8 Best Film Cameras for Beginners (from 35mm to Point-and-Shoot)
Nov 13, 2023• Proven solutions
The market is swamped with special camera equipment. Many brands will claim to have perfect white balance, have the best zoom features, or be the most stable of all other video cameras. As a new film student or new hobbyist in film, it’s hard to know where to turn. As a beginner, you may get confused of choosing the best entry-level digital camera.
We put together this guide to the best film cameras for beginners. You can shoot a whole movie with your smartphone, but if you want to play with the big leagues, you need equipment that matches. With that in mind, here is our guide to find the best film cameras for beginners, so you don’t get confused, lost, or disheartened.
Part 1: The Best Film Cameras for Beginners
So what are these miraculous cameras? Let’s find out what the best starter film camera is for you.
The Canon EOS Rebel 2000 is a 35mm film that makes one of the best film cameras for beginners. It comes with autofocus but full manual controls, should you need it. This touch lets you learn both ways should you want to. It’s also good for those who have a basic film camera knowledge, but that want to advance it.
The Canon is arguably the best 35mm film camera for beginners because it also has a built-in 35-zone exposure system. This leads to less correction of your shot. As a bonus, it comes with 11 shooting modes, 7 stages of autofocus, and high-speed sync modes for faster uploading. All for such a great price, too.
Pros of the Canon Rebel:
Fully automatic, built-in and retractable flash, super quiet running.
High-speed sync, FE Lock, EX-series Speedlites and advanced flash metering.
Cons of the Canon Rebel:
Not the best performance in low lighting situations, but that’s not the camera’s fault. Step one of filmography is making sure the lighting is good.
This multifunctional camcorder is more like the handheld film cameras you will have grown up using, or seeing on TV. This is a great point and shoot film camera for beginners since it has easy controls that you will be familiar with from working a TV remote control. It has a fold-out screen which you can rotate towards either yourself or whatever you are filming. You can even use it flipped to record back on yourself – like a selfie!
It’s great for vlogging because it lets you watch yourself. It also incorporates a webcam function, meaning it can upload and live stream on YouTube at once. You can use this as a PC camera by connecting it to your laptop, where you enjoy USB 2.0 connection speeds. If you are a vlogger this is one of the best starter film cameras you can use to transition from your phone.
Pros of the YouTube Vlogging Camera
It’s small and portable while still having loads of smart, web-specific features.
Ideal for the budding Tik Tok star. Portable, lightweight, supports up to 32GB storage, two batteries that last up to 90 minutes each, and the ability to record while charging.
Cons of the YouTube Vlogging Camera
No option for an external microphone. Tripod not included (you can pick them up for less than $10).
The Canon AE is our next nomination for the best 35mm film camera for beginners' award. This is a Single Lens Reflex camera with auto-exposure monitoring and focal plane shuttering for precision filming. All lenses are compatible with anything in the Canon FD series, it also features coupling to that particular device, so it makes a great companion camera for stills.
It comes with Canon Breech Lock mount and compatibility with Canon FL and R lenses. The camera uses a pentaprism fixed viewer for more than 90% accuracy and reflection of what the picture captures, which is high for any camera. As a bonus feature, it has a stopped-down meter needle and aperture scale for the viewing info. It’s the top class.
Pros of the Canon AE
You won’t need a replacement. Perhaps ever.
Reviewers compliment the light meter, shutter speeds, and photography class. One reviewer used the term work of art.
Cons of the Canon AE
Higher cost than the others in our guide
The 4K Camcorder is fourth on our list of the best point and shoot film cameras for beginners. This one might be the best starter film camera because it behaves like an on-set camera. It’s not a handheld as you know it. If you want to record straight to the web for your vlog but are scared of the microphone quality on the YouTube camcorder.
The 4K is one of the best start film cameras because it comes with 48MP clarity. The camera digitally connects to Wi-Fi, uses a wide-angle lens, and even includes Night Vision. This feature doesn’t come as standard. The camera uses an IPS touch screen, comes with X-Y stereo pickup technology, and also has its sound boom.
You may also like: How To Use Jump Cuts in Your Vlog
Pros of the 4K Camcorder Vlogging Camera
IPS fully rotatable touch screen.
Digital zoom, wi-fi connection, pro wide-angle lens and countless other features.
Cons of the 4K Camcorder Vlogging Camera
The official app is not easy to use when controlling the camera.
The Power Shot has optical zoom up to 50x, making it one of the best 35mm cameras for beginners on our list. It comes with built-in Wi-Fi connectivity and full compatibility with the Canon lenses and recharging stations as you might expect.
The Power shot has 16.0 megapixels, a high sensitivity sensor, and full HD capacity. It gives very smooth film footage, which is a big plus in the pro-industry and will help any learner improve.
Pros of the PowerShot SX530
0 megapixel HD capacity.
50x optical zoom capabilities, great for wildlife photography.
Cons of the PowerShot SX530
Doesn’t come with a lot of special features.
The Olympus has a 5 axis stability system for the best in steady photograph – perfect for the birdwatcher using a digiscope. It comes with a fast-touch autofocus, a high-speed AF imaging system, a 40-150mm lens and 2.3 million dot OLED viewfinder with 0.62 magnification.
Pros of the Olympus OM-D
Fantastic image quality that makes it the best 35mm camera for beginners.
Solid, durable, long-lasting casing.
Cons of the Olympus OM-D
Low light performance isn’t great.
The Pentax is one of the best film cameras for beginners. It uses 35mm film to produce high res photos in K1000 SLR functionality. It is easiest to use off our list, coming with simple controls for shutter speed, aperture, and focus. The Pentax is a simple camera that focuses on picture clarity over features – but the pictures it takes are breath-taking.
Pros of the Pentax K1000
Simple to use, capable camera.
It has a more affordable price point that those that have loads of features.
Cons of the Pentax K1000
Eyepiece is partially obstructed.
The Holga is the super affordable version of the best 35mm film camera for beginners. It comes with two film masks, two shutter speeds, a Sunny and shaded aperture, a hot shoe adaptor, and a tripod mount for extra stability. It also comes with a lens cap – so don’t forget to take it off before you shoot!
Pros of the Holga 120N
Cheap 35mm camera for beginners.
Durable and long-wearing.
Cons of the Holga 120N
It doesn’t have a lot of extra features
Part 2: User FAQ about Film Cameras
1. Q) What is the best 35mm film camera to buy?
A) The Kodak PixPro Astro Digital Camera is the best of the best. It comes at a great price point for every feature you can think of. It’s a beautiful model that features 16 megapixels and 25 x Optical zoom, among other awesome aspects. The best 35mm camera for beginners.
2. Q) What is the best cheap film camera?
A) The best starter film camera for beginners (in our opinion) is the Canon FT B FTb QL 35mm Camera. It is compatible with all of your Canon accessories and has the maximum allowed aperture TTL metering. On top of this, it is a great price that has match-needle exposure adjustments so you can control every aspect of your picture. It even supports stop-down TTL metering for FL lenses, as well as being compatible with other kinds of lens. We can’t recommend it highly enough.
If you have followed our guide, then you should easily find the best point and shoot film camera for beginners. If not? It may be that 35mm film is the one for you. In either case, you could do a lot worse than to take our advice. The perfect piece of footage is only a short shopping trip away!