Canon Prima Sol (Sure Shot Del Sol, Autoboy SE)

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!IMG_3170

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. AS I won’t be using it again for a while I have ultimately decided to sell. Sold

7 thoughts on “Canon Prima Sol (Sure Shot Del Sol, Autoboy SE)

  1. Toby says:

    Lovely shots, it looks pretty sharp and at 32mm quiet wide for a compact.
    I thought about getting the canon sure shot prima sleek which is essentially the same camera without the solar panel and storm trooper good looks.
    Some how living in the UK solar powered anything is a little dubious, I could never see the point in this camera here. Nice to see it works.
    Are the photos really as sharp as they look on the web page? Quiet impressive little camera if so.


    1. windswept007 says:

      I usually put the scans on as I get them so I think they are. It does look like storm trooper 🙂 it did very well for a cloudy day.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Toby says:

    Solar power has come along way in 20-30 years. It’s a lot more viable now than it was back then, so even more impressive this worked so well.
    I do like the stormtrooper looks, always fancied getting a Konica a Pop or o e of the late C35 variants in all white for the same reason.
    I wonder if solar power could deal with the power requirements of modern compacts or phone cameras , it would be cool if it could.


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