Buying Your First Film Camera? Here are 3 Things to Know

Photo by Nicolas Ladino Silva on Unsplash

Even when everyone has a smartphone with a camera in their pocket, the allure of film cameras remains undiminished. There’s something inherently magical about capturing images on film. If you’re considering stepping into the world of film photography, here are a few tips for picking out your first camera. 

Types of Film Cameras

Film cameras come in various types, each offering a different experience. These are the two most popular ones.

SLR Cameras

These cameras allow you to see exactly what the lens sees and are great for precision and flexibility. 

Point-and-Shoot Cameras

These are compact and user-friendly, perfect for beginners or those who prefer a straightforward shooting experience. While they offer less control over the final image, they are excellent for casual, everyday photography.


Your film choice will significantly impact your photographs’ look and feel. 35mm film is the most widely used film type. It’s available in color and black & white, is versatile, and is relatively easy to get developed.

Consider the Camera’s Condition

Lastly, when buying a vintage or used film camera, inspect its condition. Check the shutter and winding mechanism for smooth function. Look for light leaks that can ruin your shots. Make sure the lens is clean and clear. And if possible, test the camera with a roll of film.