Exploring the Canon Sure Shot M: From Lens to Film

In 1993, Canon introduced a camera that would go on to become a classic in the compact film camera category: The Canon Sure Shot M. Also known as the Prima Mini in continental Europe and the Autoboy F in Japan, this camera embodies Canon’s ability to fuse user-friendly design with technical precision. This review delves deep into the specifics of this camera, highlighting its key features, design, film format, and much more.

Design and Features

The Canon Sure Shot M is a part of Canon’s reputable Sure Shot range. Its available color variations and the subsequent release of the Prima Mini II make it evident that this camera was not just a technical device but also a fashionable accessory. While it may look petite, its features are anything but minimal.

Film and Film Format

The camera operates with a 35mm film format, making it compatible with a plethora of available films. When it comes to film recommendations, here are a few that pair wonderfully with the Canon Sure Shot M:

Additionally, the Japanese version of the camera boasts a panorama shot feature, providing users with the ability to capture wider scenes. The autoloading, advancing, and rewinding functionalities ensure that film handling remains as effortless as possible. Moreover, with DX decoding ranging from 25 to 3200 ISO in full stops and a default setting for non-DX film at 25 ISO, users have flexibility in their film speed choices.

Power Source and Battery Life

Running on a 3V CR-123A lithium battery, the camera promises a decent battery life suitable for prolonged shoots. To ensure your camera doesn’t run out of juice mid-adventure, consider purchasing backup batteries. Here’s a link to purchase the battery on Amazon.

Exposure Control and Light Metering

The Canon Sure Shot M’s auto-exposure is quite versatile, accommodating shutter speeds from 2 seconds up to 1/250 seconds. The electronic exposure system, with its metering range between EV 3 to 17, provides sufficient flexibility for varied lighting conditions. Its ISO speed range is commendably wide, making it adaptable to different film speeds and lighting scenarios.

Size, Weight and Ergonomics

Coming in at 120x62x40 mm and weighing around 190 grams (without battery), the Canon Sure Shot M truly defines portability. Its compact nature makes it easy to carry around, perfect for spontaneous photography moments.

Technical Specifications

TypeFully automatic 35mm Lens-Shutter autofocus camera
Picture Size24×36 mm, panorama (13x36mm) enabled (Japanese version only)
AF System3-point Smart Autofocus with near-infrared beam. Prefocus enabled. Close-up warning provided.
Lens32mm f/3.5 (3 elements in 3 groups)
ShutterElectromagnetic programmed shutter and aperture.
ViewfinderDirect viewfinder with various indicators
Electronic Exposure (EE)a-Si cell for full-auto program EE. Metering range of EV 3 – 17.
Built-in FlashFixed, built-in flash with automatic firing in low-light conditions. Red-eye reduction provided.
Power SourceOne 3 V CR123A lithium battery
Film Loading & AdvanceAutomatic with built-in motor. Speed: 1 fps.
Film RewindAutomatic rewind with built-in motor. Midroll rewind enabled.
Dimensions & Weight120 x 62 x 40 mm, 205 g (with bat


The Canon Sure Shot M (Prima Mini/Autoboy F) encapsulates the best of 90s compact camera engineering. Its blend of functionality and portability makes it a timeless piece, whether you’re a budding photographer or someone with a seasoned eye. Simple in its design yet robust in its capabilities, this camera showcases Canon’s commitment to delivering quality in every frame.