Best Film Cameras In 2023: A Detailed Review

Best Film Camera In 2023: A Detailed Review

by Daniel Abbott — 10 months ago in Gadgets 11 min. read
1841

Want to dive back into the retro realm of photography? We’ve picked some year’s best-performing film cameras for you. Buy the best film cameras with this guide.

  • KODAK Mini Shot 3 Retro

    Nikon FM2

    Best Film Camera In 2023: A Detailed Review 15.0
    • Fully mechanical
    • Double exposure mode
  • Yashica MF-1

    Yashica MF-1

    Best Film Camera In 2023: A Detailed Review 24.2
    • 31mm f/11 lens
    • 1/120s shutter speed
  • Canon AE-1

    Canon AE-1

    Best Film Camera In 2023: A Detailed Review 24.2
    • Electronic shutter control
    • Intelligent viewfinder
  • Minolta X-700

    Minolta X-700

    Best Film Camera In 2023: A Detailed Review 24.2
    • 50mm f1.7 lens
    • Aperture priority
  • Pentax ME Super

    Pentax ME Super

    Best Film Camera In 2023: A Detailed Review 54.2
    • Full manual controls
    • Aperture priority mode

In the age of mirrorless cameras, there are a few companies that are developing film cameras. And the best thing is that people are still buying.

Film cameras are built distinct from DSLR cameras vs Mirrorless cameras. There is a difference in built quality, picture-taking phenomenon, format saving, and shooting experience.

Do you know that there are different types of film cameras that you might choose from for your film photography?

Regardless of being expensive, they take sharper images and precise details as well as they are Bluetooth compatible and can be controlled with your smartphone.

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Have you planned on buying the best film camera? This blog indulges the retro realm and advanced best film camera for beginners and experienced.

Best Film Cameras To Buy Right Now

You would have gone head scratching if you tried looking in the market for the best film cameras. Selecting the best would be hard in this case.

We’ve mentioned the best film cameras that fit everyone’s budget. These are just opinions that we think might be the best for you.

Nikon FM2

KODAK Mini Shot 3 Retro

Nikon FM2

Best Film Camera In 2023: A Detailed Review 1
5.0

Starting at

$389.99
  • Type: SLR
  • Film Size: 35mm
  • Lens mount: Nikon F mount
  • Viewfinder: Optical TTL
  • Modes: Manual
  • Weight: 540g

We think Nikon FM2 which is an SLR-type film camera is a good option for everyone. The camera was first introduced in 1982 and was the champion of its time.

Due to its longevity and body toughness, it was loved by a number of pros and many fans still want to buy it.

The camera is fully mechanical in operation and comes with manual modes. It has a 1/4000 sec top shutter speed and a copper-aluminum-silicon alloy body.

Though it’s SLR, you can try different Nikon F mount lenses to shoot at various angles. You can find it on Amazon and can be bought at discounted price which is a good deal to take away.

Reasons To Buy

  • Long-standing reputation for reliability
  • Strong body of copper silumin aluminum
  • Works without batteries

Reasons To Avoid

  • No Autofocus

Yashica MF-1

KODAK Mini Shot 3 Retro

Yashica MF-1

Best Film Camera In 2023: A Detailed Review 5
4.2

Starting at

$64.95
  • Type: Compact point and shoot
  • Film Size: 35mm
  • Lens: 35 mm negative film
  • Viewfinder: Optical
  • Modes: NA
  • Weight: 227g

If you’re tight on budget and looking for an affordable best film camera that doesn’t ruin your bank, you might like this option.

Yashica MF 1 is a compact point-and-shoot camera that allows you to take photos faster without worrying about changing lenses.

The specs aren’t fabulous but pretty decent to take good quality images and videos. Equipped with an optical viewfinder, you could get exactly what you see through it.

It supports a 35mm film format and requires AA batteries to operate. The durability is likable but not rated for toughness. Overall, it’s a good film camera to buy.

Reasons To Buy

  • Shoots sharp and quality images
  • 1/120s shutter speed
  • Built-in flash

Reasons To Avoid

  • No modes
  • Likely small

Canon AE-1

KODAK Mini Shot 3 Retro

Canon AE-1

Best Film Camera In 2023: A Detailed Review 5
4.2

Starting at

$219.99
  • Type: SLR
  • Film Size: 35mm
  • Lens mount: Canon FD mount
  • Viewfinder: Optical
  • Modes: Shutter and ISO meter
  • Weight: 481g

Canon AE-1 is the pro’s recommended film camera that shoots pretty well and offers a spontaneous experience while holding and shooting.

Other than any SLR camera, Canon is very sturdy on ergonomics and we’ve found pretty good daily alignment and other functions working great.

Talking about lens mount, you can think of Canon FD 55mm f/1.2, Canon FD 50mm f/1.4, and Canon FD 50mm f/1.8 through which you can get more brilliant shots of the subject.

Though the price is kept economical, it is a good SLR film camera to bring home for kids and grandparents.

