16 Best Film Cameras in 2024: Classic Never Dies

By Tati Taylor 7 days ago, Cameras & Lenses

The best film cameras to experience the timeless beauty of film.

top 3 film cameras

Nowadays, people are looking for film cameras for aesthetics, nostalgia, as a learning experience, to slow down their process, and for unique features.

Film photography is coming back and more and more professional shooters prefer taking studio and urban photos with 35mm films.

best film cameras vs digital

Film cameras have the advantage over digital ones, producing photos with a much higher resolution. The number of pixels per inch in film can vary, but a standard 35mm film can give you around 6,800 x 9,600 pixels, equivalent to an 8 x 10 print.

This resolution surpasses that of many high-end digital cameras. This higher resolution allows for greater flexibility in enlarging or cropping your photographs, and it helps reveal subtle details that might be missed otherwise.

One of the main reasons many photographers choose film over digital is the natural and authentic look it provides. Film has a unique warmth and analog aesthetic that digital cameras struggle to replicate. It adds a certain charm and character to the images that digital can't quite match.

Top 16 Film Cameras to Choose on the Market

  1. Kodak EKTAR H35 - Universal film camera
  2. Olympus OM-1 - Compact film photography camera
  3. Fujifilm Instax Mini 90 - Instant film cam
  4. Leica MP - Limited edition
  5. Fujifilm QuickSnap Flash 400 - For shooting while travelling
  6. Canon AE-1 - Lightweight film camera
  7. Pentax K1000 - For beginners
  8. Nikon FM-10 - Big choice of lenses
  9. Leica MА - Vintage aesthetic
  10. Canonet G III QL17 - Classic design
  11. Hasselblad XPan - For landscape shooters
  12. Plaubel Makina W67 - Retro style
  13. Fujifilm GW690 - Without batteries
  14. Leica M4 - Best 35mm film camera
  15. Contax T3 - For first-time film users
  16. Lomography Diana F+ - Variety of creative options

The film effect can be achieved with color correction in Lightroom. But the pictures are not so “lively” and natural as a result.

Choose a model from one of the largest camera brands of the 70th: Leica, Hasselblad, Canon, Nikon, Pentax, Makina, Pentax or Fujifilm. They are all user-friendly, durable but some of them can be quite expensive.

Some of these models have a fixed lens and a built-in exposure meter, while other devices have aperture priority or shutter priority.

1. Kodak EKTAR H35 – Our Choice

Universal film camera
kodak ektar h35 film camera
  • ✚ Wide range of lens options
  • ✚ Budget-friendly
  • ✚ LCD screen for easy navigation
  • ✚ Battery-powered motor
  • Reliance on film limits manual controls
  • Flash may not work

The EKTAR H35 is a fantastic option for beginners and those who want a fuss-free experience with film photography. It's super easy to use, making it great for newcomers to the medium.

However, don't let its simplicity fool you – experienced photographers can also have a blast with this camera.

One big advantage is the wide range of lens options available for Kodak EKTAR H35. This allows you to experiment and get creative with your shots. Plus, the camera makes it a breeze to create diptychs, which can add a unique touch to your photography projects.

kodak ektar h35 film camera example

Taken by Kodak EKTAR H35

Budget-conscious photographers will also appreciate the cost-saving aspect of this camera. It uses half-frame 35mm film, which means you can get double the number of images from a single roll.

This not only saves you money on film, but also on processing costs. And the compact size of the EKTAR H35 makes it incredibly convenient to carry around.

The fixed aperture and shutter speed of the EKTAR H35 help you manage light conditions and achieve sharper results. It even has a built-in flash to assist you in low-light situations. However, be aware that the flash may not work in certain environments.

2. Olympus OM-1

Compact film photography camera
olympus om-1 film camera
  • ✚ Compact and stylish design
  • ✚ Excellent image stabilization system
  • ✚ High-resolution image capabilities
  • ✚ Weather-resistant construction
  • Some noise at high ISO settings
  • Price may be high compared to other cameras

When this film photo camera was introduced in 1972, it was a game-changer. It took the world of 35mm SLRs by storm with its compact size and user-friendly design. The OM-1 is stylish, easy to use, and has a ridiculously bright viewfinder that was way ahead of its time.

One standout feature of the OM-1 is its incredibly sharp image stabilization system which is essential for shooting film. It detects motion, tracks your subject, and applies corrections to keep your shots steady. This means you can shoot at lower shutter speeds and still get crisp, noise-free images.

olympus om-1 film camera lifestyle

Taken by Olympus OM-1

The autofocus system on the OM-1 is top-notch. With a high number of focus points and a new 'Quad Pixel' sensor, it offers faster and more accurate autofocus than its predecessors. Plus, the large and clear LCD screen can be tilted to suit your shooting situation, which is a great bonus.

