Best 35mm Film Cameras of 2020 – Top Reviews

Analog photography never goes out of style, does it? Photographers love this vintage form of photography as it needs lesser investment.

Film cameras are one of the cheapest ways of taking magical shots. And, people are still falling in love with their magic. 

So, we have put together a review of the best 35 mm film cameras to help you enjoy photography more.

Comparison Chart of the Best 35mm Film Cameras

PRODUCTDETAILS
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Canon EOS Rebel GII

  • Fully automatic and manually operable 35mm SLR camera
  • High-speed 3-point auto focus system with built-in flash
  • IOS settings ranging between 25 to 5000 and a max shutter speed of 1/2000 seconds
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Olympus OM-10 OM10

  • Manual focus SLR film camera with a 35mm lens
  • ISO range between 25 to 1600 with automatic exposure control electronic shutter
  • Features shutter speeds ranging between 1 to 1/1000 seconds
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Canon EOS Rebel K2

  • Best for the Money
  • Film camera with an EF 28-90mm lens and high-speed auto focus system
  • ISO range between 25 to 5000 with shutter speeds ranging from 30 to 1/2000 seconds
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Canon EOS Rebel 2000

  • Best 35mm SLR Film Camera
  • 28 to 80mm zoom lens mounted to a 7-point autofocus system
  • Shutter speeds range from 30 to 1/2000 seconds with a sensitivity factor of ISO 100
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Halina Tegra AF290

  • Best Point and Shoot 35mm Film Camera
  • Includes a 28mm wide angle auto focus lens
  • Features automatic film winding and a built-in flash
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Pentax IQ Zoom EZY-R

  • Best Compact 35mm Film Camera
  • Fitted with a power zoom 38-70mm lens with auto focus system
  • ISO range between 25-1600 and shutter speeds of 1/320 to 1/2 second timing
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Nikon - N80

  • Best Nikon 35mm Film Camera
  • Has a 28 - 80mm G AF Nikon lens
  • ISO range of 25 to 5000 with shutter speeds of 30 to 1/4000 seconds
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Canon AE-1

  • Best Canon 35mm Film Camera
  • Standard lens included (55mm) integrated, interchangeable with Canon FD, FL or R lenses
  • Electronically controlled Auto Exposure and shutter
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What is a 35mm Camera?

A 35 mm camera is the small format camera that uses a compact film. The 35 mm camera uses a 36 × 24 mm film negative. The film has a chemical coating on it, which produces images when light shines on it. This is a far more engaging camera form as the photographers get to learn many photography and developing techniques. 

The 35 mm cameras are more common even nowadays as they are so small and practical. They do not need any tricky ways to handle, making them great for even beginners. The films for these are also more readily available. Hence, people love using and gifting these to their photographer friends. 

Canon EOS Rebel GII

Are All 35mm Film Cameras The Same?

All 35 mm film cameras have one common feature, and that is the size of the film. But, they have many variations based on the brand that they are coming from. The size of the cameras is different, which affects the ease of use. 

Most of the 35 mm cameras have a single lens, but some of them have two or more lenses. This increases the resolution of images captured from it. 

Another distinguishing feature for these cameras is the rangefinder. A rangefinder presents two frames to the photographers, and they can actively overlay them both. It helps it have a better focus and sharper images. 

What Should I Look For When Buying 35mm Film Camera?

Buying the right 35 mm camera is the first step to analog photography. So, you have to be very careful at this stage as it affects your whole photography experience. This is why we have listed below some of the factors that you should look for while buying a camera. 

Type of Film

The first thing that you have to consider is the type of film that you want to work with. If you are into landscape photography, then an SLR is a better choice. But go for a rangefinder if you love to take candid shots. 

Price

The price of a camera can be a major make-or-break point in the deal. The 35 mm film cameras are generally quite cheap, so you stay within your budget. But the accessories can make a major difference, so keep their price in mind too while buying a camera.

