How point-and-shoot 35mm cameras revolutionized amateur photography in the ’80s

Popular point-and-shoot 35mm cameras like these from the '80s revolutionized amateur photography

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With better quality than fixed-lens Instamatic-style cameras, but far less complicated than standard SLR cameras, these vintage point-and-shoot 35mm cameras were just what people were looking for in the ’80s.

Here’s a look back at some of the most popular camera brands that were on the market back then!

Goodbye frustration, Hello Canon Sure Shot cameras! (1981)

On vacation, on special occasions or anytime, your camera lets you record your family’s “once-in-a- lifetime” experiences. That’s why it’s so frustrating to miss a shot. Or get back pictures that are out of focus, too light or too dark.

Now you can say “Goodbye Frustration” with the new Canon Sure Shot cameras. designed to give you perfect pictures automatically. Shot after shot will be bright, sharp and clear.

The flash is built-in, and a motor winds the film after each shot so you’re always ready to shoot. It even rewinds when the roll is finished!

The new Super Sure Shot does everything the Sure Shot does, and even loads the film by itself! Its stylish body is just a bit more compact, and it’s got a built-in grip for easy handling.

Whichever Sure Shot model you choose will let you say “Goodbye Frustration” forever because they give you what every camera should give you every time you push the button: complete confidence. And great pictures!

Vintage Canon Sure Shot cameras ad from 1981

Vintage Chinon cameras (1982)

Gift giving solved in a flash: The easy-handling Chinon 35FS with built-in, pop-up flash is ideal for budding snap-shooters.

With an easy-loading film system and CdS auto electronic eye, unwrapping this easy-to-operate camera is the most difficult part.

It features sharp F2.8 lens, zone focus, self-timer, battery check, lock feature, and flash-ready indicator, and comes complete with case for just $66.

For those who appreciate good things in small packages, the Bellami Ultra-Compact camera with retractable lens and built-in dust cover is an excellent choice.

ALSO SEE: Vintage instant cameras from Polaroid & Kodak: OneStep, Pronto, Colorburst & more

With an F2.8 lens, this pocket-size camera has a CdS automatic exposure system, a 25 to 400 ASA range, battery check light, and zone focus. Just $88. 

Vintage Chinon point-and-shoot 35mm cameras ad from 1982

Vintage Fuji DL-120 35mm autofocus camera from 1988

The film drops in. Amazingly beautiful pictures drop out.

You are looking at the easiest 35mm camera in the world to load. The new Fuji DL-120. Thanks to Fuji’s exclusive drop-in loading, you just drop the film in and close the camera back. That’s it.

Fuji DL-120 35mm vintage camera

Kodak's Disc camera debuted in 1982, but just couldn't live up to its promise

Minolta Freedom Dual 35mm film camera (1988)

The great Double Feature, starring the Freedom Dual with two built-in lenses

You’ll give Minolta’s Freedom Dual rave reviews, because its performance is unique. Just a touch of the button takes you from group shots to close-ups.

Minolta Freedom Dual vintage 35mm film camera

Vintage point & shoot cameras: Canon Sure Shot Ace

Canon presents “You oughta be in pictures” – starring the new Canon Sure Shot Ace with double features… also starring the new Canon Sure Shot Joy.

Canon Sure Shot Ace vintage point and shoot camera from 1988

Vintage Olympus OM-77AF autofocus camera (1987)

You’ve thought of getting a really good camera. But could you be sure you’d really get better pictures? The uncertainty was always there. Until now.

Now there’s the Olympus OM-77AE With its unique Great Picture Guarantee: If you take a picture that’s not perfectly focused or exposed, send it to us and we’ll send you a dollar. That’s our guarantee — for up to 24 photos sent by August 31, 1987. The promise is remarkable. But then, so’s the camera.

Infallibly easy. The OM-77AF computer-controls everything automatically. From loading to focusing to rewinding. So you get great 35mm pictures at the touch of a button.

Infallibly precise. It’s also a superb 35mm, auto focus SLR (single lens reflex). So you can change lenses, for pictures lesser cameras simply can’t take.

Infallibly thoughtful. The OM-774F is the first auto focus SLR with a built-in illuminator, for accurate auto focus in even the dimmest light. And it’s the first with a built-in flash, ready to pop up whenever a great picture does.

So for all the pleasure of professional-quality 35mm pictures without the anxiety, get your OM-77AF now. And if you send us a picture not perfectly focused or exposed, we’ll send you $1. Clearly, the only mistake you can possibly make with this camera is not buying it.

Vintage Olympus OM-77AF autofocus camera from 1987

Golfer Nancy Lopez for Konica FS-1 point-and-shoot 35mm cameras (1980)

Golfer Nancy Lopez for Konica FS-1 35mm camera 1980

Vintage Canon EOS 620-650 cameras with baseball player Dale Murphy (1988)

Vintage Canon EOS 620-650 cameras with baseball player Dale Murphy (1988)

Vintage Minolta Maxxum cameras from 1987

Now, the world’s first 35mm camera with built-in autofocusing is available at a Kmart price.

Vintage Minolta Maxxum cameras from 1987

Kodak K-12 point and shoot camera from 1987

Kodak K-12 point and shoot camera from 1987

Vintage Minolta point-and-shoot Freedom Dual cameras (1987)

“I don’t know an ISO from an Indianapolis 500. So for great pictures… I leave it to the mind of Minolta.”

Minolta point and shoot Freedom cameras from 1987

The Canon AE-1 Program from 1982 (On the way to point-and-shoot)

Nobody has been able to make fine photography this simple. Until now.

There has never been a high quality 35mm SLR camera as simple to use as the Canon AE-1 Program. That’s why people who don’t have time for complicated cameras, like Washington Redskins’ quarterback Joe Theismann, carry it with them wherever they go.

And you should, too. Indoors or out, day or night-in any light-the AE-1 Program is designed to give you perfect pictures automatically.

You just focus and shoot. Really. When set on PROGRAM, the advanced electronics inside provide total automation, so you can concentrate on your subject.

For action photography, there’s also shutter-priority automation, which lets you choose a speed fast enough to “freeze” moving subjects while the camera’s electronic brain automatically adjusts the lens opening for the lighting conditions.

The famous, fabulous Fotomat drive-up photo stores of the 70s & 80s

Flash photography is totally automatic as well, and with the new Canon Speedlite 188A with built-in exposure confirmation, you can tell you’ve gotten a perfect flash picture before removing your eye from the viewfinder!

There are new and exciting accessories that add even more versatility. The Power Winder A2 provides single-frame and continuous motorized shooting at up to two frames-per-second. Or, for really fast action, you can add the Motor Drive MA for up to 4 fps. rapid sequence shooting.

There are eight interchangeable focusing screens and nearly fifty Canon FD lenses that fit the AE-1 PROGRAM. So you can shoot a wide-angle panorama, do candid portraits or use a Canon zoom lens to really reach out and bring your subjects up close.

Best of all, when you add any of these exciting accessories, shooting is still automatic. And just as simple.

Ask your Canon dealer to show you the camera that makes fine photography simple. The new Canon AE-1 Program. It’s one more reason we’re the world’s leader in 35mm photography.

The new Canon AE-1 Program SLR camera (1982)

DON’T MISS: 32 vintage selfies you probably have never seen

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