Canon Sure Shot Joy/Prima 4/Autoboy Lite 2: A Compact Classic

Design and Features

Canon’s Prima 4, also known as the Sure Shot Joy or Autoboy Lite 2 in various countries, made its debut in 1988, it is part of Canons successful Sure Shot Series. Hailing from Canon Japan, this compact viewfinder camera made of sturdy plastic stands out for its user-friendly design and features. Its 35mm f/4.5 autofocus lens ensures sharp captures, while the motor-driven film advance and rewind promise hassle-free operations. A particularly noteworthy feature is its self-timer, great for capturing those group shots or selfies. However, if you’re looking to go flash-free, keep in mind that the automatic flash can’t be turned off.

An additional point of intrigue is the switch located at the camera’s back with 4 settings. At first glance, it might seem peculiar, but in practice, it’s quite ingenious. By setting it to a number, say 3, the camera will take 3 consecutive shots, a handy feature when capturing moving subjects.

Film and Film Format

The Canon Prima 4 proudly uses the traditional 35mm film format, giving photographs a distinct and nostalgic charm. What’s more, film sensitivity is adjusted via DX encoding, ensuring that the camera optimally reads the film’s ISO.

For those diving back into the world of film or just starting out, I’d recommend films like the Kodak Portra for vibrant color reproductions, Ilford HP5 for classic black and white shots, and Fujifilm Superia for everyday captures.

Power Source and Battery Life

To keep it powered, the Prima 4 relies on a 6V 2CR5 battery. A dependable choice, ensuring your camera is always ready for the next shot. Need to grab a replacement or spare? You can find the 6V 2CR5 battery on Amazon.

Exposure Control and Light Metering

Exposure on the Prima 4 is governed by its electromagnetic programmed shutter and aperture settings, ranging from EV 10 (f/4.5 at 1/40 sec.) to 17 (f/32 at 1/125 sec.). Its metering capabilities are impressive, with a range of EV 10 – 17 at ISO 100 and a film speed range that can read from ISO 50 to a staggering 1600 (with DX code).

Size, Weight and Ergonomics

Measuring 139 x 76 x 50 mm and weighing in at 325 g with the battery, the Prima 4 is a compact gem. Its ergonomic design ensures comfortable handling, making it your ideal travel companion.

Technical Specifications

TypeFully automatic 35mm Lens-Shutter autofocus camera
Picture Size24 x 36 mm
AF SystemTriangulation system with near-infrared beam
Lens35mm f/4.5 (3 elements in 3 groups)
ShutterElectromagnetic programmed shutter and aperture
ViewfinderReversed Galilean with projected frames
EESPC for full-auto program EE
Built-in FlashFixed, built-in flash
Power SourceOne 6 V 2CR5 lithium battery
Film Loading & AdvanceAutomatic with built-in motor
Frame CounterCounts during film advance and rewind
Film RewindAutomatic with built-in motor
Dimensions & Weight139 x 76 x 50 mm, 325 g


The Canon Prima 4, with its user-friendly design and robust features, is a testament to Canon’s dedication to combining simplicity with quality. Whether you’re a budding photographer or a seasoned pro, this compact classic ensures a delightful photographic experience. So, why wait? Dive into the world of film photography with the Prima 4 and rediscover the joy of capturing memories.