Updated: Oct 23, 2022
Come roll with us
How to choose the best camera for you!
Come roll with me is a new project we have been working on where we show you our journey with film and showcase some of our best photos and also some of the mistakes we made along the way. We will be sharing some tips and tricks we have learned along the way through making mistakes!
So make sure you sign up for our newsletter so you don’t miss a volume!
In this fourth volume of come roll with us we help you choose the perfect camera for you.
When looking to buy your first film camera it can be a bit daunting having so many choices and different models and styles!
In this article we are going to go over a few of the types of cameras and what style they suit best for different levels of ability.
Styles of cameras include:
Point and shoot
SLR (Single lens reflex)
TLR (Twin lens reflex)
There is more but these are the main types
POINT AND SHOOT
The small compact automatic cameras that everyone knows and loves!
These are perfect cameras for beginners or someone looking for a small camera to travel with or bring to a festival to keep in your pocket.
Benefits of a point and shoot:
Most have built in flash
Super easy to use
Fun retro look
Some come with zooms
Downside of point and shoots:
Lack of creative control over photos
Some lenses lack sharpness (can be nice)
Olympus MJUII and MJU series
Canon sure shot series
Pentax espio series
Konica big mini series
SLR single lens reflex
Are a interchangeable lens system with a mirror and prism setup allowing you to see through the lens. These cameras are considered slightly more advanced to a point and shoot but there are automatic models with auto focus much like modern day digital slrs. Using a slr give you the options to have full creative control over your photos! There are two types of slrs a manual slr and a automatic slr see below where we going into more details and models.
A manual slr:
is one where you have to manually focus the camera, there are different variations of this style with some cameras like the Canon AV-1 which allows you to shoot in aperture priority which is where you choose the aperture (depth of field) and the camera chooses the perfect shutter speeds for the light in the setting. Other models have built in light meters where they help guide you to the correct shutter speed and aperture settings. The slr is a great style of camera and such a pleasure to shoot with once you get the hang of the controls.
Models include: Olympus OM-1, Canon AE-1, Nikon F ect
An automatic slr:
is one with auto focus and automatic features much like a point and shoot but with an interchangeable lens. Most of the models include fully automatic setting with the option for manual override like most modern day slrs. These cameras are super light weight normally and easy to use a perfect first film camera or upgrade from a point and shoot.
Models include: Canon eos series, Nikon F late series, Minolta dynax, Pentax z series
Benefits of a SLR:
Full creative control over your photos with manual settings
Ability to change lenses and use prime lenses
Teaches you how to use light meter
Learn more about aperture
More authentic experience (in my opinion)
Have a classic look and feel in the hands with metal construction
Downsides of slrs:
Can be quite heavy and bigger
Might not expose photos correctly (if using manual)
Require light seals changing every few years
Is a camera fitted with a rangefinder, typically a split-image rangefinder patch: a range-finding focusing mechanism allowing the photographer to measure the subject distance and take photographs that are in sharp focus. A more advanced way of taking photos vs point and shoots and slrs. Some models have interchangable lenses also. Rangefingers tend to be the more expensive type of camera from LEICA. You can also get medium format range finders like: Mamiya 6 and 7, Bronica 645
Leica M series, Canon canonnet series, Canon 7, Minolta Hi Matic, Nikon S series, Contax series, and many more.
Benefits of a range finder:
Has a very precis focusing system
more compact vs a slr
Leica glass is a huge plus
More street cred haha
Downsides of a rangefinder:
Generally more expensive
Takes a minute to understand the system
Some dont have built in light meters (use sunny 16 rule or external light meter)
TLR Twin lens reflex
Is a type of camera with two objective lenses of the same focal length. One of the lenses is the photographic objective or "taking lens" (the lens that takes the picture), while the other is used for the viewfinder system, which is usually viewed from above at waist level. These cameras are for more advanced users as they take quite some time to get used to the handeling.
Rolleiflex, Rolleicord, Yasicha series, Mamiya C series, ect
Benefits of shooting with a TLR:
Light weight for a medium format
Classic feel and use
Downsides of TLR:
Can be hard to get images straight at first
Paralax what you see isnt the image
Film is expensive 12 shots a roll
I havent personally shot large format but look incredible but its very hands on and a big process to get each shot but when you nail it theres nothing else quite like it! 100% for very experinced shooters
Some recommendation at the end:
First film camera:
Point and shoot
Second film camera:
We hope this has been fun to read and you have learnt something and will find it easier to choose your next film camera :)
Tune in for more volumes of Come roll with us