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Newbie looking for a (relatively) affordable and durable point & shoot with decent IQ
Old 01-20-2019   #1
newjerseysurf
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Newbie looking for a (relatively) affordable and durable point & shoot with decent IQ

hi all, complete beginner in regards to film (but not photography) looking for a point and shoot.

the Olympus mju ii (stylus epic) and XA series are atop my list but i can't stomach paying the prices most people are asking.

i also have these on my search list:
  • Olympus mju i (infinity stylus)
  • Olympus infinity mini
  • Olympus LT-1
  • Canon Autoboy
  • Canon Sureshot Max
  • Minolta Riva Mini
  • Nikon L35AF
  • Canon AF35ML
  • Olympus AF-10

am i missing any models? anything i should know about any of them?

would love to find something for ~$50 or cheaper.

thanks!
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Old 01-20-2019   #2
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Just scour eBay and your local thrift stores. Buy a bunch but set a reasonable cap, like $10.
I love shooting with old point and shoots but would never pay outrageous prices. Not too long ago I found a Nikon L35AF2 for $6 at a goodwill.
I recently bought two Pentax PC35AF cameras for less than $20 including shipping. One was dead, the other needed a tiny bit of work but is a fantastic little shooter. It's manual wind too, so no loud motor to die.
Don't limit yourself to the fast lens AF35ML when the f/2.8 version is very good as well.
I have two Pentax IQZoom cameras I will give away to anyone who wants them. Decent lenses too.
Don't discount the Ricohs, Konicas, Sears and other "cheap" brands. Just because they are marques that no longer are around doesn't mean they didn't make good gear.
Good cameras for good prices are out there, for sure. If you find a Pentax Espio Mini, send it to me. It is pure garbage
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Old 01-20-2019   #3
ColSebastianMoran
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Missed one? Yes, the Yashica T4 with Zeiss lens.
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Old 01-21-2019   #4
David Hughes
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Hi,


The problem with all these cameras is that you don't know what state they are in when you buy. Most will be 20 to 25 years old and some in your list could be older.

Batteries can leak and be attacking the camera where you can't see it, especially if the leakage was cleaned on the surface.

Plastic wears and fails and there's few willing to tackle the repair without a supply of parts.

Electronics fail and that's that because no one will touch them.

For reliability you want an old fashioned metal and glass mechanical and completely manual camera.

The alternative is to pay very little for them and accept that they might be U/S when you buy them and test them with film. And they can fail after that perfect first roll of film, btw. Or go to a dealer and pay through the nose.

There's one or two cameras with cult status and specialised technicians willing to tackle them or sell you one with a guarantee. You could try looking* for one of them; the Olympus Trip 35 and XA range come to mind immediately.

What you have to look for, imo, are a case, instructions and a lens cap with the camera but no dead battery in it and no corrosion in the battery compartment. Some come with a half used vintage film and they can be a pain to remove from auto everything cameras.

One other point, do some research about battery prices and types (search on mercury) as some can cost a lot more than your bargain camera and be a waste of money if the camera turns out to be a dud..

Regards, David


* You'll have to locate and haunt all the charity shops for miles around you to find them but they are out there; I bought a very nice Olympus and a neat Konica recently for two pounds each...

Last edited by David Hughes : 01-21-2019 at 00:50. Reason: 15 extra CRLF's...
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Old 01-21-2019   #5
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Point and shoots are great cameras. I have been a regular user of the Olympus Stylus Epic / [mju:]-II for many years (currently on my 4th one). All the points David makes are good ones, and I agree with you about asking prices for them these days: hard to stomach.


David also makes a good point about old metal and glass cameras. On that note one that I like is the OLYMPUS-PEN. The PEN S in particular is a really nice camera, and with some looking should be availible in your budget. There is a lot to like about these little gems, like their great Zuiko lenses, great finder with good eye relief and easy framing, they are repairable, and there is something kind of intangible about shooting with them. A tiny scale focus camera that gets 80 frames a roll is good fun out on a walk around town!


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Old 01-21-2019   #6
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Thanks all for the helpful replies. I already got more responses than I thought I would.

I recently nabbed this for well under my budget but it’s obviously not a p&s but could be a good intro to film:



Is there a list of repairable cameras that take AA or AAA?
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Old 01-21-2019   #7
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Minolta Hi_Matic. Using AA batteries.
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Old 01-21-2019   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ColSebastianMoran View Post
Missed one? Yes, the Yashica T4 with Zeiss lens.
OP wrote: affordable.
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Old 01-21-2019   #9
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Quote:
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OP wrote: affordable.
Yes, .95 ( less than $1 USD ). And it works. This was found in a St Vincent DePaul store. I was there looking at records with my daughter.




