Technology made everything too complicated. Along with the many advantages it brought us, it also brought complexity along with it. This applies to photography as well. Most of the best cameras reduce the work required by a photographer to capture a memory. They rely on software and other advanced features.
If you want to experience true photography, where one relies on skill, hard work, and an eye for beauty, 35mm Cameras are the best for you. In this guide, we will help you choose the best 35mm film camera.
Things To Consider While Purchasing A 35mm Film Camera
Since these cameras don’t rely too much on technology, they depend on your skill as a photographer. Still, there are some aspects that you have to consider like design, viewfinder, weight, etc.
1. Design Of The Film Camera
The camera should have a design that allows more light to pass through to the lens. If the lens does not receive enough light, all the pictures taken with the camera will be dark. Since these cameras do not come with High Dynamic Resolution technology, it is best to choose a camera that takes in more light.
If you are purchasing a 35mm film camera for your vintage collection, there are some websites that you can go to. These vintage cameras may not be fully functional but will make for amazing showpieces. There are also new 35mm film cameras that come out every day, so choose one based on your requirement.
3. Weight Of The Camera
The weight of the camera plays a crucial role if you are planning to shoot handheld videos. However, if you are planning to use tripod stands or any other holding device, it may not be a major concern. If the camera is too heavy to hold in the hand, there is a chance that the image may come out distorted.
4. Lens Mount
Lens mount determines the stability, light taking capacity, and many such crucial parameters that make the lens what it is. There are different types of lens mounts available in the market from various trusted manufacturers. Purchasing a camera with a lens mount similar to the ones you already own will help you save a fortune.
5. Miscellaneous Features
Now, since 35mm cameras have been in the market for a long time, they have a lot of features that can make your job easy. However, even these features, it is harder to shoot videos and photos on these cameras than in the digital cameras. Some features like electronic viewfinders, wireless transfer technology are available in the top models of these cameras as well.
If you want more features, the price of the camera will also increase. An advantage of these cameras is that even if you pick the best 35mm film camera, chances are that it will cost less than its digital counterpart.
6. Cost Of The Camera
Since most 35mm cameras in the market do not use modern technology, they are cheaper than digital cameras that work at a similar rate. However, some old models have also been releasing special features for 35mm cameras every year. If you can afford it, there are many features that can make our job easy while also testing your skills.
Top 20 Best 35mm Film Cameras 2021
1. Canon AE-1
AE-1 is one of the best film cameras for beginners. It has all the features of an old 35mm camera combined with the new technology of Canon. The auto-exposure feature of the camera is electronically controlled and helps you shoot amazing videos.
The focal plane shutter feature helps you shoot pictures without any distortions. This exposure timing control mechanism has become a signature of 35mm film cameras from Canon. One of the main advantages of a focal plane shutter mechanism is that it can be built directly into the body of the camera. This makes it easier while choosing the lens for the camera.
AE-1 comes with the Canon FD series interchangeable lenses. These lenses have full auto-exposure coupling which makes the camera easier to work with. They also have aperture metering to capture just what you need.
The standard lenses that are used in the AE-1 series are Canon FD 55mm f/1.2 S.S.C, Canon FD 50mm f/1.4 S.S.C, Canon FD 50mm f/1.8 S.C. These lenses are known for their clarity and are some of the best lenses in the market.
One of the best things about this camera is the viewfinder. The viewfinder is also equipped to show information like battery level, aperture needle scale, etc. This viewfinder makes your job much easier. It is fixed at the eye level and has a coverage of 93.5% vertical and 96% in the horizontal directions.
The AE-1 provides high flexibility when it comes to choosing the lens mount for your camera. One of the best mounts for the lens is Canon Breech-Lock mount. Coming to lenses, you can either use Canon FD or FL and R lenses.
If you are looking for something to boost your productivity, this is the best 35mm camera for you.
