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The 9 Best Film Cameras for Photography Enthusiasts in 2021
Everyone has a camera these days. It’s easy to grab your smartphone out of your pocket and take a quick snap. While this is great, these images often lack that special quality you can get from a film camera.
Even high-quality digital cameras don’t have the same feel. The resolution and detail you can get from a film camera are phenomenal. You also get the buzz of taking pictures in a more traditional way.
So we love them but what is the best film camera available today? Well, that’s what we’re going to find out here. We’ve reviewed nine of the best models today so you can choose the one that you love the most.
We’ve also answered some FAQs so you can get all the info you need. Let’s find your perfect film camera!
1. Leica MPt
The Leica MP is all you will need as a photography enthusiast. This manual camera has a built-in meter, and although it is old school, you will enjoy the seamless operation and quality. The camera is also easy to use, smooth and quiet.
This Leica MP camera can operate without batteries as you only need the battery to power the meter. It also feels great in hand as its body is both very sturdy while remaining very stylish. If you are a slow photographer, this is your best friend.
One pro tip most users advise is first to take time to visualize the final picture, frame it, and check to ensure you set the correct parameters for exposure and focus, and then capture. Do not expect the camera to take good shots on its own; your creativity, focus, and hard work will reflect in the art because a camera is just a tool. In the right hands, this is a tool that takes spectacular images.
2. Polaroid Originals OneStep+
The Polaroid Originals One Step+ is not picky with the environment and is super reliable. To succeed as a photographer, always ensure that your camera gives attention to detail, which is one of the great features we liked with the One Step+.
This camera is a must-have tool, but it might not be user-friendly to beginners. It has a significant learning curve, and you should study all the parts and how they work. Once you get used to the camera, using it will be straightforward. The quick start guide in the packaging will help you.
When buying, go for the One Step+ with Bluetooth connectivity and an app. It is better than the non-Bluetooth one. The app guides you on how to use some features like shutter speed which comes in handy when you want to get the best shots.
One great feature we loved about this camera is getting instant photos right after taking them. You will also enjoy it because it has interchangeable lenses. However, to see the best results, you should first know how to use the lenses.
3. Canon AE-1
For beginners who don’t know much about the Canon AE-1, first read through the manual on the web. Otherwise, you will not enjoy this product unless you know how to use it properly. The camera takes quality shots, and you need to be confident when creating a great work of art with it.
Some users have complained about a dirty viewfinder, which you can overlook because of the many other advantages you get from this model. The camera comes with a lens cap which is essential to protect the fragile and expensive lens.
Canon also includes a free flash and a strap, which are useful accessories to have. The camera comes in good shape and condition, but you might not like it because the light meter can be frustrating. Other than that, this is a great film camera to have and people are going to be very impressed with your images.
4. Nikon F6 AF
As a photography enthusiast, you need a solid and comfortable camera to hold. You also want one that is easy to work with. The Nikon F6 AF is that type of camera because it also comes with easy-to-understand and use settings.
You can easily set the shutter, shooting mode, and the f/stop within seconds without using the manual. It makes it a great film camera for novices but some learning will still be required.
Most users have reported that it is sturdy and robust and works well for studio and field photography. This F6 AF is a good upgrade if you are using a 35 mm setup. One other feature you will love with the F6 AF is the option to rewind the films. This makes work easier when photographing in a dark room.
It is also easy to pull the film out. You do not need to use a different tool or open the metal cassette. The camera gives a sharp focus, and you also get versatile flash sync in the studio. You will also enjoy the camera because of its great depth of field preview.
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5. Pentax K1000
Before we talk about the quality of pictures that the Pentax K1000 takes, we should first appreciate the service you get when you order this tool. To begin with, the camera is priced well. You spend less money in exchange for a very sturdy model. The shipping is also super-fast.
Some cameras require you to be a pro in using them so that you can get very clear shots, but this Pentax is beginner-friendly. Once you learn the basics, you will be good to go. The camera works better than the automatic ones.
This Pentax K1000 functions well, and it is an easy way to start using SLR or DSLR cameras. If you love fancy shutter sounds, you will appreciate this camera. The mechanical parts all work well and you’re sure to have this photography tool for years to come. One thing you might not like about it is the non-functional light metering system.
Many users have also complained about some faint black dots and lines, which are distracting. However, since the camera comes with a six-month warranty, you can buy it safe in the knowledge it will be money well spent.
6. Minolta X-700
The Minolta X-700 has a perfect camera body and comes with a 50 mm Minolta lens, lens cap, and other accessories. The body comes in clean and with clean mirrors and glass. You might see some dust on the viewfinder, which is not a very big deal.
The camera has a durable plastic material body, uses MD mount lenses, and is lightweight. Some cameras come with light streaks and you might not like this. The good news is, you can easily solve this problem.
It’s a film camera that is dependent on its batteries so a pro tip is always to install fresh batteries before you go on a trip. You could also get an extra modern lens, and the best is a Rokkor lens.
Besides the minor scratches, this camera works excellently for photography students because it is easy to use. You still need to study it well to be able to take sharp and clear photos. It is a must-have tool for pro photographers.
7. Olympus OM-1
One of the most fabulous cameras to have is the Olympus OM-1. It comes well packed, with the body being very compact and durable. The lens is also great and works perfectly to produce high-quality imagery.
Olympus packs the camera together with a neck strap and a beautiful carrying case. They are essential in protecting your camera on your trips out.
You also get a great warranty and speedy shipping time. One thing a few users complained about is a broken rewind knob. However, this is a rare issue and easily fixable.
This Olympus OM-1 takes very sharp images with the 50 mm kit lens. It’s also an Olympus camera which means you can trust its build quality. You’ll be using this camera for many years to come.
8. Yashica MF-2 Super
If you are a photographer enthusiast who does not mind facing challenges head-on, the Yashica MF-2 Super is an excellent camera to suit your personality. You only need a little control over the camera to bring out clean and sharp photos.
The camera comes with a flash to make photography easy in the dark or when shooting with low light. Its metering cell will warn you of underexposure, and this is indicated by a red LED light flickering on the viewfinder. Another additional feature we found interesting is the DX-coding system.
You will love the 38 mm lens the camera comes with, but you need to do some extra work to get great shots. For instance, one quick tip to practice to have great images is having a focus distance of more than a meter.
The pictures from such shots will be clean and sharp. Once you’ve mastered this camera, you’ll fall in love with the results.
9. Canon ESO Rebel 2000
The Canon ESO Rebel 2000 is an automatic camera, and this makes it very easy to use. The camera also takes great shots. The package comes with a sturdy camera body, batteries, lens, canon strap, and rolls of Fujifilm.
This has the level of quality you’d expect from Canon and you’ll have no issues with delivery. It comes in perfect condition and with all the features of the camera and lenses working perfectly.
Since the camera is easy to learn and use, this makes it beginner-friendly. It does not take great pictures in low lighting, and the autofocus does not help much. It still produces good results but not the best we looked at.
In good light, this camera is phenomenal. It has the perfect balance of traditional technologies but with more of a modern touch.
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Film Camera FAQs
A film camera works by exposing photographic film to light. It creates a chemical reaction which then produces an image. It’s an analog way of taking a photograph and one that gives you a different feel to a modern digital image.
As with a lot of older technology, many people prefer the analog quality. Film also has a higher dynamic range which allows it to capture black and whites in more detail. They generally have a higher resolution and many enthusiasts simply love this more traditional method.
Along with a high-quality camera, you also need high-quality film. There are many great options out there but you can’t go wrong with Kodak. Their Portra 400 and Ektar 10 are particularly good at producing incredible results.