construction workers toolbox, these cameras have a rugged body and have auto exposure and focus. Konica has a reputation for good lenses and mine did not disappoint. There were several versions over the years of its production. Good for hiking and skiing.
  3. Fougettaboudit! Nikon FM3a. Sure, a little tongue and cheek here, but its true. New? No, High Quality? None better! Take a look, a serious look at the FM3a.
  4. It looks like he's doing more than dreaming - Bellamy Hunt is the man behind this latest project:

    Exclusive: Japan Camera Hunter talks to EMULSIVE about his new 35mm compact camera project | Articles, Film Culture, News | EMULSIVE

    "What I can say is that the camera will be a premium compact and have a build quality, lens character and set of features to suit. It’ll hopefully be of a metal body design and will definitely come with manual ISO selection ... I want to mix and match the best features of compact premium point and shoots from Contax, Minolta, Ricoh and others. Things like custom modes / user profiles, some form of fixed-focus mode and definitely no auto-on flash are really important to me ... We are tentatively planning for having a camera and app ready for testing in late 2018 but that’s a timescale based on our current knowledge of the challenges ahead."
  5. Like I said, a crack attention-grabber. We'll see but I'm skeptical about his grasp of realistic demand for a camera that won't come cheap. High-end compacts were sales duds back in the day, so how have matters improved since then? But if he can secure a small patch of a niche market, good for him.
  6. Easy enough to gauge the demand nowadays - put it on Kickstarter or Indiegogo (like the new 'Yashica' thing) and see what response you get. He doesn't have to sell a million of them - rapid prototyping to generate interest and small to medium scale production runs to fulfill whatever demand there is are much more accessible now than they were 20 years ago.
  7. Think he actually has to deliver a bit more than gush and musings about the product before Kickstarter. That's going to require $$$ and expertise(more $$$) that's not apparently at hand. Curious to see what the Yashica brand teasers lead to beyond a wan model waving around an Electro 35. Looks like they took a inspiration from Nikon's videos for the dud Df.
    Last edited: Sep 24, 2017
  8. Maybe manufacturers are reluctant to launch a new high-quality 35mm film camera because they believe (rightly or wrongly) that a lot of photographers think that only medium format film is going to deliver better picture quality than the currently available digital cameras (excluding possibly the medium format ones). Even so, Fuji launched a new MF film camera in 2008, when digital had already captured virtually all the market, but its production lasted only six years. So, could it be mainly cold feet on the manufacturers' part about designing and building a camera that will probably only sell in relatively small numbers and involve quite a large investment?

  9. Bingo! There's just not enough $$$ in producing a new 35mm compact. FYI the Fuji GF670 medium format folder went for US$1800 early this year when B&H sold off the remaining stock.
  10. Shooting film often isn't really about picture quality these days, at least not in the 'lines per mm' sense, With 24MP sensors even in cheap dSLRs, digital won that argument for most practical purposes quite some time ago. People shoot film because they like the look of it. The things a the previous generation of photographers spent a lot of effort minimising - visible grain, unusual colour palettes, even light leaks - are often exactly what a film shooter is looking for. Everyone already has a digital camera in their pocket. If they're going to shoot film, they want it to have a bit of 'character' that differentiates it from the billions of smartphone images everyone else is sharing.

    I'm not surprised that the big camera companies have no enthusiasm for new film cameras - the days of million selling P&S cameras are long gone. But I wouldn't bet heavily against someone else producing something for a niche market. A 35mm camera isn't exactly rocket science, after all. I might go as far as betting a roll of Ektar on Mr Hunt coming up with a prototype.
  11. Well, they seem to have taken my comment about light leaks on board :)
  12. "Details....... are scarce..."
    I would call that a huge understatement.
    And Kickstarter? Lets see, collect a few hundred thousand dollars from 'backers' (What precisely is a 'backer', from their often strident demands in the comments section of these Kickstarter projects, they certainly don't know.) .
    Offer pie in the sky promises on product and delivery times for the 'Rewards'.
    Reluctantly post empty 'updates' about unexpected delays in the project.
    Finally, after the whole thing goes down in flames the project 'creators' disconnect from all contact with the backers and try to disappear.
  13. Just a comment regarding the use of eBay/used prices to gauge the potential market for a product: It's not a good idea. :) After all, Beenie Babies could sell for a small fortune 15 or 20 years ago and though values fluctuate, most are worthless now.

    To a certain extent, old cameras (or old anything) that sell for big money do so not just because of their utility, but because they are seen as a collectibles. Certain models gain a following and the price goes up since there are only so many of them. It often defies logic. Very similar and sometimes even better models will sell for practically nothing because they aren't as well known.

    This won't be the case for any new camera. Buyers won't be competing against each other. The supply isn't limited. It won't have the cache of being a classic. Granted, you'll have a pool of buyers that will prefer buying new, but it's a very niche market.

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