Performance-wise, the OM-1 is fast and responsive. It can record RAW + Super Fine JPEG at up to 50 frames per second, with the buffer clearing in about 25 seconds. The camera also boasts great battery life, so you won't have to worry about running out of juice during your shoot.

3. Fujifilm Instax Mini 90

Instant film cam
fujifilm instax mini 90 film camera
  • ✚ Double exposure mode
  • ✚ Ergonomic design
  • ✚ Black and white image quality
  • ✚ Fast shutter speed
  • Underexposure in low light
  • Limited film size

One of the main advantages of this Fujifilm Instax Mini 90 is its compact size, making it easy to carry around and use on the go. It's a great option for those who prefer a lightweight camera for travel or everyday use.

In terms of image quality, this instant camera excels. It produces sharp, vibrant, and detailed images with beautiful color rendition. The lens used in this camera is of high quality, allowing for excellent clarity and definition in photographs.

fujifilm instax mini 90 film camera example

Another advantage is its simplicity and ease of use. It's a straightforward camera with intuitive controls, making it suitable for beginners or those who prefer a no-frills shooting experience. The camera also features a built-in light meter, which helps in achieving accurate exposures.

One downside is the fixed lens of the camera. While it produces great image quality, it limits the versatility and options for different focal lengths.

So, if you're someone who likes experimenting with different perspectives, this might not be the ideal camera for you.

4. Leica MP

Limited edition
leica mp film camera
  • ✚ Look stylish
  • ✚ Solid metal body that withstands heavy usage
  • ✚ Integrated TTL light meter
  • ✚ Incredibly quiet to operate
  • Expensive
  • Small rangefinder window

The metal finish and vintage look of the camera give it a great aesthetic appeal. If you're someone who loves carrying a historical Leica camera, this is a great option for you.

Firstly, it allows you to use any M-mount lens with a suitable adapter. The solid metal body of the camera makes it incredibly durable, and you can use it with confidence for years to come.

leica mp film camera example

Taken by Leica MP

There are very few settings to worry about, which allows you to focus on the image itself. And let's not forget about the classic, simple look of the photographs it produces.

It can be a little difficult to adjust to at first, especially if you're used to digital cameras. It's definitely on the expensive side, and there are other film cameras out there that offer similar features for a lower price.

5. Fujifilm QuickSnap Flash 400

For shooting while travelling
fujifilm quicksnap flash 400 film camera
  • ✚ Built-in flash with a range of 10 feet
  • ✚ Pre-loaded with speed film
  • ✚ Easy to set up
  • ✚ Compact
  • Not for advanced photographers
  • Difficult to focus on subjects that are far away

Fujifilm QuickSnap Flash 400 is a disposable one, which means it's perfect for those fun summer adventures. It's a 35mm single-use camera that comes pre-loaded with Fujicolor Superia X-TRA 400 speed film. This film promises vibrant and lively results in various lighting conditions.

One of the great features of this camera is its built-in flash with a 10-foot range. It's super handy for capturing moments in low-light situations.

Plus, it has a continuous flash switch for easy operation. Taking 27 photos, it's a great choice for capturing memories that will last.

fujifilm quicksnap flash 400 film camera example

This Fujifilm camera itself is very simple to use and has a compact design, making it easy to carry around. And let's not forget about the affordability factor – it won't break the bank!

Another positive aspect is the easy-to-operate flash switch. It's much better than what you'd find on more expensive cameras. You can turn it on and off without taking your eyes away from the viewfinder. It's a small detail, but it makes a big difference in usability.

6. Canon AE-1

Lightweight film camera
canon ae-1 film camera
  • ✚ Built-in battery compartment
  • ✚ No menus or custom functions
  • ✚ ISO dial for adjusting light meter
  • ✚ Fast shutter speed
  • Limited lens compatibility

Canon AE-1 film camera is incredibly lightweight and easy to handle, thanks to the use of plastic in its construction. This is a big plus, especially for photographers who need to carry their camera around for hours.

Additionally, the viewfinder is designed to show you the whole picture instead of just the top portion, which is a nice touch.

canon ae-1 film camera example

Taken by Canon AE-1

The ISO dial on the top left is used to adjust the camera's light meter to match the ISO of the loaded film. This is a handy feature that helps to ensure that your photos come out correctly exposed.

