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From the Bottom of the Bargain Bin: Vivitar Ps45P

A continuing series where I review films and cameras I spent less than 5$ on. Found in second hand stores, on-line auctions and freebies, these are the forgotten gems -and not so gems.

The first camera in this series is the Vivitar PS45P Panorama. I found this bad boy in a bin full of cast-off cameras at a local thrift store. I was trying to find a point and shoot with a wider angle lens than the normal 35-50mm, and what really sold me on this one was the panoramic feature.

There is not much info to be found out there on this camera aside from some specs, so here they are:

  • Model: PS45P
  • Manufacturer: Vivitar Corporation
  • Type: 35mm Camera
  • Year: 1997
  • Zoom Lens Size: 29mm
  • f/Stop Range : f/5.6
  • Camera Special Features: Panorama Mode
  • Flash: Electronic Flash

So is it worth the $1.99 I spent on it?

This camera, like many other panoramic point and shoot cameras, has a a defect that allows for sharper images in the middle that loses image quality towards the edges. If you can account for it , this is a great effect much desired amongst Lomographers. The lens itself allows for some great contrast and colour saturation. I recommend using Lomography CN 100 or equivalent film.

The PS45P isn’t a true panorama camera as it simply cuts the top and bottom of the image, leaving two black bars, and personally I don’t think its worth cutting the shot to use the panoramic setting. Fortunately you can switch between normal format and panoramic. The downside for me besides the lack of any kind of control over aperture or shutter speed is the fact that the camera has an automatic advance that I’ve read can malfunction, turning your camera into a paper weight. Also the advance mechanism sounds like a freight train so getting candid street shots is out of the question.

This camera is light, small enough that I carry it everywhere I go, and it fits nicely in my pocket. The flash is nice and powerful without washing out colors or details.

written by asile23

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