Many of the original instant-film cameras tended to be basic plasticky things, aimed mainly at getting simple snapshots. Quite a few of their present-day descendants share that quality, although the aluminum-bodied full-manual SL645 is a big exception.
Currently the subject of a Kickstarter campaign, the SL645 is manufactured by Hong Kong startup NONS. It’s designed to emulate much of the functionality of a classic SLR, but it uses Fujifilm instax Mini Film (ISO 800) instead of 35-mm.
The camera is fully compatible with Canon EF-mount lenses – although the Electro-Focus function won’t work – plus it also accepts vintage M42, Nikon F, Pentax K, Contax/Yashika (CY) and medium-format-mount lenses with an adapter.
In semi-auto mode, users select one of 10 shutter speeds (up to 1/250) on the camera’s shutter speed dial, then check the integrated light meter display for a recommended corresponding f-stop. They then set the lens to that f-stop, focus it, press the shutter release button, then press another button to eject the print from the side of the camera. If necessary, they can also mount a third-party flash on the camera’s hot shoe.
All of that being said, users can also go full-manual, combining whatever settings and lenses they wish in order to get the desired effect.
The SL645 is powered by a removable 2,040-mAh lithium-ion battery, one USB charge of which should reportedly be good for over 100 exposures. Unlike NONS’ previously released SL42 model, the camera sports an anodized aluminum alloy body with a wooden grip. Other improvements over the SL42 include a larger-coverage viewfinder, a shorter shutter delay (0.05 as opposed to 0.5 of a second), and much less vignetting in the final 46 x 62-mm prints.
Assuming everything goes according to plan, a pledge of HK$3,299 (about US$420) will get you a NONS SL645 of you own – that’s 22% off the planned retail price. The camera is demonstrated in the video below.
SL645 – Interchangeable Lens SLR Analogue Instant Camera
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