You can also set the camera's light meter to over- or under-expose the film for different types of final images that you want to create with the film. This is called ''push processing'' and is very useful for low-light situations. In general, the quality of the photos is great. You can further use the best film scanner to scan your images and create beautiful wall art.

7. Pentax K1000

For beginners
pentax k1000 film camera
  • ✚ Fully mechanical
  • ✚ Digital preview mode
  • ✚ Ability to save and print images
  • ✚ Secure storage options
  • Limited zoom capability
  • No autofocus and stabilization

This camera was designed with beginners in mind, and it's a minimalist SLR with no extra settings to confuse the user.

It's fully manual, which means that you need to understand how the camera works before you can begin taking photographs. This can be a great camera for amateur photographers to really learn the fundamentals of photography.

pentax k1000 film camera example

Taken by Pentax K1000

Another advantage of the K1000 is that it can be used without any batteries and it does not require a separate flash unit. This can be a big advantage when you are traveling because it will allow you to take pictures even when there is no light.

In addition, the K1000 has a built-in meter that shows you how well you are exposing the image. This is an important feature that will make it much easier for you to see if your photos are too dark or too light.

8. Nikon FM-10

Big choice of lenses
nikon fm-10 film camera
  • ✚ Affordable
  • ✚ Easy to repair
  • ✚ Durable construction
  • ✚ Ability to use almost any type of film
  • Viewfinder not so bright
  • Metering can be temperamental in tight spaces

Nikon FM-10 is a solid choice for those looking for a reliable and cheap camera. Another advantage of the FM-10 is its compatibility with a wide range of lenses. As a F-mount Nikon camera, it can use the vast selection of Nikon lenses as well as third-party options.

One unique feature of the FM-10 is its connection to the Cosina CT-1, a camera that was also sold under various other brand names. This means that many of the parts are interchangeable, making repairs and maintenance easier.

nikon fm-10 film camera example

Taken by Nikon FM-10

However, there are some disadvantages to the FM-10. The viewfinder is not as bright as some other cameras, making it more challenging to see in low light situations.

Additionally, the metering system can be unreliable in tight spaces or when focusing on small subjects.

9. Leica MА

Vintage aesthetic
leica mа film camera
  • ✚ Simple and mechanical perfection
  • ✚ Traditional look
  • ✚ Rangefinder focusing system
  • ✚ Customizable focus points
  • Difficulty with viewfinder
  • Some lenses don't work well

One of the main advantages of the Leica MA is its traditional look, featuring a rangefinder focusing system and a fast shutter speed to ensure that you get the best results possible from every shot.

You can customize the exposure settings on the M-A to your liking, which is a big plus for any photographer. You can adjust your aperture and shutter speed, as well as the ISO.

leica mа film camera example

Taken by Leica MА

You can also customize the focus points so that you can be more precise with your compositions and make sure that your subjects are in focus.

You should know that if you are using not Leica lenses but third-party ones, there are some problems with accuracy. The camera will guess your focal length and aperture if it can, but this isn't always 100% accurate.

If you have a wide-angle or telephoto lens, you may need to manually set the focus point for each shot, which is not ideal.

10. Canonet G III QL17

Classic design
canonet g iii ql17 film camera
  • ✚ High-quality lens
  • ✚ Fully automatic and manual shooting modes
  • ✚ Wide-angle and macro capabilities
  • ✚ Easy to set up
  • No in-body image stabilization
  • Slow autofocus system

First of all, this camera is a true classic. It's been around since 1972, and it's still a favorite among film photographers and collectors alike.

One of the main advantages of this Canon portrait camera is its compact size and portability. It's an easy camera to carry around, and it's perfect for street or travel photography.

canonet g iii ql17 film camera example

Another great feature of this camera is its f/1.7 Summilux 28mm fixed lens, it produces excellent resolution and clarity. It's ideal for low-light shooting and macro, and it offers a wide-angle setting that covers a large area of the frame.

One of the most interesting features of this film camera is the Creative Assist function, which allows you to customize the camera's settings to suit your specific needs.

You can adjust the background blur, brightness, contrast, color tones, and more. It's a handy feature, but it can be a bit slow at times, which can be frustrating.

11. Hasselblad XPan

For landscape shooters
hasselblad xpan film camera
  • ✚ Excellent build quality
  • ✚ Long exposures up to 30 minutes
  • ✚ Bright and responsive viewfinder
  • ✚ Interchangeable lenses with excellent quality
  • Difficult to make prints out of the film
  • Heavy and not for travel

Released in 1998, the XPan was designed as a coupled rangefinder camera with interchangeable lenses, and was the first camera to use 35mm film with a rubber-covered titanium and aluminum body.

