Author Topic: Cheap but good point and shoot 35mm camera  (Read 2431 times)

Graeme

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Cheap but good point and shoot 35mm camera
« on: 09 February, 2024, 06:56:48 pm »
I have a Boots point and shoot camera, £17 off ebay, but I'm thinking of getting a better quality camera... however, I'm wondering if the Boots camera is actually really good anyway. I flip flop back and forth. The Boots 350AF is in my pocket and if I drop it - who cares. The Olympus mju is best part of £200 due to popularity. Is it really better?

Can anyone tell which is which between the Boots and my SLR camera in these two photos?
Do you have a recommendation for an improvement to the Boots camera for *not £200*?



Re: Cheap but good point and shoot 35mm camera
« Reply #1 on: 09 February, 2024, 08:30:27 pm »
If the top one's your SLR then it's either broken or you've got the wrong lens hood on
Quote from: tiermat
that's not science, it's semantics.

Re: Cheap but good point and shoot 35mm camera
« Reply #2 on: 09 February, 2024, 09:16:30 pm »
Canon Sure Shot?
https://chiswickcameras.co.uk/products/canon-sure-shot-35mm-compact-film-camera/  (£70)

The better known compact-ish film cameras (Oympus XA, Mju, Rollei B35, Minox 35 etc) all seem to be a similar ~ £150 eBay, more in a shop.
It would seem that enough have been junked to start acquiring some rarity value, though I'd guess that there are many just sitting in the back of a cupboard somewhere.
I was somewhat shocked to see the going rate on eBay for my cupboard sitter. I'll have to get round to selling it.

The top piccy is the Boots.

Re: Cheap but good point and shoot 35mm camera
« Reply #3 on: 09 February, 2024, 09:54:17 pm »
I've got far too many 35mm P&S cameras - for a good cost / value camera then I'd recommend almost any from the Pentax Espio range. I've never yet had one that's been a problem (although I do hear of broken door hinges - look at the seller's photos carefully).
Too many angry people - breathe & relax.

Re: Cheap but good point and shoot 35mm camera
« Reply #4 on: 10 February, 2024, 09:19:31 am »
There are those who value the characteristics of the Boots (top one), often known as "Lomography" - using a camera that blurs reality in potentially pleasing ways.

Realistically, it has massive vignetting and very limited resolution, along with noticeable distortion. Nothing wrong with liking that and working within its limitations, but nothing "right" about the imaging, either. The two can't be compared in my view(finder).

Think about what you want to achieve, and (arguably) find the least automated example that serves your purpose, if you don't need it, avoid zoom, and AF isn't needed for landscape. How about an Olympus Pen F ( Half frame) for fun?


Re: Cheap but good point and shoot 35mm camera
« Reply #5 on: 10 February, 2024, 10:06:00 am »
A lot depends upon whether you want a memory or a piece of art.  The top picture seems to be very vignetted with a clear cutoff to the bright centre spot.  The sheep closest to the camera on the right of centre is the clearest image from my perception but it is more blurred than the sheep in the centre of the bottom image.

I also not that the bottom image seems to be very slightly darker on the left side and gradually fading lighter evenly across the frame.  This might just be my perception.

As images go, both have their merits to me.  As I don't see things in sharp focus anyway I would be hard pushed to choose a favourite.

nicknack

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Re: Cheap but good point and shoot 35mm camera
« Reply #6 on: 10 February, 2024, 10:37:36 am »
After a bit of a rummage I find I have an Olympus XA1, a Ricoh XF30 and a Canon Sure Shot AF7. I also have a Minolta Vectis 300 which unfortunately uses APS film which I imagine is unavailable.

As far as I know they all work but haven't been used in over 30 years (probably).

The XA1 still had a film in it, so I'll have to get that processed and see what's on it.

Any of those any good for you?
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Re: Cheap but good point and shoot 35mm camera
« Reply #7 on: 10 February, 2024, 11:10:12 am »
A lot depends upon whether you want a memory or a piece of art.  The top picture seems to be very vignetted with a clear cutoff to the bright centre spot.  The sheep closest to the camera on the right of centre is the clearest image from my perception but it is more blurred than the sheep in the centre of the bottom image.

