Best Film Cameras for Beginners in 2021

film cameras for beginners best models reviewed

When I bought my first film camera, I realized this:

Everyone can create those stunning nostalgic pictures which is pretty awesome.

You just need the right film camera.

There are few options that are worth your attention. You’ll enjoy that they are:

  • Compact
  • Long-lasting
  • Reliable
  • Makes vintage and film-looking photos
  • With colors that need NO Instagram filters

In this article, I have talked about the top 8 best film cameras for beginners with complete details of their features.

Best Film Cameras for Beginners

Finding the best film camera is not a straightforward task and it becomes even trickier if you are new in this field. Being a beginner, you need to be well-updated for making the right choice so that you don’t have to regret it afterward.

Also, you’ll find a comprehensive buying guide at the end so, you won’t need to go anywhere else.

Holga 120N

Holga 120N Medium Format Film Camera
  • INCLUDES: Holga 120N Camera + Ilford HP5 Film + MicroFiber Cloth
  • Classic Toy Camera - 60mm f/8 Plastic Lens
  • Zone Focusing System - Shutter Speeds: 1/100 sec. and Bulb

This is a medium format film camera which is cheap and super reliable. This is one of the best choices for beginners. Let’s have a quick look at its features.

Precise Design

One of the key features of taking better photography is to have a précised focus and if you want that then this film camera is best for you. With its help, you can conveniently adjust the focus between any of its icons. Needless to say, that it will make it highly convenient for you to click photographs from it.  

Multiple Accessories

On the bright side, it comes with useful accessories like a variety of lens adapters including wide-angle and Fisheye versions. Other than that, it contains a shutter release cable which is very useful for bulb mode. Also, you will get in the pack different filters in various colors and multiple prism designs.

Better Image Quality

Adding to this, you will be surprised by the image quality that this medium format camera will provide you. It gives you a sharp focus and you will get the feeling of depth from its images. Besides, this will add colors to your images because of their softness and efficient working.

Features

  • Zone focusing system
  • Uses 120 roll film
  • Standard tripod mount and hot shoe included
  • Contains a 60mm f/8 plastic lens

Pros and Cons

Final Verdict

Thus, it is a great option for learning and everyday use since it has everything you need in a beginner’s camera – easy functionality, affordable price and sharp lens.

Pentax K1000

Pentax K1000 Manual Focus SLR Film Camera
  • The Pentax K1000 35mm SLR is one of photography's greatest, most popular and longest-lived cameras.
  • This Pentax film camera is completely mechanical and needs no battery to run, however, you must purchase an A76 cell battery to run the light meter.
  • Unlike other SLR and DSLR cameras, the K1000 is simple and has little to no learning curve. There is three shooting controls: aperture, shutter speed and focus. You set the film speed when you load it.

Pentax K1000 has a great design which makes it a pleasure to carry it anywhere with you. Let’s take a look at the most important features.

Incredible Design

Starting with the design of this manual focus camera, it is pretty simple and highly intuitive. The most exciting feature of this camera is that it is the number one choice of all photography teachers throughout the world. Besides, it comes with only three easy-to-use settings which include an aperture, shutter speed, and ISO.

Build Quality

Moreover, it has an amazing build quality and the entire camera is made up of metal. The only exception is the tip of its lever which is crafted with a different material. Besides, its light meter contains a built-in match-needle and surprisingly it is quite easy to use.

Fully Functional

On the bright side, this camera is fully functional even without adding a battery. However, it has a battery and that is only for its light meter. Other than that, its light meter is pretty amazing but it can vary depending upon the condition of your camera. For providing you the better focus, it is equipped with a focusing circle along with a cross micro prism center spot.

Features

  • Completely mechanical & needs no battery to run
  • Simple and has little to no learning curves
  • Comes with 12 shot rolls of film

Pros and Cons

Final Verdict

Overall, it is a great option to consider especially for beginners as it is the top choice of all teachers hence, reliable.

Canon AE-1

Canon AE-1 35mm Film Camera w/ 50mm 1:1.8 Lens
  • 35mm SLR (Single-Lens-Reflex) camera with electronically controlled AE (Automatic Exposure) and focal plane shutter.
  • Canon FD series interchangeable lenses with full aperture metering and AE coupling. Canon FL series with stopped-down metering.
  • Standard lenses for the Canon AE 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.

When it comes to the high-quality cameras, Canon needs no introduction. It’s one of the best 35mm film cameras. Let’s have a look at its top-notch features that it stores for you.

Automatic Modes

The plus point of purchasing this camera is that it is equipped with various automatic modes. Adding to this, these modes contain the aperture and speed priority which you can set according to your needs. Not to mention that this will give you the same feel as that of modern-day digital cameras.

Built-in Light Meter

The camera comes with a built-in lens that is commonly abbreviated as TTL and very convenient to use. Also, its light meter will work automatically when in the manual mode and will indicate the proper exposure depending upon the shutter speed.

