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Nothing is more 90s than a point and shoot film camera. We love them because they are compact, lightweight, and super fun to use.
While not known for the best image quality, due to their low quality lenses and limited features, they are still the film camera for parties and get-togethers, a day at the beach, and road trips. They’re perfectly designed to be used spur of the moment and capture life as it’s happening.
We’re going to take a look at 12 of the best point and shoot film cameras that would be a great addition to any camera bag.
Not only do these analog cameras have all of the fun and simplicity that make point and shoot cameras so special, but we also wanted to find the point and shoot film cameras with the best image quality.
Benefits of Point and Shoot Film Cameras
There are a few benefits when it comes to using point and shoot film cameras, and one of the best ones is that they are an easy way to learn film.
If you want to start shooting film but feel intimidated by the process, a point and shoot camera is a great place to start. They are really easy to use with minimal settings, so you can get a feel for what it’s like to shoot film without having to figure out some of the more complicated aspects of shooting film or using film cameras.
Another benefit of using a point and shoot is that they are incredibly small and portable. Their compact size makes them easy to throw in a bag, and most can even fit in your pocket. If you are looking for a more convenient way to carry a film camera around, a point and shoot is the way to go.
Point and shoots also give you the perfect, nostalgic film look. A point and shoot is going to deliver images with a lot of character that look like they are straight from the 90s with that extra bit of grain and grittiness that is so unique to film.
Best Point and Shoot Film Cameras:
1. Contax T2
It’s tough to make a list of point and shoot film cameras without talking about the Contax T2 (find on eBay). The T2 is arguably the most popular point and shoot camera around right now.
It has always had a solid reputation and fan base in the film community, but after being hyped by a few celebrities, it’s gained some mainstream popularity as well (for better or worse).
While it’s a beautifully simple camera with clean lines and a solid metal build, it’s lens is what makes this camera so amazing. The Carl Zeiss Sonnar T* 38mm f/2.8 lens is one of the sharpest lens you’ll find on a point and shoot.
It will also give you much more control over your images than you might expect from a point and shoot. With the Contax T2, you can manually set your aperture and exposure compensation, and it also has an AE lock feature, allowing you to focus on your subject while metering elsewhere.
This amount of creative control and the sharp lens gets you much closer to the image quality of an SLR with the ease of a point and shoot. It’s easy to see why people love it so much!
Most point and shoot film cameras are pretty similar. They’re small, plastic cameras with simple controls, just durable enough to be thrown in a bag, but nothing fancy.
So what sets some analog point and shoots apart from the rest? It’s the lens. It’s always the lens. You’ll notice the cameras on the list all have remarkable lenses.
The Yashica T4 (find on eBay) is no exception. It’s Zeiss Tessar T* 35mm f/3.5 is sharp and renders colors beautifully. It will give your images nice contrast with rich colors. The 3.5 aperture is a little slower than ideal, but it does retain it’s sharpness wide open.
Where the Contax T2 is more of a point and shoot that wants to be an SLR, the Yashica T4 is very much not. It is the point and shoot of point and shoots. It has a classic plastic body and almost no controls. Automatic exposure, half press the shutter to lock focus, toggle the flash on or off, and that’s about it.
Along with the quality lens, the Yashica T4’s flash it’s other main attraction. The T4 has been famously used by fashion photographers to create a punk aesthetic with the strong direct flash look.
The Minilux is very similar to the Contax T2, all-metal body, exposure controls, and an incredibly sharp, high-quality lens. They also sell at a similar price point at around $800 on eBay.
The lens is a 40mm f/2.4 with that gorgeous Leica glass. It has an auto mode, aperture priority mode, and exposure compensation at -/+ 2 at half stop intervals.
The biggest downside to the Minilux is its viewfinder. It’s known for having a very small, hard-to-use viewfinder that doesn’t give you exposure information on its display. This is improved in the Leica CM (find on eBay), but that camera comes in at about twice the price tag.
Specs: Lens: 40mm f/2.4 Shutter Speeds: B, 1s to 1/400s Shooting Modes: Program, Aperture Priority Exposure Compensation: +/- 2 in 1/2 stops Flash: Built-in Build: Titanium Average Price in 2023: $800
If you like a wider lens, the Minolta TC-1 (find on eBay) is a fantastic choice.
It has a sharp, contrasty, high-quality 28mm f/3.5 lens, giving you a wider view than most point and shoots. It also shoots in aperture priority with exposure compensation settings of +/- 4 stops.
For even more control over your exposure and settings, the TC-1 has an option to manually set the ISO. So if you love to shoot Portra 400 at ISO 200, you can override the automatic ISO and you’re good to go.
The TC-1 has spot metering, focus lock, and let’s you switch over to manual focus with zone focusing settings. So many settings packed into a point and shoot while still being easy to use and navigate.
The Minolta TC-1 is also ultra small and lightweight with a nice titanium body. A great high quality point and shoot!
Specs: Lens: 28mm f/3.5 Shutter Speeds: 4s – 1/750s Shooting Modes: Aperture Priority Exposure Compensation: +/- 4 in 1/2 stops Flash: Built-in Build: Titanium Average Price in 2023: $750
The Olympus Stylus Epic (find on eBay), also called the Olympus Mju II, is a fully automatic, beautifully compact point and shoot film camera.
There are two Olympus cameras on this list, and that is because of the Olympus lenses. While not quite the same magic as a Zeiss lens, the lens in the Olympus Stylus Epic really holds it’s own. It has a sharp and fast 35mm f/2.8 lens, even beating out the Yashica T4 for speed.
