Last winter I was in the market for a cheap point and shoot camera. After striking out in person, I set my budget for $20 online and came across the Yashica Auto Focus Motor D. I read a couple reviews and figured with a 2.8 lens it was worth a shot.
I am a sucker for anything Yashica so I am not surprised I like this camera. The Yashica Auto Focus Motor D is an early model point and shoot. It is the fourth version of the Auto Focus line and was released in the early 1980s. It is easy to carry in my bag day to day or on hikes when I do not want to haul a heavy camera. It feels solid in my hand not like the light weight junk cameras often found in this price range. The Yashica Auto Focus Motor D has plenty of good features and only one I do not like.
First, it has a shutter lock so you cannot accidentally take a shot. I wish all cameras had this. Second, the flash does not come on automatically. You have to press on top of the camera to make it pop up. Third, you get to manually set the ISO. I like to set the ISO on automatic cameras to try to limit underexposure. Finally, I like that it has a focus lock button on the front of the camera. The only downside to this is that once it is pressed the only way to reset the focus is to shoot the frame.
The dumbest feature of the Yashica Auto Focus Motor D is the icons showing you an estimate distance of where the focus is set. This is located on the front of the camera next to the lens. To use this feature you would have to center your subject, press the focus lock on front, then turn the camera around to see where it is focused. If it is wrong you will have to shoot it anyways to get the focus to reset and take the shot again. The camera automatically focuses on whatever is in the center of the frame so I almost always use the focus lock and recompose. Oh, one more high point, it takes AA batteries.
To test out the camera I took it along on hikes I have done many times or on outings I did not think would be particularly interesting. I have processed two rolls so far and the camera/user error only missed focus on a couple frames. These shots are all Kodak Portra 400 rated at 200.