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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.
|miniature folders could compete with rigid body miniature cameras until the 1950s|
image by Josue Armando Serrano (Image rights)
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|
|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||(sample of a proprietary format)||35mm||22×33mm||Ernemann Unette|
|miniature||Baby (common as Japanese camera name-part)||46mm||30×40mm||Falcon Miniature|
|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|