Confused??? Don’t be. Here’s a fun little 35mm film camera made by Konica in 1989. It’s called the Kanpai – essentially “cheers”. It’s a voice-activated camera that was designed to attach to a special mini tripod that allowed the camera to swivel (up to 100 degrees) and would take a picture whenever someone at a party yelled “cheers!” or whatever.
Part of our “Modern Classics” and “Plastic Fantastics” collection of film cameras.
The microphone on the front of the camera (the 3 little holes next to the microphone icon) adjusts to the ambient sounds of a party and would then “listen” for when someone yelled “cheers” or whatever – it would then operate a small motor in the base which would turn the camera (when attached to the dedicated tripod) towards that sound and snap a picture. The lights above the microphone indicate the level of ambient sound and some degree of sensitivity.
The “framing monitor” is simply an optical waist level finder. The LCD indicates the selectivity and sensitivity (little Pac-Man looking thingy) of the microphone and how far the camera rotates to capture an image when attached to the dedicated tripod.
Not the original tripod – no cute shoes (yet).
From a Konica press release: “One of three sound-level settings can be chosen. When used on low, the shutter is automatically released after 11 minutes and every three minutes thereafter even if no sound is detected, or when it detects a moderate noise level lasting at least 0.2 seconds. On medium and high sound-level settings, however, the camera fires only when responding to sounds with durations of 0.3 and 0.5 second or longer respectively (a single clap of the hands, for instance, won’t trip the shutter).
Although exposure interval times will vary with the camera’s sound-activated setting and noise levels, a 24-exposure roll of film typically will be fully exposed in 20 to 40 minutes. When mounted on its exclusive tabletop tripod, which couples to the camera’s film-wind motor, the Kanpai rotates left or right after each exposure (in a panning range of approximately 80 degrees) to capture action throughout the room. However, a tripod-mounted camera can also be fixed in one position. When not in its sound-activated release mode, the Konica Kanpai becomes a straightforward, fully automatic compact camera, featuring programmed auto-exposure, a fixed-focus 34mm lens, automatic film transport and ISO film-speed settings (100 & 400), and built-in flash. A clever framing monitor, located on the top of the camera, allows the photographer to take low or high-angle shots without having to look through the viewfinder.”
The camera has a Konica 34mm f/ 5.6 fixed focus lens and an electronic programmed shutter capable of 1 to 1/200 sec. Designed to be used mostly indoors with the flash, I could see it being used as a street camera with its waist level finder.
Auto flash, self-timer, automatic exposure, and auto rewind. Date/time imprinting.
Fresh batteries were inserted (by the way, the date/time defaulted to 1-1-87 and stops at 1-1-19). It takes (1) 2CR5 6V lithium battery and (1) CR2025 button battery.
List price in 1989 was ¥30,000 (about $215 USD) in “stone” finish (we think this one is stone).
We’re still on the lookout for the original tripod and shoes! Many thanks go out to our friend Peggy at Camera Go Camera for passing along this super cool camera! By the way, her site has some neat “STUFF” that she’ll be happy to send your way – check it out!
Available in red.
“Let’s get the party started!”, “Kanpai!”, “Cheers!” – also works if you yell “BANZAI!”
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