2. Canon EOS Rebel G
Canon EOS Rebel is one of the best automatic cameras in the market. It has all the features of a modern digital camera along with the old school style 35mm lens. One of the most unique features of this camera is its retractable flash. The flashlight in the camera can be folded back into the body of the camera. This helps save space and makes the camera look more stylish.
This camera is virtually quiet. You won’t hear any sound while taking pictures or videos. The camera also comes equipped with a zoom lens. The range of the zoom lens is 35-80 mm. It can be detached from the camera and stored separately.
The autofocus system of Rebel-G is the best of its kind. The camera uses a three-point autofocus system to help you capture the perfect pictures. Even though the autofocus is not as good as in advanced digital cameras, it is still helpful.
One of the best things about this camera is the integrated system of the three-point autofocus system and Canon’s signature Advanced Integrated Multi-Point system. With these two systems integrated to work with each other, the camera will be able to search for the available light and send signals to the flash.
Rebel-G offers 11 exposure modes from completely auto to completely manual with metering. These modes will help you shoot a picture with precision. Some of the most popular modes available in the camera are, multiple exposures, exposure compensation, and auto exposure bracketing.
The camera comes equipped with an enhanced command dial. This command dial can be used to change the mode of shooting easily. There is a lot of flexibility when it comes to choosing the lenses for this camera. The entire Canon EF autofocus lense series is compatible with the camera. The camera also offers a Sync mode with. The sync mode comes with two optional Speedlite of 380EX and 220EX.
Along with all the above-mentioned features, Rebel-G also has a unique feature that is absent in most other 35mm film cameras from Canon, the date/time imprint feature. This feature applies a stamp to all the videos and the photos with the date and time of capture. This will help you store your fondest memories with relevant details.
This is the best film camera for beginners in the price range.
3. Canon EOS Rebel GII
Rebel GII from Canon is one of the most popular cameras among professionals. What makes it remarkable is its incredible shutter speed. The camera has a shutter speed of 1/2000. It is the best you can get from a 35mm film camera.
Rebel GII is similar to its previous model, Rebel GI many ways. GII also comes with 11 exposure modes just like the previous model. These modes will help you get the perfect video in any condition. You can either choose to use the camera in auto or manual mode. The auto mode makes use of the advanced features in the camera like the three-point autofocus system to deliver the best picture.
The automatic mode makes the camera very easy to use. Even beginners can use it in the automatic mode to capture great pictures. Just like the previous model, the camera comes with a 35-80mm zoom lens. This zoom lens can be detached from the camera for easy storage.
The built-in flash can be retracted into the body of the camera. The most unique thing about the flash is the red-eye reduction capability. Thanks to this feature, you don’t have to spend time removing the red-eye while editing.
Unlike the previous model, this camera does not have full metering. However, it does have partial metering that gives the user more creative freedom. The auto-exposure lock can be used to lock the focus onto a particular object to make it appear more centered. The light-absorbing capacity of the camera is the best of its kind.
If you are looking to buy something for beginners, this is the best one you can find.
4. Nikon FM-10
Nikon FM-10 is a single-lens reflex camera. One of the best things about the camera also happens to be its major disadvantage- it can only be manually operated. This feature will give more freedom to choose the exposure for professional photographers. However, if you are just starting out, this feature can make it tougher to use.
Just like Rebel GII, the shutter speed of this camera is 1/2000 and is the best in the market. This incredible shutter speed ensures that every picture is captured with perfection without leaving out important details.
The material used for the camera is the best. The plastic used in the body seems cheap and easily breakable. It would work better as an indoor camera since it cannot be used outside in rough conditions. One of the main disadvantages of the camera is that there are a lot of openings in the camera’s body. If you use this camera in dusty conditions, there is a good chance that the internal mechanism will get damaged.
Apart from this, the camera works great for capturing photos in good lighting. The light-absorbing feature in this camera is great, thanks to the state-of-the-art design. This camera comes equipped with a zoom lens. This can be detached from the main body of the camera, making it easier to store. You can zoom between 35-70mm. The range of the zoom lens is not as good as Canon cameras that are mentioned above.