Other Advantages

It comes with a small battery indicator that will let you know how much battery is remaining. Hence, you can charge it on time and its battery is durable as it could be used for more than a year.

Also, it features seven different focusing screens which you can customize anytime. On the bright side, this camera is compatible with most of the high-quality and reasonably priced lenses.

Features

  • 35mm SLR camera with automatic exposure
  • Viewfinder information comes with an aperture scale & meter needle
  • Interchangeable lens with full aperture meeting & AE coupling
  • Built-in light meter

Pros and Cons

Final Verdict

The Canon film camera has an exciting range of features like suitability with various lenses, long-term batter, and automatic modes making it a high-quality film camera.

Yashica MF-1

Sale -7%
YASHICA MF-1 Snapshot Art 35mm Film Camera Set (Black)
  • CAMERA TYPE: YASHICA MF-1 Snapshot Art is a simple 35mm film camera with a shutter speed of 1/120s
  • FOCUSING RANGE: It offers a focusing range from 1m to infinity
  • LENS: YASHICA MF-1s lens offers a focal length of 31mm with f/11 aperture

Construction

Yashica MF-1 is entirely made with plastic and has a core spec with a fixed focus of 31mm lens. It also has a shutter of around 1/120 while its flash is supported with a single AA battery of 1-3m.

Better Working

Despite having a reasonable price, this camera will give you premium quality because of its amazing shots. Adding to this, it gives pretty sharp pictures however, keep that in mind this camera doesn’t work great for landscapes. At the same time, it is very amazing for close shots hence, reliable for taking pictures with minimized distance.

Overall Performance

The plus point of this camera is that it comes with a flash to give you better results during shooting. This will work great even in the low light hence, it a perfect option for those who like to shoot during evenings. Besides, being a newcomer in this field you will reluctant to go for an expensive camera so pick up this one as it has a budget-friendly price.

Features

  • Simple 35mm film camera
  • Great construction
  • Shutter speed of 1/120s
  • The focal length of 31mm
  • f/11 aperture

Pros and Cons

Final Verdict

I would recommend this snapshot camera for everyday carrying and anyone who wants to excel more in the film-look-shooting journey.

Minolta X-700

Minolta X-700 Film Camera And A 50mm f/1.7 Manual Focus Lens
  • Classic top of the line Minolta film camera
  • Minolta 50mm f1.7 lens

Minolta X-700 has an innovative design and is truly exceptional in its performance.

Design & Build

As well as its design is concerned, it will not disappoint you because it is simple but decent at the same time. Also, it is an aesthetic camera that appeals to the masses because of its flashy visuals and striking looks. If you are the kind of person who wants to have a stylish camera without giving up on the performance then Minolta will cover you up.

Specs & Shooting

Other than that, it is packed with excellent features including exposure lock & compensation, self-timer, and self-timer which will give you a better experience, Besides, it is also equipped with a film-safe load indicator, film memo holder, and remote shutter release ports.

Additional Characteristics

Speaking about its other details, it has three different shooting modes which are easy to adjust. For instance, in its manual mode, you have the luxury of setting the aperture as well as the shutter speed for getting the needed exposure. Needless to say, that will give you a better chance of showing your creativity in your way.

Features

  • Comes with Minolta 50mm f1.7 lens
  • 3 modes for better useability
  • Features a self-timer and exposure lock
  • Great design and build

Pros and Cons

Final Verdict

If you want to have more than just a camera to better expressing your skills then you can’t go wrong with the Minolta X-700. Not only it looks great itself but also creates beautiful film images.

Nikon FM-10

Nikon FM-10 SLR Camera with 35-70mm f/3.5-4.8 Zoom Lens
  • In this kit, the FM10 body is fitted with Nikon's 35 millimeter to 70 millimeter lens
  • Full manual control
  • Selectable shutter speeds up to 1/2000th of 1 second

Nikon FM-10 has almost all of the positive comments by customers and their satisfaction shows that how efficient it is in its working.

Simple Design

The issue with most of the cameras is that they are not easy to understand so you have to face difficulty to use those as a beginner. Thanks to its simple design you won’t have to face any difficulty in using it.

Moreover, 35-70mm Nikon lens is included which gives you more versatility.

Easy to Adjust

Another excellent feature of this best film camera is that you don’t have to go through any difficult procedure for adjusting its shutter speed. As it contains a convenient set dial for altering the shutter speed and helps you in getting the perfect clicks without any hindrance. Also, it comes with a carry bag so you don’t need to buy it separately hence, economical.

Features

  • Film-based manual SLR camera
  • Manual exposure control shooting mode
  • Adjustable shutter speed of more than 1/2000th per second

Pros and Cons

Final Verdict

It helps in learning the all of fundamentals of photography since it has manual control.

Canon EOS Rebel XS

Black Canon EOS REBEL X S 35mm FILM SLR Camera Body & Lens
  • Canon EOS Rebel X S 35mm FILM SLR Camera
  • NOT a Digital XS Camera
  • Includes Wide to Medium/Tele Range Zoom Lens

Ergonomic Design

Speaking about its build quality, it is crafted by using plastic, and even its lens mount is structured with it. However, it doesn’t contain any weather sealing to protect it from the adverse effect of weather. Besides, it has an ergonomic design and its grip is so comfortable that you won’t find any issue in this regard.