Its dual format capability allowed landscape photographers to capture panoramic images quickly and without having to change film.

It also had a number of other features, including electronic exposure information in the viewfinder and automatic shutter speed compensation.

hasselblad xpan film camera example

Taken by Hasselblad XPan

However, the XPan was a very expensive camera, and its mechanical components were not as fault-proof as they are today. As a result, the cameras were not able to survive as long as some modern digital devices are able to do.

Using an XPan is a very different experience than using a regular 35mm camera because the film is inserted into the camera from left to right.

The film is then wound back into the cartridge after each shot, minimizing noise and keeping the exposed film from fogging if the camera is accidentally opened.

12. Plaubel Makina W67

Retro style
plaubel makina w67 film camera
  • ✚ Collapsible internal bellows for protection and portability
  • ✚ Nikkor 80mm lens
  • ✚ Built-in timer for convenience
  • ✚ Novel design and fun to use
  • Lack of positive grip
  • Difficult to adjust focus

This medium format vintage camera was designed in Germany and manufactured in Japan around the 1980s. It takes 120 roll film and features a collapsible internal bellows, making it incredibly compact and easy to carry around.

It also has a Nikkor 80mm lens that takes ten 6x7cm exposures per roll. Additionally, the built-in manual meter is very useful and has a built-in timer for longer exposures.

plaubel makina w67 film camera example

However, the camera lacks a positive grip, which can be a bit of an issue. The focusing wheel is made of hard plastic and doesn't have as much grip as I would like.

Additionally, the Makina's light meter has a tendency to fade out over time, which can be a bit frustrating.

13. Fujifilm GW690

Without batteries
fujifilm gw690 film camera
  • ✚ Excellent image quality
  • ✚ High-quality lens
  • ✚ No batteries required
  • ✚ Flash-capable at all shutter speeds
  • No bulb setting for long exposures
  • Leaf shutter can have quirks

I've had the chance to shoot with the Fujifilm GW690 film camera and let me tell you, it's a pretty impressive piece of equipment. It takes only medium format film, which makes for some stunningly sharp and detailed negatives.

The fixed 90mm lens is another great feature of this camera. It's a leaf-shutter lens that offers a wide aperture range from f3.5 to f32, and speeds from 1/500th to 1 second, which is great for capturing fast-moving subjects. The lens is also quite sharp and provides excellent contrast at all apertures.

fujifilm gw690 film camera example

Taken by Fujifilm GW690

The lack of a bulb setting means that taking long exposures can be a bit of a hassle. Additionally, the manual focus can take some getting used to, but it's not a major issue.

14. Leica M4

Best 35mm film camera
leica m4 film camera
  • ✚ For backup use
  • ✚ Rugged and reliable
  • ✚ High-resolution 24-MP CMOS sensor
  • ✚ Short viewfinder dimming time
  • May struggle in poor lighting
  • Cluttered viewfinder with too many framelines

This 35mm film camera is built to last and is incredibly reliable, which is important when you're in the middle of a shoot and need your equipment to work flawlessly.

Additionally, the rangefinder focusing system is fast and accurate, which is essential when you're trying to capture the perfect shot.

Another advantage of the Leica M4 is its size. It's a small compact camera that's easy to take on trips or use as a backup for your digital one.

Despite its small size, it's made with a solid brass body and has a durable finish that can withstand even the toughest of conditions.

leica m4 film camera example

Taken by Leica M4

Its potential problem is use of an electronic shutter. While this is a great feature for shooting in bright conditions, it can lead to underexposure on certain types of film. This is something to keep in mind if you plan on using the camera for indoor flash shots.

15. Contax T3

For first-time film users
contax t3 film camera
  • ✚ Durable titanium body
  • ✚ Affordable
  • ✚ Can be used in manual and auto modes
  • ✚ Built-in flash
  • Not professional
  • Resolution is not as high as modern cameras

The Contax T3 film camera can be used as a beginner-friendly point-and-shoot camera, with all the features of an SLR.

It offers superior integrated Carl Zeiss Sonnar T 35mm f2.8 lens that produces excellent color reproduction and contrast, and its fast, smooth f-stop range allows you to take sharp, detailed photographs even when working in low-light.

The camera's autofocus system is also very sophisticated and provides accurate focus down to 1.1 feet. Manual focus and infinity lock are also possible.

contax t3 film camera example

Taken by Contax T3

One of the main issues is its price tag, which can be steep. Additionally, the camera's resolution isn't as high as that of modern digital cameras, but it still delivers impressive results, good enough to make 8 x 10 enlargements from.

