The La Sardina without the flash is small, compact and light. It's great for chucking into a bag, ready to whip out at a moment's notice. Stick the flash on and it becomes a lot more cumbersome and a good bit heavier too.
We think it's a shame that the camera, while shaped like a sardine tin, is made from plastic and not from a light metal. That aside, this is a fun little camera that will certainly draw some confused looks when you're shooting with it. This could be a bonus for street photography, as you'll almost never be mistaken for a 'serious' photographer with one of these pressed to your face.
For some, actually having to insert a roll of film will be an alien concept, but fortunately it's pretty easy to get to grips with, with simple instructions for your first go.
The few dials and knobs that you will find on the La Sardina are easy to use, but the shutter release is a little weedy in comparison to something like the long metal arm of the Sprocket Rocket. It can also be a little difficult to tell whether you've actually taken the picture on occasion.
Winding on the film is like a trip down memory lane, and is done easily with the dial at the top of the camera, making a little click when the next frame is in place. You can of course choose to shoot multiple exposures, using a switch on top of the lens. You can also rewind the film for even more creative effects.
Without the all-too-familiar LCD screen on the back of the camera, you will of course have to rely on instinct and guesswork when using the focusing mechanism, but this is something you will learn to judge more accurately the more time you spend shooting with a camera like this. You can choose between macro shooting and infinity by twisting the front of the lens.
Speaking of the lens, the camera can be made more compact by twisting and pushing in the lens. It's vital to remember to pull it back out again when you're shooting, but handily, Lomo has written "Only shoot when you can read me" on the barrel of the lens.