Although not all point and shoot film cameras are strictly designed to be compact, or pocketable, the ability to pop a camera into a jeans or jacket pocket is certainly one of the core reasons for using a point and shoot film camera versus an SLR or interchangeable lens rangefinder camera.
So, I thought that it might be worth developing a simple and, not too serious, Point and Shoot Film Cameras Pocket Test (PSFCPT – just rolls off the tongue, doesn’t it?).
Why a pocket test?
Of course, I could simply use the specified measurements of each camera. But a ‘smaller is better‘ approach isn’t always the most helpful, as it doesn’t take into account the shape of the camera, or any potentially uncomfortable dials or sharp edges. Also, it’s not as much fun.
Of course, some cameras would probably have to be immediately ruled out. Older point and shoot film cameras, such as the Canonet QL17 GIII and its close relation the Canonet QL19, as well as the older original Canon Canonet, are all pretty far from being pocketable cameras. Likewise the Yashica Auto Focus is also consigned to the older and bulkier category. Whilst these cameras can be described as point and shoot and are, to a degree, fairly portable compared to their SLR or rangefinder contemporaries, it would be pushing the definition to describe them as compact film cameras.
The test is simple. It involves one camera and a casual jacket, with pockets. I had considered using a pair of denim jeans but, whilst some compact cameras would fit into a jeans pocket, I can’t really say that walking about with one of these cameras in a front or back jeans pocket would really be comfortable for any period of time. Also, with some point and shoot film cameras, I’d even be a bit concerned about damaging them. For example, the sliding lens door that some of them utilise can sometimes slide open quite easily and this might risk scratching the lens.
So, jacket pocket test it is. In no particular order, here is the Point and Shoot Film Cameras Pocket Test applied to some of the cameras reviewed on this site so far.