16. Lomography Diana F+

Variety of creative options
lomography diana f+ film camera
  • ✚ Many shooting modes
  • ✚ Inexpensive
  • ✚ Easy to repair
  • ✚ Can be used with a range of film types
  • Made of plastic
  • Limited control over exposure

Diana F+ is a great camera for those who are just starting out in film genre. It is easy to use and has a lot of features that are perfect for creative experimentation.

The camera also comes with a flash and a pack of color gel filters that can be used for different effects. It is also compatible with a range of film brands including Fuji Instax Mini Film instant cameras.

lomography diana f+ film camera example

The plastic body of the camera can leak light, which can affect the quality of the images produced. The shutter lock can also be a bit finicky and take some getting used to.

It is also important to note that the Diana F+ is a toy camera and therefore not the most reliable option. It can be prone to breaking and may require repairs from time to time.

kodak ektar h35 film camera
Kodak EKTAR H35
  • Point-and-shoot
  • 35mm
olympus om-1 film camera
Olympus OM-1
  • Mirrorless
  • 35mm
fujifilm instax mini 90 film camera
Fujifilm Instax Mini 90
  • Instant
  • 35mm

How to Choose the Best Film Camera?

The best film camera for you will depend on your budget, shooting style, and aesthetic preferences. Don't be afraid to do your research and try out different cameras before making a decision.

best film cameras experience

Experience. The choice of film camera depends on the experience of photographer. For example, point-and-shoot models are great for beginners because they're easy to use and relatively cheap. However, if you want to learn more about the fundamentals of photography and become better at it, then an SLR is recommended.

best film cameras film size

Film size – 35mm universal. The type of film you use and how it's processed can greatly impact the final result. Film comes in various formats, like 35mm or large format, each with its own pros and cons. For example, 35mm is versatile and can be used in most conditions, while large format cameras require more light.

best film cameras type of photos

Type of photos – color or b&w. Are you into color or black and white? This decision will guide your camera choice. For vibrant colors, go for a film with panchromatic emulsion, which reproduces colors as we see them. If black and white is your thing, choose a monochromatic emulsion, which is more sensitive to blue and green.

ISO – 100-400 recommended. This determines the film speed (ISO) you'll need for well-exposed photos. Higher ISO allows you to shoot in low-light situations, but keep in mind it introduces more grain. And let's not forget about noise. You don't want a camera that sounds like a small explosion every time you snap a photo. Look for a film camera with a silent shutter for a quieter shooting experience.

best film cameras lens

Lenses – 80mm for medium format cams. They play a significant role in image quality and can affect how your photos are focused and perceived. There are different types of lenses available, from beginner kits to high-end primes for professional results.

The lens's maximum aperture is important too. A larger aperture allows more light in and can create a shallow depth of field, giving you that dreamy blurred background look. Focal length is another consideration. Longer focal lengths narrow your angle of view and distort perspective, while shorter lenses are more versatile and great for close-ups.


  • • What are the advantages of shooting with film cameras over digital cameras?

Film photography offers a unique look that cannot be replicated with digital technology. It provides a wide range of vibrant colors and timeless black and white emulsions. The quality of the image produced depends on factors like aperture, shutter speed, and ISO.

  • • What should I consider when choosing the size and handling of the camera?

Consider the size and comfort of the camera while holding it. Some prefer compact cameras for easy portability, while others opt for larger ones that capture more detail. Additionally, think about whether you prefer a camera with auto mode or one that requires manual control.

  • • Are there any guarantees with film cameras?

It's important to note that there are no guarantees when it comes to film cameras. While some cameras may perform better than others, there is always a risk of technical issues or quality defects. However, with proper advice and research, you can minimize these risks.

  • • Can I still buy new film cameras today?

Yes, you can. While the market for film cameras has significantly diminished with the rise of digital photography, there are still a few manufacturers producing new film cameras to cater to the demand of film enthusiasts and professionals.

  • • How many photos can I typically take with one roll of film?

The number of photos you can take with one roll of film depends on the film format and the specific length of the roll. Generally, 35mm film rolls typically allow for 24 or 36 exposures, while medium format rolls can range from 8 to 16 exposures, and large format sheets are typically shot one at a time.

  • • How do I focus a film camera?

To focus a film camera, you typically use the camera's focusing mechanism, which may vary depending on the camera model. This can include manual focus rings on the lens, split-image rangefinders, or focusing screens that allow you to visually adjust the focus until your subject appears sharp and clear in the viewfinder.