The Best Point and Shoot Film Cameras for Vintage Photographers
Although almost all the part of photography has moved towards the digital era. There are still countless people who are using film cameras and for all the right reasons. There is a distinct look that you can get from a film camera, and the art of developing the pictures you take is something that feels special on so many levels.
There are some excellent point-and-shoot cameras that you can use to get the job done. “But what camera should I be buying?” is the question that most people ask all the time. The best point-and-shoot film camera is the one that you can easily buy and operate without any hindrance that might come your way. That is the reason why this roundup is going to help you get your hands on the best point and shoot film camera, and well, we can start looking. If you are wondering about the best overall film camera, then the Pentax IQ Zoom is the one that we would put our money on as it delivers exceptional performance all-around.
Best Point and Shoot Film Camera
HOLGA 120GCFN – Best Affordable Film Camera
HOLGA 120GCFN is a sharp and easy-to-use camera. For beginners, the lens works really well.
If you have been in the world of film photography for some time, it is safe to say that you are already aware of HOLGA. They have been around for as long as one can remember and have some excellent film cameras that you can use and well, the experience will be great.
With that said, the HOLGA 120GCFN is one of the best point-and-shoot film cameras for beginners and this is not an exaggeration thanks to the excellent performance that you are going to get out of this camera.
With that said, the camera comes with a surprisingly sharp lens once you have the focus in order. The camera itself is easy to operate, however, it will only happen once you have nailed the basics of the camera.
The one thing that I love about this camera is that it cannot take itself seriously. Which allows you to just enjoy photography without getting serious. Considering how this camera uses 120 films, you are not looking at spending a lot of money.
My favorite thing about the HOLGA 120GCFN is the fact that it manages to take some stunning pictures that look unique, too, and well, the results are always astonishing, to say the least.
If you are looking to get experimental with the camera, it will allow you to take some stunning double and long exposure shots, and the camera does come with countless accessories so you can always keep trying.
There are a few things about this camera that I did not like, to be honest. For starters, the viewfinder is not the most accurate, and there is only one shutter speed that I would consider normal. The camera does leak in some situations.
Overall, the reason why HOLGA 120GCFN is not a flagship is that the company itself did not want the camera to be that revered. It is a fun camera that can turn into a fun hobby for anyone who is looking for a different photography experience. The camera never takes itself seriously, and I believe that is one of the redeeming factors here.
Canon Sure Shot Tele 80 – Best Canon Film Camera
Canon Sure Shot Tele 80 is an easy to use and affordable camera with lots of shooting modes.
For the longest time, Canon has been celebrated as the undisputed king of cameras in the market and the simplest reason behind that is that Canon never really decided to give up on the cameras that they have made to a point that the cameras that they make are excellent for all the reasons.
However, Canon was not always the king as they are now. The company has a history of releasing some of the cameras that you would look at in the modern-day and wonder if they came from Canon, and well, that is the case with the Canon Sure Shot Tele, as well.
When I first looked at the camera, I realized that this camera is unlike any other Canon camera I have used. I am not saying that this is my first experience with a film camera, but this was my first Canon film camera, and well, I am surprised as to how good this is.
For starters, Canon has made sure that the camera is super-easy to use, so if you are worried that you might run into issues, that is not going to be the case. The camera itself is easy to use and can be used for almost every purpose. Ranging from taking pictures of people to sports, and other instances, as well.
The camera also comes with one of the best battery life that you can look for in a good point and shoot film camera and I know this might not be a good point for many, but trust me, the feature alone is worth it.
With that out of the way, the best part about this camera is the autofocusing system that Canon has employed on this camera and even though you are looking at something old, the autofocusing system is good and works well.
The camera is also available in various lens choices ranging from 35mm wide-angle, or 80mm telephoto, and not to forget, the camera is not going to be a problem when it comes to carrying as it is lightweight.
There are a few downsides, though. For starters, the camera does lack some of the advanced features and well, it is not built for serious photography, especially at this age.
If you are looking for a good semi-vintage camera, the Canon Sure Shot Tele 80 is a great option and can be purchased in a few lens variations, which makes it a great offering for everyone.
Pentax IQ Zoom – Best Overall Film Camera
Pentax IQ Zoom is one of the easiest cameras to use when it comes to point and shoot filming. It provides you with a brilliant auto focus feature as well.
We are all aware of the fact that Pentax has been making cameras for as long as one can remember and the cameras that they have made are excellent in almost every case. Sure, the company is no longer as massive as it used to be but they do have years of experience and that experience has only led them to make some amazing options.