I also not that the bottom image seems to be very slightly darker on the left side and gradually fading lighter evenly across the frame.  This might just be my perception.

As images go, both have their merits to me.  As I don't see things in sharp focus anyway I would be hard pushed to choose a favourite.

You're spot on + Ham's notes on the top pic. It's not clear why the second is so dark on the left with the sun low to the left of the subject.

The top one is technically shockingly bad, those disposable cameras with tiny plastic lenses produced better images than that. It's pleasing/interesting in some respects, but it's a fact you'd easily be able to post-process the bottom one to look like the first, and impossible vice-versa.

It's amazing how the prices have shot up for film cameras, a few years ago you could pick up something decent like a Nikon F3 for buttons cos no-one wanted them, now even mediocre cameras are silly prices.

Of the cameras mentioned above, the sure-shots were decent cameras but notorious for the lens mechanism getting stuck. The Olympus XA1 was reliable and produced very good images for a point-and-shoot, and the going rate looks about £40.
Quote from: tiermat
that's not science, it's semantics.

Graeme

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Re: Cheap but good point and shoot 35mm camera
« Reply #8 on: 10 February, 2024, 12:04:20 pm »
Thank you all for your thoughts...
Yes, the top one is the Boots. It is dreadful, I agree, and yet it has some redeeming features... because I really like this image that came from it... so there is a question of what I want - art or memory.



Ham, you're right: Thinking back to why I have the Boots camera, it's all about cycling photographs. I hate using my phone to photograph while cycling. I liked my old digital PnS, and was looking for a cheap pocket camera. My wife suggested a disposable film camera, but then we thought a reuseable old film camera would be better. I used the Boots camera on PBP and quite like the photographs. I've noticed the vignetting seems to be getting worse - is that possible? Now that I put this in writing I'm back to wondering whether to get a cheap digital PnS. It all comes down to price. I'd love a Ricoh GRIII but that's way more than £60. Back to sanity: some automation because I want to literally point and shoot while cycling.



Andrew, the price for the Canon Sure Shot is affordable, but I can't tell whether it would be any better than the Boots camera until I've tried it out.

PBear, the bottom picture does have a lot of darkness on the LHS, I think it is the effect of the sloping hillside and low sun. This next image is from the SLR and doesn't have the same LHS darkness. I love using it, but because it is fully manual (and made of brass) I'm not using it while cycling. I'm using it to learn about photography and I'd be happy with art and/or memory from that camera.



nicknack, I'd be delighted to buy a secondhand camera from you. Do you think any of these would fit the criteria of "jersey back pocket for cycling"?

nicknack

  • Hornblower
Re: Cheap but good point and shoot 35mm camera
« Reply #9 on: 10 February, 2024, 01:03:06 pm »
The Olympus is definitely the smallest. I can't remember what the picture quality is like though.

If you're at all interested in digital I have a Canon Powershot A510 that's similar in size to the Olympus and still appears to work.
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Graeme

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Re: Cheap but good point and shoot 35mm camera
« Reply #10 on: 10 February, 2024, 01:11:52 pm »
The Olympus is definitely the smallest. I can't remember what the picture quality is like though.

If you're at all interested in digital I have a Canon Powershot A510 that's similar in size to the Olympus and still appears to work.

I've just been browsing Cybershot, Lumix, Coolpix secondhand as a result of this thread. And I've also been looking at the Ektar H35. I'm really tempted to get the Ektar for fun, and try to find the latest digital pocket camera for cycling/blogging. Thanks for the offer of the film and digital camera's nicknack, I'm going to browse a bit more. This thread and everyone's replies have been helpful in clearing up what I want a film camera for - and what I want a digital pocket camera for.

Re: Cheap but good point and shoot 35mm camera
« Reply #11 on: 10 February, 2024, 01:29:17 pm »
Given the investment that film demands of every shot (cost and care), digital for p&s makes a lot more sense, along with size and weight benefit.