Shooting Mode & Shutter Speed

As well as its shutter speed is concerned, it ranges from the 30s to 1/2000 per second. Besides, it contains a bulb mood and supports more than 9 different exposures. It also has a self-timer and you can select its different shooting modes without any hindrance just by using its command dial. 

Auto Focus

Its autofocus system operates by using the TTL phase detection but it is not straightforward to use. However, the focusing speed of this camera will depend upon the type of lens you are using in it.

Features

  • Auto film load and rewind
  • Contain self-timer & 9 multiple exposures
  • Features auto & manual exposure modes

Pros and Cons

Final Verdict

It is the most reliable camera for beginners you can ever come across because of its excellent photo quality and amazing performance.

Fujifilm Instax Wide Instant Film Camera

Fujifilm Instax Wide 300 Instant Film Camera (Black)
  • Automatic extending 95 millimeter f14 lens with two focus zones (0.9 to 3 meter and 3 meter to infinity)
  • Optical viewfinder. Tri-pod socket. Four size AA 1.5 V alkaline batteries (Best with Polaroid AA batteries). Dimensions- (not including protrusions) 6.6 x 3.7 x 4.7 inches
  • Picture size 62 millimeter × 99 millimeter, close-up lens for shots up to 40 centimeter from the subject. Shutter release- Programmed electronic shutter release, 1/64 sec - 1/200 sec. Power supply- Four size AA 1.5 V alkaline batteries (LR6), capacity - 10 film packs (Based on our test conditions)

As its name depicts, it uses Instax Wide technology and is different from all of the other cameras discussed in this list.

Quite Comfortable

Adding more perspective to it, it’s bulky and not easy to fit in a small carry bag but still, it’s very comfortable because of its substantial grip. Besides, the camera is built up with good quality plastic hence, exceptionally durable. As well as its batteries are concerned, it is powered with 4AA batteries that have the ability of about 100 shots.

Automatic Exposure Control

Other than that, this camera comes with an automatic exposure control with a changeable shutter speed. Besides, this camera has two different focus positions and the maximum range of its flash is between 3 meters to 10ft.

Useful Aspects

On the bright side, you can take group photos in it because it contains a tripod socket for this purpose. The downside of this camera is that it lacks a self-timer but it comes with an LCD window for indicating the flash mode.

Features

  • Instant high-quality prints
  • Shutter speed from 1/64 to 1/200 seconds
  • Automatic exposure control
  • 0.9 to 3 meter and 3 meter to infinity focus zones

Pros and Cons

Final Verdict

Instant Wide 300 is an excellent option because it is quite easy to use and has a budget-friendly price. Its heavyweight is the downside of it but other than that it works great. Besides, it produces you instant photos.

How to Choose the Best Film Camera as a Beginner?

There are plenty of options available in the market for beginners but not all of them are created equally. Besides, when you are searching for the best film camera for beginners, you need to consider specific factors for making the right choice.

Let’s explore it together.

Ease of Use

The first and most important aspect for beginners is the ease of using a camera. As being a newcomer in this field you will be unaware of professional technicalities. Besides, don’t overlook the size of the camera as it greatly determines the convenience of using it. For instance, if you small hands then a small or medium-sized camera will be suitable for you and vice versa.

Quality of Video

The second important aspect is the quality of the video which your desired camera is providing you. Needless to say, that better quality camera will help your high-quality video therefore, you will have a lot of convenience in editing it.

Low Light Performance

If you are planning to shoot in low light conditions make sure to pay attention to the performance of your camera in dim light. For that purpose, a great option is to find a camera with a built-in flash.

Battery Life

The battery life of the camera is the most neglected yet important feature which you should consider. Not to mention that a camera with long-term battery life could be used for extended durations hence, you will have a large time for shooting.

Range of Lenses

Consider if you need different lens options. For beginners built-in lens is more than enough. Also, buying other lenses can be very expensive.

However, you can try and find an affordably priced lens kit to make your collection more appealing.

Sensor and ISO Performance

Adding to this, the size and type of sensor are very much important as it is considered as the driving force of the camera. Besides, you need to consider the ISO performance as its inefficient working will lead to the low-quality video with less clarity.

Value for Money

With that being said, look for the one which provides you the best value in return for your money. Luckily, high-performance cameras are available nowadays at an affordable price. 

Best Film Camera for Beginners: the Verdict

Film photography is one step towards becoming a good digital photographer as well. Therefore, you need to look for the one which is easy to use but delivers you the best quality at an affordable price.

The basic aim of this write-up was to provide you useful insights to get the best film camera for beginners.

Although all of these cameras will work great my favorite pick is the Canon AE-1 because of its easy functions, built-in self-timer, reliability and automatic modes.