The Pentax IQ Zoom is one of the best point-and-shoot film cameras that are available in the market and the best part about this camera is that it is not just affordable. But it is also one of the best when it comes to the overall usability, and well, you are not getting your hands on something complicated or difficult to use.
I have used countless film cameras in the past and there are always a few things about them that set me off but thankfully, with this camera, I never really faced any issues that might come in the way. For starters, this is one of the easiest to use cameras available and well, the experience it provides is one of the best.
Not to forget, you are looking at a camera that has a good weight and balance, too. So, if that is one of the things that you are concerned about, your experience with this camera is not going to go overshadowed and you will enjoy using it, too.
My favorite thing about this camera is the fact that you are looking at excellently placed controls, which is not as common in older cameras because companies never really paid that much attention but that changes with this camera.
There are a few downsides that I would like to discuss here, however. For starters, you are looking at a camera that offers a weaker illumination at shorter focal lengths, and you do notice some linear distortion whenever you are looking at the shorter focal lengths.
Overall, I would say that the Pentax IQ Zoom is one of the best point-and-shoot film cameras available in the market. Sure, we have ushered into a new era of cameras, but that does not mean that we can forget about some cameras that started it all, more or less.
Halina Ansco Pix – Best Built Film Camera
Halina Ansco Pix has the strongest flash in this list. It has a solid build quality with manual winding system.
In the world of film cameras, Halina cameras have been a staple for a very, very long time. I understand that you are looking at offerings that might not be as good as some of the others but hey, you are genuinely looking at something that is good and will work for you well.
Now, the thing that you should know about these cameras is that they are not easy to come by these days because of the obvious reasoning that film cameras are not as common. However, for the vintage photographer in you, I would still suggest that we are looking at some good offerings.
The Halina Ansco Pix is just one of those cameras that have been around and have managed to make up a name for themselves. For starters, the camera does bring a pretty strong flash and with point and shoot cameras, having a good flash is always integral to how you are going to take the pictures.
Not to forget, this is a manual winding camera, so the experience to wind the camera and use it once you are done is something that will be appreciated by a lot of photographers.
One of the best bits about this camera is how durable and long-lasting this is; the company has put a lot of thought into designing this camera, and I can tell you that you will not be let down by the performance overall.
Not to forget, the frame counter is excellent as it allows you to have an understanding of how many counts have been taken so far. Another great thing about this camera is that despite its durable build quality, it remains to be lightweight, and allows for excellent portability.
As far as the downsides are concerned, my only point here is that this camera is only built for those who are looking for casual photography, and not at all professional scale photography. Not to forget, the flash itself is going to sip a lot of battery and is never the ideal solution for everyone.
Overall, the Halina Ansco Pix is honestly a decent film camera. It is one of the best-built cameras that you can buy but aside from that, the results produced by this camera are excellent, too. IT is not for professional photography as I have discussed before but that never really comes in the way of the overall experience that you get from it.
Halina Tegra AF290 – Best 35mm Film Camera
Halina Tegra AA290 is one of the more compact and well-built cameras with automatic film transport support.
Halina cameras are, well, impressive, to say the least. Especially when you are looking at some really good offerings from back in the day and while we do not get to see Halina cameras in the modern-day and age, the best part about these cameras in the modern day is the fact that you do get some impressive results out of these cameras.
Now, the important thing that you must know here is that these cameras are not going to be a disappointment to anyone, to be honest. Sure, they are mainly for vintage photographers who are known to get things done and do it right but overall, when you do look at these cameras, you are looking at something that is built to last and well, as long as you have access to films, you can take the pictures the way you want to.
With that said, the Halina Tegra AF290 is one of the more promising point-and-shoot mirrorless cameras with a small and solid design that is built to last. Not to forget, you are getting an automatic film transport design, which means that the concept of manual winding is not going to bother you at all.
The best part about this camera is the fact that it offers to autofocus feature and has a 28mm wide-angle lens and while that lens might not be good for portraits, if you want to do some good-looking, vintage landscape photography, this is a great camera to go with.
We are also looking at a camera that is reasonably priced, especially when you look at the features that you are getting at the price of the camera. Not to forget, the fact that you can take panoramic pictures with red-eye reduction is something that you can make use of.
Now that is all out of the way, I do have to tell you that there are some obvious downsides that you will have to deal with. First things first, finding the films for this camera can be an issue, especially for beginners, but that is the same case with almost all the cameras. Secondly, you are looking at a camera that has a plastic dial frame, so that is another thing that you need to look into.
