NOT an April fool: This left-handed camera is REAL!

Yashica Samurai left-handed camera
(Image credit: Kyocera Yashica)

It's an April fool gag that gets trotted out every year. "[Insert manufacturer] has released a left-handed camera!" Well, get ready to suspend your suspended disbelief – because the Yashica Samurai Z-L was a real left-handed camera that was released to market, sold in shops, and actually saw some degree of success.

Launched in November 1987, the Samurai was a half-frame film bridge camera – like cameras such as the original Olympus PEN-F, regarded by many as one of the best film cameras. These "crop film" cameras were essentially the equivalent of crop sensor cameras today, exposing to half a frame of 35mm film (instead of using the "full" frame) to double the number of shots per roll from 36 to 72 exposures. 

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James Artaius

The editor of Digital Camera World, James has 21 years experience as a journalist and started working in the photographic industry in 2014 (as an assistant to Damian McGillicuddy, who succeeded David Bailey as Principal Photographer for Olympus). In this time he shot for clients like Aston Martin Racing, Elinchrom and L'Oréal, in addition to shooting campaigns and product testing for Olympus, and providing training for professionals. This has led him to being a go-to expert for camera and lens reviews, photo and lighting tutorials, as well as industry news, rumors and analysis for publications like Digital Camera MagazinePhotoPlus: The Canon MagazineN-Photo: The Nikon MagazineDigital Photographer and Professional Imagemaker, as well as hosting workshops and talks at The Photography Show. He also serves as a judge for the Red Bull Illume Photo Contest. An Olympus and Canon shooter, he has a wealth of knowledge on cameras of all makes – and a fondness for vintage lenses and instant cameras.