Chinese camera startup Nons has released its second camera, the Nons SL660. The SL660 is an interchangeable lens camera that combines an EF mount with the use of Fujifilm Instax Square film. It’s an interesting combination that propels Instax film into significantly more versatile territory.
You may recognize the Nons SL660. The camera originally launched via a Kickstarter campaign that we covered back in February. At that point, the camera had already successfully reached its funding goal. The Nons brand has been around longer than that. The company launched in Hong Kong in 2020 with the release of the Nons SL42 camera on Kickstarter. Like the SL660, the SL42 combines a traditional ILC lens mount and Instax film. In the case of the SL42, it’s an M42 lens mount and Instax Mini instant film.
The SL660 is now officially out of its Kickstarter phase and commercially available to everyone. The SL660 is built using a CNC anodized aluminum alloy and uses stainless steel for its control dials. The camera includes manual control over shutter speed and aperture, while offering bulb mode, multiple exposure mode and a hot shoe for an external flash. The camera includes a pentaprism-based SLR viewfinder that offers larger viewfinder coverage thanks to a built-in focal reducer.
Speaking of internal optics, the SL660 includes three multi-coating optical glass elements inside to extend the image field of attached full-frame lenses to cover the medium-format size (6×6) of Instax film. Based on internal testing, Nons has found that many standard lenses work very well, while longer lenses can exhibit some vignette. Thanks to the use of an EF mount, you can adapt just about any lens to work on the Nons SL660. Nons ships the camera without any special adapter, although you can special order one with various adapters, including Nikon F, Pentax K/PK and Contax-Yashica CY. You can also order the camera with one of Nons prime lenses, including a compact 35mm F2.4 or a 50mm F1.8 standard prime.
The Nons SL660 includes a built-in lithium-ion battery that delivers over 100 shots per charge. You charge the battery via a built-in USB-C port. As for usability, the SL660 works a lot like a traditional analog SLR camera. You can rely on the integrated light meter to handle your exposure decisions, but for a more hands-on experience, full manual control is recommended. The recommended best practice is to wind the shutter, select a shutter speed, check the light meter, adjust aperture accordingly, frame your shot, focus and press the shutter release.
To reiterate, the camera is designed around analog photography. While it’s powered by a li-ion battery, many aspects of the camera are passive, including the EF mount itself. There’s no electronic signal, meaning there’s no autofocus or automatic control over electronic aperture blades.
The Nons SL660 is available now to everyone for $599.
Nons SL645 launches on Kickstarter
While working on this story, we saw that Nons has launched its third camera on Kickstarter, the SL645. It’s another instant camera with interchangeable lenses, and like the original SL42, the SL645 shoots on Instax Mini film. However, like the SL660, the SL645 relies upon a passive EF mount, rather than the M42 mount of the original Nons SL42.
Since the SL645 shoots to Instax Mini instant film, the built-in focal range extender can better cover the film surface, resulting in significantly reduced vignette compared to the SL42 and SL660. The SL645 also includes the largest viewfinder of any camera in Nons’s lineup.
Another change introduced with the SL645 is the ability for backers to choose different colorways. A survey will be sent out to backers once the campaign concludes, allowing funders to choose how their camera looks. It’s unclear what colors will be available, although white and tan are shown on the Kickstarter page. While the back is made from plastic, the main body is made of an aluminum alloy.
Like the SL660, the SL645 uses an integrated lithium-ion battery, which is user-replaceable, by the way. It charges via USB-C. The camera still relies upon manual controls for shutter speed and manual aperture controls on the attached lens. You can use the camera with automatic exposure controls thanks to a light meter, although Nons recommends a more hands-on approach.
For now, the Nons SL645 is only available through Kickstarter. Backing options begin at HK$ 3299, which is about $420. Shipping is expected to begin in March 2023. If you want to wait until the camera is available at retail, if the Nons SL660 is any indication, you can expect the SL645 to be available to everyone next summer or early fall. The SL645 campaign has reached its goal with 28 days remaining. For more information, visit Kickstarter.
Note/disclaimer: Remember to do your research with any crowdfunding project before backing it. Pledges to crowdfunding campaigns are not pre-orders. DPReview does not have a relationship with this, or any such campaign, and we publicize only projects that appear legitimate, and which we consider will be of genuine interest to our readers. You can read more about the safeguards Kickstarter has in place on its ‘Trust & Safety‘ page.