After analyzing the user reviews, we found that the material of the camera is only mediocre. Users reported that the camera is perfect to use for photography classes. If you are looking to start shooting with a professional camera, this will be a great start.
5. Canon EOS Rebel 2000
This 35mm Single Lens Reflex camera from Canon is the advanced model of the Rebel GI that we discussed previously. The most significant change that can be observed in this model is the zoom lens which is now capable of zooming from 28mm to 80mm. It is also detachable. You can capture a good photo while using zoom without losing clarity.
The autofocus system has also received a major upgrade in this model. The old three-point autofocus system is replaced with the new seven-point autofocus system which is more accurate than the previous model.
EOS Rebel 2000 is equipped with a 35 zone exposure sensor. The sensor accurately decides the exposure setting if you are using the camera in automatic mode. You can also use the camera in completely manual mode with metering which will give you more creative freedom in choosing the exposure.
This camera has all the basic features of a 35mm film camera like the depth-of-field preview, control socket, and scale metered manual exposure. Along with these, there are ten other shooting modes that give you a perfect shot anywhere, anytime.
In the manual mode, you can unlock creative controls to improve a picture manually. This feature further unlocks adjustments to the Auto Exposure lock, Auto Focus, Auto Exposure bracketing, and multiple exposures.
If you are looking for something stylish, yet classy, this is the best SLR film camera for you.
6. Minolta Maxxum 7000
Minolta Maxxum 7000 is one of the best autofocus single-lens reflex cameras in the market. The body of this camera has a glossy finish that makes it more attractive. The style of the camera is pretty similar to the Canon and Nikon equivalents in the market.
This camera comes with a detachable zoom lens with a range of 35-70mm. Even though this is pretty high, there are cameras with better zoom in the price range. The camera uses f/3.5-5.6 lenses. These are easily available in the market and can be purchased for low prices.
You get a lot of flexibility when it comes to choosing lenses for the camera. This camera supports both Maxxum and Sony lens mounts. The light-receiving capacity of the camera is also pretty high which eliminates the need for a High Dynamic Range feature in the camera.
The camera uses a BH-70L 4-AA battery holder. The batteries for the holder are not very expensive and can be bought in most photography stores. They are sure to last long and deliver the best performance in the price range.
The camera is pretty user friendly and is recommended for beginners.
7. Canon FT B FTb
Canon FT B FTb QL Camera has a vintage anda rusty metallic look. The front and the rear parts are given a coarse finish. The overall design of the camera is pretty appealing to vintage lovers out there.
One of the main advantages of this camera is the lens mount used. The camera is compatible with all mount lenses of the FD series by Canon. The lenses are pretty clear and are designed to absorb more light. The camera comes with a maximum aperture TTL metering to help you shoot better in the manual mode.
The camera is equipped with the latest features from Canon to improve your film shooting experience. One of those many new features is the match-needle exposure adjustment. This adjustment gives you more freedom in choosing the exposure mode of the camera.
The camera also supports stop-down TTL metering for FL lenses. This gives you more options for lenses. Unlike the other cameras from Canon, this one is not equipped with a detachable zoom lens. Even though that is a disappointment for some people, it is pretty great that a camera this small offers so many features in the price range.
If your budget is around 200 dollars, this is the best beginner film camera for you.
8. Nikon Em 35mm Film Camera
Nikon Em 35mm Film Camera is one of the best models for beginners by Nikon. EM is set to auto aperture This camera gained a lot of acclaim from various critics all over the world for its consistency, even though many features that were expected are not present in the camera.
The lens of the camera can be changed based on the requirement. Since it is a beginner level camera, many features like UV compensation and High Dynamic Range are absent from the camera.
The major advantage of the camera is the highly praised automatic mode. It works nearly as good as the digital cameras in the same price range and takes consistent pictures. You can use any lens that goes with the Nikon F bayonet mount. The mount is a bit old and does not have many options, but it should be enough for a beginner since the maintenance is not very high.