The Stylus Epic is fully automatic with auto exposure and focusing, but you can utilize its spot metering mode.
By pressing the self-timer and the flash-mode button at the same time, you’ll turn on the spot mode. Then, you can aim the camera where you’d like to take an exposure reading, press the shutter half-way, and it will lock in the exposure and focus. Then you can recompose and shoot. This mode does reset when you turn the camera off, so it’s a bit of a cumbersome feature, but it’s still nice to have.
The Olympus Stylue Epic is also weatherproof! For a plastic camera, it’s quite durable. If you’re looking for a point and shoot that can handle rain, snow, and other adventures, this might be a great fit.
Another point and shoot with a high-end feel is the Fuji Klasse (also sold as the Rollei AFM35).
Made of aluminum-magnesium alloy, the build quality of the Fuji Klasse (find on eBay) doesn’t quite compare to the titanium of the Contax point and shoots, but is far better than the plastic found on most point and shoot cameras. It’s solid, lightweight, with a beautiful and streamlined look.
It has a sharp Fujinon 38mm f/2.6 lens, and has both an auto mode and aperture priority mode. So if you want a little more control over your images and enjoy shooting at a lower aperture, this camera will be a great fit.
A fun fact about the Fuji Klasse is that it produces triangle shaped bokeh. Generally, bokeh will be in more of a circle or hexagon shape, but the aperture blades of the Klasse gives the bokeh a very cool and unique triangle shape.
For a wider lens, you can also try the Fuji Klasse W, and for more exposure control, try the Fuji Klasse S. But both of these variations are quite a bit more expensive than the original Klasse.
It has a sharp, fast 35mm f/2.8 Nikon lens with a great focusing system. The lens also has threads for filters. Such a rarity in a point and shoot!
With the exposure meter located right under the lens behind the filter, you can even use ND filters without having to worry about exposure compensation.
The Nikon L35af also has a few other cool features worth noting. It has a manual ISO setting (no DX code reader), so you’ll be able to manipulate your exposure a bit.
There is also a 2 stop exposure compensation for backlit images. This is a lever on the side of the lens, so you’ll need to hold the lever down while shooting. It doesn’t have incremental exposure compensation, just the +2 feature.
The camera is pretty bulky, though, and not the most pocketable. It has a square, functional, 80s style design to it. But if you don’t mind the size, it has a fantastic lens at a great price point and gives you a good amount of control over your images.
Specs: Lens: 35mm f/2.8 Shutter Speeds: 1/8s – 1/430s Shooting Modes: Program Automatic Exposure Compensation: +2 Backlight Mode Flash: Built-in Build: Plastic Average Price in 2023: $150
The Olympus XA2 (find on eBay) is an interesting camera and the second Olympus point and shoot camera on this list. It is one of the smaller and more bare bones cameras out of the list talking about today.
One thing that makes it so small is that it does not have an integrated flash. It has a flash attachment that connects to the side of the camera. It’s an unique design that makes the camera quite small when the flash isn’t attached.
It also doesn’t have auto-focus. It utilizes zone focusing. There is a small toggle next to the lens where you select the focus distance of 1.5 meters, 3 meters, or infinity. While the lack of auto-focus might feel like a negative, it actually makes the camera incredibly quick to use.
Without a DX code reader, so you’ll need to manually set your ISO on the Olympus XA2. This is another less advanced feature that actually leads to more freedom and control while shooting. It’s a little exposure compensation hack.
The Olympus XA2 is small, unassuming, and super quick to shoot. This along with its great lens makes it a favorite for street photographers. It is ready to go the second you open it! You don’t need to wait for focus to lock or fiddle with settings. It is a true point and shoot that produces reliable, quality images.
The Canon Sure Shot A1 (also known as the Prisma AS-1) is one of the most fun cameras on this list. It’s a waterproof point and shoot film camera that works up to 16.4 feet underwater. Perfect for a day at the beach or by the pool!
While it’s an underwater camera, the Sure Shot A1 (find on eBay) also great above water. It has a decent 32mm f/3.5 lens with ultra simple controls: an auto setting, a couple of flash settings, and an underwater macro setting. And since it’s waterproof, you never have to worry about taking it out in the rain.
It’s rugged casing makes it durable and solid, but it is a little bit bulkier than your typical point and shoot.
The Ricoh FF-1S is a straight-forward point and shoot with a great retro feel. Its retractable lens with a folding door gives it such a unique look from the rest of the cameras on this list.
This camera has a solid 35mm f/2.8 lens, but it is pretty low tech as far as settings go. Most notably, it utilizes zone-focusing instead of auto focus, which could take some getting used to if you’re not already comfortable with this type of manual focusing. You can set the ISO, but it does max out at ISO400.
Specs: Lens: 35mm f/2.8 Shutter Speeds: 2s – 1/500s Shooting Modes: Automatic Exposure Compensation: No, but you can manually set the ISO Flash: Hot-Shoe Mount Build: Metal and plastic Average Price in 2023: $100
Rounding out our list of the best point and shoot film cameras is the Nikon Lite Touch (also known as the Nikon AF600). This camera is a great option if you’re looking for a wider lens but want something more affordable than the Minolta TC-1.
It has a decent 28mm f/3.5 lens and can focus at just over a foot (14.7 inches). This combo makes for such a great shooting experience letting you get up close and personal with your subject.
Another unique feature of the Nikon Lite Touch is its panorama mode. Instead of shooting over multiple frames, though, it masks the top and bottom portion of the frame, capturing the image at 12.3x36mm.