Not that compact, not that good looking. Those were the first things that came to my mind when I held the camera the first time. But I was in need of a film camera for the summer, and this one had all sorts of automation. I decided to take it.
I used this camera the whole summer. I took it to parties, road trips, festivals, and pretty much everywhere I went. The more I used it, the more I started liking it. It isn’t the smallest camera (125×76×46 mm), but it felt great in hand. You can get a firm grip and shooting with one hand isn’t a problem. The weight isn’t a problem either (300 g, you can wear this around your neck whole day with no problems.
Canon AF35M II has a 38mm f2.8-16 lens, which is quite bright for this type of camera. It’s sharp and I haven’t noticed any distortions in my photos. Good lens and the best part is that there’s a built-in cover for the lens, so the lens won’t get scratched. Lens cover also covers the auto meter system, so at the same it’s kind of on/off button.
Almost everything is automated; light meter takes care of your exposure, there’s autofocus, motor drive advances you film for you and rewinds when you say so. It takes pictures quite fast and shutter times from 1/8s to 1/500s gets the job done in different conditions. 1/8s gives you most of the times blurred images, but in my opinion a blurred image is better than no image at all. There’s just only one thing which annoys me…the camera is LOUD! I once tried to use camera secretly, but right after I pushed the button, it was no secret what I was doing.
The only thing isn’t automated is the flash, but there’s a chart to help you get your flash shots right. The good thing about flash is that you can decide by yourself when to use it, some cameras tend to make that decision for you.
I know there’s a thousand’s of compact film cameras which are almost silent and with automated flash, but at the end of the day my choice would still be Canon AF35M II. After summer I released that there’s special pond between me and this camera. All the flaws have become advantages. I don’t mind this camera being bulky and I can’t wait next time here the loud KA-BOOM when I push the shutter button!