Minolta TC-1

The world’s smallest luxury lens-shutter camera with a titanium steel body, superior-quality optics, aperture-priority AE, plus auto and manual focusing.

The Minolta TC-1 is an ultra-high-quality, miniaturized, multi-featured camera with a titanium steel body for long-lasting durability. It is a camera unrivalled in both form and function. Fitting easily in a shirt pocket, the TC-1 is the smallest lens shutter camera available that offers the creative functions and sharp image quality of an SLR. The advanced automated features provide point and shoot simplicity, while the manual overrides and function control dial allow for personal style and creative expression. Also, the TC-1’s superior optics and exposure control let you get the high-quality results you expect from slide films. (c.f. http://filmcamera.multiply.com/photos/album/24 details originally extracted from Minolta Web site http://konicaminolta.com )

Point & Shoot Ease Exciting Features High-Quality Results


Miniature Size with Top-Quality Performance
The Minolta TC-1 is an ultra-high-quality, miniaturized, multi-featured camera with a titanium steel body for long-lasting durability. It is a camera which is unrivalled in both form and function. Fitting easily in a shirt pocket, the TC-1 is the smallest lens shutter camera available that offers the creative functions and sharp image quality of an SLR. The advanced automated features allow point and shoot simplicity, while the manual overrides and function control dial allow for personal style and creative expression. Additionally, the superior optical quality and exposure control allows the full potential of color reversal (slide) films to be achieved.

The Minolta TC-1 is the ideal companion for those who love to take pictures, have some knowledge of photography, and want a camera that can be taken anywhere, anytime, easily and conveniently.

Superior-Quality Lens
The TC-1 features an ultra-wide-angle 28mm aspherical glass lens (five elements in five groups) which delivers superior image quality with edge-to-edge sharpness even at a maximum aperture of f/3.5. Aspherical lens elements reduce aberrations and also improve the quality of off-centre images with wide angles of view. Lens performance is further enhanced by multi-coated surfaces which reduce flare and allow high light transmittance for exceptionally clear images. The lens system also features circular apertures which create natural-looking backgrounds and highlights. Additionally, an all-metal lens housing provides stable and precise optical alignment even in extreme temperatures. Click here for depth-of-field table.

Wide Angle Real-Image Viewfinder with Dioptre Adjustment
For maximum eye comfort, the Minolta TC-1 features a large, high-magnification viewfinder with the world’s widest angle-of-view. This real-image viewfinder uses aspherical lenses and glass roof prisms to provide a bright image and clear displays. Pushing the shutter-release button partway down displays shutter speed, flash status, focus OK indicator, and focus distance scale. Viewfinder dioptre adjustment controls allow the user to set the viewfinder optics from -2.5 to +1 dioptres, to match his or her eyesight requirements.

Auto and Manual Focusing
The TC-1 uses an external passive-type 455-step auto focus system which is able to focus accurately even on distant subjects, objects behind glass, or mirror images. An analogue focus indicator displays the focus distance inside the viewfinder. Manual focus is also available, with 22-step presets in the data panel. Pressing the shutter-release button partway down activates the AF system and the analogue focus indicator. The focus indicator is displayed in both auto and manual focus modes.

Aperture Priority AE
The TC-1 provides user-selectable circular apertures of 3.5, 5.6, 8, and 16. The photographer can choose the aperture that best suits his or her particular needs, and the camera will select the proper shutter speed. The circular-type aperture provides a beautiful background blur and circular highlights as opposed to the angular highlights produced by most lens-shutter cameras.

Elegant and Durable Body Design
The Minolta TC-1 features a strong and lightweight titanium steel body which is both corrosion proof and shock proof. Titanium provides a lightweight, long lasting and durable exterior which protects the inside components while providing a beautiful appearance throughout the camera’s lifetime. Inside, the TC-1’s film pressure plate and film guide rails are crafted from aluminium for strength, precise film flatness, and long life.

