Is it a 35mm camera ? Is it a point and shoot? No it’s the future, its the Ricoh Mirai!
From the front the 1988 Mirai has a video camcorder look, with it’s sculpted black plastic body.
The handle on the left houses the battery compartment. A single CR-P2 or four AAA batteries can be used to power all the functions of the Mirai.
Starting with the On/Off button that …well powers up the camera. It is also used to access the Macro function of the Mirai that allows you to get as close as 1.6ft. However the Mirai has a screw thread on its lens that allowed me to put on a close up lens and get even closer to my subjects. Very very nice☺️
Next to the shutter release button is a camera reset button. Below them is a rocker switch that allows you to operate the zoom lens. When in macro mode this same switch allows you to focus.
The Ricoh Mirai is more than just a point and shoot. While the exposure programmes, of which there are four, are controlled by the camera and initiated depending on the lenses focal length automatically. Being that this is a camera of the future it doesn’t stop there. You can override the shutter speed or aperture by using either of the two arrowed buttons, the grey ones above the shutter button in the image above. This is program shift and the in the camera’s viewfinder an S can be seen next to the shutter speed/ aperture value.
The Mirai’s LCD below which is housed the 35-135mm f 4.2-5.6.
The Creative Control Centre. In addition to program shift you can select +/- 4 stops of exposure compensation. The Mirai’s default metering mode is Automatic Backlight Control, however you can select center weighted average metering via this panel. In addition continuous shooting and bulb mode are to be found in this panel.
If you want more control you can opt for manual focussing.
For some, the most contentious thing about the Mirai is it’s pivoting handle. Yes, it goes against my preconceptions of what a 35mm camera should be like. However after a short period of use you not only get used to it but actually quite like it. It definitely helps to support the 1kg of camera in your hands.
Selfie. The camera is actually mounted on a tripod because of the lower shutter speed needed to take the image.
The back is uncluttered except for a useful auto exposure lock button. The viewfinder is a joy to use. Bright, large and with minimal distractions, lovely☺️
The video linked image below shows a brief handling overview
I had some 2008 expired Colorama film to use. There is no ability to manually set the film speed as this camera features DX coding only😞 However by covering over the DX code with some black tape the Mirai defaults to ISO 100. Perfect exactly what I wanted.☺️
Being this time of the year the garden is rich in colour and a welcome location for a little closeup photography.
The Geranium below, with it being in the light and with a very dark background, illustrates the auto backlight control metering well
I love the buttery bokeh in the image below, I could not have asked for more!
When in macro mode the front rocker button is used to control focus, even with a close up lens on. Nice.
The Mirai struggles in low light to focus, hunting a little. I’m not sure about the reason for the colour cast in the next two images. Whatever the reason it is easily corrected.
Corrected with a white balance adjustment.
With the image below I tried to use the fill in flash function on the camera. I’m not sure what happened here, probably user error🤨
Again white balance adjustment corrects the colour cast
With a number of features untouched I will need to try this camera again. However given the results from my one film excursion in the garden, I want to try it again. It has enough charm/novelty to look forward to using it again.