Point and shoot film cameras were the traditional way in which people took pictures while on the go. So many people today use digital cameras that you might have forgotten what film cameras are all about. Film cameras capture photographs by using light and a roll of film. Digital cameras use a light and digital sensor to capture photographs. The internal flash memory of the camera will store the pictures until you’re ready to transfer them to a disk or computer.
Digital cameras may capture photographs faster, but the quality of digital photographs will never match the quality of photographs on film. That is why professional photographers and hobbyists continue to use point and shoot film cameras when they travel to events or other interesting places. It is also why Hollywood moviemakers continue to use film cameras instead of digital cameras. Film always turns out looking the best.
Are you interested in trying out a cheap point and shoot film camera? Even though the photography market is dominated with digital cameras, you can still find a lot of great film cameras out there. Point and shoot simply means that you don’t need to set up the camera before you shoot pictures with it. If the roll of film is already installed, you just point the camera and push the capture button to take a picture.
Our Best Picks
Below are the top 9 best cheap point and shoot film cameras.
1) Contax T3
The Contax T3 is a popular brand of point and shoot film cameras. This particular series offers a durable build and highly advanced automatic focus capabilities. An auto focus sensor is built into the camera so that you don’t need to spend much time on adjusting the settings manually. The sensor focuses on a particular point in the frame automatically in order to clear up the blurriness and capture the moment as it appears in front of you. If you need to capture an event quickly, then Contax T3 is a great camera to have on you.
2) Pentax Espio 140V
The Pentax Espio 140V does not come from a well-known brand name, but it is a high-quality point and shoot film camera nonetheless. If you’re moving around in a busy environment and you need to capture photographs quickly, then you’ll appreciate the multi-auto focus technology of the Pentax Espio 140V. There are other settings available to accommodate other types of environments too.
You can take multiple types of pictures with the Pentax Espio 140V. There are settings available for night shooting, portraits, red eye reduction, landscapes, and a whole lot more. What is even more helpful is the zoom in and out abilities of this camera. You can zoom in your picture to a maximum of 140mm.
3) Yashica T5
Yashica T5 is another durable point and shoot film camera that will last you a long time. It is also a small camera with not much weight to it at all. You can easily slip the camera into your pocket and take it out whenever you need it. If you don’t feel like carrying around a case or bag to store your camera in, then the Yashica T5 is a good choice.
In addition, you can take pictures more discretely with a small camera like this one. You could hide the camera at your hip and take pictures without anyone noticing. On the other hand, if you want to take up close photographs, such as portraits, then you can do that too. The flash clears up the picture and reduces the shadowing. The SLR-style focus contributes to the focus and clarity of the picture.
4) Olympus MJU-II
Amateur photographers should start out with the Olympus MJU-II. You can find this for sale between $20 and $60 at most retail stores. It is a small point and shoot film camera that can conveniently fit inside of your pocket. Its sliding-door lens will protect the glass of the lens whenever you’re not using the camera.
There aren’t too many other features, but that is okay. If you are just starting out with photography, then you can get a great education in analog photography by capturing pictures with this camera.
5) Nikon 35Ti
The Nikon 35Ti has been popular for nearly 30 years now. It was originally released in 1993 at a price of $1,000, which is the equivalent of about $1,500 in today’s money. Fortunately, you can purchase used versions of the film camera for around $500. Its specifications include a 35mm lens and a titanium cover for extreme durability and strength. If you were to take this camera out in the rain, then it would be protected by the titanium quite well.
If you want to take pictures of the outdoors, especially beautiful landscapes and any other natural settings, then you’ll appreciate the clear and colorful picture quality of the Nikon 35Ti.
6) Leica Minilux
The Leica Minilux is what you would call a professional point and shoot film camera. It is a highly compact camera that is loaded with helpful features for all your photography needs. Some of these amazing features include automatic focus and automatic exposure abilities. There is even a zoom in and out feature, where you can zoom the picture between 35mm and 70mm.
As far as cheap point and shoot film cameras go, this one is a little more on the expensive side. However, it is a commercial quality film camera being sold at consumer-friendly prices. If you search online for a used version of the camera, then you can probably expect to pay between $300 and $500.
7) Nikon Zoom 300 AF
The Nikon Zoom 300 AF was first released onto the market in 1994. The other name for the camera is “Lite Touch Zoom” because it has such an impressive zoom range to it. The Macro Lens allow you to zoom the image of the frame between 35mm and 7mm. You can also enjoy other helpful features, such as automatic winding, automatic flash, and red eye reduction.
The Nikon Zoom 300 AF has a compact size, so it is easy to carry it around in your pocket and take it out whenever a picture worthy moment arises. You don’t need to worry about the weight of the camera dragging you down because it is extremely lightweight. You can find these point and shoot film cameras for sale on eBay. The average selling prices are between $80 and $100. That is a very responsible price for this camera because it cost a lot more when it first came out.
8) Olympus Trip 35
The Olympus Trip 35 is a completely automatic exposure point and shoot film camera. It is a 35mm camera that was originally released in 1968. It had a very successful run up until 1984, which was the year it was discontinued. People remember the camera for being lightweight and inexpensive, while still delivering high quality pictures.
What was truly unique about the Olympus Trip 35 was that it did not require any electrical power or batteries to turn on. In fact, its main power source was solar power from the sun. Although you can’t purchase the camera new, you can still find it available for sale used on marketplaces like eBay and Etsy.
9) Minolta TC-1
The Minolta TC-1 is one of the most durable point and shoot film cameras that you will ever own. It has an exterior made from titanium, so you can expect it to last a very long time. It also contains a unique aperture system that applies a soft blurry effect onto the pictures that are taken. Most of the other point and shoot film cameras do not possess an aperture system.
Photography manufacturers have pretty much all moved toward digital camera technology. Point and shoot film cameras might seem out of date because they aren’t manufactured as much anymore. However, you should not count them out completely if you’re an amateur or professional photographer. These cameras still have their advantages over digital cameras.
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For instance, film can be saved and preserved for a lot longer than digital computer memory. If you’re planning to take pictures that you want to savor for several decades, then you’re better off taking them on film cameras. Not only is the quality so much better, but you can easily make more copies of the pictures with the original film strip.
The main problem with digital pictures is that hard disks and flash memory are not as reliable as hard film. If you wanted to store your pictures on a flash drive, then you’re putting the images of those memories at risk because flash drives crash all the time. Once that happens, you won’t be able to gain access to those pictures ever again. That is why so many people are missing out when they choose digital over film.
Digital cameras might be good for capturing temporary moments that don’t have any special meaning. But if you want to capture family pictures and memories to reflect upon for generations to come, then choose a point and film camera.