Yard Sale Finds: Canon Sureshot Supreme

I admit: I have too many cameras. But it’s only because I love cameras SO much! I justify the fact that I have so many tools in my photographic arsenal by how little most of my equipment cost. I could probably lay out all my “camera stuff” and I probably didn’t pay more than $20 or $30 for each item. Yes, there’s my digital camera set-up that cost a pretty penny, but other than that, everything else was purchased on the cheap.

Today’s featured “cheap as chips” camera is the Canon Sureshot Supreme.

My mom brought this camera, as well as a Polaroid, home with her from a yard sale last month. She is always on the lookout for cheap camera equipment on my behalf! For the Sureshot Supreme and the Polaroid, she paid $3. Yes. That’s $3 for BOTH! That means the camera I’m showing you today cost $1.50. See, you can’t hate on me for getting new cameras when the deals are that good!

Shockingly, the Canon Sureshot Supreme is not a camera I had ever heard of before having it placed in my hands. That meant I had to do a little research on it. Here’s what I found out:

Some technical specifications about the Sureshot Supreme:

  • 38mm/2.8 lens – For a point-and-shoot camera, that’s a FAST lens! Oh, and that lens is glass. Nice!
  • Shutter speed range – 1/8 sec – 1/500 sec. I like that 1/8 end of the range!
  • Auto flash – The flash is automatic, but can be forced to fire or forced to not fire. More on that later though.
  • Close focusing – This camera focuses down to 1.8 feet. Seriously, dude, that is highly unusual for a camera of this ilk. It’s more usual for cameras like this to have a minimum focusing distance of 3 feet or so.
  • Self-timer – Ten second self-timer, which is standard. But there is a really interesting design feature Canon added to go along with the self-timer. I’ll describe that in a second.

Oddities about this Sureshot Supreme:

  • Recessed “cancel flash” button on the bottom – I don’t care for flash photography and use existing light whenever possible, so I always want the ability to turn the flash off when using a point-and-shoot camera. Usually, that is done through a flash menu or a simple on-off switch. On the Sureshot Supreme though, it’s a little more tricky. You have to shove your fingernail or something into a recessed area on the bottom of the camera in order to cancel the flash. That’s not so handy.
  • “Rubber flash cap”Never have I heard of such a thing in all my days. Just as I mentioned in the above paragraph, you can generally force a camera’s flash to fire through a flash menu or on-off switch. This camera, however, has an accessory that is stored on the camera’s strap which is popped into the sensor below the lens which reads the light and  tells the camera whether or not flash is needed. Basically, you trick the camera into thinking there is not enough light in the scene you’re photographing and the flash needs to brighten things up. Seriously though, why didn’t they just put a switch on the camera so you can turn the flash on and off at will?!
  • The “tilt knob” – This is another first for me. So, what Canon has done here is decided that they want to help you make better self-portraits using the camera’s self timer. You are supposed to put the camera on a flat surface and swivel the tilt knob so the camera is pointing slightly upward at you. I guess so you don’t have to crouch down for the picture? I mean, I didn’t realize that this was a huge problem in the lives of casual photographers. Maybe it was in the 1980s when this camera was made though. Maybe back then, photography consumers needed the ability to tilt the camera “up to 16.5°” (according the the camera’s manual.)

Despite the great detail into which I’ve gone about the Canon Sureshot Supreme’s features and quirks, all that  matters is how the pictures turn out. And chances are, most of you just skipped forward to the photo section of this blog anyway. So here are some shots from the first couple of rolls I ran through the Sureshot. These were all shot on Fuji Superia X-tra 400, for those who like to know that sort of thing.

Best of Roll 1:

My first photo with the Sureshot Supreme. A deceased bird outside of Urban Outfitters. I figured it died from hipster overload. But I was pleased how the camera handled the shot! And is that vignetting I detect at the edges? I sure hope so!

It’s shaaaarp. And I thought the lens rendered the sky beautifully.


Gelato at YOLO

Afternoon in the park with my niece

The inside of the leather case that came with the Sureshot. I LOVE when I get used camera equipment which has the previous owner’s name written or engraved on it.

Best of Roll 2:


I mostly wanted the focus to be on the Lego figure, and the camera mostly came through

Great old register at a local fabric and notions store in my family’s town.

It even works on snapshots of my niece with a chocolate bar!


Pink chair in the woods

Check out that creamy bokeh!

Srlsy. Nice bokeh, Sureshot!


The Canon Sureshot Supreme is kind of an odd bird. I honestly haven’t seen any point-and-shoot like it before. Certain design features have left me scratching my head. But I really can’t complain, since the lens on the Sureshot is pretty fantastic, the camera only set me back $1.50, and auto focus point-and-shoot cameras were still in their infancy back in the mid-80s – these weird features of which I speak were probably considered totally rad innovations back then!

11 Thoughts on “Yard Sale Finds: Canon Sureshot Supreme

  1. Love it, Amanda. You know my Solar Powered Sure Shot? It has a variation on the flash on/off button. The problem is, if one makes a self-timer self portrait, there is no way to turn it off unless one “rubber band’s” an object against it, or something.

    You should join this group:


  2. I actually meant to mention the self-portrait/auto flash situation in the posting. I have been trying to figure out what I’d do if I wanted to use the self-timer AND cancel the flash (even if not for self-portraits, but so I can steady the camera for a slower shutter speed.)

  3. Amanda,

    Beautiful photos — especially the bokeh.

    To keep the flash off, I’ve used a bit of gaffer’s tape to keep tiny BB or similar piece of metal or wood pushing against that little button.

    I like the Sure Shot Supreme and found my way here thanks to posting on Flickr in the The 38/2.8 Lounge, a group devoted to such cameras.


    • Thank you SO much!

      I wanted to take a few existing light shots at home the other night and taped the “flash cap” into the flash off button. Have you left it taped for a long period of time without it causing a problem with the camera? I can’t foresee using the flash very often, so I wouldn’t be against taping something in there and leaving it that way for awhile. That is, if it wouldn’t ruin the camera!

    • Sorin on July 23, 2022 at 3:13 am said:

      I too hate to use the flash (flat images, etc.), but would like to know, from your experience, does the use of gaffer’s tape not harm the camera, in any way?
      I mean, to keep the flash button depressed all the time….??

      • I actually do not keep the flash off button depressed at all times. With the tape and whatever it is I am using to make it easier to press the flash off button (I think I ended up using a bit of a toothpick?) the tape just holds the object on and makes it easier to PRESS the flash button. I hope that makes sense! Pressing the button requires so much effort that I don’t know that I would actually be ABLE to tape it in such a way that it cancels the flash at all times!

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  6. Hey, question, on my model pressing the shutter button renders no love, to fire I have to press the self-timer button and then pres the shutter button.

    I imagine this is a defect, any idea on quirks that could cause that? Thanks, great read!

  7. I like this camera alot, but feel it is really let down by the awful shutter button which totally lacks feel.

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