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Film Camera Review, Konica Big Mini Jr. BM-20 35mm AF Film Camera

Film Camera Review: Konica Big Mini Jr. BM-20

A fun and-easy to-use Konica 35mm autofocus film camera with a 34mm F3.5 lens.

Konica produced a series of iconic low-priced point-and-shoot fully automatic autofocus (AF) 35mm film cameras in the form of the Big Mini 35mm series in the '90s which sets itself apart from the rest of the gang with a fantastic range of F3.5 Hexanon lenses that is renowned to be very sharp with excellent contrast rendering.

A couple of the earlier models in the series, the Big Mini JR BM-20, and Big Mini SR BM-100 came with 34mm lenses with F3.5 and F4.3 maximum aperture respectively. Later models, the Big Mini BM-201, Big Mini HG BM-300(301/302), and Big Mini BM-301 came with 35mm F3.5 lenses, and the much pricier Big Mini F came with a 35mm F2.8 lens.

Konica Big Mini Jr. BM-20, Front right

To see what the glam of the Big Mini cameras is all about, but not wanting to spend much more than necessary, I settled for a Big Mini Jr. BM-20 which was available at a very reasonable price on the auction site. The promise was, of course, an all-go full-functioning autowind and rewind unit with a built-in flash. The camera came in by courier not long after the payment was processed.

    Konica Big Mini F Film Camera Review + Photos

    Get Film Processed at -- This is my full review of the Konica Big Mini F 35mm point and shoot film photography camera. This camera is quite simple, but delivers a brilliant F 2.8 lens and takes a snappy photo for on the go photos.
While not much info on the Big Mini Jr. BM-20 is available on the Net, info on other models is easily available, including one on the Big Mini F, which is shown in the video above.

Design and Build

The Konica Big Mini Jr. BM-20 is a 35mm point-and-shoot camera with autowind and rewind, macro mode, a built-in auto flash, and a 34mm F3.5 lens. The all-plastic body is boxy but with well-rounded corners, it is compact and light and is just about right for the palm of your hand. The shape makes it easy to carry around in your pants pocket or purse, and being an AF point-and-shoot, it is easy to use.

Konica Big Mini Jr. BM-20, Front left

The BM-20 requires a CR123A battery pack and a roll of DX-coded 35mm film to operate. Exposure and subject distance are handled automatically for use, and the auto flash is most pertinent in most lighting conditions. This one will deal with the exposure and focus for you so all you’ll need to think about is the photo itself. The flash and self-timer are controlled using the screen on the top of the camera. This one would suit anyone who’d like a simple little point-and-shoot which looks great and is ready for day or night.

Basic Camera Features

The Konica Big Mini Jr. BM-20 is available in Red or Black and comes fitted with a fixed-focus Konica 34mm F3.5 lens. Shutter speed is automatic from 1/80 to 1/250 second, which is pair coupled to the aperture opening from F3.5 to F16 for automatic exposures.

The sad case with the Big Mini Jr. that I was using is that it has a dead LCD panel, which is located on the left of the top panel, with what I assume to be a menu selection button beside it. Comparatively, the panel looks slightly smaller than those other Big Mini cameras whose instruction booklets are available on the Net. Besides showing the film frame counter and probably the battery strength indicator, what other items the LCD panel has is just a wild guess.

Konica Big Mini Jr. BM-20, Front

The front plate of the Big Mini Jr. BM-20 is a plain affair with a squarish lens housing occupying the middle portion of the camera body. The viewfinder window is above the housing which protrudes out slightly when the camera is powered on. To the right of the viewfinder window is the autoflash unit, while to the left is the self-timer LED and AE sensor arranged vertically.
Konica Big Mini Jr. BM-20, Top

On the top plane of the camera is the shutter release button behind which is a slight recess for the On/Off button, Self-Timer, close-focus selector, and manual film rewind button. The LCD panel, and menu selection button, which I mentioned earlier are to the left of the top panel.
Konica Big Mini Jr. BM-20, Back

The back of the BM-20 is equally plain, with only the viewfinder window, a green flash-ready LED, and a film check window located on the film back itself.
Konica Big Mini Jr. BM-20, Bottom

On the bottom plate of the camera is the tripod socket.

Konica Big Mini Jr. BM-20, Film box

The film box is a standard affair common to most 35mm film cameras, with the film canister chamber, film frame and film forward sprockets, and the take-up spool. Film loading is intuitive and fast, all you have to do is to pull the film tab over to the edge of the film box and snap close the film back.

Film loading to frame 1 is automatic once you close the film back.
Konica Big Mini Jr. BM-20, Battery chamber


Access to the battery chamber, which takes a single CR123A 3-volt Lithium battery to power the camera, is via a snap-lock flap located on the right of the camera, just behind the indent for the strap loop.

With no other information available, I can only assume that the single battery will have enough juice to power the camera for more than half a dozen rolls of film.

Viewfinder Readout

The viewfinder readout is a plain bright frame with a parallax correction line and autofocus spot, void of any other info reading.

Konica Big Mini Jr. BM-20, Early images 01
Konica Big Mini Jr. BM-20, Early images 02

Konica Big Mini Jr. BM-20, Early images 03

Ease of Use

Using the camera is simple and straightforward. All you have to do is to point and shoot. The exposure setting is taken care of by the camera, and the 34mm lens takes it all in without any perceived distortion.

I did manage to get 37 shots from the roll of film I used, at the end of which the camera rewinds itself.

It could have been the fault of the camera with the dead LCD panel that I was using, or the roll of expired film installed, that these images are not as sharp as expected.

Regardless, I believe that these images show the characteristics of a very well-balanced image rendering, one not easily offered by other point-and-shoot cameras.

Konica Big Mini Jr. BM-20, Early images 04
Konica Big Mini Jr. BM-20, Early images 05
Konica Big Mini Jr. BM-20, Early images 06
Konica Big Mini Jr. BM-20, Early images 07

Though these images are more to scenic photography than street photography itself, I am sure that the camera will auger well for the street photographer who is in with the 'get into it' attitude.

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  1. How does the rewind macro mode work on the Konica big MINI BM-20 camera

  2. For future reference - LCD panel shows only frame count and button to the left is for "flash off". One press and flash is of, no need to hold it down. "Flash off" have no indicator and is reseted when camera powers down.
    My unit does not wind (or maybe even register) film, so this is only thing i can contribute.


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