The half-frame fixed lens SLR Kyocera Samurai X3.0 (also sold as the Yashica Samurai X3.0) is a superb camera. In fact, it's our favorite of many cameras that we've tested this year (the Chinon Bellami is the runner up). It's no surprise to us that it won the Japanese Camera Grand Prix award of 1988. (Due to the more widespread support for half-frame photofinishing, this camera was more commercially successful in Japan than elsewhere).
Half frame cameras like this use ordinary 35mm film but expose a 18x24mm section at a time rather than the usual 24x36mm. This means you get double the number of exposures (48 on 24 exposure roll; 72 on a 36 exposure roll). The Olympus Pen F series from the 1960s are probably the most famous half-frame 35mm cameras.
The Samurai X3.0 is built around a very sharp and fast 25-75mm f3.5-4.3 (14 elements in 13 groups) zoom lens so it yields photos with a very unique look: very sharp but with more pronounced film grain (because of the smaller negative). It supports a wide variety of film speeds (ISO 50 - 3200) so can use high resolution films like Fuji Velvia 50 if you wish to minimize grain or a high speed film Ilford Delta 3200 if you're looking for exaggerated grain.
This camera requires a 2CR5 lithium battery (available as an option).
Note: We showed the test negatives as uncropped pairs to better help people visualize the half-frame negative. Most photo labs will supply the finished photos to you cropped unless you request otherwise.
Condition notes We film tested this camera and the half-frame negatives were all very sharp and correctly exposed. All functions are working correctly. The camera is in very good cosmetic condition (see photos). The original case is included.