Reasons To Buy

  • Electronic shutter control
  • Intelligent viewfinder
  • Electronically controlled AE

Reasons To Avoid

  • No built-in flash
  • Plastic construction

Minolta X-700

KODAK Mini Shot 3 Retro

Minolta X-700

Best Film Camera In 2023: A Detailed Review 5
4.2

Starting at

$199.99
  • Type: SLR
  • Film Size: 35mm
  • Lens mount: Minolta SR mount
  • Viewfinder: Optical
  • Modes: Manual
  • Weight: 520g

A 35 mm single-lens reflex X-700 by Minolta is a perfect film camera alternative to Canon AE-1 as it offers similar specs and image quality.

However, if the weight is more than half, it might feel bulkier when held for a long time.

It has an intelligent optical viewfinder and the freedom to apply lenses to give your shoot a creative aspect.

The exposure can be altered in both manual and automatic while the aperture is automatically controlled by the lens.

The camera is well-tested for durability and can perform even in harsh and warm climates. This could be the best camera for beginners.

Reasons To Buy

  • Aperture priority
  • Manual mode
  • Bright viewfinder

Reasons To Avoid

  • Bad results in night photography

Pentax ME Super

KODAK Mini Shot 3 Retro

Pentax ME Super

Best Film Camera In 2023: A Detailed Review 5
4.2

Starting at

$128.00
  • Type: SLR
  • Film Size: 35mm
  • Lens mount: K bayonet mount
  • Viewfinder: Optical
  • Modes: Manual and Aperture priority
  • Weight: 657g

The ME Super looks similar to the Minolta X-700 in terms of design and shooting capability. The difference is that you get the support of manual and aperture priority.

Additionally, you can get better picture quality at night time as X-700 fails to do so. In case you do much night film photography, you can jump over to Pentax ME Super.

Talking about availability, the camera is hard to find as a fresh stock.

This means you can get this camera in used condition. That’s even a great idea, it costs you less.

Reasons To Buy

  • Full manual controls
  • Aperture priority mode
  • 1/125 backup mode

Reasons To Avoid

  • Cheap dials and buttons

Canon EOS 1V

KODAK Mini Shot 3 Retro

Canon EOS 1V

Best Film Camera In 2023: A Detailed Review 11
3.1

Starting at

$452.84
  • Type: SLR
  • Film Size: 35mm
  • Lens mount: Canon EF lens mount
  • Viewfinder: Optical
  • Modes: One-shot AF, AI servo AF, and manual
  • Weight: 945g

If you’re looking for a film camera that does pretty much everything like getting excellent picture film day and night, better specs, and a solid build, you might love this option.

Think of Canon-created EOS 1V, which is a professional film camera that offers more than enough.

You would be flaunted to know that you can shoot up to 10 frames per second.

We also noticed that this camera stands out of the box when aligned to other SLR-type cameras.

The camera has a larger viewfinder, dedicated control layout, 45-point AF, and a solid magnesium alloy body that helps you shoot even in rainy and warm seasons.

Might be this product discontinued and you may get it in used condition from online stores. You would be lucky if you get this best camera for photography.

Reasons To Buy

  • 5 metering modes
  • 45 point AutoFocus
  • High-speed continuous shooting

Reasons To Avoid

  • Needs an external light meter
  • The camera is bulky

Leica M6

KODAK Mini Shot 3 Retro

Leica M6

Best Film Camera In 2023: A Detailed Review 12
3.5

Starting at

$5,295.00
  • Type: Rangefinder
  • Film Size: 35mm
  • Lens mount: Leica M mount
  • Viewfinder: Direct vision rangefinder
  • Modes: Manual
  • Weight: 585g

Leica-created film cameras are exceptional and best known for their luxuriousness.

The camera outperforms SLR and point-and-shoot-based cameras as it is built on top of the rangefinder technology that grants promising high-quality images with sharp details and accurate color tones.

However, there is a bit of a learning curve involved, which means beginners may find it difficult to operate.

But that’s about practice, you’ll learn over time. Overall, it produces sharp images and feels luxurious in hand. It is the best film camera but pricey.

Reasons To Buy

  • Rapid film advance lever
  • Amazing build and finish
  • Compact and durable

Reasons To Avoid

  • Hefty price tag

Canon AF35ML

KODAK Mini Shot 3 Retro

Canon AF35ML

Best Film Camera In 2023: A Detailed Review 5
3.8

Starting at

$149.43
  • Type: Rangefinder
  • Film Size: 35mm
  • Lens: Canon fixed 40mm f/1.9
  • Viewfinder: Rangefinder
  • Modes: Manual
  • Weight: 635g

The Canon AF35ML is a pretty old model and performs subtract. We mean, it’s not a discreet film camera that shines.

The ergonomics don’t stand up to the mark and don’t feel comfortable when we try. The flash system is antiquated and the dials are pretty hard to operate.

But we are impressed with the image quality that it captures through its fixed and superfast 40mm lens. But that’s not worth it, you can’t try new lenses.

We recommend skipping this choice as plenty of options are available in this price range. But if you decide to buy a rangefinder film camera, this is not something you want to go with.

