Canon Demi – A Stylish Half Frame Camera

She’s 50 years old and as pretty as the day she was made.  Here’s hoping she photographs as good as she looks.

Love at First Sight for the Canon Demi EE 28

When did I first see a Canon Demi?  I think it was in one of my camera collector books.

Plus, I’ve been thinking of a Petri Racer with its clean lines.

Then I saw what I thought was an under priced Canon Demi on an eBay auction from a Maine Goodwill store.  I kept my eyes on it.

Canon Demi 35mm Film Camera

This eBay advertisement stood out for a number of reasons.

  1. Pretty camera, nice photos.  The camera looked clean and the additional photos (not shown) proved it.
  2. Shutter “flies”.  It’s an odd way to say it, but they’re saying the shutter at least works.  Many cameras have “oil” on their lens which means the shutter freezes in mid-action which means you cannot rewind the camera.
  3. Inexpensive shipping.  $10.29 was a reasonable ship fee.  I’ve seen eBay sellers with $20 ship fees for $10 cameras (no thanks).
  4. Money back guarantee?  Amazing.
  5. Half-frame camera.  I like getting twice as many photos for the same price.  It’s just the German-American in me.

eBay Sniping with 3 Seconds Left

It’s a fun game.  Find a camera on eBay that has one bidder or no bidder at all.  Decide on your maximum price and make your bid.  If you win, you’re delighted.  If you lose, it’s OK.  Someone beat your max price.

Do You Like Half Frame Cameras?

A half frame 35mm camera gives you twice as many photos as normal.  If you have 24 exposures on your film, you get 48 exposures.  It’s kind of like a digital camera before there were digital cameras:  inexpensive photography.

Technical Specs

If you’d like the technical specs on this camera, visit Sub Club’s article on Canon Demi Half Frame cameras.  They do nice work, visit to learn about the Canon Demi cameras.

First Impressions on my Canon Demi EE 28

She’s a cutie.

She’s pretty, looks good, and will fit in my pocket.  The light meter on the top of the camera responds to light and then I adjust the aperture/shutter to bring it into alignment with the suggested setting.  Sadly, I can’t use the camera with independent aperture and shutter settings, they are married together.

The shutter does go from slow to high (1/30th to 1/250th) and the aperture does change in size from tiny to large.  So that’s good.

The inside of the camera looks OK, the seals seem alright.  I purchased the camera for $9.95 plus $9.95 shipping so I’ll just test it with expired film and hope for the best.

There was one tiny dent on the camera but it’s so small I can live with it.  It’s a slipper devil outside of its case, so I attached a strange hand strap from my Konica C35 EF.  It fits perfectly.

The viewfinder is a little yellowish but I can live with that bit of aging.  If you’re a 50 year old Canon camera you might have a bit of yellow in your viewfinder also.

Chicago, Naperville, and Central Illinois

I loaded the camera with some Fuji ASA 200 film.  Took a bunch of photos in Chicago, then on The Farm, and then at a Naperville block party.  I’ll finish on the farm, nice photos.

Chicago Photos – Canon Demi EE 2.8

There are hardly any from Chicago.  10 exposures (20 shots) were not developed by Costco.  Either the camera malfunctioned, I malfunctioned, or Costco had a bad day.  Take your pick.  Here are a few photos.

The exposure was fine on these two photos in one frame.  But I’m not happy with the zone focusing.  In both photos, I was focusing on the foreground object of a plant and some flowers.  They look blurry.

Canon Demi EE 28, August 2013, Chicago, Zone Focus Problem

This indoor photo without flash in my dark front room came out nicely.  This camera does well in low light, not so well on a bright day, decent with medium brightness.

Canon Demi EE 28, August 2013, Chicago, Paul's Remembrance

Naperville, IL Block Party – Canon Demi EE 2.8

It was mid-afternoon and most of the photos were over exposed.  The selenium meter that does automatic aperture/shutter metering apparently didn’t like a sunny block party in Naperville.  Here are a few photos.  The corn bag game seems out of focus (zone focusing) but the father-daughter pictures is focused well, perhaps over exposed. Canon Demi EE 28, August 2013, Naperville Block Party

Down on the Farm – Canon Demi EE 2.8

When I visit my in-law’s farm in central Illinois the photos always seem to come out nicely.  First I’ll show you a bad double-photo (remember, this is a half-frame camera) and how I used Pixlr to make it a good photo.

Canon Demi EE 28, August 2013,  central Illinois, Too Much Light, Overexposed

Magically, using Pixlr, I salvaged the photo of the cornfield.

Canon Demi EE 28, August 2013, Corn and Soybeans


There were some very nice photos on the farm, here are a few more.

Canon Demi EE 28, August 2013, Mindy's Tree at SunriseCanon Demi EE 28, August 2013, Morning Light on the Farm

Summary – Canon Demi EE 2.8 Test Roll

All in all I am pleased, but there some problems.

Canon Demi Processing Problem?  Only 14 Exposures out of 24

I should have 48 half frame photos.  That means 24 photos of side-by-side half frame photos.  Why did Costco only give me 14 exposures out of 24?  I’m not blaming Costco.  I just don’t know what happened to almost half of my photos.

Canon Demi Light Meter Problems

The Canon Demi did very well with exposures in the shade.  The selenium metering had trouble doing photos in direct sunlight.  Here’s a good example of a good exposure at daybreak and trouble at mid-day with an exposure.  Notice, it’s a side-by-side half frame exposure.

Canon Demi EE 28, August 2013, Light Meter Problems

Purchase a Canon Demi EE 28

You bet buy one.  It’s pretty and it’s a fun camera.  Too bad I couldn’t have purchased it 50 years ago when it was new.  But I had a lot of fun with this $10 special from Maine Goodwill on eBay.  Thanks for visiting my Canon Demi EE 2.8 review on What is a Film Camera today.


Canon Demi – A Stylish Half Frame Camera — 2 Comments

    • Jim,

      Thanks for dropping by.

      For the Canon Demi, the selenium meter determines aperture/shutter combination. All automatic.

      There is a Canon Demi 1.7 that has both manual and automatic exposure, but it’s battery operated. I kind of like the old selenium meter. But I also like half-frame cameras. I’m looking for a Canon Demi 1.7 at a good price.

      Any chance of placing my blog on your blog roll? Hope so 🙂


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