This section on 35mm subminiature cameras covers cameras where the main intention has been in making a camera as small as the format permits, to be carried at all times and for clandestine use. The film may be standard 35mm perforated film and may involve re-spooling to a smaller cassette and reduced film length.
Many people assume that all APS (Advance Photo System) cameras are smaller than the compact 35mm cameras. This may be true in general but the improvements in the APS format have seen this transferred to 35mm cameras. For example, the Canon Ixus (APS) is a tiny marvel at only 89 x 58 x 28mm and 170g. But the Minolta TC-1 is a full frame 35mm camera and a tiny 99x59x29.5mm and only 185g. Since the TC-1 has a superior lens and a much larger format, the results from the TC-1 are far superior to the Ixus - in a camera that is comparable in size and weight.
Part of the often quoted definition of subminiature is for a camera to be under 4 inches (100mm) in longest dimension. This would exclude many 16mm cameras, most 110 cameras yet many 35mm and APS cameras come very close. The more featured packed cameras that include flash, zoom lens, auto film advance and fully automatic metering are reflected in their dimensions but the combined volume is often smaller than that of many well recognised 16mm subminiature cameras..
Last updated 24th February 2007
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