Assuming you mean a camera that was not bought with issues, I'd vote for the Minox ML. Got it new and it was a camera I could have kept and used as a main camera for life but, the shutter failed twice. The original design was failure prone I learned later. When mine failed the first time, I sent it to Minox and paid for a new shutter than was an improved version correcting the problem. Sadly, it did not last as long as the 1st and when I contacted Minox they'd not replace it under warranty or give any consideration since it was the 2nd failure. The camera when working was magnificent with one of the best lenses I'd ever used. The zone focusing was no problem and unlike the other Minox 35 models you could hold the exposure and reframe. I understand there was again a redesign and the TDC version is not failure prone but by the time it came out I had sold off the camera and all the acc'ys which was everything Minox had available for it, except the little tripod that I kept.
Another disappointment was the Olympus XA. Took good photos and nothing really wrong with it but I just never could warm up to it. Nothing I could point out but, just never cared for it.
Another was the Minox 9.5mm cameras. I had a B, C, EC and LX. All excellent cameras. Still have the C. Bitch is it seemed right after I got hooked, the Minox distribution in the US dived in quality and prices for film and development went through the roof. Also, film selection nose dived. Again loved the cameras and lenses except for the EC.
Polaroid pack cameras: Hated the results from all the various models I tried until I learned that these were not actually hand holders as shown in all the adverts and literature. I finally figured out they needed a tripod or at least the self-timer or cable release to get decent results. Only exception was with the ISO 3000 b&w with the 180 and 195 and ND filter.
Cream puff, 5 lenses and all sorts of goodies cheap. Works 100%.
I just can't figure out how to hold it. Works great on a tripod, but why use a minature format if you're going to use a tripod anyway, plus I can't get my eye close enough to the finder to see the whole frame, and the shutter's always going off before I'm ready. (big paw hands).
Back to my Nikon Ftn and a random 4x5.
Waaa,,, and it's Sooo cute.
No real disappointing cameras but the 22-55 Canon kit lens that came on the APS SLR line, I shot one and my 28-90 USM kit could have taken a better picture if I smashed the front element on a rock.
FSU rabbit hole. Loved the promise of the FED 2 and several Keivs but after several trips to be adjusted I threw on the towel. I even had the FED2 pimped out with a FED5 take up spool.
While I did learn that I loved Nikon rangefinders out of the journey out was an expensive one on time, frustration and money.
Adjusting for correct expectations, I haven't had a single camera disappoint me.
But any camera I have bought or otherwise received has been to a professional CLA, either before or after I got it, and they have all worked faultlessly, and I'd like to think because I took that precaution.
The only camera that truly faulted me was the Holga, but you have to have no expectation at all using one. On a hot day the 'tension foam' came unglued and rolled itself up into the roll of film that was in the camera. Then it scratched my film to become unusable, in spite of trying at least five different known tricks to avoid that from happening. I took the lens and shutter mechanism off the camera, placed the rest of it on the side walk and ran over it with my car... :) Man that felt good!
Had (and still have) a 35mm Minox GT which continues to work well and is convenient for the pocket....but I've always felt that it was of a very delicate constuction and treated it accordingly! The automatic exposure isn't accurate enough for color slide, and can only be over-ridden by fiddling with the film speed index.
Also bought various s/h 9.5mm Minox stuff about 10 years ago, I'd always wanted to try the system and liked the idea of such a tiny quality camera. Never used it properly (lack of time, not the camera's fault!) and then soon after I acquired (for work needs) a tiny digital one to keep in my pocket as a "notebook". So, with 35mm and 120 for my own photography, the Minox isn't really needed now.
Originally Posted by BrianL
I second the Mamiya 7/7II.
-Body is really cheap feeling
-The film curtain is awkward to operate and feels like its gonna break
-The offset tripod mount means I can't change film without loosening my tripod shoe
But god do I love the negatives......
Early AF SLRs, e.g. The Minolta 600 and Nikon 501 and 601. Evolution occurs faster than the Minolta focusses and to compound the issue the kit zoom is dark. I paid almost nothing for a box of three and that was too much. The Nikon 601 is not a bad camera but one of mine shed a shutter just outside warranty and when I hadn't used them for two years I found the door catches had fallen off (an endemic problem apparently). A friend had a 501 which he tried to replace and was told it was functioning correctly. If it doesn't think it's focussed it won't allow you to operate the shutter. And it never focusses.
An Olympus XA2 was a real dog, not especially sharp, vignetted heavily and felt like it fell out a Christmas cracker. Some people swear by their's.
A Nikon F2AS. Hard to say why, I loved my plain prism F. It's big, heavy and reliable and I always wanted one when they were live but it felt like dating an old sweetheart 30 years on - it was never going to work. I still have it but don't use it.
Regarding the Olympus Stylus Epic: They suffer the same fate as all point-and-shoot cameras: The flash.
The flash on compact cameras (and some built-in flashes on SLR's) is weak and is located really close to the lens.
An underpowered flash means you only get about 3-5 feet of usable flash befoer it foes black. And it is hard to get good fill-flash in bright sun.
Since the flash is so close to the lens, you often get red-eye. And the shots just look ugly and un-natural as well. The (relatively) large-aperture lens does help, but the flash is turned on by default. This is really agrivating.
So while I think the Stylus Epic and Yashica T4 are the best of their class, there are some limitations in their basic design that really make them fall short of being a replacement for a pro camera.
Mine is the zenit 122. Its large and clunky, shutter sounds bad and it just doesn't fit right in my hands.