The Imp was a low cost but unusual 12 on 127 roll film camera (square 4cmx4cm negatives), coloured in dual-tone grey plastic with a bright speckled front metal lens surround plate. Manufacture was in Croydon, England by AGI Agilux, as was the Sprite and the Pixie.

The simple lens has two aperture settings, marked 'colour' (to the LHS) and 'B-W' (black & white). The aperture is selected by a small lever just below the front viewfinder lens. There is an anecdote circulating of original owners thinking they could swap from taking b&w 'snaps' to colour without changing their film, simply by pushing the lever to the colour position !

No doubt the Agiflash 44 (left) was itself a development of the original 8 on 127 Agiflash (seen above) from 1954-1958.
The Ilford Imp was an updated version of the 1959 Agilux 'Agiflash 44', £2.7s.6d (£2.38p) complete with detachable reflector (see left above). The Agiflash 44 was updated in 1964 to the version badged 'Imp' by Ilford.

One of the Imp's unusual features is its built-in bulb flash, which is made available by raising the lid on the top of the Imp. The metal reflector is slightly 'sprung', so that it deploys into a reflective curve when the flat plastic lid is raised. Electrical power to fire the flash bulbs is obtained from a 22.5v battery, fitting inside the base of the camera and accessible during film changing.

It takes 'capless' bulbs of the Phillips PF1 type and a small metal lever on the rear of the camera acts to eject the bulbs after use. A 100µF capacitor under the top cap (LHS above) assists reliable flash bulb firing.

The second unusual feature of the Imp is its lever wind action, though still relying on the use of a red window in the camera back to set the film in the correct position for the next exposure and to count the exposures taken. When a new film is inserted, and the take-up spool is near empty, the lever wind takes about 4 throws to advance to the next exposure. When the film is nearing its end, it takes less than 3 throws.

The lever wind is interlocked with the shutter release, providing a degree of double exposure prevention. There is also a vertical black bar visible in the viewfinder when the film requires to be wound on.

The picture shows the flash bulb eject lever (LHS of the viewfinder window), the lever wind, red shutter button and red exposure counter window.

To open the camera for film loading it is necessary to slide across this rather stiff and awkward catch in the base of the camera. Alongside the catch is the Agilux trade mark and the information 'Made in England'.

The curvature of the camera back can easily be seen, making for an attractive shape and also accomodating the curvature of field of the simple lens.