The Pentax Espio Mini is a very rare automatic point and shoot camera. They are highly desired and priced on eBay for good reason: the fantastic 32mm 3.5 Pentax Lens on this camera is amazing.
As I do every week, I go to my local charity shops to see if they have any interesting cameras. Normally, it’s just the same things 80s and 90s zoom point and shoot ones, but this time I was in luck. As soon as I saw it i knew what it was; I had been after a small automatic top quality point and shoot for ages, but couldn’t justify some of the prices. The Pentax Espio Mini normally goes for in excess of £50 on eBay and I don’t like spending that much on a second hand camera off eBay. I paid the lovely women the massive £3 for the camera, popped in some battery and it sprung into life.
Here is my beloved camera:
The camera itself is all plastic except the lens, although the camera feels quite solid and has a good grip to it. It is a completely automatic camera; you have no control over anything except flash modes. It has auto flash, no flash, fill flash, bulb mode without flash, and bulb mode with flash. I was quite surprised to see that an automatic compact has bulb mode as well as a tripod mount, which is great for those looong exposures. The lens on this camera is amazing and produces amazing colours and tones, and it’s tack sharp as well. In my opinion, it produces technically “better” images than most primitive SLRs like Zenits, Prakticas, etc., although these cameras have their own benefits and I love those cameras.
Anyway, the following weekend after purchasing this camera, I was at my girlfriend’s house. It was a lovely day so we went on a walk with her sister. Here are some images from that weekend:
As you can see the colours are really nice and contrasty also the images are very very sharp.
The following weekend I participated in “A roll in a day/Day in a roll.” If you arent aware of what that is, it’s a group on Flickr, where, on set dates, members of the group shoot an entire roll of film of their choice using a camera of their choice and upload the entire roll (duds and all). I decided to use my Espio Mini and a roll Lucky SHD 100. The aim of the group is to show what you did that day. Here is a link to the roll I shot. I highly recommend that anyone reading this participates in the group, as it is great fun and people all over the world are participating.
Here are my favourite shots from that roll:
As you can see from the images, the lens is great and produces fantastic tones with great sharpness and contrast.
All in all, it’s a fantastic point and shoot in my opinion, superior to the Olympus MJU II and slightly below the Yahsica T4. I highly recommend you to get one at any price, if you can find one.
I have actually since sold my Espio Mini, only due to the fact that I like to have slightly more control over my images, and no other automatic compact will better my Konica C35 in my opinion, although it is for slightly different uses compared to this camera.
Thank you very much for reading my review, and keeping shooting film!