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Old January 14th, 2004, 09:02 PM   #1
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Canon Sure Shot A1 35mm / Panorama

Does anyone have one of these, or know someone who does?

I want to buy a b-day present and was looking for real life info on the unit other than user reviews on typical websites.

I need a 35mm by request, but don't want to blow a bunch of cash until I find out if if this request leads to a hobby or better.

-for a female
-needs to be waterproof since we live on Alaskan rivers during the summer and very much our rainy season
-takes decent pictures in variable natural light conditions
-ability to experiment with underwater pictures
-fits in a typical rain jacket pocket
-panoramic shots
-“middle roll” ability (low on the totem pole, but not a deal killer)

Any suggestions for makes/models fitting the bill?
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Old January 14th, 2004, 09:50 PM   #2
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The A1 is mostly low end. Panorama switch is useless on 35mm film cameras. All it does is crop the picture. The camera is all automatic (no semi auto or manual control), you'll need to move up a level to get the features you want.

You might want to look at a used Nikonos, or cameras by Sea & Sea. Even the Sealife Reefmasters are better than the Canon. B & H carries a good assortment of UW cameras including the Bonica brand, which I'm not personally familiar with, but have heard good comments.

If I needed a waterproof camera I would look at the small digital Canon cameras (S400) that have underwater housings as accessories. You'll have the best of both worlds in an affordable package. You can stitch any picture into a pano with the included software. But best of all the camera is just as great out of the water as in the water.
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Old January 15th, 2004, 10:52 AM   #3
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Dan,

In addition to Jeff's good advice, I'll add my experience of the Nikon L35 AWAF. Unfortunately it is no longer made, but second-hand ones do turn up - they are about GBP 100 (USD 180) in the UK. The AWAF bit means all-weather autofocus. It appears to be very similar to the Canon A1 - which is what I'd buy now if I wanted to replace it. The underwater fixed focus mode is a difference between the two cameras.

I bought my L35 in the mid 80's to use when sailing, and I didn't expect it to perform all that well. Hey, it's an autofocus compact. I was pleasantly surprised by the results, and began to carry it instead of my Rollei 35 when climbing, biking and ski-mountaineering. Because of the protection I never used a case - it was just slung round my neck and forgotten about until I wanted to use it. Always available for use. The motor drive makes it easy to use with one hand. It has survived almost two decades of serious abuse. It has worked in -24 deg C without special protection.

The L35 was only good to 10 ft underwater, which is enough for me to use it while swimming. It was the first camera I ever used with built-in flash. This was useful in very bright sunlight for 'synchro-sun'.

I have used a couple of my digital compacts (Nikon 995 and Leica Digilux 1) with Ewa-marine 'housings', but these do not compare to the L35 for ease of use and total robustness. They are good for occasional use though.

The Nikonos is in a different league, of course. I understand that Nikon have now stopped production of them. Shame.

Best,
Helen
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Old January 15th, 2004, 04:02 PM   #4
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thanks

Thanks to both of you for the info, it's very much appreciated.

Again, I'm trying to keep the cost down.....so I don't have to "repo" it in a year and blow it out on ebay due to non use.

I'm hoping to go with a lower end model, and hopefully she uses it more than a few days a year. If it ends up to be a hobby or better, then I'll throw down some cash to upgrade her several steps up the food chain at another b-day/x-mas/etc. down the road.

I've tried to sway her into the digital world, but the request remains back in the 35mm arena <;~)

Anyone else with another perspective ?
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Old June 21st, 2004, 06:41 PM   #5
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update

Just wanted to say that after months of use, and about 20 rolls of film through it, I'd say for the price this camera rocks.

Jeff was right about the panorama shots and how it "crops", but that little (and cheap) camera takes some great pictures.

Thanks for the quality input Jeff & Helen !!
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