Pentax Espio 120 Mi

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The Pentax Espio 120 Mi is a compact 35mm camera that reminds me of the Efina T both are angular and have a tough metal body that allows them to survive thrift store bins while their plastic brethren slowly get scratched to oblivion.

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As you can see there is a need to use red-eye reduction when using the flash for portraits.

And flash is required in all but the best light with it’s slow f5-12.5 lens.  Seriously though this was the biggest problem with these cameras and the reason that so many people got back blurry images and got discouraged, why wouldn’t you try the new digital cameras that were coming out. (Note: the early digital cameras were actually worse but improved rapidly)  What the Pentax Espio 120Mi does have in its favour is accurate autofocus and exposure metering.  It is a nice design and on the smaller side but 38-120mm f5-12.5 doesn’t cover enough of a focal range or enough light gathering to recommend it over other similar cameras. It is however a nice example of camera design from the turn of the last millennium.  It is only marginally larger than an Olympus Stylus Epic yet provides a zoom lens.

One thing about one camera:  The Pentax Espio 120 Mi uses a hinged lever that you lift and turn 45degrees to open the back resulting in very well secured film.  This design seems to first appear with APS film cameras and evolves and is seen again with the battery release and memory card access on the K10D DSLR. It ultimately makes its way into the professional models of Canon Nikon and the Pentax 645Z.
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Thank you APS film for giving us something of use!


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