Ricoh Auto Shot


The Ricoh Autoshot is interesting for several reasons.  The primary one is its lack of a film winding lever, that function is done through a clock spring wound on the bottom. The effect is that the film is advanced and the shutter cocked automatically.  That is something you don’t normally consider with a digital camera or a point and shoot film camera from about the mid 1980’s on but for the mid 1960’s it was pretty revolutionary.  Another interesting thing is the auto exposure system that uses a selenium meter surrounding the lens.  Also the placement of the shutter button on the front, it’s actually more of a slider than a button.   The shutter uses only two speeds either 1/30 for use with flash or 1/125 for the auto exposure system.  The focus is also a zone system with 4 presets for 3ft/6/15/and infinity.  I’m not sure if it is technically the first ‘Point and Shoot’ camera but aside from autofocus it checks off all the other boxes. You only need to compose a picture, press the shutter and repeat and you don’t even need batteries to do it.

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