As naming conventions go, the terms point-and-shoot, point-and-click, and compact camera are often used interchangeably. The Canon Sure Shot Zoom S auto-focus point and click 35mm film camera is certainly one of the former. But here’s a hint, it’s not ‘compact’. It’s also one of the noisiest cameras I’ve ever used. If there were a prize for the World’s noisiest camera, the Canon Sure Shot Zoom S would be in with a good chance.
The Canon Sure Shot Zoom S was apparently released in 1989 and it is one of the largest point and shoots I’ve reviewed so far, measuring at around 141mm wide, by 77mm high, by 56mm in depth.
It’s hard to know if this is the loudest camera in the World but, if you were to put a red nose and a clown hat on it, you could start your own circus act.This is not necessarily a negative thing, of course, depending on your preferences. People with larger hands, for example, will often prefer a larger camera. Indeed, I’ve often complained at the awkwardness of some of the controls and settings on much more compact point-and-shoot film cameras, especially zoom cameras such as the Ricoh RZ 728.
The camera was also known as the Prima Auto Zoom and New Autoboy Zoom, in different markets. There were also other variations of the camera, including the New Autoboy Panorama as well as the Sure Shot Caption Zoom version. The latter had the ability to imprint dates and even some predefined captions, such as ‘happy birthday‘ and ‘thank you‘. Sadly (no, really), this review concerns the non-caption version.
Specifications of the Canon Sure Shot Zoom S
The Canon Sure Shot Zoom S has a zoom range between 38mm and 60mm, at aperture ranges of f/3.8 to f/5.6. The lens construction contains 6 elements in 6 groups. The focus range starts at 0.6 metre, up to infinity.
The Canon Sure Shot Zoom S has an ISO range between 50 and 3200, which is auto-detected according to film canister DX markings. If a film has no DX coding, then the camera defaults to 100 ISO. The flash can be used automatically, turned off, or set to fire manually and there is a ten-second self timer.
Using the Canon Sure Shot Zoom S
The first thing that has to be said about this camera, is that it is noisy. And I don’t just mean slightly noisy, in the way that the slight buzz of the Fujifilm DL Super Mini, Cardia Tiara‘s motor can be heard by those around you. I mean it is noisy in the sense that, if you put a red nose and a clown hat on it, you could start your own circus act.
It starts by making a focussing sound which consists of two short clicks. I actually quite like this, as few autofocus point and shoot film cameras give audible feedback when focussing. However, pressing the shutter for the first time almost made me laugh out loud. The camera first gives off a kind of tooting sound, similar to the buzzer from some kind of television game show. This is immediately followed by probably the loudest film winding noise I’ve ever heard. Although, this is not as loud as the lens zooming action, which is not too dissimilar to the sound of a small tank moving forward and then reversing.
If you are going to use this camera for street photography, be prepared for some inquisitive stares, at the very least.
The lens zoom controls are logically placed on the front left of the camera, the viewfinder is large enough and gives a clear view – at around 84% coverage. The autofocus seems fast and the shutter button is comfortable to use. The usual green light by the finder window signifies when autofocus has been achieved.
In summary, the Canon Sure Shot Zoom S is large and comically noisy, but it is quite comfortable, easy and fun to use.