Finding the right entry-level camera for you can be easy, especially if you’re new to filmmaking! In this article, we rank the best film cameras for beginners.
You’ll learn about the unique features of each camera, including settings, sensors, interchangeable lenses, and more. At the end of this article, you will know which 35mm camera is best for you!
10 Best Film Cameras for Beginners [ List ]
Without further ado, let us get straight into it. Here is a quick list of the 10 best film cameras for beginners.
Canon AE-1 (also known as Program AE-1) is the best choice for an old camera due to its reliable features and low price. The Canon AE-1 is a great entry-level camera for videographers as well as those new to general photography.
An internal illuminator is also provided for those who prefer to take pictures manually or can be changed by switching to the “Program” mode.
The settings you can adjust are limited so you can focus on the moment without worrying about camera performance. There are also many types of lenses compatible with this case.
It is one of the best cameras for beginner photographers due to its ease of use and versatility. There may be a few settings and tweaks to experiment with, but it’s perfect for photographers who want to experiment with different features to find the perfect setting.
The FE2 is the smallest and lightest in the range and is an excellent choice for travel photographers. It also performs very well in various lighting conditions.
Like the Canon AE-1, the Olympus OM1 has a vintage look, making it a fun camera for beginners to try out. With the extra large viewfinder and many professional features, you can hone your skills while still using the Olympus OM1.
A great choice for new photographers who are experienced with camera setup and want to up their game quickly.
The Pentax K1000 is often compared to the Canon AE-1 for its reliability and ease of use. If you took photography classes in high school, you’d probably be sitting on a Pentax K1000.
This model is a fully manual, fully mechanical camera, making it a great choice for learning the basics of photography such as ISO, aperture, and shutter speed.
The Nikon FM retains its vintage look, while also being an incredibly affordable film camera. It’s a terrific entry-level film camera since it offers exactly the right number of setting settings for you to learn and develop your shooting confidence.
It also is compatible with other digital Nikon lenses, making it a film camera you will be happy to hang on to for years and years.
Another really good film camera for beginners is Nikon F2. The best thing about the Nikon range is that the lenses of the SLR and the DSLR are truly interchangeable.
It’s a great entry-level camera for photographers who have taken pictures with the Nikon F2 before. No need to buy more lenses!
The Minolta SRT-101 is a great beginner film camera for under $500, not only for its ease of use but its sturdy build. Being on the bulkier side of starting film cameras, this model was made to last.
You’ll have to purchase this camera used because Minolta no longer sells or manufactures brand-new cameras.
Buy one that is pre-owned and comes with a standard lens, such as the adaptable Minolta 50mm, to get the cheapest price.
This model was built to last because it was on the larger side of first-generation film cameras. Because Minolta no longer sells or produces new cameras, you will need to buy this camera used.
To obtain the best deal, get a used camera that includes a standard lens, such as the adaptable Minolta 50mm. It provides auto-exposure for good quality photos nearly every time and also gives motorized film advance for an easy-to-use experience.
This is a great beginner film camera for users who want a simple way to shoot film, without fussing with too many settings.
Like most Minolta models, the Minolta x700 is designed for casual photographers. Robust, intuitive, and easy to use. It is also one of the best cameras for beginners with easy-to-use features. Use it!
The x700 has more features, so if you’re ready to expand your hobby, this might be a good starter camera for you. A large eyepiece, light with TTL flash metering, and a variety of exposure modes.
If you are a travel photographer, this would be one of the best cameras for beginners.
It has a sturdy build that can handle being tossed in a backpack or pushed around in a suitcase. Created between 1981 and 1988, it is a little behind in technology, but it is aimed at snipers who do not make the choice.
The Ricoh XR-10 comes with a variety of compatible accessories, making it easy to purchase and use a variety of lenses.
Tips for new photographers
You may capture colors more precisely by using a white balance. If you don’t change the white balance, the colors in your photographs may take on a slightly bluer, oranger, or greener hue or “temperature.” This is because different types of light have different properties.
It’s best to get the white balance right in the camera rather than having to alter it after the fact if you have hundreds of photographs that need minor modifications.
Your camera likely has several white balance settings, including Automatic White Balance, Daylight, Cloudy, Flash, Shade, Fluorescent, and Tungsten.
If you’re unsure which of these is which because each of these is represented by a different icon, see your camera’s manual. Automatic white balance works all right in some situations, but it’s generally best to change the setting according to the type of light you’re shooting in.
Furthermore, the best way to get a bit more creative with your photography is to experiment with perspective. When viewed from a different perspective, the same picture can frequently appear very differently, and photographing a subject from above or below might alter the overall mood of the image.
Not every angle will work for every photograph, of course, but you’ll never know what works and what doesn’t if you don’t experiment.
You can try getting on their level and looking at the world through their eyes while shooting animals or kids.
Tips for buying used cameras
Beginner 35mm film cameras are surprisingly a lot more available to buy than you might think! Considering buying a used film camera?
That’s great! Here are some suggestions to keep in mind before parting with your money when searching for the ideal beginning film cameras:
- Do your research! Know the film camera you want, why you want it, and know the pros and cons of the model. (This article is a fantastic starting point for your adventure!)
- Buy from reputable brands. We recommend companies that focus solely on cameras, such as Consumer Electronics. Facebook Marketplace or Craigslist are not recommended but are still possible. But be more careful and try before you buy from a private seller.
Difference between film cameras and digital cameras
To begin with, SLR stands for “single lens reflex,” which reflects the image into your viewfinder using an internal mirror.
The DSLR is simply a “digital single lens reflex” which means it uses a digital sensor to record the image, and stores it on a memory card. In this post, we’re specifically covering 35mm SLR cameras, which are the ones that use film.
These can be found in fully manual variants, battery-operated ones, or even more recent models with digital screens for viewing camera settings.
This is an ever-growing list, and we’re going to be adding more 35mm film cameras to this list as we learn and grow in our photography journey.
This list of 35mm film cameras is great if you are just starting and need a place to begin, and we hope the 10 best film cameras for beginners [ List ]will kick-start your hobby.