Canon MC Gallery Update

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.


  1. The closest I ever got to plastic point and shoots was buying and using a Chinon 35 FA2 in the eighties, but have avoided them as a rule. I regard this generation of plastic point and shoots as disposable. They were never meant to last but the automation sold them for the non photographic population. Some were made better than others but regardless, where is the satisfaction of watching the automation do your thinking for so so results?
    I own a few of these plastic wonders, and they may be worth collecting for historical reasons but seldom for the admiration of their construction. Give me the Olympus Trip if quality automatic exposure is needed.

  2. What Arnold41 said … in spades. I got “banned” posting at 35MMC for making virtually the same comment – that there’s a world of difference between the Olympus XA and the rest of the plastic p&s field – and that difference is the use of crappy leetle motors to do EVERYthing in the majority of p&s cameras. Go to a few thrifts and check out the p&s offerings there in the $2 bin: After you discard the ones with corroded batteries inside, most of the rest will not advance film, or will advance but not rewind, or will not power zoom. I’m a fan of aperture-preferred auto exposure in a p&s, and everything else manual, thank you.

  3. Thanks for your review. Just bougt and repaired one.
    Technical speaking this Camera is not a plastic camera at all.
    Once the (plastic) cover ist off you can see high end 80ies engineering.
    The auto focus is a very strange one, mechanical powered by a loaded spring.
    Looking forward for developing my first roll tomorrow …
    (sorry english is not my mother tongue)

  4. As i said i like the technical solutions inside.
    But – you are right – it is a plasic crap. The back lens is made of plastic.
    When the lens is at 2,8 the quality is really bad.
    So i think also no future for me with this camera.

  5. Oh, you just broke my heart… I still have my original Canon MC that I got back in 1984 or 1985, and I loved it as long as I used it, which was before I switched to digital. I never expected miracles, but I was able to compare my pictures with those taken with comparable Olympus and Pentax cameras back in the day, and mine always came out sharper, with better colours (we usually used iso/asa 200 and not 100 films back then). Mind you, the camera does have its limitations, but then so do all the other comparable models. I brought out my trusty camera the other day because my daughter just got interested in analog photography, and… the lens cover refuses to open! So now I am at a loss because I need to find someone to fix it.
    Maybe age has been cruel to these cameras, but back when I used it regularly, I always enjoyed the quality of the pictures.

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