Built-in Meter

An inbuilt meter is a great feature in the 35 mm film cameras. It helps photographers in determining the exact distance that they need to maintain from their subject. Thus, it minimizes the guesswork and provides a better focus in less time. 

Quick Take - Best 35mm Film Cameras

Before we dive into our review, here are the best 35mm film cameras:

  1. Canon EOS Rebel GII
  2. ​​Olympus OM-10 OM10
  3. Canon EOS Rebel K2

Review of the Best 35mm Film Cameras

A 35 mm film camera is sure to uplift your photography experience as it helps you explore many dimensions of photography. But you need to find the right one, which suits your mode of photography. Considering this, we have reviewed some of the best 35 mm film cameras for you here. 

Best Overall:
Canon EOS Rebel GII

Canon EOS Rebel GII 35mm Film SLR Camera Kit w/ EF 35-80mm Lens

PROS

  • 11 modes of exposure
  • A built-in red-eye reduction feature
  • 30 to 1/2000 seconds shutter speeds range
  • Silent operation with smooth working sensors
  • 3 point autofocus system with quick transitions

CONS

  • No camera kit included
  • Lack of batteries in the package

What Recent Buyers Report

Recent buyers have been quite happy with their purchase. They found this Canon film camera to be very handy. They liked its ease of configuration and use as everything is quite simple. The buyers also liked it because of its silent operation.

Why it Stands Out to Us

The full auto to metered manual indicator in this camera helps it stand out to us the most. It makes it easy to focus on the subject using the autofocus. But if someone likes to manually change the meter settings, they can do it themselves too. 

Moreover, there are 11 modes of exposure which let the photographers set the exposure settings better. This gives them a wider range of exposure options to play with different lighting conditions. We like this camera also because of the silent shutter operation since it helps in taking smooth consecutive shots.

Bottom Line

All in all, it is a highly reliable camera with a user-friendly construction. It has a three-point autofocus system, so there is a greater diversity of angles and focus. It has a range of shutter speeds, which help the photographers in choosing the right sharpness as well. 

Olympus OM-10 OM10 35mm Manual Focus Film Camera And Lens Combo

PROS

  • Has a 50mm f/1.8 prime lens
  • Compact frame at 7 x 4 x 4 inches
  • Small-sized batteries are easily available
  • UV filter to retain the integrity of images
  • Manual camera for professional photographers

CONS

  • Light meter needs improvement
  • Some overexposure of film reported

What Recent Buyers Report

The people who bought this Olympus 35 mm film camera lately found it quite useful. They liked its small size, which helps in carrying it without any problem. Buyers also liked it because its batteries are quite common, so there were no issues in finding the right batteries. 

Why it Stands Out to Us

It catches our eye with its UV filter, which keeps the images intact. There is relatively less chromatic aberration, so the images do not have any altered patches. There is also a 50mm f/1.8 prime lens, which helps in taking amazing shots. 

As this Olympus camera has a manual configuration, we find it better for professional photographers. The dimensions of 7 x 4 x 4 inches make it quite sleek on the exterior. This way, it gets easier to carry this camera even when you are hiking. And, the flash is just right for low light too. 

Bottom Line

The bottom line on this Olympus camera is that it is fun to shoot photographs with it. But it is more suitable for professional photographers as it has manual focus and other controls. The camera is quite amazing due to the prime lens in it, so it is worth your investment. 

Best for the Money:
Canon EOS Rebel K2

Canon EOS Rebel K2 SLR 35mm Film Camera with EF 28-90mm III Electronic Auto Focus Lens

PROS

  • Advanced flash system with E-TTL
  • 12 shooting modes in the camera
  • Future inspired frame looks modern
  • 7 image control modes are programmed
  • Standard zoom lens of 28 to 90 mm dimensions

CONS

  • Construction is not durable

What Recent Buyers Report

This Canon film camera has been a great success among people who chose to invest in it. They are quite fond of it due to its futuristic looks yet a vintage feel. The buyers found all 12 of its shooting modes quite easy to operate as well. 

