Camera maker MiNT has unveiled plans for a premium 35mm compact camera.
The Hong Kong-based company, which is best known for its InstantKon rangefinder instant camera and the InstantFlex TL70 TLR, has now set its sights on a new premium-end compact.
News of the camera project was first announced last week on Casual Photophile and 35mmc. Kosmo Foto has since seen photos of the camera prototype and got more details about the project from MiNT’s Natalie Chung.
Kosmo Foto has been asked not to share photos or describe what the camera looks like in too much detail, but if the finished project resembles the current prototype, it will look very similar to a classic compact camera first released in the 1960s.
“Our design is mainly based on an old iconic camera from the 60s that features high quality lens and built-in flash,” Chung said. “I can’t say too much about it at the moment, but it will be a remaster of the iconic camera.”
She said MiNT had been encouraged to start the project by the rising cost of premium compact cameras such as the Contax T2 amid the revived interest in film. The project comes nearly five years after Japan Camera Hunter’s Bellamy Hunt shared a design concept for a possible premium film compact camera, and none of the major camera producers have filled the gap.
During this time, the Reflex project to build a new film SLR – successfully funded on Kickstarter – ground to a halt after three years without even a working prototype being finished.
“Film camera options are very limited right now. We look up to the big film brands and hope they produce a compact premium camera that not only fits in your pocket, but also has the best possible camera features that takes beautiful pictures.
“Imagine being able to shoot quality pictures daily with the small camera that fits in your handbag, how amazing would that be!”
Chung said MiNT had been working on the project for some years already. “We’ve actually been working on this pre-Covid, and Covid slowed things down. We expect it to be in production and available next year.
“We haven’t discussed the price yet, but it will definitely be more affordable than the existing second hand premium compact cameras, otherwise this project would be pointless.”
She said making the camera had been a huge challenge.
“All the camera companies and factories are basically out of business and we have to rebuild many things from scratch. We are transferring our experience from making instant cameras to this new project. But many things are still new to us.”
Chung said more details will be published via their project page, which people can subscribe to.
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Well let’s hope they succeed because we are hungry for a brand new 35mm camera… with a high-quality lens; because if no good lens, it will die before being born…
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