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Old 01-21-2019   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by newjerseysurf View Post
hi all, complete beginner in regards to film (but not photography) looking for a point and shoot.

the Olympus mju ii (stylus epic) and XA series are atop my list but i can't stomach paying the prices most people are asking.

i also have these on my search list:
  • Olympus mju i (infinity stylus)
  • Olympus infinity mini
  • Olympus LT-1
  • Canon Autoboy
  • Canon Sureshot Max
  • Minolta Riva Mini
  • Nikon L35AF
  • Canon AF35ML
  • Olympus AF-10
I'd add the Olympus XA2 or XA3 to the list. Great little point and shoots that you zone focus. Cheaper than the XA and faster to shoot.

The L35AF is a good camera, kind of bulky but a very nice lens. I have a couple but only one fully works. Flash is bad on one of them and another (waterproof version) something is wrong with the exposure system as it won't fire.

The Canon Sureshot P&S with the 38mm f2.8 lens are usually crazy cheap. The lens is really nice on them though it flares somewhat easily.

Shawn
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Old 01-21-2019   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by newjerseysurf View Post
I recently nabbed this for well under my budget but itís obviously not a p&s but could be a good intro to film (picture of Yashica GSN)
Congratulations, the GSN has a fine lens! If you want something more compact, there's lots of good suggestions above, and I'll second the strategy of scouring charity shops - I've found MjuII's for $5 that way...
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Old 01-21-2019   #12
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A few of the Samsung P&S cameras had Schneider lenses. I saw one for $.99 at a local goodwill but passed because the batteries were left inside, swollen and corroded. Probably saw a dunk in water. If it weren't for those batteries, I would have grabbed it and not been sad if it didnt work at all. Not at that price.
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Old 01-21-2019   #13
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Originally Posted by lynnb View Post
Congratulations, the GSN has a fine lens! If you want something more compact, there's lots of good suggestions above, and I'll second the strategy of scouring charity shops - I've found MjuII's for $5 that way...
Thatís awesome. Charity shops such as Goodwill? Mine typically have pure junk.
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Old 01-21-2019   #14
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Originally Posted by wjlapier View Post
Yes, .95 ( less than $1 USD ). And it works. This was found in a St Vincent DePaul store. I was there looking at records with my daughter.




That was a lucky break for sure! I sold mine a few months ago for $50.
I think they are going for more than that now.
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Old 01-21-2019   #15
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Pentax 90WR. Tough, great lens, water resistant.
Cheeeeep:

https://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_fro...90+wr&_sacat=0

Review here:
http://thegrayhound.com/blog/2017/1/...m-90-wr-review

I have one coming in the next few days, will be interesting to see how it performs.
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Old 01-21-2019   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by newjerseysurf View Post
Thatís awesome. Charity shops such as Goodwill? Mine typically have pure junk.
I was checking those stores where I'm and have scored some, but just a few over years.
Try Craigslist and Kjij.

If P&S is for size requirements... Any working P&S will do
It doesn't have to be an item with internet/forum status attached.
If you want to learn about film, Canonikon plastic SLR with kit lens is better tool to learn and could be allocated locally for 50$. Canon needs special batteries, but some Nikon SLR are using AA, if I'm not mistaken.
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Old 01-21-2019   #17
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To add to what KoFe said, if you want a bona fide SLR, many of the best cameras ever made (with a light meter) only need a few little 1.5v button cells. A 1/3N is what I use in all of my film cameras aside from the motorized P&S and the weird little Pentax I mentioned earlier. These days, the market is really weird and a full featured SLR can often go for the same price or less, than a used P&S like many mentioned in this thread. For ~$50 USD you could get a working Spotmatic with a 50mm lens and you'd be set.
I noticed your forum name. If you're near Philly, let us know and a few of us probably have some cameras you can play around with. I know I can only use one at a time, really, and right now with grad school in full swing I barely have time to take a photo of anything more than one of my cats.

