In June 2018, I took a look at a high performance compact point and shoot camera made by Canon called the MC. The MC had a feature set comparable to the Pentax PC35AF and Ricoh FF-90 Super which I had also previously reviewed.
Although a handsome and well featured model, I had some significant challenges with that camera’s battery compartment. It was heavily corroded and the door was missing. I did the best I could to get it working, but the camera was constantly plagued with power problems. I never made it through an entire roll with it before giving up and developing what I got. The images I did get, weren’t that great either. Clearly, that camera had some other issues.
Then as fate would have it (as it usually does), I came across another Canon MC at a garage sale, this time in much better shape and with the proprietary flash that originally came with this camera. I was excited to get a better look at how this camera should perform.
I quickly loaded in some fresh Arista EDU 100 black and white film and took it for a spin. The camera seemed to do everything it was supposed to do while shooting. The flash seemed to work well, and despite being made in the 1980s at a time when flash recycling times were often unbearably long, there never seemed to be a significant delay between when I took an image and the flash readiness light lit up.
While shooting, I was quickly reminded of an annoyance I talked about in my previous review in which the focus indicator in the viewfinder only shows the detected distance AFTER you expose an image. There is no way for you to preview the distance the camera has selected before shooting the image. You only get a read out after you’ve captured your image, which didn’t make sense to me then, and still didn’t.
Overall though, I was optimistic about the results I would receive. I do my own developing so when I finished the roll, I developed the film using HC-110 Dilution B at ~70 degrees F for 6.5 minutes and used Adorama’s house brand fixer like I do for every other black and white film I shoot.
One of the benefits of Arista EDU 100 film is that it is very predictable. It’s 100 speed means it’s neither too fast nor too slow for any metered camera of any age. I’ve never seen a metered camera that didn’t respond well to 100 speed film, until now.
The images above were the 9 best out of a 24 exposure roll filled with some of the same issues as the first one, missed focus, over exposure, and otherwise unremarkable images. Although a few came out OK, most didn’t.
There clearly is an issue with this camera too that wasn’t as obvious as the first one. The camera is fully automatic and none of these are incredibly challenging photo situations that should have tricked either the auto focus or auto exposure systems in the camera, yet, nearly every image has at least one problem with it.
Are these images indicative of what the camera likely was capable of when it was new, probably not. But considering I am now 0 for 2 in getting a roll of quality images from a Canon MC, I doubt there will be a third attempt.
Have you shot a Canon MC and gotten images like these, or were they better? Maybe this is a model that simply hasn’t aged well, or maybe I’m just really unlucky. Let me know which in the comments section below.