James's Camera Collection: Canon New Sure Shot

Canon New Sure Shot Japan Other Canon Cameras Company History Owner's Manual 35mm cameras Canon Camera Museum
Canon New Sure Shot

Camera type: Autofocus non-SLR
Battery: 2CR5
Approx. dates of manufacture: 1990
Approx. street value: $5

Sometimes my friends give me cameras they were just going to throw away—a practice I encourage, even though they usually throw away things that ought to be thrown away. This one was beloved by its former owner but the catch on the back had broken and couldn't stay shut unless you wound it tight with tape, and that gets old real quick. The back was a single-piece of molded pastic so if you wanted to fix it you needed to replace the whole back, and good luck finding that.

This is, in fact, what drives me crazy about Canon's marketing. I had a tough time finding anything on the camera at all. Sure Shot was Canon's name for an extensive range of mid-grade autofocus non-SLRs (the low-end was the Snappy) that began in 1979 and continues today. Mine simply says "Sure Shot" on the front and that's it. The Canon Museum has no New Sure Shot but does have a photo of the Autoboy W/T (the Japanese name for it). And I forget how many New Sure Shot's I found on eBay, none of which were mine.

My father (who's much better at this than I am) fabricated a fix for the back, so now it works again, which increases its value from nothing to around $5, since autofocus non-SLR cameras are typically sold by the pound these days. I have a few more that I haven't yet listed (and might never), and even I try to talk people out of giving me more.

This is actually kind of a nice camera. It's rounded edges and contoured body fit the hand well. A flick of the switch below the lens turns the camera on and slides the permanent lens-cover out of the way. There's a switch on the bottom called tilt that I can't figure out at all. But the relative niftiness of the camera is that it has two focal lengths, 28mm and 48mm. It actually has one lens, but when you press a button the lens changes position relative the film plane (and I'm sure the internal lens groupings reposition as well). And a supplimental window flips in or out of viewfinder so you can see the proper angle of coverage. Of course it has auto focus, on-board auto flash, and auto wind.

My two biggest complaints would be the crappy back door (many other Canons I examined had a separate latch that bolted onto the door so it could be replaced) and the 2CR5 battery it takes (as does the Canon Photura), an expensive little beast that'll be long gone in the not-too-distant future.

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