Chinon CM-7 (versus Nikon FM10)

This post is a review of another camera I was recently given…since I announced I wasn’t going to buy any more cameras a few have made their way to me anyway 🙂

This is also a comparison post as it is very similar to a camera that I already own.

Welcome to my collection, the Chinon CM-7….which looks just like the Nikon FM10

It was available in the late 80s and was manufactured by Cosina. This camera and the Nikon FM10 were based on the Cosina CT1 Super. A few other cameras from various manufacturers were also based on the Cosina. You can find out them about from the links already provided.

Straight off I could see that they were indeed very similar to look at.

They are about the same weight and size, but straight off I preferred the CM-7 due to the FM10s slightly rubberized cover. It has one of those skins that feels like it might go sticky eventually. In use they are almost identical with the FM10 having three extra features.

  • A button on the side to activate the light meter
  • A depth of field preview switch
  • A multiple exposure switch

The CM-7’s light meter can be previewed by half pressing the shutter button as can the FM10’s, so I am not sure why there is the extra activation button on the Nikon version. Because they can??

Both have the over and under -/+ indicator visible in the viewfinders, but nothing else. Focusing is achieved on both with a split image surrounded by a micro-prism.

Both have the same sized battery cover. I swapped mine over and both worked fine.

Both cameras have a top speed of 1/2000th and the winder acts as a shutter lock when flat against the body by the means of a protruding tab. Neither have a thingy on the back of the body to put the film card in, but the FM10 has a window.

Comparing the prices on eBay, I assumed the FM10 would fetch a much higher price. But at the time of looking there were only a couple CM-7s for sale and they were in Japan. The prices were double that of the Nikon, though they did have f1.4 lenses attached. I am not sure my friend knew that when he handed it over 😉 Mine now.

Anyway, how was MY..MINE..MY Chinon CM-7, the one I own?

Well, straight off…another reason I preferred it, I could attach my Pentax K mount lenses. For the Nikon FM10 I only have the lens it came with, a 35-70mm. In the end though, I decided to attach a Chinon 50mm f1.9 as I have had a compatibility issue before. Plus, I like it.

Of course, lockdown rules mean I have to stay local. So here are some photos from my regular walks.

The results didn’t surprise me at all, what a super little camera. I love it. It confirmed my love for all things Chinon.

I even took it with me when I went playing with the lightbox. I used the self timer, a cable release with a lock, and the B setting. I only took two photos as I didn’t know what the results would be and didn’t want to waste the film. Here is one of the two identical-ish photos.

I also took the FM10 to the same places. Here are the results.

As I didn’t use the multiple exposure, I rarely do, both cameras performed well and I couldn’t separate them if I didn’t know which film was which.

In the end, I just prefer the Chinon due to the choice of lenses that I presently own. That means I will probably be selling the FM10. There is no point in owning both as I have so many cameras and these two are so similar. Also, as a friend gave me the Chinon it means a bit more to me.

6 thoughts on “Chinon CM-7 (versus Nikon FM10)

  1. photieplace says:

    Nicely done Peggy, I was looking up all the different variants of these cameras on eBay the other day, they are not cheap any more ! But I think the results you achieved show they are very capable cameras even if they don’t have all metal bodies. It’s funny though that if you slap a rangefinder on these cameras they are very similar to a Voigtlander Bessa R, and look at the prices of those !

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Peggy says:

      Yeap, I noticed they have increased in prices but I am really surprised by how much. I might be honest with my friend and tell him.


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