Digital photography brought so many benefits that we nearly forgot about analog photography and the film cameras. Many professional photographers, however, never abandoned film and there has been some sort of resurgence of late. The images produced by film cameras are aesthetically unique. The quality is always top-notch and entire process is fun for those that have been in the business for years.
With the ongoing resurgence of vintage style photography, the demand for film cameras is on the rise once again. For decades, film cameras have been in the market. Many manufacturers have different models with different features. The prices of the available options also differ significantly. Finding the one that will suit your needs can be challenging. The sheer number of options can confuse you and getting to know their individual features and trying to figure out if the prices are justifiable can give you real headache.
To help make the process easier for you, we have researched extensively for what is considered the top film camera options on the market.
So without further ado, here’s our selection of the 10 best film cameras on the market based on the quality of images they produce and the value they offer.
Top 10 Best Film Cameras
1. Canon AE-1
This is one of the most popular 35mm SLR cameras. It is also rated among the best film cameras ever made. It has been in circulation from 1976 but remains available today as the favorite equipment for many professional photographer and hobbyist. It is a reliable camera that is easy to use. It is also a good looking camera. It features electronically controlled AE (Automatic Exposure) and focal plane shutter. It also uses the Canon’s FD lenses that are famous for their excellent quality. The Viewfinder is a fixed eye-level pentaprism with a field of view that is 93% vertical and 96% horizontal coverage of the actual picture; its information includes aperture scale with meter needle and stopped-down metering which also serves as battery charge level check mark.
This is another top camera from Canon. It is an update on the popular Rebel G SLR but is surprisingly very affordable. It is an easy-to-use camera that suits both beginners and professional photographers. This kit comes with a high quality interchangeable Canon EF 35-80mm zoom lens, making it even more valuable. Another reason the camera is lovely to use is its compact and lightweight nature. This eye-catching device has several impressive features including a high-speed selectable 3-point autofocus system, metered manual mode for creative exposure flexibility, partial metering and AE lock. It is compatible with all EF lenses and many EOS system accessories.
A good looking Auto Focus 35mm camera, this is a great device from Minolta. It is one of the cameras you should certainly have in your collection for so many reasons. The quality of images it shoots is one of the reasons you will love it but the biggest advantage is probably the fact that it will do everything you need and even more. With Autofocus, automatic exposure and flash, it automates the process of taking good quality images and will save you lots of time when being used. It is also not as heavy or bulky like most SLR cameras.
This is a classic camera from Minolta that you will definitely love to have. It has a simple and friendly design that makes it endearing and performs excellently. The package also comes with a 50mm f/1.7 Manual Focus Lens for additional value. The X-700 features three basic exposure control modes: Program AE (“P”), Aperture Priority (“A”), and Manual exposure control modes. When there is need for artificial illumination, TTL OTF flash exposure control gets involved. The Minolta X-700 is ideal for starters as well as for professionals that want full program automation.
5. Nikon F6 AF
Nikon is among the most respected names in the world of photography. The company has several film cameras that it is hard to even make a decision between their own products. The F6 film camera, however, stands out for so many reasons. It is an integral motor autofocus 35mm SLR camera with electronically controlled focal-plane shutter. It also features several exposure modes including programmed Auto, Flexible Program, Shutter priority, Aperture Priority, and manual. The viewfinder is a fixed eyelevel pentaprism with a built-in diopter adjustment.
6. Nikon FM-10
Another wonderful camera from Nikon, there is so much to like about the FM-10. The simple but good looking film camera is ideal for those that prefer to take total control; it is therefore more ideal for professional photographers. You will have full manual control with Depth of field Preview. In addition, the camera offers selectable shutter speeds up to 1/2000th of 1 second. In this particular package, the FM-10 SLR film camera is fitted with Nikon’s 35 – 70mm lens to make it a more valuable purchase.
7. Olympus OM-1
A compact film camera from Olympus, this is a professional-grade 35mm SLR camera that is suitable for all kinds of professionals and photography hobbyists. The camera has been in circulation for decades and still command enough respect in the market. A lightweight device, the camera also features a quiet shutter like a rangefinder but offers so much more. It is a fully mechanical camera, well-designed to offer easy photo shooting. The ergonomics of the compact body makes it very comfortable to use. The large viewfinder also help to enhance the experience for photographers.
Another great product from Olympus, the OM-10 is a good-looking camera that you will love to add to your collection. It is beautifully designed with great ergonomics that make handling and use easy and interesting. Some features that may interest you include Aperture Priority Mode and exposure compensation. The camera is compatible with all Olympus Lenses.
9. Pentax K1000
This is rated among the very best film cameras ever made. Considered a historically important camera, the Pentax K1000 was introduced in 1976 but has remained the favorite of many professional photographers. A completely mechanical camera, this device doesn’t need a battery to run but the light meter needs to be run with an A76 cell battery. There are so many things to love about it including its sturdy nature: it is a true example of a camera that is built to last. It also features three shooting controls including aperture, shutter speed and focus. It is suitable for all kinds of users but individuals that are new to film photography will find it most helpful.
10. Vivitar V-4000
This is another good-looking film camera that is highly rated. It is one of the most affordable top-quality cameras you will find in the market with so many impressive features to make film photography fun and interesting. It is also easy to use, making it a good option for all kinds of photographers including those that are new to film photography. Some of the standout features include bright viewfinder with split image focusing and three LED display, accurate center-weighted TTL metering system, self-timer, and hot shoe with x-contact for flash photography. This camera kit also comes with 35 – 70mm lens.