Lots of names for a camera ahead of its time. This 1995 camera is powered solely by the sun, hence the name “Sol”. I wanted this camera since the day I read about it. I kept looking back at Ebay for it, though it rarely came up. When it was listed it was over what I really wanted to pay for a point and shoot. Then one day my persistence paid off. Not only did I find a Prima Sol, but a mint one in a box even including the cleaning cloth case. AND it was half the price of every other example I had seen. Would my tiny bid stick? Of course yes or you would not be reading this. I was sooooooo happy, even if it is a Canon Sureshot, which as I have stated I am not keen on.
You can find more technical details here, but that site does state “powered entirely by solar” then later it states uses a CR-123A battery, I am not sure how reliable it is. On the other hand, I have the manual 🙂
When mine arrived the battery was not charged at all so I left it on my windowsill for a while. Looking in the manual it seems to suggest one bar on the battery level will be enough to take one roll. It did take a while for one bar to appear. As you can see from the manual, it is better to charge it outdoors, so using while outside should be enough to keep it charged….if you have it outside your bag and on a lanyard with the solar panel towards the sun. Or even better on a table while in a beer garden, perfect!
But I did get enough power to try out the camera. Here is my test roll, taken around my home and Liverpool.
As you can see it worked perfectly, even on a dull day. I took a couple of shots inside just to try the flash which also worked well.
I love the idea of this camera, why can’t there be more solar-powered cameras? It would solve a few issues environmentally.
Keep or sell: I really want to keep this, but I am also tempted to sell it. As I am out of work right now, I have to really think about my keepers. I think I will hold on to it until I am forced into a sale 🙂