Chinon Belami AF
posted 8-6-'02

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Webmaster: This Belami is a very simple point and shoot.  Flipping the door open also opens the flash and charges it.  It will continue to charge unless you hold it closed by hand, it will not lock closed unless the lens door is closed.  I do not know if leaving the lens cover open for a long time will discharge the battery while the flash remains "ready".


Nomenclature ....3

Specification ....6

Safety Lock System ....10

Simplified Guide for Basic Operation ....10

1. Battery installation ....13

2. Lens Door Opening and Closing ....13

3. Battery Check : .....15

4. Automatic Film Speed Setting .....17

5. Automatic Film Loading .....19

6. Film Type Window ....21

7. Holding the Camera ....21

8. Picture Taking .....23

9. Focus Lock ......27

10. Flash Photography ......29

11. Effective Flash Range ......29

12. Off-Flash Photography .....31

13. Rewinding the Film .......33

Care of the Camera .......35


1. Hand Strap

2. Shutter Release Button

3. Frame Counter

4. Auto Focus Window

5. Viewfinder

6. Exposure Window

7. Sensor Flash

8. Battery cover

9. Lens

10. Lens

11. Back Cover Release Button


12. Film Tip Mark

13. Take-up Spool

14. Viewfinder Frame

15. Sprocket

16. Film Chamber

17. Rewind Switch

18. Film Guide

19. DX Contacts

20. Rewind Spindle

21. Film Type Window

22. Film Pressure Plate


Type: Motorized 35 mm full frame lens shutter compact AF camera with built-in retractable sensor flash, retractable lens system, Programmed EE.

Lens F. No.: (F) 1: 3.9.

Focal length: (f) 35 mm.

Construction: 3 elements in 3 groups.

Finder type: Albada type with bright frame.

Finder magnification: 0.45x.

Finder coverage: 85%.

Dioptric factor: -1.0 dir pter.

Viewfinder frame indications: Bright frame, AF frame, Red low-light warning/battery check LED.

Focusing type: Infrared active AF

Focusing range: 1.0 m (3.3 feet)--infinity.

Focus lock: Possible and cancellable.

Shutter type: Mechanical type.

Shutter speed: F3.9-1/125 see to F16.1 - 1/60 sec.

Exposure control: Programmed EE. F3.9, F8, F16.

Exposure photocell: CdS.

Film speed: Automatic seeing for ISO 100/200 and 400/1000 for DX trims. ISO 100 for non DX films

Film loading: Automatic film loading by built-in motor

Film advance: automatic by built-in motor.

Film rewind: Automatic rewinding activated by the rewind switch. Manual rewinding at the middle of the roll is also possible.

Film counter: Additive and reverse counting type during the rewinding.

Auto rewind stop: Rewinding stops automatically upon rewind completion.

Flash type: Retractable electronic sensor flash

Flash G. No.: 8 (ISO 100.m).

Flash range: 1.3-3.2 meter (4.3' - 10.5') (ISO 00).

Recycle time: Approx. 3.5 sec.,

OFF flash mode: Built-in.

Flash ready lamp: Built-in.

Battery checker: guilt-in LED.

Strap: Hand strap/detachable.

Film type window: Built-in.

Power source: 1 x CR1 23A or DL1 23A lithium battery (3 Volt)

Dimensions: 126(W)x66(H)x38(D) mm (5.0 x 2.6 x 1.5").

Weight: 220 9 (7.7 ounces).

Specifications are subject to change without notice.

The Chinon Belami AF incorporates a "Safety Lock" system that prohibits the release of the shutter and film winding unless the film is properly loaded and in the camera. For testing camera functions without a film cartridge, release the shutter with the back over opened.


A. Insert a battery (Fig. A).

B. Load the film properly and close the back cover (Fig. 8).

C. Open the lens door (Fig. C).

D. Release the shutter until "1 " appears in the film counter window (Fig. D).


E. Look through the viewfinder and point the AF frame towards your subject. (Fig. E)

F. Release the shutter by pressing the shutter release button gently (Fig. F).

G. When the roll of film is completed, slide the rewind switch to the ON position (Fig. G).

H. Remove the exposed film cartridge from the chamber (Fig. H).


The Chinon Belami AF uses a 3 volt lithium battery of the DL-123 or CR-123 type.

1. Open the battery cover to the direction of the anew mark to open the battery cover (Fig. 1).

2. Insert a battery in accordance with the positive "+" and negative "-" marks shown inside the battery compartment (Fig. 2).

3. Close the battery cover (Fig. 3).


Note: When the camera is not in use longer time period, close the lens cover and remove the battery and store them in a dry location. This will prevent the possibility of battery leakage and damage to your camera.


1. Open the lens door in the direction of the arrow (Fig. 4)

2. The lens door can be closed by gently pressing it back until it locks in the closed position (Fig. 5).

The shutter cannot be released unless the lens door is fully opened or during its opening and closing process.

When the camera is not in use, keep the lens door closed to protect the lens from accidental damage and to conserve the battery.

· Once the lens door is opened, it automatically stops at the proper position for picture taking. Never force or push it further than its intended position.


1. Open the lens door.

2. Cover the exposure window with your finger and press and hold the shutter release button halfway (Fig. 6).

3. Check to see if the low-light warning/battery check LED (red) in the viewfinder lights up (Fig. 7). If it does not light up, the battery is too weak and battery replacement with a new one is required.

