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MiNT Camer and Rollei 35S (Pic: MiNT Camera)
The new camera was announced in March and may be available in 2024 (All pics: MiNT Camera)

MiNT Camera has unveiled the prototype of its forthcoming 35mm compact camera – and as some had earlier predicted, it resembles a classic compact of old.

In a blog post published on Thursday (9 November), MiNT Camera’s founder Gary Ho unveiled the body of the work-in-progress compact, showing its strong resemblance to the renowned Rollei 35.

In the blog post, Ho said the MiNT Camera team had addressed some of the issues identified with the prototype so far, such as light leaks affecting the film.

Ho said: “We’re working on the first 10 pre-production units right now while digging out the remaining bugs. Mass production comes after that.

“After a painstaking four-year journey, we can finally announce that the design has been finalized. Now to the part everybody wants to know…”

New MiNT camera and Rollei 35 S (Pic: MiNT Camera)

He then said the camera would likely retail for between $650 and 800 (£530-£650 or €610 and €750) and that the camera would most likely be available next year: “As early as possible next year, unless something goes terribly wrong.”

Ho added: “The R&D costs associated with developing this camera have been sky-high. The mould costs, labour costs, and everything is just very expensive. Basically Mint is risking the whole company to get this project off the ground.”

New MiNT Camera prototype (Pic: MiNT Camera)

The blog post features images of the new camera body (minus lens) next to the camera which has inspired it: the Rollei 35S. The new appears to have some differences in arrangement of its viewfinder and focusing devices, but appears to have similar placement of certain camera controls on the front of the camera, just like the Rollei 35 series has.

MiNT unveiled plans for the new compact camera back in March, some months after Ricoh Imaging announced plans for a possible return to film camera production under the Pentax name.

In a previous update in July, Ho mentioned that the upcoming camera would feature Lidar autofocus, which has already been used to improve autofocus in recent models of Apple’s iPhone.

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Stephen Dowling
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