The Minolta P (or Ps) is the perfect camera to learn repair techniques.  You can usually buy these cameras in working condition for under $20.  If you find one that is broken you can get it for next to nothing.  

As with many subminis, the first thing to go bad is the shutter, usually the slow speeds.  When you press the shutter release, the shutter opens and then it immediately starts to close.  Cameras have a small mechanism, called the slow speed governor, that slows down the closing action of the shutter.  But when this gets "gummed up" the shutter stays open longer than it should.  A little lubrication is usually all that is needed to solve the problem.

On the P, like many bar-type cameras, the slow speed governor is accessible if the front cover is removed.  On the P, the front cover comes off very easily.  Just remove the nut around the PC contact and the front can be popped out.  There is a metal strap that runs to the PC contact and can get in the way though.  Then put a drop of lighter fluid on the slow speed governor -- on the opposite side fron the PC contact.  You should be back in business.  

If you need to remove all the guts for more detailed work, it's a little trickier.  Remove all exterior screws (side, tripod socket) and the face of the camera. After the face place is off, gently but firmly apply pressure to the film-loading trap door on the back of the camera. Push forward. If you apply pressure in the right spots (each side of the film loading door) the entire camera mechanism will slide forward and out of the shell. This must be done slowly and gently, so as not to bend or distort anything.

As pressure is applied as described, the nasty little spring will become untensioned at one point, and the camera mechanism and the carrying strap lug will pop out of the case.

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