The Minolta Hi-Matic S2 is the replacement of the S that was introduced in 1978. The S2 arrived sometime around 1981.
The Hi-Matic was a venerated line of consumer grade cameras that took a low price turn with the S line. The S line added a built in flash but do not have the build quality of the earlier Hi-Matic line. The original S had a Rokkor 2.7 lens but that was replace by a Minolta Lens 2.8 for the S2.
I found my S2 in the $1 bin so my expectations were low. I was please to get it home and find that it ran on 2 AA batteries and surprised when it seemed to come alive. Even the flash seemed to be working.
In the hand this feels like a plastic camera but not an unusably cheap feel. It is a zone focus with icons and both feet and meters on the lens. The scale shows in a window that lights up when the flash is on. The light is nice green that is close to the glow from a McIntosh Audio component. Any resemlense to a McIntosh, ends with the glow.
Shooting the S2 was easy. I did not use the flash much but when I did it recharged fairly quickly. There is an LED and a beep system to warn you of low light and to use the flash. I was surprised at the quality of the images. I think the S may give even better images due to the better lens but the S2 was great for a buck. My experience suggests that if you want to try film or get back to film, starting with a cheap consumer camera will let you start on a budget but still give you nice enough images to encourage you to keep shooting.
Lens: fixed Minolta 38mm 2.8
Film: FujiColor 200