The 'automat' electronic shutter principles of this camera were developed by Derzhavin (a Doctor of Technical Science who worked at GOI, the State Optical Institute, in Leningrad). Anatoly Yakovlevich Padalko was the head of the design group at KMZ, responsible for the actual design and development of the Zenit-Automat-D (with the active encouragement of the Director, L.A. Voronin). The camera was never produced in series. Due to a lack of certain high-quality magnetic alloys, unavailable at the time, some important features of the camera were unreliable. However, the technical advances accomplished during this project were used as a base for future advanced Zenit models, including the Zenit-18, Zenit-19, and up to the Zenit-APK.
- Light gray lacquered finish on upper body, front and back finished with rectangular-textured hard plastic for a solid grip
- Depth-of-field preview controls on bottom of lens and mount
- On the top: battery chamber, retractable rewind crank & back release, frame-counter window
- On the back: speed setting dial : 1/2 - 1/1000 sec., B (bulb), A (automatic, takes meter reading and automatically sets shutter), viewfinder, film advance lever, socket for recharging
- Small red exposure indicator light at the bottom of the viewfinder
- X-synch & film speed setting dial on side
- On front: shutter release, mirrored name plate with a small window for the light meter and a meter switch-button below
- This camera is complete and working. With threaded plastic and metal lens cap, no case.