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Old 01-21-2019   #18
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Fuji DL-300.
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Old 01-21-2019   #19
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Just before Christmas I sold about six of the type of point and shoot you are looking for.
Wish I would have known. I also sold a Spotmatic SPII with a Vivitar 28mm f2.8. All were within your price range. You might take a look at the classified section over at PHOTRIO.
That is where I sold them all. Never know what you'll find there. Less risk than evil_bay.
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Old 01-21-2019   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Huss View Post
Pentax 90WR. Tough, great lens, water resistant.
Cheeeeep:

https://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_fro...90+wr&_sacat=0

Review here:
http://thegrayhound.com/blog/2017/1/...m-90-wr-review

I have one coming in the next few days, will be interesting to see how it performs.
looks nice but hoping to find a prime.
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Old 01-21-2019   #21
newjerseysurf
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Originally Posted by Phil_F_NM View Post
To add to what KoFe said, if you want a bona fide SLR, many of the best cameras ever made (with a light meter) only need a few little 1.5v button cells. A 1/3N is what I use in all of my film cameras aside from the motorized P&S and the weird little Pentax I mentioned earlier. These days, the market is really weird and a full featured SLR can often go for the same price or less, than a used P&S like many mentioned in this thread. For ~$50 USD you could get a working Spotmatic with a 50mm lens and you'd be set.
I noticed your forum name. If you're near Philly, let us know and a few of us probably have some cameras you can play around with. I know I can only use one at a time, really, and right now with grad school in full swing I barely have time to take a photo of anything more than one of my cats.

Phil Forrest
VERY nice of you to offer. i am actually living up near NYC at the moment.

in regards to the camera - i am not really looking for an SLR. the reason i am interested in a P&S is mainly the portability along with the fact that i really like the look and "feel" of film - and want to learn.

i already have a Fuji X-T2 as my main camera. i am on the search for a durable camera with decent IQ for the times that i don't want to lug the Fuji around.

thanks!
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Old 01-21-2019   #22
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Fuji DL-300.
That's a good looking camera! How do you like the features and overall feel?



The DL-200 is pretty nice, too:

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Old 01-22-2019   #23
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Fuji Dl-300 is a nice camera, but it uses DL245 lithium battery which isn't cheap. My vote would go for Nikon L35AF, really nice lens and camera ergonomics are fantastic too.
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Old 01-22-2019   #24
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Originally Posted by newjerseysurf View Post
...in regards to the camera - i am not really looking for an SLR. the reason i am interested in a P&S is mainly the portability along with the fact that i really like the look and "feel" of film - and want to learn.

i already have a Fuji X-T2 as my main camera. i am on the search for a durable camera with decent IQ for the times that i don't want to lug the Fuji around.

thanks!
Hi,

The problem is that durability means metal and glass and that doesn't make them all portable in the "slip it into the pocket sense" but one or two meet your spec. I'd suggest, based on experience, the Olympus XA2 I've always had one and bought mine after the XA turned out to be rather fragile (but it does have a decent lens). Neither of them are P&S's but the XA2 comes pretty close, you just have to think for a second before pressing the shutter. Here's a sample:-

It's a bit touristy but that's what the XA2 is good at.

Regards, David

Last edited by David Hughes : 01-22-2019 at 08:02. Reason: Those CRLF's again...
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Old 01-22-2019   #25
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Another vote for the Olympus Stylus Infinity. I've have one from new and beat the daylights out of it and it still works great. Be careful of the Canon 35AF I have one and it has never worked well or took decent photos and is now dead.

The Olympus Stylus Infinity has a great lens:

Sardis by John Carter, on Flickr

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Old 01-22-2019   #26
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Fuji Dl-300 is a nice camera, but it uses DL245 lithium battery which isn't cheap. My vote would go for Nikon L35AF, really nice lens and camera ergonomics are fantastic too.
It actually uses the DL223A/CRP2 battery.
Which still isn't cheap.

But here's a question. Looking at that battery, it seems to just be two CR123 batteries packaged in a plastic case. Is it possible to replace the CRP2 with two CR123s? The advantage is that CR123s are available as rechargeable.
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Old 01-22-2019   #27
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Which of the recommended cameras take easy to find (cheap) batteries?
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Old 01-22-2019   #28
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I second the Yashica Electro35 GSN. I just picked one up for $10 (I probably overpaid) but paid $12.50 for a battery from B&H. IMHO the lens is one of the sharpest that I own. But a bit heavy and not a P&S.
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Old 01-22-2019   #29
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Which of the recommended cameras take easy to find (cheap) batteries?
I dont know of any that take cheap ie aa/aaa batteries. they all seem to take lithium cells, some are just harder to find than others locally. but w the internet anything is available in a few days.
Itís handy to find on that takes cr2 or cr123 cells as those tend to be easier to
find locally, are also made as rechargeable, and can be bought in bulk as off brand. I think my old Olympus stylus/mju took a cr2. my nikon Zoom800 takes 2 cr123
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Old 01-22-2019   #30
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Rollei Prego Micron/Ricoh R1
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Old 01-22-2019   #31
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The Nikon L35AF takes 2 AA batteries.

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Old 01-22-2019   #32
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Rollei Prego Micron/Ricoh R1
Konica 28WB/35WB (Genba Kantoku)
The Konica's are bomb proof. I should get another. I had a 35WB YEARS ago.