Overall, I would say that the Halina Tegra AF290 is a good camera for the price you are paying. Sure, it is not going to break any grounds but you are looking into something that is reliable and works well.
Canon EOS Rebel GII – Best Film-Based SLR Camera
Canon EOS Rebel GII has 11 exposure modes for easier shooting with shutter speed ranging from 30 to 1/2000 seconds.
When Canon announced the EOS Rebel GII, it more or less changed the camera market forever, and although this was not the only time Canon brought about a revolution in the camera market, this was a significant mark and well, Canon managed to make more cameras that were only more and more impressive.
With that said, the Canon EOS Rebel GII is special for a lot of reasons and I believe that fact that it is as special as it stands is also the reason why I had a hard time reviewing the camera. You see, the cameras I have reviewed so far have been excellent in almost every way. However, they all were cameras that had fixed lenses.
This is so far, the first camera that is an SLR but also a film camera. With this camera, you are getting 11 exposure modes, which makes the overall shooting experience a lot more fun. There is a built-in flash with red-eye reduction for easier shooting in complicated situations.
Not to forget, you are getting access to a shutter speed of 30 to 1/2000 seconds, which is an impressive feature of this camera. You also get automatic functionality on this camera, which makes this camera an absolute treat to use, especially if you are a beginner.
However, the reason why I am so in love with this camera is that it is fully compatible with the entire lineup of Canon EF lenses, allowing you to take our photography to the next level.
Although this is an excellent camera by every means, you are not getting any custom functions, and a thumbwheel on the back is missing, which means that you will be limited to a single wheel for multiple purposes.
Overall, the Canon EOS Rebel GII is an excellent camera for a lot of reasons, and honestly, the results you are going to get out of this camera will be consistent and more importantly, will be great in every situation and you would not be regretting it either.
Olympus Stylus Epic Zoom – Best Point and Shoot Camera Under $200
Olympus Stylus Epic Zoom is a fully automatic camera with an ultra-compact body and weather-sealing.
The last camera that I am going to be reviewing is from none other than Olympus. We all know them, of course, they are among the most revered camera manufacturers, and although their market dominance has faltered over the years, that does not mean at all that they are not making amazing cameras, still.
With that said, we are not talking about the cameras that are being made in 2023. We are talking about the cameras that have been in the market longer than some of the people who are walking on this planet, and well, the Olympus Stylus Epic Zoom is one of those cameras. Yes, I do get the fact that the name of this camera is a mouthful but hear me out, it’s an excellent camera.
How good is the camera? Well, it is great in a lot of ways. For starters, the camera is fully automatic, so in case you do run into issues as far as the operations of this camera are concerned, you do not have to worry as it will not be letting anyone down and I believe that is a bonus point that you need to look into.
Olympus has done a great job with the camera as far as the flash is concerned since you are getting access to a variable power flash, which makes it easy to take pictures. Not to forget, the camera also comes with an extra-low dispersion, which makes it an absolute treat to use, and honestly, you are rarely going to run into any issues, either.
Moving further, I believe the best bit about this camera is the fact that the ultra-compact body that you do find on this camera is all-weather sealed, allowing you to use the camera in various weather conditions without having to worry too much.
You are also getting one of the high-performance zoom lenses that allow you to shoot further into the distance without running into any issues.
Honestly, after using the camera for some time, I did realize that the camera itself is not at fault here. Sure, being a digital photographer, for the major part. I did run into a myriad of issues but those are going to be available in all the film cameras. However, the manual that Olympus shipped with this camera confused me to a point that I spent a chunk of time reading through it.
Overall, I would say that the Olympus Stylus Epic Zoom is a great point-and-shoot camera that should be on your list of things that you might want to get. It is great for any hobbyist and will result in some good pictures.
Frequently Asked Questions
Finding the best point and shooting a film camera might not be the easiest thing there is, especially when you realize the fact that you are looking at countless available options in the market and there is always confusion that will come in the way.
Thankfully, we have tried to keep this round-up concise and only kept the cameras in the list that are good and are going to work well. There is nothing to worry about, so you are all good to go. Just pick the one that suits your budget and fulfills your requirements and you are good to go.
Hi! I’m Furqan Shahid, founder of SnapDirector. With a decade of experience capturing countless moments, I’m here to guide you on your photography journey and save you from gear pitfalls!