What an interesting little camera. Its shape is unlike anything I have seen before. Apparently it was made for people who were use to camcorders. It is from 1989 and found in a junk bin for a pittance. When researching the buy I found a few groups that dedicated users can join. Not sure I love it that much just yet.
It was pretty much clean and working, I just needed to add a 2CR5 battery. The internal battery for the display was still working, which is handy as it looks like it will be a pain to change. The lights seals were in great condition. Then I added a lens cover and hand strap that I wombled from other junk cameras.
It is very simple to use if you are right handed. I have read that there are left handed versions, but they are very rare. Compared the the Chinon I just tested this one is very comfortable to hold and can be easily carried in a bag.
It takes the standard 35mm film and as you can see from the picture above it can use dx coded film. The film loads vertically for a good reason, it is a half-frame camera. That means if you have a 24 exposure film you can take 48 shots. Having the film placed vertically means you do not have to turn the camera for landscape shots, which is good as it is a little awkward to do so. Loading and unloading is fully automatic and this one did that perfectly. The short loader needed means you can actually squeeze in a few more shots. You have no controls over exposure or speed other than choosing day or night shots. The camera turns on by releasing the flash, which also seems fully automatic.
So where better to test a camera called “Samurai” than at a ninja house. I popped in an expired film from 2002 then off I trundled. The zoom worked well and the flash went off when expected, so far so good. The only issue I did have was with the auto focus. It seemed to lock onto a subject, the green light would come on in the viewfinder, but then not want to take the shot. The green light would start to flicker and refuse to take a shot. This seemed random, not caused by low light or anything thing that I could figure out.
Anyway here are the shot from the walk. Of course the colour cast is due to the expired film.
As it was getting dark and this camera takes loads of shots, I also took it into Tokyo the next day. Bargain.
When it did fire, it worked perfectly. Each shot was the right exposure and correctly focused. There wasn’t one shot I had any complaints about. Now I have to decide – keep, bin, or resell.