Miniature

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Miniature cameras are primarily those for the 35mm film standard which was set by the Leica Ia in 1925, and officially standardized in 1934 as cartridged sprocket-hole still photo film in ISO 1007. The common frame format is 24×36mm. Inventor of the format was George P. Smith in 1912, but Oskar Barnack the one who successfully set the standard, and the refinement of the film cartridge was done by Kodak.

But historically the term miniature was also used for all formats on film types with 35mm width and several others, mainly formats for type No. 127 film rolls except 4×6.5cm which generally is seen as the smallest medium format film frame size.

The largest subminiature format, the camera size class below miniature, is defined by APS-film on 24mm film stripes since it is narrower than 35mm. It could be seen as miniature too, but the definition of APS as subminiature was made by the leading web-sites about subminiature cameras submin.com and subclub.org as well as by Wikipedia, all embracing APS and even 35mm half-frame format as subminiature whereas others would classify the latter as miniature. The film width could be a good criteria to draw the border, but the frame format as well.


submin.com's definition of subminiature cameras embraces also film still cameras which are as small as APS compact cameras, thus making it really too difficult to draw a border.

subclub.org excludes all cameras delivering standard 35mm 24×36mm, Wikipedia sees only half-frame as subminiature - a good proposition. Thus we should say that all cameras using a kind of 35mm film with frame format larger than half-frame should definitely be called miniature and not subminiature!

class common term film width frame size example camera
subminiature APS 24mm C,H,P Canon IXUS
subminiature/miniature half-frame 35mm 18×24mm Olympus Pen
miniature 35mm 35mm 24×36mm Leica Ia
miniature (early variant of 35mm standard allowed 40 shots instead of 36) 35mm 24×32mm QRS Kamra
miniature Rapid 35mm 24×24mm Minolta 24 Rapid
miniature Kodapak 35mm 28×28mm Instamatic 104
miniature (sample of a proprietary format) 35mm 22×33mm Ernemann Unette
miniature Baby (common as Japanese camera name-part) 46mm 30×40mm Falcon Miniature
miniature 44 46mm 40×40mm Yashica 44
miniature (maximum format referred to as "miniature") 46mm 40×50mm Minion
medium format vest pocket 46mm 40×65mm Vest Pocket Kodak
medium format Semi (common as Japanese camera name-part) 61.5mm 45×60mm Semi Olympus

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