Japan 1955 – Spy Camera – 8 mm – Rare.
Produced around 1955 by Suzuki the Camera Lite is a Spy camera hidden in a zippo-like lighter.
It was produced as a simplified version of another Spy Camera, the Echo 8. In 1953 the Echo 8 made an appearance in movie “Roman Holiday.” A reporter, Gregory Peck, enlists a photographer to take some clandestine photographs of Audrey Hepburn with his trusty Echo 8 cigarette lighter/camera. Suzuki Optical, the manufacturer of the Echo 8, was caught completely off guard by the publicity and the massive demand for the Echo 8 and decided to produce a more accessible simplified version of the camera in 1955 : The Camera Lite.
It still had a cigarette lighter, but this new version had a less-expensive, fixed-focus lens producing 6×6 mm format images on tiny 8 mm film cassettes. The “simplified” parts are that this model only had one shutter speed – 1/50, a fixed aperture, and a simpler, non-optical viewfinder.
The resulting camera is hardly usable and is probably more a novelty camera than an actual spy camera, but it is an incredible collectible bringing you back to one of the most iconic movies of all time.