The major disadvantage in this camera is the absence of the autofocus feature. You have to adjust the focus manually which might be a problem if you are using the camera for the first time. Apart from that, this camera is an absolute delight for anyone who just started photography.
9. Black Canon EOS REBEL X S
Rebel X is the previous model of the Rebel 2000 series. Both cameras have almost the same features. The major difference is that the 2000 model has a few more features.
The zoom lens of the camera has an average range and maintains the clarity of the image even when it is zoomed. The tele range zoom lens is ideal for consistent pictures that are not very far. If you zoom in too much, the image may distort a little.
One of the best things about this camera is that it has both automatic and manual exposure modes. You can choose the auto mode if you don’t have much experience with the cameras. In the automatic mode, the camera adjusts the focus automatically by detecting light exposure and other factors.
The manual exposure mode gives more freedom to the user in choosing the exposure. There is no meter to adjust the exposure precisely, but it is good to have a manual mode nevertheless. The most unique thing about this camera are the auto film load and rewind features. The camera automatically changes the film if the current one runs out. This prevents any disruptions while shooting films.
This camera does not have a viewfinder either. So if you are looking for something simple and inexpensive, this is the best camera in the market.
10. Olympus Stylus 150
Olympus stylus is one of the most unique looking cameras in the market. The style of the camera is completely different from the other cameras in the price range. The front part of the camera is designed to increase the light absorption capacity of the lens.
The camera has a golden metallic finish which makes it look sleek and modern. This is one of the very few cameras that have a date and time imprint feature whuch lets you record timestamped videos that are great for vlogs or report recordings.
The main reason you should consider this camera is that even though it is a 35mm film camera, it has a shake detection feature. With this feature, the camera will warn you if it detects any shaking while you are shooting a video. This will help you avoid any blurred shots.
The autofocus system of the camera is pretty advanced with an 11 point detection. Most cameras in the price range only have a three or seven-point detection. You can get high quality images with this camera.
The quality of the lens system is pretty high and has a state-of-the-art design to maximize light absorption. The camera also comes with a zoom lens with a range of 37.5-150mm. This is the highest for any 35mm film camera in its price range.
If you are looking for an advanced 35mm film camera, this is the perfect choice for you.
11. Minolta Maxxum 5
Minolta Maxxum 5 looks pretty similar to the Maxxum 7000. This is the upgraded model of the 7000 series and has a lot more features. The most significant upgrade in the camera is the zoom lens. The detachable zoom lens is now capable of a zooming range of 28-80mm. The autofocus of the camera works even when the zoom lens is attached to the camera.
The flash is integrated into the body of the camera and can be flipped up whenever necessary. It not only increases the light in the area but is also programmed to reduce the red-eye effect in the photos. This saves you a ton of time and resources during the editing process.
The autofocus drive motor has been improved drastically compared to the previous model. Even though it is not a digital camera, it is equipped with a high-speed microcomputer to capture the best photos as quickly as possible.
One of the best things about Maxxum 5 is the viewfinder. This has a unique feature that puts this camera in the spotlight. The eye-start automation feature in the viewfinder detects when you move your eye close to the viewfinder and prepares the camera to take a picture. This feature is available only in this camera out of all the ones discussed.
12. Canon EOS Rebel 2000
This is one of a kind single-lens reflex camera from Canon. The manufacturer decided to discontinue this brand recently due to unknown reasons. It is one of the best models in the Rebel series cameras.
EOS Rebel has a fully manual operation mode which will unlock the full potential for creativity. You can adjust any setting in the manual mode from exposure to focussing.
A detachable zoom lens is also provided which has a range of 28-90mm. The camera comes equipped with a multi-mode pop-up flash that can be used to brighten up surroundings. The flash also helps in reducing the red-eye effect in the images, saving you a lot of editing time.
You don’t have to manually move the film. The automatic film loading feature takes care of loading, advancing, and rewinding of the film without any manual intervention. One of the best features of this camera is the depth of field preview. You can use this feature to preview images before capturing them including the z index of the image.
