Another 75p bargain find, in good optical, mechanical and cosmetic condition.

All the documentation I can find online describes this as either the ‘Sureshot Owl’ (American Market) or Prima AF-7 (European Market). But as you can see in the image, my copy definitely says ‘Sureshot AF-7’. Once again I am convinced I have a camera that does not exist.

About

This is a chunky autofocus compact, first marketed in 1994. It looks relatively advanced, but it has very limited metering and features.

It has a large bright viewfinder, which is one of its key features. It has a built in flash with a guide number of 9, this can be selected via the control buttons.

Lens and focus

The lens is a standard 35mm focal length, and seems pretty sharp, but with tiny distortions in the corners. The field of view is 54° x 37 °, to fit a full length portrait in the vertical frame you need to be about 11 feet distant. The focus is described as ‘3 step auto-focus’ – I am not clear what this means, maybe a zone system.

Exposure

The exposure settings are interesting, and a little confusing. The Canon Museum lists these as:

With flash off: No higher than EV 10.5 (f/4.5 at 1/70s). At ISO 100: EV 10.5 – EV 12 (f/4.5 at 1/100s), EV 12 – 14 (f/6.6 at 1/125s), EV 14 – EV 16 (f/11 at 1/180s).

For a start, 1/70s at f/4.5 is closer to EV  10 than EV 10.5, and 1/80 at f/11 is EV 15, not 16. And this doesn’t indicate how film speed affects these with this very limted meter range. And these four steps cover about 3 stops each which is pushing even negative film.

My experience in general light (i.e. outside in reasonable sun) is that it exposes quite well. This is all very odd. I assume it must use other combinations of the 4 apertures and 4 shutter speeds to some extent.

Gallery

Vital Statistics

Type: Fully automatic 35mm Lens-Shutter autofocus camera.
Lens: 35mm f/4.5 (3 elements in 3 groups).
Shutter: Electromagnetic four-speed programmed shutter and aperture. Built-in electronic self-timer (with blinking red-eye reduction lamp), cancelable midway.
Focus: Three-step AF with near-infrared beam. 0.8m to infinity.
Exposure:  ~ EV 10 (f/4.5; 1/70) to EV15.5 (f/11, 1/180)
Metering: CdS cell for full-auto simple program AE.
Film speed: ISO 100/200 and 400 (automatic switching) with DX code.
Viewfinder Reverse Galilean viewfinder. 0.68x magnification; 84% coverage. Focus indicator.
Flash: Built in, Guide No. 9 (at ISO 100 in metres).
Transport: Fully automatic motor-wind
Power: 2x 1.5V AA battery, approx 47 rolls of 24 exp film.
Dimensions: 123 x 76 x 48mm; 250g.

Links

Sureshot Owl/Prima af-7 at Canon Camera Museum.
View my images on Flickr taken with the Sureshot AF-7.
Surehot AF-7 Manual at Butkus.org

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