Why it Stands Out to Us

It makes it to our list because of the effective controls over image quality. It has seven programmed image controls, which let the photographers choose the right mode for each subject. The flash system is also quite advanced with the E-TTL in it. This way, there is a pre-flash before the main flash. It lets you decide if using the flash is a good idea or not.

Also, there are 12 shooting modes in the camera extending from landscape to portrait. They give the photographers more room to practice the exact techniques that they want to. This camera is also one of our favorites due to its standard 28 to 90 mm zoom lens. 

Bottom Line

Considering all this, it is a cost-effective and highly useful camera with its list of offerings. The 28 to 90 mm standard zoom lens makes it easier to focus on the right details in the subject. This, along with the shooting modes, helps you enjoy taking shots with it. 

Best 35mm SLR Film Camera:
Canon EOS Rebel 2000

Canon EOS Rebel 2000 35mm Film SLR Camera Kit with 28-80mm Lens

PROS

  • Built-in flash is retractable
  • Manual as well as autofocus
  • Has a 28 to 80 mm zoom lens
  • Autofocus system has 7 points
  • Built-in 35 zone exposure sensor

CONS

  • Shutter gets stuck sometimes
  • Not good for low light conditions

What Recent Buyers Report

Users state that this Canon camera has impressed the people who bought it recently. They found its 28 to 80 mm zoom lens to be a great addition in the package. It lets photographers zoom in and out without spending much time on rotating the lens. 

Why it Stands Out to Us

Its small and lightweight frame helps the camera gain our attention. It is quite convenient to carry as it fits your pocket without any issues. It has several creative controls, making it fun to try out new techniques on the camera. Its autofocus is remarkable with the seven points, while the manual focus is equally great.

Furthermore, it has a built-in 35 zone exposure sensor, which helps in getting brighter images. The flash is also retractable, so it does not take much time to be ready for the next shots. The seven-point autofocus system is another great feature which we approve of. 

Bottom Line

The final word on this camera is that it has some of the best features that even modern photographers love. The depth of field and image distancing are incredible, with the manual focus on this camera. So, getting this one will be a wise decision on your part. 

Best Point and Shoot 35mm Film Camera:
Halina Tegra AF290

Halina Tegra AF290 35mm Film Camera Compact Point & Shoot Flash Auto Focus Motor

PROS

  • Very lightweight at 8.8 ounces
  • Needs 2 AA batteries for operation
  • Exposure count with an LCD display
  • Comes with a 28 mm wide-angle lens
  • Retro-themed camera with an impressive frame

CONS

  • Extra brightness in images
  • Flash cannot be switched off

What Recent Buyers Report

Most recent buyers found this camera to be great with its low weight. It weighs only 8.8 ounces, so buyers had no trouble in carrying this camera along with them. They also appreciated it because it needs only 2 AA batteries, which are quite commonly used.

Why it Stands Out to Us

It impresses us with the retro-inspired design, which makes the camera look nostalgic. But despite the vintage appearance, it works as well as any new cameras. There is an LCD display to show the exposure count along with a 28 mm wide-angle lens.

In addition, it has a very lightweight construction at only 8.8 ounces. This, along with its compact size, helps in taking the camera along with you everywhere. It is also great for street photography as it does not make photographers stand out from the crowd.

Bottom Line

Overall, this is a nice camera as it has classy looks and reliable construction. Its flash can be a problem for some as it does not shut off. Other than that, it works impressively in all light conditions. 

Best Compact 35mm Film Camera:
Pentax IQ Zoom EZY-R

Pentax IQ Zoom EZY-R 35mm Zoom Camera

PROS

  • Mid-roll rewinding is possible
  • 10-second timer for self-photography
  • Red-eye reduction in the built-in flash
  • Infinity landscape mode for far away shoots
  • Completely automatic 35 mm film operation

CONS

  • Need to hold down the button for several seconds

What Recent Buyers Report

The majority of recent buyers have come up with positive feedback about its usage mostly. They loved the camera because of its automatic operation overall. This helped even beginner photographers in choosing the right settings, so they liked it a lot.

