The 35mm film camera used to be the most popular photography option for everyone. With the digital industry growing more rapidly than ever for both professionals and the general public, it should come as no surprise that there are fewer and fewer 35mm cameras being made, sold or used. With a more limited market, it can be hard to choose the best 35mm camera to meet your needs.
Whether you are an amateur photographer wanting to start with a 35mm film camera or a professional that has developed an affinity for this specific style, we have provided this guide to help you find the perfect camera.
Features to Take into Account
You may either be considering an SLR or a compact camera. These are the only two options that are still being newly made today, each with their own benefits.
The SLR provides the user with more flexibility as the lenses can be changed. It also comes with through-the-lens light metering and auto-exposure modes. Though the SLR has more features, it still needs to be able to cover the basics with possibly automated features that can be overridden manually.
The compact camera is more common today with specific features that can vary. The focusing mechanism can be a fixed viewfinder or a variable focus rangefinder.
The compact cameras also have automation that allow for automatic exposure modes. The compact camera is less expensive but it does compromise the control that a photographer will have.
You should also consider the following features based on your preferences:
Top Six 35mm Camera Comparison Chart
Buying the Best 35mm Camera
As these cameras have lost availability, the market and services surrounding them are also lacking. Before buying, you should consider the following guidelines:
- Film Development. This may seem simple, but you will either need to be developing the film yourself or find a shop that will do it for you. This is not as common as it once was and is worth investigating before you make any investment.
- Condition. Even if a camera is new, it should be completely inspected in terms of the shooting quality and the state of the body of the camera. Some of the main aspects that should be examined are the light seals. Having these in perfect condition is the only way to guarantee your photos will develop as intended.
- Compatibility. Some cameras come with one set lens while others have the option to change the lens and the view. If lens variation is important to you, then you should consider whether or not this is possible to get with the best 35mm camera.
Top Three 35mm Cameras Reviews
If you prefer Nikon cameras then buying the Nikon FM-10 SLR Camera with 35-70mm will only increase your love for this make.
This camera and the kit come with everything that you need to take great photos with more control than you would have with just a point and shoot disposable camera. This is not an automatic camera so you will have to spend time focusing on the subject you are shooting.
Even with the added time, which is actually a plus for photography enthusiasts, you can easily get used to the controls and improve the time it takes to focus. With a really wide lens and center weighted metering, you will be in total control of your images.
The Canon EOS Rebel 2000 35mm Film SLR has 7-point autofocusing, 35 zone metering and a depth of field preview that all make using the camera and absolute pleasure for those that want more control.
This is a great camera for those just getting into photography as it allows for features to be adjusted manually without being overly complicated like the high-end professional models.
The metering and the build of this camera mean that it reliably produces great images with proper light exposure.
This Olympus Stylus Epic Zoom 80 QD CG Date 35mm has a glass lens and is a completely automatic point and shoot that doesn’t disappoint. Due to the compact size of this model, it is the best 35mm camera to take on trips.
It is also easy to load the film and the images come out beautifully when they are developed, which is not always the case when using film.
Choosing this camera is great for those that prefer using film but do not want to get too much into the manual features and controls.