Sunday, May 07, 2017

Point and Shoot Review - Canon Sure Shot A-1

I recently saw one of these at a local thrift shop for $20, and passed. It's still there. Then, I found one for $3.00 at the Kiwanis sale, and picked it up.  I have always been intrigued by the looks of the camera, as it has a toyish, non-threatening appearance.  Of course, it is also water-proof, at least to a depth I would be happy with (no more than 6 feet), and is therefore perfect for canoe trips, rainy days, and the shore.  I thought it might also be good as a street camera, and as you know by now, I am always looking for a good, but cheap "street camera."  Based upon the quietness of the camera, its toy appearance, auotofocus, autowind, and the somewhat wide-angle 32mm f/3.5 lens, I would think it's a good candidate. But, what about the photos?

I took it along on Worldwide Pinhole Photography Day and shot a roll of Kentmere 400.  Results were fine, and right now I have a roll of Fuji 64T chrome film in it.

Caveats - it uses DX codes to set the ISO, so no hand-loaded cassettes unless they have an DX code on them. No external flash ability. Best at objects over 1 meter away.
I like the ease of handling, the bright viewfinder, and the quietness of the camera.  I also like being able to turn off the flash.  It's a bit Fisher-Price looking, but that's okay!  Nobody will take you seriously. The single 32mm focal length is quite good for the street, too.

Specifications- the camera appeared in 1994, so it's not terribly old!

  • Lens: 32mm, f/3.5 (6 elements in 6 groups)
  • Programmed shutter: 1/250-2s.
  • Viewfinder: large and bright for use with swimming mask, autofocus frame, ready light, flash warning. Especially good for glasses-wearers
  • Flash: Automatic, but can be disabled. GN: 7.5m at ISO 100.
  • Automatic winding.
  • Waterproof: To five m, using rubber seals and O-rings.
  • Power: One 3V CR123A battery
  • Dimensions & weight: 133x88x56 mm, 385 g (with battery)
  • DX-coded ISO cassettes, 25-3200
UPDATE (11/28/17)

I finally processed a roll of Fuji 64T slide film that I shot with this camera. No daylight filter, so outdoor images have a "special" look.    Anyhow, here are a few samples.
Ludington, MI.  Colors enhanced after the scan.

The mighty Mackinac Bridge

looking towards Lower Harbor, Marquette

under the water in Lake Superior!

Ludington, MI

Rather than go into great detail on the camera, there are other reviews out there that provide that perspective, including shooting under water, so check out Forgotten Charm,  Film Advance and 35mmc.   Of course, you can find a manual online at!

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