The camera also has more than ten shooting modes that will give you complete control of the scenery. The seven-point autofocus system allows you to focus on what matters while the camera takes care of the rest.
If you are looking for a unique and sturdy camera, this is the best option for you.
13. Olympus OM-10 OM10
Olympus OM-10 is a 35mm single-lens reflex film camera that is used by a lot of photography students. This camera is known to be a student’s camera as it is one of the best beginner models from Olympus.
You can use any lens in this camera that is compatible with the OM lens mount system. The lens system is designed in such a way that the lens absorbs most of the light that falls in its surroundings. The camera does not have a built-in flashlight but it is compatible with hot-shoe mount flash. You can get this flash anywhere in the market for a cheap price.
What makes this camera so great is the custom ISO settings which allow you to control the scene completely and capture the best pictures. The shutter speed can also be adjusted depending on the requirement. However, you may want to leave the shutter speed at its maximum limit to capture detailed pictures.
The aperture of the camera can also be controlled easily using the dial on the side of the camera. One of the major problems with this camera for a beginner might be that there is no automatic mode. If you want more features like autofocus, auto exposure, etc, this is not the best camera for you.
After analyzing user reviews, we found out that some people received a camera with a blurry viewfinder. This may be a problem so check the product after you receive it. Apart from this, the camera is rated as one of the best cameras in the market.
14. Canon Sure Shot Tele 80 35mm Camera
This fully automatic camera from Canon is the dream camera for most beginners. It has that vintage look that just makes you want to buy it. This was one of the most popular cameras when it was first released and has all the basic features of a 35mm film camera.
The large viewfinder is easy to use and you can even see through the viewfinder clearly without your glasses if you are suffering from myopia or hypermetropia.
Sure Shot Tele 80 comes with a three-point autofocus. This will help you focus the camera on the intended object. This was pretty advanced for its time. The camera comes equipped with a multi-function flash which not only helps you take a better picture but also reduces the red-eye. This will save you a ton of time while editing videos.
If you know your way around film cameras, you can set the camera to the manual mode to get complete control of all the features. A dial is provided on the side of the camera to help you change modes easily without too much trouble.
15. Canon TX 35mm Film Camera
Canon TX is a 35mm film camera that looks just like the EOS Rebel 2000. Even the features in both of the cameras are similar. This is a vintage camera from the ’70s and is perfect for any model collections.
This camera uses an FD 50mm 1:1.8 lens. This lens is not the best in the market, but then again, the camera is pretty old. Heavy metal is used to make the camera. This makes the camera pretty stable when held. The operation mode and the features of the camera are well balanced to appeal to both beginners and professionals alike.
The best thing about this camera is its design itself. It is designed in such a way that even though it is heavy, it is perfectly stable in hands and there won’t be any distortion in the image. The camera comes with a 50mm FD lens. It can be replaced easily and the instructions to do this are provided in the manual.
The best film to use for this camera is the Kodak 35mm color film. It will not only give colored photos but will also improve the contrast of the image.
16. Canon Canonet QL17 GIII
This camera from Canon was introduced first in 1972 and is perfect for any camera collection. However, if you are looking to buy this camera to shoot films, then it may not be the best option for you.
Canonet supports shutter priority which was a pretty advanced concept back in the day. There is a fully manual mode in the camera that you can use to take control of the scene. This camera features a 40mm f/1.7 lens which is not as great as the modern-day lenses but is still good enough to take decent pictures.
It comes equipped with a light meter that can be used to access manual mode. It also controls the shutter priority, making your job much easier. The sensor is located on the front of the camera to allow the use of filters.
One of the best things about this camera is the customized flash that is designed especially for this camera, Canonlite D. The camera can also be equipped with a regular flash, but if you are looking to purchase the camera for a collection, it is better to purchase the custom-designed camera as it increases the value of the collection as a whole.