Jaded

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Re: Cheap but good point and shoot 35mm camera
« Reply #12 on: 10 February, 2024, 01:38:49 pm »
The Olympus XA1 was pretty outstanding for a camera of its time. Mine sits, dusty, sad that I no longer use it.
It is simpler than it looks.

Graeme

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Re: Cheap but good point and shoot 35mm camera
« Reply #13 on: 10 February, 2024, 01:42:42 pm »
Given the investment that film demands of every shot (cost and care), digital for p&s makes a lot more sense, along with size and weight benefit.

I find it weird the way I'll endlessly investigate the *best compromise for me* secondhand camera, and then on a whim buy a £17 camera and decide it's good enough. Now that I've not got any looming expenses coming up, I could probably justify a little more for a digital PnS. I see that MPB have some interesting cameras... such as this.

I've definitely got into 35mm film photography, and I'm going to keep playing. I think that an Ektar half-frame would be a lot of fun to compliment the Pentax SLR. But for cycling back pocket/blogging, yes, I'm going to save up for a secondhand digital PnS.

This has been a very helpful conversation.
 O:-)

Graeme

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Re: Cheap but good point and shoot 35mm camera
« Reply #14 on: 10 February, 2024, 04:36:20 pm »
Update: After sharing my plan to find a pocket digital PnS, my mother in law offered me this:



which takes photographs like this:



Where I was able to click to focus outside, the move the camera to get some of the inside of my study - which is why inside is out of focus. So the combination of talking about photography on yacf, getting a clearer picture of what I'm trying to do (snaps while cycling), and then talking to my family has been an unexpected blessing. So I celebrated and bought, for less than £50, a new half-frame camera. The Boot's days are numbered.

Re: Cheap but good point and shoot 35mm camera
« Reply #15 on: 10 February, 2024, 11:34:51 pm »
Update: After sharing my plan to find a pocket digital PnS, my mother in law offered me this:
The trouble with a pocket digital PnS is no viewfinder.
If the weather/photo direction are wrong, the rear screen is unusable so you have to shoot by guesswork.

Salvatore

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Re: Cheap but good point and shoot 35mm camera
« Reply #16 on: 21 February, 2024, 12:11:27 pm »
Update: After sharing my plan to find a pocket digital PnS, my mother in law offered me this:
The trouble with a pocket digital PnS is no viewfinder.
If the weather/photo direction are wrong, the rear screen is unusable so you have to shoot by guesswork.

Incidentally, that's also a criticism I've heard of the latest Hasselblad, the  907x 100C, yours for £6,729.00.
Quote
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Graeme

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Re: Cheap but good point and shoot 35mm camera
« Reply #17 on: 21 February, 2024, 01:21:26 pm »
I also picked up an Ektar H35N - which is such a joy to use. A five pack of Portra 160 cost more than the camera.

FifeingEejit

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Re: Cheap but good point and shoot 35mm camera
« Reply #18 on: 21 February, 2024, 02:40:20 pm »
The Olympus XA1 was pretty outstanding for a camera of its time. Mine sits, dusty, sad that I no longer use it.

I was just about to suggest one of the XA family

The XA1 is the most basic IIRC
The XA is a coupled-range finder (think Leica but cheaper) and Aperture priority
The XA2,3 are viewfinder and work based on programmed focus modes which are pretty good, the 3 is the 2 with DX coding support
The XA4 has a distance scale for focus and DX coding support

Decent range of flashes for them

I have a couple of XAs I got cheap and an XA4

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Olympus_XA

noisycrank

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Re: Cheap but good point and shoot 35mm camera
« Reply #19 on: 25 April, 2024, 11:02:44 am »
I have a couple of XA2 s and a Mju 
One holiday we had a a black plastic camera competition. Everyone got one roll of film which I got processed when we got back and I picked the shot I liked the best. I think it was the Mju that won.
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Gattopardo

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Re: Cheap but good point and shoot 35mm camera
« Reply #20 on: 25 April, 2024, 10:48:16 pm »
Check out how much the MUJ is worth I sold two a couple of years ago for over £100 each and that was cheap.