I would avoid the Rollei Prego Micron/Ricoh R1 like the plague.

I have been trying to repair mine for over a month... 2 donor bodies later Im ready to throw the things in front of a salt truck.


No one has mentioned the Canon ML? 40/1.9 lens and AA batteries! Wont exactly fit in your pocket... maybe your hoodie pocket.
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Old 01-22-2019   #33
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It actually uses the DL223A/CRP2 battery.
Which still isnt cheap.

But here's a question. Looking at that battery, it seems to just be two CR123 batteries packaged in a plastic case. Is it possible to replace the CRP2 with two CR123s? The advantage is that CR123s are available as rechargeable.
I stand corrected, those two batteries look almost the same, thank you. You will be able to fit cr123 into battery compartment, but they will be loose in there and you will also need to conect - to + terminal at one end to create 6volts.

Nikon L35Af can shoot up to 5-7 rolls on one pair of cheap AA batteries. Olympus XA uses SR44, and they will last forever, especially lithium or silver oxide type (not LR44)
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Old 01-22-2019   #34
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The original Olympus Stylus (mju1) doesn't seem as fragile as the Stylus Epic (mju2) I gave away.
I agree a zone or scale focus camera is actually a better bet. The Olympus XA2 is a good choice.

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Old 01-22-2019   #35
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Konica Big Mini

Honestly, I would look for an Olympus 35RC at a decent price. Pocketable fixed lens, rangefinder camera with great lens. It was the "point and shoot" of the 70's. Has auto exposure but manual focus. Produces great photographs. You would learn more about film photography by using it than using a full auto point and shoot.
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Old 01-22-2019   #36
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Konica Big Mini

Honestly, I would look for an Olympus 35RC at a decent price. Pocketable fixed lens, rangefinder camera with great lens. It was the "point and shoot" of the 70's. Has auto exposure but manual focus. Produces great photographs. You would learn more about film photography by using it than using a full auto point and shoot.
the BM is awesome looking but goes for ~$200 on eBay it appears.

i will check out the 35RC - thanks!
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Old 01-22-2019   #37
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The problem with trying to find cameras at Goodwill anymore is they hold them from general sales, and put them on the ShopGoodwill site instead. So things you might have paid a couple of dollars for back in the good old days now go for ridiculous amounts after they get bid up by over enthusiastic buyers. Then you have to pay shipping on top of that, unless you're lucky enough to source them at a local shop.

I still find an occasional gem at junk shops and yard sales, but even those sources are starting to dry up.

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Old 01-22-2019   #38
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The original Stylus Epic or Mju is the best bet for the money without a doubt. Not as quick as the Mju II, but those things went through the roof pricewise. Crazy.

I am in purge mode right now and have two of the Stylus Epics if you are looking for one.

I've used just about every point and shoot over the years, and aside from the premium ones, the Olympus are the best overall.
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Old 01-22-2019   #39
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The problem with trying to find cameras at Goodwill anymore is they hold them from general sales, and put them on the ShopGoodwill site instead. So things you might have paid a couple of dollars for back in the good old days now go for ridiculous amounts after they get bid up by over enthusiastic buyers. Then you have to pay shipping on top of that, unless you're lucky enough to source them at a local shop.

I still find an occasional gem at junk shops and yard sales, but even those sources are starting to dry up.

PF
This might be the case at our local Goodwill. There was a time not too long ago one could find P&S cameras often. I'd see all sorts of Olympus, Nikon, and Canon P&S cameras. Now, nothing.

That Stylus up above was found in a St Vincent DePaul --and now I remember they were having a 50% off sale on stuff in the basement, so that camera cost less than 50 cents.
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Old 01-22-2019   #40
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P&S prices are crazy today. The most expensive are the small fixed focal length cameras from the '90s (i.e. Stylus, Tiara, Big Mini, the AF600 and the ever so expensive Yashica T4/T5). If you don't wanna pay $100+ at ebay or off the shelf, stick with scale focus cameras, zoom P&S (like some later Olympus Mju: models and Pentax Espio series), or larger '80s cameras. Deals may still be present if you frequent local thrift stores and flea markets. Being patient on ebay is a good choice too.

That said, the Nikon L35AF and its many 35/2.8 equipped rivals from mid '80s are your best bet. They are portable, but may not be jeans pocketable. Optics, specs and ergonomics are mostly excellent.

Personally the Minolta AF-C is a favorite. It represents a curious transition period from zone focus to autofocus; a 35/2.8, 6 elements lens is packed into a Olympus XA2 like body, with manual film advance. Truly pocketable and quiet. Do not overpay though since its price has also been on the rise.
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