This camera arrived in a Poundland Camera Challenge in a joblot for 99p from eBay along with the Pentax Espio AF Zoom. At first glance you’d be forgiven for thinking that this Haking produced number was in the same Zoom AF compact class as the Pentax. But whilst it’s a modern and still made compact zoom, it is weirdly fixed focus !!
This is a slightly older version but is essentially identical except for the addition of a LCD film counter with the current ZME1300 series listed on Haking’s website. These cameras are sold under other branding such as Ansco and confusingly under Halina Tegra branding.
Halina Silhouette Mk1 Specs
- Lens : 28-52mm 1:4.5
- Focus: Fixed
- Exposure: Auto
- Aperture Range : f/4.5- ?
- Shutter: Unknown
- Batteries : 1x CR123A
A Databack verison is also available
At first glance it does look like a basic AF zoom compact. Control wise you have an on/off switch that also has a timer setting. In front of that sits the shutter button and 2 buttons to zoom in & out. The only other control is a button on the front to manually trigger fill in flash or if flash on to change to red-eye reduction (there is a manual rewind switch on the base). The camera is DX coding but given the measly 2 pins at position 2 and 4, I suspect this is to delineate between 100 and 400 ISO (possibly 200 iso as well) . All other films speeds will be set as one or other
The camera doesn’t look much different from any 1990’s/2000’s compact with the exception of the weird coated transparent lens cover that remains there when the camera is on. Its just another thing to get scratched and dust on in my view. Interestingly the silhouette II (ZME1350 series) has a more normal lens cover but is otherwise very similar to the ZME1300.
Loading is identical to most modern cameras with motorwind. To turn camera on slide switch to right and shoot. The flash is automatic and a small warning light comes on by the very simple viewfinder to tell you it is charging (blinks) and is ready (solid). The zoom is slow and pretty noisy
Exposure is actually okay but the 4 Element lens is truly poor particular at the wide setting. The camera is sharpest from about a meter to 3-4 metres so for a snap shot camera on a night out it’s okay, But it isn’t great at distance although using 400 ISO and shooting at the full reach of the zoom helps. It still isn’t great. However as this montage shot suggest forget the wide setting if you want to shoot scenery. The zoom setting vingettes unevenly
The flash does its job pretty well at the short-range but other than forcing on and the gimmicky red-eye feature you have no control. And then there is the weird liability lens cover.
This really isn’t a high point for Halina. It is no hidden jem nor can it be forgiven as an ultra cheap but good basic shooter like the panorama. In 1999 Argos was selling this for £44.95. It was the cheapest zoom compact but my money would have been on the same priced non zoom AF compacts from the big Japanese manufacturers. Even the dubious Canon mate AZ-100 worked better (bar flash)
Why Buy ?
- Modern styling
- Flash is okay
- ..erm ?
- Lens awful
- 1.8x zoom
- No real features
What it Cost, came with and what happened to it
- Part of group for 99p & £5 P&P (effectively £1 with P&P)
- Came with Strap & case
- They don’t really sell on ebay for more than a quid so to Charity
- Halina Micro 35 – Better fixed focus flash number from Haking
- Pentax Pino 35 – How to do a no frill flash shootah
- Pentax Espio AF Zoom – High end 90’s AF camera
- Halina Silhouette (LCD) at Sylvain Halgand’s site (French)