The Pouva Start was a great success for Karl Pouva’s little camera factory in Freital near Dresden. With a moderate price of only 16.50 Deutsche Mark (east) it was affordable for the young people. Thus it became a typical beginner’s camera in East Germany. Estimated 1.7 million Start were sold. The first model of 1951 -1952 had just a sports finder, its other features were like those of contemporary smart Bakelite cameras: two apertures, modes time and instant (1/30 sec.), screw tube and simple lens (Duplar 1:8, 2 elements in 2 groups). It was licensed by Hungarian and Polish camera makers.
The second Pouva Start model of 1956 had optical finder and weather symbols for the apertures. The West German Hama distributed a similar bakelite camera, made by Apparatebau und Kamerafabrik in Monheim. This copy, the Hamaphot P56L, had an Original-Tricomat-6.5cm lens.