Camera of week 42 – Olympus AZ-330 Super Zoom / Ricoh Mirai 105
Today’s camera is Olympus AZ-330 superzoom. It’s based on more popular AZ-300 model which was released in 1988, while AZ-330 was released in 1990. Almost identical to this camera is Ricoh Mirai 105, as these cameras were joint venture between Olympus and Ricoh.
This is also one of those weird cameras from 90’s (like autoboy Jet) and which you can see in funny old Japanese TV ads in YouTube. While this one looks like some kind of miniature digital projector. This is like granddaddy of modern “Bridge cameras” while not being a SLR it offer some of the features of SLR’s. And although this is a viewfinder camera, finder is couple with lens, so when you zoom in and out, finder does the same. Camera also features double exposure, which basic viewfinder cameras doesn’t. AZ-330 is 35mm film camera with 38-105mm F4.5 – 6 zoom lens., with minimum focusing distance of 0.8m, little less than 3 feet. Electronic shutter with speeds ranging from 1 second to 1/500th of second. Uses 2 CR123A batteries. Keep in mind that camera is quite heavy for P&S type as it weights 615 grams. Same as most modern cameras this read DX code from canisters in 25-3200 ISO range., has automatic film loading and rewind. This one also offers exposure compensation up to 1.5 EV with 0.5 step. Two metering modes: Center weighted and spot. Inbuilt flash has 3 modes – auto, fill flash and double flash for red-eye reduction. AZ-330 camera even features continuous AF and continuous shooting with 1.3 FPS. Interesting feature is lens cap which also has inbuilt IR remote for controlling camera, so it really is like digital projector with remote QD version also includes data imprint back.
Price: Bidding starts as low as $15 dollars on ebay.com, little bit more for Mirai 105. Here are some pictures of this camera and discussion about this camera with nice pics – http://photo.net/modern-film-cameras-forum/00Ya4l?start=0