When transistors were introduced to the consumer marketplace in the 1950's, many products could be made much smaller -- and cheaper.  One of the first products to undergo the reduction process was the radio.  Soon, tiny, colorful Japanese transistor radios became the rage around the world .  They were so popular that several camera companies decided to jump on the bandwagon.  No, they weren't making radios, they were adding radios to their cameras!  (And, yes, and some companies added cameras to their radios, too!)

Minolta was one such company, and it actually put together a top-quality product -- unlike most of the others.  

The Sonocon 16 MB-ZA appeared in 1962 and was a stretched-out version of the Minolta 16 II with a built-in radio or, depending on how you look at it, a radio with a built-in Minolta 16 II camera.  The radio controls were on one end and the camera controls on the other.  It had the standard 22mm (f2.8-16) lens, and shutter speeds of B, 1/30-1/500.  All other features were the same as the model II, so we know that this is a top-quailty shooter.  And it accepted all of the accessories of the Minolta 16 II, such as filters.

The radio was a basic, compact, transistor radio with an ON/OFF/VOLUME dial, a tuning dial, a built-in speaker, and an ear plug.

 The "guts" of the radio were very compact WAY before microchips, but they made the body of the camera slightly deeper to accomodate it all.

This was also necessary to allow the special NI-CAD battery to fit (the hole in the battery is for the viewfinder!):

The Sonocon 16 MB-ZA was only available in a black body, and in any case, they are pretty rare.  After all, you could buy a Minolta 16 II AND a separate transitor radio for a LOT less!

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