Function Selector Dial/Lever Combination
Instead of numerous buttons, the TC-1 incorporates nearly all its function controls into a large, easy to operate, all-metal dial. The dial has settings for +/- exposure compensation, auto and manual focus modes, flash, red-eye reduction, ISO, self-timer, and a setting lock, with distinctive click stops for each position. Additionally, a function-selector lever conveniently positioned in front of the dial provides easy, one-finger operation.

+/- Exposure Compensation
This allows the user to deliberately over expose or under expose the shot up to +/-4EV, in 0.5 EV increments. Exposure compensation is very useful with predominantly white or dark subjects or scenes, scenes with strong highlights or shadows, strongly back-lit subjects out of flash range, landscapes with a large portion of sky, or for bracketing exposures.

Spot Metering
The TC-1 is equipped with the same spot metering system as some of today’s SLR cameras. The diameter of the spot meter circle is 5.5mm, and the EV range is 2.5 - 17 (at ISO 100). Spot metering is very helpful in unusual lighting situations where accurate subject exposure is critical, since it allows the user to base the exposure on a small and specific area of the scene. To take a spot meter reading, place the viewfinder’s spot meter circle on the subject, press and hold the spot button, and press the shutter-release button down to take the picture.

Built-In Flash
The built-in flash has a guide number of 23 ft. and provides 28mm lens coverage. It features off, on, fill, night portrait, and red-eye reduction (via lamp) modes. In backlit scenes, fill/night portrait mode properly exposes the subject while slightly overexposing the background to maintain a backlit appearance. At sunset or with illuminated night scenes, the same mode uses a slow shutter speed to balance the flash illumination on the subject with the background’s ambient light. In red-eye reduction mode, the TC-1 fires three bursts from the red-eye reduction lamp to close down the subject’s pupils before the exposure flash is fired.

Automatic Film Transport
The Minolta TC-1 features a miniaturized film transport motor (developed from SLR technology) which is 60% the size of conventional film transport motors with the same power output. This high-power motor provides automatic first frame setting, auto film advance, and auto rewind. In addition, power rewind may be activated at any time.

Additional Features:
Pan Focus
To maximize depth-of-field, set the manual focus to 3m and the aperture to f/16. This will provide the greatest depth-of-field within the focus range.

Highlight Compensation
To accurately reproduce a highlight, set +2 to +2.5 EV compensation and spot meter the highlight.

Shadow Compensation
To accurately reproduce shadow areas, set -2 to -2.5 EV compensation and spot meter the shadow.

Dual-Mode Self-Timer
Once activated, this function delays shutter release by either two seconds or ten seconds, depending on the user’s setting. The two-second timer is recommended along with tripod mounting to prevent camera shake in low-light situations with slow shutter speeds. The ten-second setting allows the user to set up the shot and appear in the photo. To signal countdown, the red-eye reduction lamp blinks with increasing speed.

Data Panel Illuminator
If the light is low, the user can illuminate the body data panel simply by pressing the illuminator button located to the left of the viewfinder eyepiece. The data panel will remain lit for 5 seconds after the button is pressed.

Auto Power OFF
To conserve battery power, the TC-1 automatically shuts off if not used for 5 minutes

Point & Shoot Ease Exciting Features High-Quality Results


35mm compact auto/manual focus, aperture priority, built-in flash camera.

28mm f/3.5mm; 5 all-glass elements in 5 groups; 3 aspherical surfaces.

Real-image type with 0.4x magnification. 85% field of view at 9.8 ft.; dioptre adjustment from -2.5 to +1.

External, passive-type AF with focus lock; built-in LED-type AF illuminator activated automatically in low light or low contrast situations; AF illuminator range: 8.2 ft. Maximum magnification 1/13.5x.

Focusing Steps:
455 for auto focus; manual focus with 22 selectable zones.

Focus Range:
1.47 ft. to infinity.

