Home » Photography » A Film Camera Shopping Guide For Photography Beginners

A Film Camera Shopping Guide For Photography Beginners

By on

The world of film photography is growing to be one of the most prominent realms of photography. The old school and retro nature associated with it are both aesthetically appealing and unique. People who enjoy a blend of vintage and fresh content tend to be particularly drawn to film photography. The exploration of color in film photography is said to be unique and inviting.

However, good film photography requires a good film camera. Choosing the best film cameras is not only about choosing the cheapest options, but also considering the quality. Some film cameras are quite expensive but have too much flash or capture grainy photos. This is why it’s important to carefully assess and review when looking to purchase a film camera. The following is a film camera shopping guide for photography beginners. 

  •  Easy And Simple Film Images

There are many used filed cameras and film cameras out there, but quick-snap or snap-shot film cameras are inexpensive and their brand-new units are often affordable. Some beginners may not be into the complexities of film and just want to create an album of film images. If you’re looking to obtain a unique and distinctive film image, then you may want to consider purchasing a 35mm compact point-and-shoot film camera, which is also referred to as a pocket camera. 

Using this camera is one of the easiest ways to get started on your film photography journey and an opportunity to reflect on whether you have the growing motivation to develop your skills. These cameras were designed with the concept of snap-shooting, making them very easy to use. People usually fear the learning process attached to engaging in film photography – however with this camera, you have nothing to fear as a beginner. 

Some film cameras would require you to adjust various settings, but a pocket camera doesn’t. It effortlessly handles tasks such as setting the exposure, focusing, winding, setting film speed, and many others. Since these point-and-shoot cameras are small and discreet, they’re also ideal for beginners who enjoy street film photography. If you don’t have creative control over your photography yet, this is definitely an option to explore.

  •  Inexpensive Hands-On Film Photography 

Many people aspire for a film photography experience that’s hands-on but affordable, especially for beginners. If ‘many people’ includes you, then you may want to consider purchasing a fully manual single-lens reflex (SLR) film camera. 

This type of film camera is typically reasonably priced and grants you the opportunity of having full creative control. Starting with great creative control as a beginner will allow you to design your pre-sets and create unique film images. With an SLR film camera, all the functions are manual and nearly none of the operations are automatic. 

Some of the manual aspects of this film camera are focusing, setting the exposure, setting the film speed, among others. This allows you to learn and review all the aspects of a film camera thoroughly and familiarize yourself with its settings.

  • Learning Curve And Creative Control

Sometimes, a person may get consumed in their idea of creating aesthetically captivating photos through a film camera. However, any type of photography, let alone film photography, requires thorough learning and practice. There are lots of pros and cons to using film cameras and there’s a wide range of properties that necessitates creative control.

Nonetheless, there are film cameras that have a good balance of automatic functions and manual control. These cameras assist in facilitating people who seek creative control without worrying too much about the learning curve. An example of this film camera is an auto wind and auto-focus 35mm SLR. The automatic exposure modes of this camera are excellent for beginners. This camera also assists you in focusing, setting the film speed, and film winding.
Such a camera also tends to have a good level of aperture, good shutter priority semi-automatic modes, and full manual exposure modes. Through this, you’ll be granted the opportunity to slowly navigate through your creative control while learning the technicalities.

  •  Small And Stealthy

Some people enjoy carrying their camera with them everywhere and taking images of random beautiful things, or random artistic things. Film photography, for some people, is inspired by their intuition and the feeling they get when they see something. If you’re someone who feels the same, you may be looking towards getting something small and stealthy. In this case, a compact rangefinder is the best pick for you.

A compact rangefinder has similar form factors and aspects to that of the compact point-and-shoot camera. However, a compact rangefinder has more manual functions, such as focus, winding systems, and exposure. They have quiet shutter sounds, making them convenient to use even in quiet and relaxed settings. 

Exploring all types of places may create diversity for your film photography experience. 35mm rangefinders are relatively inexpensive because they’re a very old and classic model. However, modern rangefinders are more on the pricey side.

Start Your Film Journey

As a beginner, understanding that you have resources, such as film camera reviews and expert advice, is the first step to beginning your film photography journey. The experience begins with obtaining the right film camera and then slowly beginning to explore other aspects, such as lenses. Whether you feel equipped to begin your film photography or not, the ball is in your court now.

Skylum's all-in-one photo editor Luminar 4 is out now and available for just $69 for new users, with big discounts for upgrading users. Luminar 4's revolutionary tools and AI technologies give superpowers for creative photo editing. We rated Luminar as Highly Recommended.