Are you new to film and looking for the perfect entry-level camera but don’t know where to start? Don’t stress— We’re here to help!
While there are cult classics in the film community, cameras always come down to personal preference. Not all cameras are "one size fits all." Hopefully, with one straightforward question we'll be able to solve that for you!
The main question is:
What do you want to do with it?
Do you want to have an easy to carry, pocketable camera for the little moments in life? If this is the case, I’d recommend looking for a sturdy 35mm point-and-shoot camera.
Point and shoots are everything you’d want from a disposable with better quality, reusability, and a more trustworthy body. They meter light for you and use flash only when necessary, as well as automatically winding the film for you.
The Canon Sureshot Line - you honestly can't go wrong with any of them. I have the 80µ which has never done me wrong.
Olympus Stylus Zoom - similar to the sureshot, but with greater zoom capabilities.
Olympus XA2 - More effort than the two above, but small and super sharp. Allows for a bit more control over your photos.
Do you want a camera to carry on your shoulder that will help you learn the basics of photography? If so, a 35mm SLR is calling your name.
SLR stands for Single Lens Reflex, meaning the image you see in your viewfinder is (almost) exactly what you’ll get. They allow you to pick and choose lenses, learn camera skills, and experiment with your creativity while still shooting the cost-effective 35mm film. Bonus: They’re super easy to find!
Pentax K100 - the classic, no frills camera. All-manual, clean design.
Canon EOS Rebel G - Modern, Cheap, and compatible with modern lenses!
Canon AE-1 - The staple of most film photography blogs. Probably the most popular.
Do you want to slow down, take your time, and shoot high-detail images for prints, books, or editorials? If this is the case, you’re in for a treat with medium format!
Medium format (120) is different than 35mm because of its size— roughly 3x the size, to be exact. This means higher detail images, but at a higher price. Medium format encompasses a few different image sizes, most commonly being: 6x4.5cm, 6x6cm, and 6x7cm.
Yashica Mat 124G - Best affordable starter TLR. Old school look, high quality square format images. TLRs are notorious for being incredibly sharp and easy to carry compared to other medium format cameras.
Mamiya RB67 - The face of medium format, for good reason. You can build it to your exact needs and desires, and 6x7 allows for scans that will knock your socks off.
Mamiya 645 1000s - Smaller than the RB67, and so are the photos, fitting 6 more shots per roll! The better choice over the RB67 for those wanting to carry their camera around without needing a gym membership. I recommend the 1000s over the base as being able to shoot 1/1000 is an amazing bonus.