Canon Sure Shot Caption Zoom: An In-Depth Look

by Mrkenjiex24

In the world of photography, equipment evolution never ceases. The late ’80s saw a surge of compact cameras making their way into the pockets of many budding photographers. One such gem from this era was the Canon Sure Shot Caption Zoom. Let’s delve deeper into its features and understand its worth.

Design and Features

The Canon Sure Shot Caption Zoom, released in 1989, was a pivotal model in Canon’s Sure Shot range. It had siblings like the SureShot Zoom S, which was essentially the same model sans the caption feature. This camera was globally recognized and had different aliases: In Europe, it went by the name of the Prima Auto Zoom. In Japan, it was known as the New Autoboy Zoom, and its panoramic sibling was named New Autoboy panorama.

What set this camera apart was its unique “Caption” feature. This allowed users to imprint the date, month, and day. It even gave you the ability to add one of five distinct messages, with “Thank you” being a notable option.

Film and Film Format

The camera utilized the ubiquitous 35mm film format. For those new to analog photography or looking to revisit it, some films to consider using with this camera include:

  • Kodak Portra: Known for its natural color reproduction and wide exposure latitude.
  • Ilford HP5 Plus: A black and white film with a fine grain and wide exposure range.
  • Fujifilm Superia: If you’re after vibrant colors with a fine grain structure.

An interesting variant of this model, the New Autoboy panorama, introduced in 1991, came equipped with a viewfinder that displayed a panorama frame. This feature, along with an adapter, morphed the image into a stunning panorama format, giving users an expanded view of their surroundings.

Power Source and Battery Life

The heart that powered the Caption Zoom was a 6V 2CR5 lithium battery. Keeping an extra on hand is always a smart move, and you can easily find it here on Amazon.

Exposure Control and Light Metering

Canon equipped the Sure Shot Caption Zoom with an advanced automatic exposure control system. It utilized 3-zone metering coupled with a composite SPC. This tech ensured that the camera could handle a metering range of EV 2.85 – 18.5 when set at ISO 100. Automatic exposure compensation, particularly beneficial for backlit subjects, adjusted by up to +2 EV.

Size, Weight, and Ergonomics

The camera’s physical dimensions were 148 x 77 x 56 mm. Weighing in at 415 grams (with its battery), it struck a balance between compactness and a sturdy grip. Its design was a testament to Canon’s commitment to producing ergonomically sound cameras.

User Base: Beginners or Advanced Photographers?

Addressing you, the reader: Would this camera suit beginners or those with a bit more experience? Given its fully automatic features and user-friendly operations, it’s a fit for anyone looking to capture quality images without the nuances of manual controls. Whether you’re a novice or a seasoned photographer looking for a reliable backup or travel companion, this could be your pick.

Technical Specifications

TypeFully automatic 35mm Lens-Shutter autofocus camera with zoom lens
Picture Size24 x 36 mm
AF System3-point Smart Autofocus with near-infrared beam. Prefocus enabled
Lens38-60mm f/3.8-7.2 (7 elements in 7 groups). Zoom button provided
ShutterElectromagnetic programmed shutter and aperture
ViewfinderDirect zoom viewfinder with frames. 0.4x – 0.64x magnification and 84% coverage
EEComposite SPC for full-auto program EE with 3-zone metering
Built-in FlashFixed, built-in flash. Guide No. 11 (at ISO 100 in meters)
Autodate FeatureYear, month, day; day, hour, minute; and 5 captions for imprinting
Power SourceOne 6 V 2CR5 lithium battery
Film Loading & AdvanceAutomatic film advance with built-in motor
Frame CounterSeven-segment LCD on camera top
Film RewindAutomatic rewind with built-in motor. Midroll rewind enabled
Dimensions & Weight148 x 77 x 56 mm, 415 g (with battery)


Canon’s Sure Shot Caption Zoom stood its ground as a reputable camera during its time, offering a range of features packed into a compact body. While the world has vastly shifted to digital, cameras like these hold historical significance and serve as a reminder of the progression of photographic technology. For those still clinging to the joys of film, or looking to explore, the Sure Shot Caption Zoom is a worthy consideration.