Aperture-priority program; manual aperture settings f/3.5, 5.6, 8, and 16. At EV 11.5 - 12.5, the aperture will be smaller than f/5.6.

Programmed automatic electronic type; speeds: 4 - 1/750 sec.

2-segment centre-weighted/spot. Centre-weighted: EV 1.5 - 17 (f/3.5, 4 sec. - f/13.5, 1/750 sec.). Spot: EV 2.5 - 17 (f/3.5 2 sec. to f/13.5 1/750 sec.).

Exposure Compensation:
+/- 4 EV in 1/2-step increments.

Film Speed Setting:
Automatic setting for DX-coded print or slide films; manual setting available. Non-DX-coded film set to 100.

ISO Range:
(auto): ISO 25 - 3200 in 1/3 EV increments; (manual): ISO 6-6400 in 1/3 increments.

Built-in fixed type with auto, cancel, fill, and night portrait (slow shutter sync) modes. Range at ISO 100: 1.47 - 6.5 ft.; recycling time 5 seconds; guide number 23 feet.

Red-Eye Reduction:
Cancellable, lamp type.

Film Transport:
Automatic motorized film transport, first frame setting, film advance and film rewind; manual start of film rewind and film rewind stop also possible.

10 or 2 second delay; cancellable; lamp signals countdown.

One 3V CR123A/DL123A lithium cell.

Battery Performance:
Approximately 13 rolls (24-exposure film with flash on 50%).

3.89 x 2.32 x 1.16 in.

Weight (without battery):
6.5 oz. 185g


99.0 (W) x 59.0 (H) x 29.5mm
with a built-in flash
Miniaturization Technology
miniaturized layout and components


G-Rokkor 28mm f/3.5 lens
5 all-optical glass elements in 5 groups
2 aspheric lenses, 3 surfaces coated
All metal optical mechanics
high accuracy, temperature resistant
Perfect circular aperture creates natural backgrounds and highlights
High accuracy AF (455 steps, built-in AF illuminator)


Titanium Body (strong, lightweight, corrosion and shockproof)
All metal function dial
Rubber finger grip (added camera control)
High magnification viewfinder (world's widest angle of view, large, easy viewing eyepiece with dioptre adjustment)


Fastest lens-shutter speed of 1/350, at maximum aperture of f/3.5
Aperture priority AE (f 3.5, 5.6, 8, 16)
Centre weighted/spot metering
Exposure compensation ñ4EV, 0.5 increments
Analogue focus distance display in viewfinder
Manual focus (0.45m to infinity, 26 zones)
Fill-in flash (Daytime-sync, Slow-sync)
Red-eye reduction

2003/05/29 659.95USD
2003/05/29 404EUR
*2003/06/07 296EUR
2003/06/08 404EUR
2003/06/11 423.50EUR
2003/07/16 692.90USD
2003/08/13 445.44EUR
2003/08/16 401EUR
2003/09/09 4.50EUR - brochure
2003/09/14 605EUR
2003/10/21 510USD
2003/11/16 310GBP
2004/01/09 426EUR
2004/05/13 510EUR
2004/07/17 643.33USD
2004/12/19 1EUR (brochure)
2004/12/20 269.88EUR
2004/05/29 598EUR
2005/05/29 321EUR
2005/10/16 394EUR
2005/10/16 312EUR
2005/11/08 385GBP
2005/11/12 317.66EUR
2006/04/14 690CAD (342.27GBP)
2006/04/16 421EUR
2006/06/29 600USD (box)
2006/11/20 535USD (box)
2006/11/28 306EUR (box)
2006/11/29 265.50GBP (box)
2007/10/17 421.52EUR
2007/19/29 718USD (case)
2008/01/31 206.50GBP (box)
2008/01/31 595USD (box)
2008/04/20 660USD (box)
2008/04/29 250GBP (box)
2008/05/01 475USD (box)
2008/06/11 930USD
2008/08/17 192GBP
2008/08/19 499USD

Last Updated on 29th September 2008