Canon Sure Shot Zoom S – S AF (1989)

Part of the “Modern Classics” series of our collection. This one is from mid 1993. One of the more sophisticated AF point and shoot (click) plastic fantastic 35mm cameras of the 1990s. There were two versions of this camera – this one, the Sure Shot Zoom S and the Sure Shot Caption Zoom (with removable remote control).


As released from the factory – still new in the box.

The zooming range covers 38-60mm. Other features include auto focus, auto film load, advance wind, auto flash and auto macro. Canon claims it has an improved autofocus control – ‘Evaluative Active System’  that looks at the entire frame and recognizes the main subject based on its distance to the camera (sounds pretty standard to me). Anyway they made a big deal about it in the owner’s manual.


The Canon lens is Spectra-coated and is constructed with 6 elements in 6 groups. I assume it’s glass.

Canon recommends using DX-coded film. The camera automatically sets ISO 50-3200. Non DX-coded film will set to ISO 100.


Well placed shutter release button and large LCD. The auto flash feature can be turned off. What I found surprising was that there was no “Red Eye” reduction system available. Probably too early for that.

The Canon Sure Shot Zoom S features a 3-zone metering, AE programmed system that focuses from about 60cm to infinity. It uses one 6V lithium battery (2CR5) which is still readily available (I just purchased one for $7 with free shipping).


Nice centered viewfinder that is bright and well marked. Super simple back with easy to find and use on-off button.


The TILT lever is pretty cool – it has two positions when you pull it out. When setting the camera down on a flat surface (like a table) for taking selfies, it tilts the camera slightly upward so as not to get the table or whatever in the pic.

The camera is large for a point and shoot – weighs in at 384 grams with the battery and compared to the 1980 model Canon A-1 35mm SLR, almost as large!


The Sure Shot is a large camera – it fits very nicely in my hands and feels solid. The buttons are all recessed so it does take a bit of finger olympics to push them all the way in. By the way, the A-1 with my FD 24mm lens weighs in at 934 grams!


As you hear us say all the time, if you want to collect modern film cameras from the 1980s and 1990s, the best way is if you can find a complete original set, new in the box. Why not if they’re still out there and available. They don’t make them anymore and some of these cameras are quite capable of outstanding images – some would spend crazy money on the more well known cameras for almost unnoticeable differences in the final image (especially since most people don’t enlarge and print images anymore) and scanned to a PC they’ll look just fine on a high quality monitor.

Pick up one of these Sure Shots and I’m sure you’ll be impressed with it.

Studio Camera: Fujifilm FinePix S9900W


8 thoughts on “Canon Sure Shot Zoom S – S AF (1989)

  1. Every now and again I load a roll of film and it just flashes saying it’s improperly loaded. Do you have any ideas as to why this could be? I load it the same way as always and have shot loads of pictures with it loaded the same way I always do (not sure if there is any way to load it otherwise)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi. The only thing I can think of is maybe the DX “reader” is not indicating the roll of film properly. I know that the DX coding is only for setting the ISO/DIN/ASA but it sounds like the camera is not recognizing that a roll has been loaded. Sorry I don’t have more to add other than eventually older electronics start to fail.


  2. Hi. I found this camera lying around my house and I want to use it but I have never used a film camera before so I have no idea what I’m doing. What specific type of film do I need? Thanks!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi!
      Thanks for your question and sorry about the delay in getting back to you. The camera takes typical 35mm film that can be purchased online at places like B&H and others.
      I enjoy using Fujicolor and my preferred film of choice is FUJIFILM Fujicolor Superia X-TRA 400 Color Negative Film (35mm Roll Film, 36 Exposures)
      This film is then sent to a processing lab such as this where they will develop your film and scan the images to send to you digitally. I suggest these two places as I use them regularly but I receive no paid endorsements from them. I just find their service to be quick and reliable. Good luck!


    2. Remember to test the camera with a fresh battery first (see post for which type) before you purchase film for it. Sometimes that battery (2CR5) can be found at places like Wal Mart and online like eBay.


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