17. Fujifilm QuickSnap Flash 400 Camera
Fujifilm Quicksnap is a disposable camera which means it can be used only once. This is best suited to take on trips or tours as it is pretty compact and easy to carry around. To take the picture, you have to insert a memory card or a storage card into the camera. You can copy the files instantly to your computer and dispose of the camera after one use.
The camera comes equipped with X-TRA 400 film. The high-quality film has a maximum of 27 exposures. The photographs taken with this camera have a unique vintage look that will give you a sense of nostalgia.
The 10-foot built-in flash helps make the pictures bright and gives them that unique look. They are known for. You can even capture photos in dim backgrounds with this camera. The major disadvantage of the camera is that it does not have any advanced features because it’s a single-use camera.
The product is a pack of two disposable cameras. Since the exposure of the film is 27 shots, you can capture a total of 54 beautiful vintage looking photos.
If your budget is around 30 dollars, this is the best disposable camera for you.
18. Fujifilm INSTAX Mini 90 Instant Camera Bundle
This is a very unique instant camera from Fujifilm. It has many basic features of a 35mm film camera and much more. You will also get a manufacturer supplied accessory kit along with the camera to help you capture better images. The camera is compact and portable.
One of the best features of this camera is the party mode. When this, the lens will widen to capture more ambient light to give the pictures a lively feel. The foreground of the picture will be illuminated with flash so you don’t have to worry about the focus and exposure.
There is also a kid’s mode in the camera. With this, you can capture any fast-moving object with minimal or no blur. It works just like the anti-shake software in high-end cameras.
The camera comes with two Instax mini packs. Each pack can produce 20 high-quality images. A cleaning cloth is also provided for the lens. Along with all this, you also get a camera case as a bonus. The camera fits in the case perfectly and will make a great travel companion.
19. Kodak PIXPRO Astro Zoom AZ401-BK
Kodak PIXPRO is one of the best cameras in the market. It is known for its amazing zoom quality. The camera has 16 million pixels of clarity and will capture stunning images with little effort. Even though it is not a 35mm film camera, it certainly beats all other cameras in this price range.
It has a 24mm wide-angle lens. With this, you don’t have to leave out the background just to get a well-focussed photo. One of the best things about this camera is its optical image stabilization feature. With this, the camera automatically detects the next movement point of an object and focuses on that point.
This feature allows you to capture stunning moments with no motion blur.
Along with all the other basic features, this camera also has a panorama feature. With this feature, you can capture a 180-degree view of an image. The zoom quality of the camera is pretty high. You can zoom up to 40 times the regular number with this camera. The quality of the image is retained even when you zoom in because of the properties of optical zooming.
20. Halina Tegra AF290
The images captured with this camera have a vintage look to them. One of the best things about this camera is its look. It has that ‘70’s style combined with a modern metallic finish.
The lens of the camera is pretty good and has a wide-angle of 28mm. You can capture wide images effortlessly with this camera. It is powered with 2 AA batteries. The batteries cannot be recharged so you will just have to get new ones if the old ones run out.
This camera is perfect if you are just starting out with film cameras. It has most of the basic features and does not cost very much either.
If you are looking for something inexpensive and simple, this is the best 35mm camera for you.
FAQs on 35mm Film Cameras
Q1. Is A 35mm Camera Good?
They are not as good as digital cameras, but they do perform well within their price range.
Q2. Are 35mm Film Cameras Worth Anything?
Classic collections of 35mm film cameras are worth over 10 grand.
Q3. How Long Does A 35mm Film Last Undeveloped?
The films usually come with an expiry date. However, if the films are kept cool, they can last much longer.
Q4. What’s The Best Film Camera For Beginners?
There are a lot of options like Nikon, Canon, etc. You just have to choose what fits your requirements the best.
Best 35mm Film Cameras – Conclusion
Shooting pictures with a 35mm film camera is a significant experience for any photographer. Even though you need more skill to shoot on a film camera, it is worth every second that you spend.