5 frames with...

5 Frames with the Canon Sure Shot/Autoboy 2 – By Wyatt Ryan

Similar to the Olympus XA2, I found the Canon Sure Shot for a measly $10 at an estate sale close to my house. Besides some corroded battery terminals that were easily cleaned out, the camera worked flawlessly. I never thought I would be someone to buy into the whole point & shoot scene, but for $10, why not try? Once I had the battery compartment cleaned out, I set out to shoot a few rolls and see what this thing was capable of.

All of the following shots are Kodak Portra 400 developed in FPP C-41 and scanned on an Epson V750 with EpsonScan. I spent a random Sunday in Madison, Wisconsin, exploring around town.

Portra 400 – Madison, Wisconsin

I wasn’t expecting much from this camera, but the shots came out pleasantly sharp. The autofocus works better than I thought it would, though the distance indicator in the bottom of the viewfinder doesn’t really tell you much.

One huge critique of this camera is how loud the shooting process is. Everything makes a winding or grinding noise, so it would make a horrendous street photography camera. Winding a roll back into it’s canister causes one of the most horrid noises I’ve ever heard come out of a camera; a mix of grinding and whooshing.

Portra 400 – Madison, Wisconsin

Besides the awful noises that this camera produces, it does justice to whatever film you’re using. The 38mm f/2.8 lens is nice and crisp, with some vignetting and a little bit of pincushion distortion. Thankfully you can adjust ISO manually, so it’s easy to overexpose your negatives for those great tones…

Portra 400 – Madison, Wisconsin

Now that I’ve mentioned what I hate about this camera (the noises if you have been skipping around), I’ll talk about my absolute favorite feature. Typically, when you press and release the shutter, the camera automatically advances to the next frame. If you’re trying to take a photo of someone, that frame advancement will let them know. Emanating from the camera for a solid second, is that mix of noises I mentioned up above.

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BUT.

If you keep the shutter button pressed, it will hold off from advancing to the next frame, and create far less noise than usual. It will not advance until you release the shutter. This is the only way I can see this camera being viable for street photography. Well, that and pre-focusing.

Portra 400 – Madison, Wisconsin

Portra 400 – Madison, Wisconsin

Thanks for reading about my experience with the Canon Sure Shot, I hope you enjoyed the read! I have written up a much longer review if anyone would like to check it out here. I discuss the specs, pros, cons, and usability in quite a bit more detail. I’ve also included many more photos than I have here.

If you’d like to see more of my work, click the links below.

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4 Comments

  • Avatar
    Reply
    Murray Kriner
    November 1, 2019 at 2:15 pm

    I have bought & used the Autoboy II, more than a few times for those candid pictures of family & friends. Though my film choices were somewhat bleak, as pharmacies rarely carry really premium film, I found my thrift shop camera to work quite well. Enjoyed your blog & opinions of a rather underrated camera. Thanks.
    Sincerely,
    Murray Kriner

  • Avatar
    Reply
    Lee
    November 1, 2019 at 6:01 pm

    Like you Wyatt, I found one of these Canon Sure Shots at a local garage sale this past summer for about $7.00. I too rolled the dice, spent some time cleaning it up, loading fresh batteries, and firing it without film before loading a test roll to see what I could see. I handed the camera to my daughter and the two of us took a walk to a local park, each with our own P&S camera, to take some shots of each other on a lovely summer afternoon. Unfortunately, about halfway through the test roll, the Canon shutter seized up and the camera refused to advance the film or rewind it back into the canister. Removing and replacing the batteries did not help, but I did get the film rewound. Eventually I had to admit the camera was a brick and the test roll was wasted, having multiple overlapping frames and faulty film advance. It was still worth the $7.00 experiment though.

  • Avatar
    Reply
    Leo Tam
    November 1, 2019 at 9:13 pm

    Is the lens very flare prone?

    • Avatar
      Reply
      Wyatt Ryan
      November 1, 2019 at 9:21 pm

      It’s not super prone to flairing, but in my opinion does create a very pleasing flair when it does. It doesn’t streak across the frame like lenses with more elements do.

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