The Sure Shot 130u II Date was one of three point and shoot cameras released in March 2005 and represents the last film camera release of any kind from Canon. The other two, the 115u II date and 90u II date were released the next month. Even for a point and shoot, it’s incredibly small at just 4.2 x 2.3 x 1.8 in./107 x 59 x 44.5mm.
When you load film, it goes into the right-hand side, so while the numbering on your film strips will be accurate, all the images will be flipped upside down.
The Sure Shot 130u II lens is a 38-130mm zoom, and I have to say, extending the zoom to 130mm is nothing short of offensive. The max aperture is not printed, but after using it I suspected it was f5.6 and I checked the specs online and was partially correct, it’s f5.6 to f12.5 depending on the level of zoom.
The Sure Shot 130u II takes a single CR2 battery, and is easily installed without the need for a screwdriver, or coin, or anything but a fingernail to open the compartment door. The viewfinder is not through the lens but will zoom with you. The max shutter speed is 1/500th when wide, and 1/340th when zoomed. It has the usual shooting modes like sport, portrait and macro, and it gives you four different options for date stamping. You will not be able to determine shutter or aperture in your photos and have little control over them outside the presets.
I knew the Sure Shot 130u II would work just fine in daylight, or with the flash because that is what it was designed for. What I wanted to see was how it responded when pushed to its limits, so I plugged a roll of Acros II 100 into it and set out to take some nature photos at sunrise. I know, I’m setting myself up for failure and many of my shots didn’t turn out, for sure, but if I had simply gone out mid-day and took photos of well-lit subjects I’d have nothing to say about this camera but “it works fine”. In hindsight though, I would have brought a light meter to keep track of when it failed and by how much.
I went to a nature reserve right in the middle of the city called Nose Hill Park, and set off on a 5KM hike at dawn.
I was able to test the flash in the parking lot with this abandoned unicorn. Probably my sharpest photo of the day.
I would say my first dozen frames were all garbage. It could neither focus, nor expose.
I chose this hike because my All Trails app said there was a lake about half way through, what I ended up reaching was a puddle.
I find this camera just doesn’t know where to focus when it needs to get to infinity. You’ll also note that my lens is very soft on the right when wide.
I took the opportunity to test each of the four date stamping types and each one came out clear in funky retro dots.
This was probably my best shot of the roll. The sun was up and I came across a teepee and managed to get a focused, well-exposed image, other then the soft right-side (top) edge.
If it isn’t obvious, the Sure Shot 130u II wasn’t designed for the professional or even enthusiast. This was your grandma’s camera and in 2005 it was for the casual user who refused to go digital. In 2023, this is nothing more than a toy in my opinion. For parties and casual snapping. If you’re looking for a camera with little weight that you can just grab-and-go, this isn’t it. It tries to be too much in terms of zoom. Even if you popped in some 800 iso film, the shutter is still going to max at 1/500th…200 or 400 ISO is about all that should be used here and honestly, the only reason I went with Acros II 100 is an unrelated commitment to myself to stick with one film for the foreseeable future. I would have pushed it to 400, if the camera allowed that.
I was going to sell this but knowing mine is soft on the one side, likely do to being bumped at some point, I may just send it off to the thrift store where I found it.
You might accuse me of having high expectations, and I would agree, but the solutions to my gripes with this camera are all software based. Even exposure compensation would go a long way. All Canon had to do was what Fujifilm has done with Instax and list it as “darker” and “lighter”. The technology was all there in 2005.
- The Sure Shot 130u II does its best work at close to mid-range shooting, in strong light or with the flash.
- If I were to use this on a regular basis I would likely date stamp my first and last image with the time to keep track of things, despite the loss of two frames, because it’s likely the type of camera I’d pick up, take a few snaps then toss in a drawer.
- If you’re turning the power on and off as you go, it’s four clicks of the mode button to disable the flash.
- While it does have a half press function, I would not rely on it to do its job unless the subject is clearly separate from the background.
I’d like to read your point and shoot recommendations in the comments.
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