Why it Stands Out to Us

The mid-roll rewinding feature of this camera helps it stand out to us the most. It enables photographers to develop their pictures if they are in a hurry and don’t want to wait for the whole roll to be used. Also, it weighs 0.8 ounces only, which makes using it much easier.

Along with all this, there is an infinity landscape mode that helps you capture sceneries at a distance. This way, you get to capture all the nice sunsets and sunrises that you think are a little distant. It also has a ten-second timer which helps you include yourself in the photo too.

Bottom Line

In our expert opinion, this is an investment-worthy camera as it has all the desired features. The infinity landscape mode increases the horizon to be captured. Meanwhile, the red-eye reduction helps in keeping the images as natural as possible.

Best Nikon 35mm Film Camera:
Nikon - N80

Nikon - N80 35mm Film SLR Camera with Nikon 28-80 G AF Lens

PROS

  • Both auto and manual settings
  • Wide aperture for brighter images 
  • High compatibility with most ISO settings
  • Small and lightweight camera is easy to use
  • Exceptional shutter speed makes the lens sharp

CONS

  • Film advance gets stuck
  • Centering objects takes time

What Recent Buyers Report

Those who recently invested in this unit have been quite happy with this Nikon camera as it has such a simple design. They liked its sensitivity, which helps them save time while taking shots. The rewind speed of the flash is also great, so there are more consecutive shots with it. 

Why it Stands Out to Us

It has gained our approval with its manual and auto settings, which are both equally smooth. The lens has a wide aperture, which shines more light on the camera. This results in brighter images, even in low-light conditions

The camera impresses us with its shutter speed as well since it helps in taking very sharp images. The lens also has a wide aperture, which lets in more light for brighter and clearer images. Its zoom and focus settings are other great plus points in the list of features as well. 

Bottom Line

To sum up, this is an impressive camera at just the right price. It has great compatibility with most ISO settings and has a high shutter speed. So, the images captured with it are both sharp and lively. 

Best Canon 35mm Film Camera:
Canon AE-1

Canon AE-1 35mm Film Camera w/ 50mm 1:1.8 Lens

PROS

  • SLR with electrically controlled AE
  • Checkmarks for battery charge level
  • Eye-level pentaprism used as a viewfinder 
  • Meter scale to estimate distance manually
  • High compatibility with standard SLR lenses

CONS

  • Instruction manual is tricky
  • Takes time to figure out the settings

What Recent Buyers Report

The people who bought this camera recently liked its blend of modern and vintage features. They had a great time using it because of its compatibility with other SLR lenses they owned. They also reported having an easier control of the unit’s AE.

Why it Stands Out to Us

The use of eye-level pentaprism in this camera strikes a fine chord with us. It has a field of view that is 93.5% vertical and 96% horizontal. This increases the quality and exposure of the images, making them very realistic.

As this camera works with most SLR lenses, it offers a broader range of photography experiences. The meter scale in it helps you choose the exact distance for shooting the subjects. And lastly, the AE is electrically controlled, so there is better image quality.

Bottom Line

Keeping all the features in view, this is an incredible camera for both beginners and professional photographers. The manual control of its meter scale and the pentaprism make this camera much more useful.

35mm vs. Digital Camera - Comparison Overview

With continuing advancement in technology, cameras have come a long way too. This leads to the burning question of which one is better – a 35 mm film camera or a digital camera? Keeping this in view, we have brought you a comparison overview of both to see which one suits you best.

Similarities

Here are some of the major similarities that both these cameras have:

Final Image Display

The final image display is pretty much the same for both the digital cameras and the 35 mm film ones. It remains consistent whether you are viewing the images on your laptop screen or the developed versions. 

Resolution

The resolution of both is quite high. They capture greater details in a subject. So the level of depth is almost equal in images captured from both these cameras.

Differences

Now, let’s have a look at some of the differences:

CCD

Digital cameras have a light sensor in them named CCD. It helps in capturing a much more diverse range of colors. So, if you want more brightness and a wider color spectrum, then digital cameras are better.

