The Minolta Memo was a fixed-lens 35mm viewfinder camera introduced by Chiyoda Kōgaku Seikō in September 1949, featuring:
- First Minolta 35mm camera using full-frame 24mm x 36mm film format.
- Rounded Bakelite plastic body. First released with a plastic winding lever.
- Bottom trigger-winding lever, that both advanced film and cocked the shutter.
- Shutter button would remain depressed after firing. Winding would release the shutter button back up.
- Chiyoko Rokkor 50mm / f4.5 lens, with 3 elements in 3 groups. Focusing from 1 meter to infinity.
- Konan leaf shutter with speeds B, 1/25sec, 1/50sec and 1/100sec. No flash synchronization.
The Memo was the first Japanese camera with lever winding and the first with bottom trigger-winding, and thought to be the first camera in the world with such winding. Unfortunately, as initially introduced the plastic winding trigger broke easily. This defect led the Memo to another distinction: being the first Minolta widely recalled by the manufacturer. The recall caused the Memo to become one of the rarest Minolta cameras.
- JCII/Lewis, ed. "The History of the Japanese Camera" p65.
- Scheibel, A.R. and J. "Minolta Kameratechnik" 1978, p33.
- Sugiyama/Naoi "The Collectors Guide to Japanese Cameras", code 3430, p186. Note that the Leica M3 was introduced five years after the Memo.