The Konica Big Mini BM-201: Tiny but Mighty – A Film Camera Review

Jan 10, 2023
7 min read
Konica Big Mini BM-201 film camera review

Ladies and gentlemen, allow me to introduce you to a camera that’s sure to turn heads: the Konica Big Mini BM-201. Now, before you get too excited, I should warn you that this camera isn’t actually “big” at all. In fact, it’s quite the opposite. But don’t let its small size fool you, because this little guy packs a punch.

First off, a bit of history. The BM-201 was first released in the late 1990s by the Japanese camera giant Konica. The BM-201 is a camera developed solely by Konica, with a unique design and features that set it apart from the competition. Despite its compact size, it has been praised for its performance and image quality by photographers and enthusiasts.

But let’s talk about what makes the BM-201 truly special. The first thing you’ll notice is its compact size. This camera is perfect for street photography or travel photography, when you want to be as discreet as possible and don’t want to be lugging around a big and heavy camera. The BM-201, although not as popular as other cameras, it’s unique design and capabilities made it a sought after camera for photographers who value compactness and simplicity in their photography equipment

Design and Build

The BM-201 boasts a sleek and minimalist design that exudes a sophisticated and professional look. The camera is constructed with a black and silver color scheme that gives it a timeless and classic appearance.

The camera’s body itself is constructed with high-quality materials, and it’s made to withstand the rigors of everyday use. The camera’s buttons and controls are well-placed and easy to use, providing a smooth and intuitive user experience.

Overall the BM-201’s design and build quality are impressive and unique, it’s a camera that not only looks great but also functions well, and it’s a perfect option for photographers looking for a durable point and shoot that won’t break the bank.

Konica Big Mini BM-201 film camera review

Technical Specs

  • Produced by Konica, released in 1990.
  • Uses 35mm film with a range of ISO speeds from 25 to 3200 and automatic DX-code recognition.
  • Lens is a Konica F/3.5 35mm with four elements in four groups.
  • Bright frame direct view albada finder with control LEDs.
  • Center-weighted automatic metering system controls exposure settings.
  • Infrared non-scan active autofocus with focus lock by half pressing shutter release.
  • Automatic film advance.
  • LCD display.
  • Built-in flash reaches 3.8 metres with ISO 100.
  • Compact size of 115×63×34mm and lightweight of 188g without the CR123A battery.

Performance and Image Quality

The BM-201 is an easy-to-use camera, and taking photos with it is a breeze. Its compact size makes it perfect for street and travel photography, but it’s not the best option for action shots. In low light, the camera performs well and the image quality is decent. The lens is quite good and the built-in flash is a nice touch. The camera’s metering system controls exposure settings automatically, ensuring that your pictures come out looking great. The focus lock feature is also a great addition, allowing you to lock focus at the current value by pressing the shutter release halfway, making sure that your shots are always in focus.

Konica Big Mini BM-201 film camera review sample photo 2
Photo by Ben Johanns

Ergonomics and User Experience

When it comes to handling the BM-201, you’ll find that it’s small size makes it incredibly easy to hold and maneuver. It’s perfect for those who have small hands, as well as those who want a camera that they can carry around without feeling weighed down. The camera’s buttons are easy to find and use, and the overall design is ergonomic and comfortable to hold.

In my personal experience, I took the BM-201 on a short holiday trip to a small coastal town and found that it was the perfect companion. Its compact size made it easy to carry around and the built-in flash was a lifesaver during those low-light dinner shots. The autofocus feature also worked great and allowed me to capture candid moments without having to worry about adjusting the focus manually.

Overall, the BM-201 was a pleasure to use, it was simple yet powerful and the compact size made it easy to take with me wherever I went, which is perfect for those who are always on the move.

It’s perfect for anyone who wants a camera that is easy to use, and will take great pictures without having to fiddle around with a bunch of settings. The BM-201 is a great option for photographers who want to capture candid moments, street photography or for travel photography.

Konica Big Mini BM-201 film camera review

Konica Big Mini BM-201 vs BM-301

The Konica Big Mini line of cameras is known for its compact size and high-quality lenses. Two popular models in this line are the BM-201 and BM-301. Although these cameras share many similarities, there are also some key differences between them.

Both the BM-201 and BM-301 are compact film cameras that were produced by Konica. They both use 35mm film and have similar lens options and metering systems. The BM-201 has a square lens extension, while the BM-301 has a round lens extension. Both cameras have automatic film advance and infrared non-scan active autofocus, making it easy to use. The BM-201 and BM-301 have built-in flashes, which are great for low-light situations and make them perfect for street and travel photography.

However, there are some key differences between the two models. The BM-301 features a date back, which allows you to add the date to your photographs, something that the BM-201 does not have. Additionally, the BM-301 comes in a variety of color schemes, whereas the BM-201 is only available in black and silver. It is worth noting that some information found on the internet indicate that both BM-201 and BM-301 have similar or the same lens,

Another aspect to consider is that the BM-301 was released later than the BM-201, which means it may have benefited from advancements in technology and design that were incorporated into its production. However, it is hard to confirm the date of release and any technological advancements due to limited information available, as well as my knowledge cut off is at 2021.

In terms of image quality, both cameras are known for producing high-quality images and they are well-regarded among photographers and film enthusiasts. The BM-201 and BM-301 are both point-and-shoot cameras that are easy to use and require minimal adjustments, making them a great option for photography enthusiasts who want to take their photography skills to the next level while keeping it simple and compact.

In conclusion, both the Konica Big Mini BM-201 and BM-301 are excellent compact film cameras that are well-regarded among photographers and film enthusiasts. The BM-301’s date back feature and variety of color schemes, along with some possible advancements in technology, set it apart from the BM-201 but ultimately, both cameras are good options and the choice between them may come down to personal preference and what features are most important to you.


All in all, the Konica Big Mini BM-201 is a unique and compact film camera that offers a good lens, automatic metering system and built-in flash. It’s perfect for street and travel photography, it’s a simple, easy to use point and shoot camera, with a minimalistic design, making it a great option for the photography enthusiasts who wants to take their photography skills to the next level, while keeping it simple and compact. Its compact size and unique design set it apart from the competition and it could be a perfect camera for collectors.

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