Dynamic Range

The dynamic range is based on the sensitivity of light as it helps in the digital encoding of light. It is great in both cameras but has a slightly different mechanism. 

How to Use a 35mm Camera

Using a 35 mm camera is a slow but thoroughly enjoyable experience for both new and professional photographers. Using these is different from photography on DSLRs and smartphones. So, let’s see how it works without further ado.

  1. First of all, you need to insert the batteries in the required slot. 

  2. Then choose the film that you want to use. A color negative film is used most frequently due to its softer images. Now, insert the film in the camera and secure it in its place.

  3. After this, set the ISO of your camera with the ISO of the film that you are using. 

  4. Set the right focus by turning the front ring. It will help you in zooming in or out as well.

  5. Now take the shots that you want and unwind the film. You can have the photographs developed from a nearby shop or yourself if you feel like doing it.

These simple steps will help you take amazing shots with your 35 mm film camera. Head over to this video to get a clearer idea about using this type of camera. 

Conclusion

Summing it all up, a 35 mm film camera offers one of the most exciting photography experiences. It is quite thrilling to find out what you captured when you develop your photographs. They are found quite easily at highly affordable prices. So, get yourself one and have fun trying out analog photography. 

People Also Ask

Well, most people nowadays are accustomed to digital photography and using a film camera can be novel for them. This is why there are many questions regarding their use. So, we have answered some of the most common questions to help you understand these cameras better. 

Can You Still Buy 35mm Film For Cameras?

Yes, you can easily buy a 35 mm film for your camera from your local photography shop. There are different types of 35 mm films available in the market, and you can access any of them. So, getting a new film will not be a problem for you. 

What is so Special About 35mm?

35 mm film cameras are quite special as they are vintage and help in analog photography. The 35 mm film is of a smaller size than others, so it is easier to use it. They are also available quite easily as they offer versatile and convenient photography. 

Canon AE-1

Does Film Look Better Than Digital?

Film and digital both look amazing. It is the experience of developing and practicing analog photography, which makes the film more thrilling. The choice is ultimately yours based on your preference of the photography style. But, on the baseline, both are great modes of photography. 

Are Film Cameras Obsolete?

Manufacturers do not make any more film cameras. Hobbyists who use them have had the cameras for a long time. Or they buy them from thrift shops. So, they are obsolete, considering no company is actually making them anymore. 

Which is Better 24mm or 35mm?

A 35 mm film is better because it has a smaller size. This makes it easier to use without feeling any strain in your hands. The 35 mm film is also available more easily than the 24 mm one. Hence, it is better to invest in a 35 mm film camera if you are going to buy one. 

Why is it Called 35mm?

It is called 35 mm because of the film width of 135 mm. The size of the format is 36 × 24 mm, but the overall film width gives it the name. 

How Long Does 35mm Film Last Undeveloped?

A 35 mm film usually lasts for two years if it remains undeveloped. But, to be on a safe side, it is better to stick by the ‘best before’ date given by the manufacturers. If you keep the film in a dark and cold place, it can last for a long time. 

Is 35mm Film High Definition?

Yes, 35 mm film is high definition as its number of vertical lines is quite high. The standard number of vertical lines is 480, while the 35 mm film can have as many as 1080 vertical lines. So, it can generate very high definition images. 

Is 35mm Film Full Frame?

The 35 mm film is not really full frame due to the smallness of its size. Large or medium-sized films are better suited for full frame photography. However, if someone has the right skills, they can take full frame shots with 35 mm films as well. 

Why Are 35mm Lenses so Expensive?

The flange sensor on the 35 mm lenses makes them more expensive than other film camera lenses. The width, as well as aperture, is greater. But, overall, the 35 mm film cameras are quite cheap, which balances the price of the lenses. 

Does it Matter What Brand of Film You Put in Your Camera?

No, it does not matter what brand of film you are putting in your camera. You have to be careful about the size and the type of film. But, the brand does not make any difference as long as the film is reliable in terms of usage.

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