MiNT Camera is taking on the premium compact camera designs of the 60s in a recently announced mission to bring the film community a new 35mm film camera prototype in the 2020s. Any news of new film cameras at this time is incredibly exciting, but perhaps especially a premium 35mm compact as these high class pocket wonders have soared in popularity in the last decade.
MiNT’s design is planned to be everything a photography lover would want in a camera, in a pocketable size. The company excels in modernizing classic designs as they have done before with their flagship instant cameras like the InstantKon RF70, SF70, TL70 (updated instant TLR), and SLR670 (updated SX-70). For this one, the style is based on an iconic camera from the 60s with high quality glass and a built-in flash.
Natalie from the MiNT team says, ‘Current existing cameras with good lenses and wide apertures are very expensive and large in size, and the cheaper ones don’t get the best quality features. Options are really limited right now. In terms of that, it would be superb if we could produce something that both fits in your bag and has good features!’
While the larger camera manufacturers have not created something like this and don’t seem to be planning to do so anytime soon, why would MiNT take the challenge on?
Gary Ho, founder of MiNT Camera says in his blog about the new 35mm camera, ‘The odds are truly against us. Developing a premium film camera in 2022 is either the stupidest idea, or an endeavor that nobody’s dared to try. The only reason that this might work is the supportive community. That’s the only reason.’
Right now, the Hong Kong based company is focused on building the prototype. Natalie mentions, ‘We want to get the physical camera out to see what we can do to further improve and mature it. We are so very excited about it!’
In terms of price, partnerships, and funding methods, nothing is confirmed yet, but Natalie says they hope the new design will be ready in six months time, which is the first step. She tells me that they are aiming to price relatively lower than other “big name cameras”, saying, ‘We want to make this camera commonly affordable for film lovers, so that everyone can enjoy shooting with a compact premium camera.’
To stay updated on the progress of the camera, you can subscribe to the MiNT 35mm camera blog here where the team is releasing news as available. There are already two update blogs to read and even a video of the work in progress.
We have also seen a few images of the initial prototype but have been asked not to share them at this time. Though we can say it is reminiscent of a beloved 1960s cult classic compact! We will definitely be keeping an eye on this one so stay tuned for more updates.