Reasons To Buy

  • Wide aperture
  • Uses AA Batteries
  • Good films output

Reasons To Avoid

  • Shutter sounds loud
  • Max 400 ISO

Yashica T4

KODAK Mini Shot 3 Retro

Yashica T4

Best Film Camera In 2023: A Detailed Review 11
3.0

Starting at

$355.00
  • Type: Point and shoot
  • Film Size: 35mm
  • Lens: 28-70mm Carl Zeiss Tessar
  • Viewfinder: Not disclosed
  • Modes: Not disclosed
  • Weight: 190g

Yashica T4 is another best compact film camera that offers above-decent image qualities and sturdy videos for film photography and shooting requirements.

If your scale of the budget is a little high, you can overlook Yashica MF-1 and buy this film camera that we found super amazing and super fast.

It comes with a 28-70mm Carl Zeiss Tessar f4.5-8T lens that shoots pretty well in both day and night. With a passive 5-point AF feature, you can record better content on the film.

If you are traveling or involved in street photography, this camera really shines at the top of your thoughts.

Reasons To Buy

  • Exposure is very accurate
  • Images are fairly sharp
  • Shoot fast and easy to use

Reasons To Avoid

  • May not fit best for everyone

Are 35mm Film Cameras Built Special?

Film cameras utilize film gauge (a physical property of photography) which are available in different “mm”, to be said, 8mm, 16mm, 35mm, and 65/70mm which is used in both film photography and movie shooting.

Significantly, the 35mm film format is used commonly. It is because they are lightweight and convenient to hold.

The image quality developed on 35mm is high and sharp, respectively. An additional reason may be the cost.

Compared to other film formats, such as medium and large film stock, 35mm is relatively inexpensive to purchase and develop.

What To Look For In The Best Film Cameras?

There’s not much science involved in getting your first film camera. There are some basics you need to follow and acting accordingly is necessary.

Budget: Film cameras can range in price from relatively inexpensive to very expensive. Determine how much you are willing to spend before you begin your search.

Type of photography: If you plan on doing street photography, a compact point-and-shoot camera may be a good choice. If you plan on doing portrait or studio work, an SLR camera with interchangeable lenses may be a better choice.

Availability of film: Consider the availability of the film format that the camera uses. Some film formats, such as 110 or APS, may be more difficult to find and more expensive than more common formats like 35mm.

Condition: If you are buying a used camera, make sure to inspect it for any signs of damage or wear. Check the shutter, the viewfinder, and the lens for any scratches or other issues that may affect the image quality.

Summary: Best Film Camera In 2023

IMAGE PRODUCT NAME FEATURES
Nikon FM2
Nikon FM2
  • Long-standing reputation for reliability
  • Strong body of copper silumin aluminum
  • Works without batteries
Buy Now
Yashica MF-1
Yashica MF-1
  • Shoots sharp and quality images
  • 1/120s shutter speed
  • Built-in flash
Buy Now
Canon AE-1
Canon AE-1
  • Electronic shutter control
  • Intelligent viewfinder
  • Electronically controlled AE
Buy Now
Minolta X-700
Minolta X-700
  • Aperture priority
  • Manual mode
  • Bright viewfinder
Buy Now
Pentax ME Super
Pentax ME Super
  • Full manual controls
  • Aperture priority mode
  • 1/125 backup mode
Buy Now
Canon EOS 1V
Canon EOS 1V
  • 5 metering modes
  • 45 point AutoFocus
  • High-speed continuous shooting
Buy Now
Leica M6
Leica M6
  • Rapid film advance lever
  • Amazing build and finish
  • Compact and durable
Buy Now
Canon AF35ML
Canon AF35ML
  • Wide aperture
  • Uses AA Batteries
  • Good films output
Buy Now
Yashica T4
Yashica T4
  • Exposure is very accurate
  • Images are fairly sharp
  • Shoot fast and easy to use
Buy Now

Grandparents are fond to film cameras and perhaps it could be a good gift idea.

With, in the list, the best film cameras, you could gift a decent and budgeted film camera to your dad or grandfather.

Tell us which one you liked the most and why, in the comment section.

Thanks for reading our blog 🙂 Have a good day! 

Frequently Asked Questions

What’s the best film camera I could buy?

Yashica T4 is the best film camera you can buy. It is a compact (point-and-shoot) camera that allows you to take shots faster and without any wait.

What brand’s film camera is reliable?

Nikon FM2 gets a five star rating and has pretty positive reviews. The camera is well developed, shoots sharp and blur-free images, and offers handsome features to try.

What is the best film camera for beginners?

Yashica MF-1 is the best film camera for beginners. It is a point-and-shoot camera that never misses to take flaunt images.

Are 35mm film cameras still being made?

Yes, Leica and Nikon still make 35mm film cameras. However, they are expensive but reliable to buy a film camera for photography.

Daniel Abbott

Daniel Abbott is editor in chief & research analyst at The Next Tech. He is deeply interested in the moral ramifications of new technologies and believes in leveraging the data scientist, research and content enhancement to help build a better world for everyone.

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