Note:  In cold temperature (less than 0°C or 32°F), battery performance will be effected. In such conditions, keep the battery as warm as possible when using the camera.

Before installing the battery, always wipe it with a dry cloth to clean and dry the battery contacts.


1. Use of a DX coded color negative film is recommended. The proper film speed is automatically selected (Fig. 8).

Note:  DX color negative films of ISO 100, 200, 400 and 1000 can be used with the Chinon Belami AF. It will select the ISO 100 setting for ISO 200 DX films and the ISO 400 setting for ISO 1000 DX films.

For non-DXing films, the ISO 100 speed setting will be automatically selected.

Recommendations for using ISO 400 and 1000 high speed films:

These high speed negative films are ideal for in door picture taking or outside with hazy or cloudy conditions.

Under very bright light situations, such as scenes at the beach or snow skiing, or when taking close-up pictures with a flash, these high speed films may result in over exposed negatives. In such cases, use of slower speed films such as ISO 100 DX film is recommended 


1. Open the back cover by sliding the release button down (Fig. 9).

2. Install the film cartridge. 10).

3. Pull out the film Up from the film cartridge until it lines up with the film up mark and place it on the film take up spool (Fig. 11).

4. Make sure that the film lies flat between the film guide rails (Fg. 12). Close the back cover.

5. Open the lens door and release the shutter until "1" appears in the film counter window (Fig. 13). You are now ready to take photographs.

· If the shutter and film advance system do not function properly after the film is loaded, reload the

· Due to the Safety Lock system built into the Chinon Belami AF, the shutter cannot be released if the back cover is closed without a properly loaded film cartridge inside. For checking camera functions without film, the back cover must be opened.

· Always load and unload your camera in subdued light, and never in direct sunlight.

The Chinon Belami AF incorporates a film type window in the back cover so that you can easily check the type of film that is being used (Fig. 14).

Always hold the camera securely. Make sure that your fingers do not cover the flash, picture taking lens or exposure window when taking a picture.

Viewfinder information

(1) Bright frame

(2) AF frame

(3) Low light warning/battery check LED (red)


1. Since the Auto Focusing system measures the distance on subjects which are positioned within the area of the AF frame, always make sure to point the AF frame toward your main subject when

2. Always depress the shutter release button gently to avoid taking blurred pictures caused by camera shake.

3. Refer to section 9, focus lock, for picture composition suggestions.

Note: The Auto Focusing system may not focus correctly with the following subjects.

a. Subjects with very low light reflectivity such as black hair or black clothing.

b. Subjects with shiny surfaces such as a car's exterior or water.

c. Subjects photographed through glass. If the low light warning LED lights up when the shutter release button is pressed halfway, the sensor flash system will be automatically activated. Please refer to the Flash Photography section. The effective Auto Focus range is 1.0 meter (3.3 feet) to infinity.


Focus lock is effective when you want to position your main subject off-center in the picture taking area.

1. Look through the viewfinder and point the AF frame directly at your main subject and press the shutter release button halfway to lock the focus (Fig. 15).


2. While pressing the shutter release button halfway, compose the picture as you wish and gently press the shutter release button all the way down to take the photograph.


· The focus lock system is cancellable by lifting your finger from the shutter release button.


The Chinon Belami AF utilizes the Sensor Flash system to fire the flash automatically when necessary (the low light warning LED in the viewfinder will light up when the shutter release button is pressed halfway if the flash will be used for that particular shot). In such a case, release the shutter only after the flash ready light has lit (Fig. 16).

· In the Sensor Flash mode, if the shutter is released before the flash ready light goes on, the flash will not Are or will fire at reduced power and the picture will be under exposed. When the lens cover opened and the flash is needed, this camera starts charging automatically. But when shutter release button depressed halfway, this camera does not charging. Take your finger off the shutter release button at once. When the flash neon lamp is light up, flash is fully charged, press the shutter release button to fire the flash.

ISO 100 1.3 - 3.2 m  4.3 - 10.5 ft
ISO 400 1.3-4.6 m 4.3-15.1 ft



Off-flash photography is recommended when taking a picture in places that prohibit flash photography such as in an art museum.

1. For Off-flash photography, push the flash back to its closed position and hold it there while taking the picture (Fig. 17).

2. Removing your finger will allow the flash to pop back up and return the Belami AF to the sensor flash mode.


When a roll of a film is completely exposed, the film advance motor will stop automatically.

 Rewind the film as soon as possible in the following manner.


1. Slide the rewind switch on the bottom of the camera to the ON position (Fig. 18).

2. Film rewinding will start. During film rewinding, the frame counter will count in descending order (Fig. 19).


3. The motor will stop automatically when rewinding has been completed. Make sure that the frame counter indicates "S". Open the back cover and remove the completed roll (Fig. 20).

4. The exposed roll of film should be processed promptly.

Note: If the film rewinding takes an unusually long time, replace the battery with a new one. Upon the completion of the film rewinding and after the back cover is opened, the film rewind switch will be set to the OFF position automatically. Never force it back to the OFF position either during the film rewinding process or after the completion of the film rewinding.


The Belami AF is a precision instrument. When used with care it will provide years of trouble-free service. Protect your camera from dirt, rain, dampness and excessive heat. Avoid touching the lens. To clean the lens, wipe it gently with a soft lintless cloth or tissue. Do not use eyeglass tissues as they might damage the lens coating. Do not open and touch the inside of the camera as possible high voltage in the flash circuitry can be dangerous.