The 3 Film Cameras I Take on Every Trip by Samantha Stortecky

Medium film format image of palm trees - Film Cameras for Traveling on Shoot It With Film
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Written by Samantha Stortecky

With summer on the horizon, it feels like so many people are leaving their homes to travel and visit new places.

And I don’t know about you, but my favorite thing to do during my travels is to take pictures. I love having so many fun film images to document my adventures and share with others.

When traveling, I find it’s important to pack light and stick with film cameras and equipment that work well for quick shooting!

Medium film format image of palm trees - Film Cameras for Traveling on Shoot It With Film
Pentax 645N (find on eBay)

Over the past several years, I’ve had the privilege of traveling to fun places like Hawaii and Niagara Falls, and, during those trips, I’ve had three film cameras that have stuck by me throughout each journey and helped me capture so many amazing images.

If you’re planning on traveling anytime in the near future, then you’re in luck, because today I am sharing the three film cameras that have been a staple in my traveling camera bag.

Before we jump into this, just know that this list is not exhaustive or end all be all list of film cameras. Everyone’s travel needs and wants will be different and this is just my own personal list of what has worked for me during my travels.

35mm film image of a parrot - Film Cameras for Traveling on Shoot It With Film
Pentax A3000
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1. The Pentax 645N

First up is my preferred medium format camera, the Pentax 645N (find on eBay).

If you’ve been following me for a while, you know this medium format camera is always at the top of my list. This baby has seen a lot of exciting places with me and has helped me capture some of my absolute favorite images.

Here are a few of the reasons why this camera is always in my travel bag:

  • Captures medium format images with crisp beautiful detail that is perfect for enlarging and printing.
  • It has a great internal light meter so you don’t have to worry about carrying an external one and keeps a decently long battery life.
  • There are various functions and flexibilities so you can experiment with multiple exposures and self-timed images!

This is definitely the largest camera on my list, but if you’re looking for a high quality and versatile medium format camera to travel with, it’s a great choice.

You can read an full review of the Pentax 645N here.

Find the Pentax 645N on eBay.

Medium format film image of a waterfall - Film Cameras for Traveling on Shoot It With Film
Pentax 645N (find on eBay)
Medium format film image of a bridge - Film Cameras for Traveling on Shoot It With Film
Pentax 645N (find on eBay)
Medium format film image of a walkway - Film Cameras for Traveling on Shoot It With Film
Pentax 645N (find on eBay)

2. The Pentax A3000

Second, up is my absolute ride or die 35mm camera, the Pentax A3000.

In my previous review of the Pentax A3000, I shared my story about finding this little gem of a camera at a garage sale and how it quickly became my go-to for shooting 35mm film. And throughout all of my traveling, this camera has a safe space in my camera bag (or around my neck).

Here are a few of the reasons why this camera is always in my travel bag:

  • Super light and easy to hold! It’s lightweight which makes it easy to have it around your neck during your trip so you always have a camera available.
  • This camera shoots in aperture priority mode, making it easy to take pictures and not have to worry about all the technical settings of the camera.
  • Shoots 35mm film so you get a lot of film stock variety and more images per roll. It’s the perfect camera for when you’re traveling and photographing your children!

Here’s a list of some more 35mm film cameras that are good for beginners and great for traveling.

Find the Pentax A3000 at KEH Camera or on eBay.

35mm film image of jellyfish - Film Cameras for Traveling on Shoot It With Film
Pentax A3000
35mm film image of swings - Film Cameras for Traveling on Shoot It With Film
Pentax A3000
35mm film image of boats - Film Cameras for Traveling on Shoot It With Film
Pentax A3000

3. The Instax Wide 300

And lastly, is my instant camera best friend, the Fujifilm Instax Wide 300.

If you read my review of Instax Wide, you know that my number one way to utilize this camera is for capturing landscapes. The wide format of the print is perfect for landscapes.

I took this camera with me to Hawaii, and it helped me document some of my favorite beach and palm tree images!

Here are a few of the reasons why this camera is always in my travel bag:

  • This camera is really light, making it easy to toss in your bag and keep with you.
  • The settings and film loading are straightforward and simple so you can quickly take your picture and get back to enjoying your trip.
  • Creates crisp and colorful instant images that capture scenes and moments perfectly!

If you love the Instax Wide but are looking for something a little smaller, check out our review of the Instax Square SQ6 here.

Find the Fujifilm Instax Wide 300 on Amazon.

Instax Wide image of a landscape - Film Cameras for Traveling on Shoot It With Film
Instax Wide 300
Instax Wide image of a palm tree - Film Cameras for Traveling on Shoot It With Film
Instax Wide 300
Instax Wide image of a landscape - Film Cameras for Traveling on Shoot It With Film
Instax Wide 300

And that’s it for me folks, I hope that this article was helpful and that you get to do some safe traveling soon!

Medium format film image of the ocean - Film Cameras for Traveling on Shoot It With Film
Pentax 645N (find on eBay)
35mm film image of a landscape - Film Cameras for Traveling on Shoot It With Film
Pentax A3000
Instax Wide image of a palm tree - Film Cameras for Traveling on Shoot It With Film
Instax Wide 300

Thank you so much, Samantha! Samantha is a regular contributor here at Shoot It With Film, and you can check out her other articles here, including a Fujifilm Instax SP-2 printer review and the Pentax 645N camera review.

You can also check out more of Samantha’s work on her website and Instagram.

Let us know your favorite film camera to travel with below in the comments!

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Samantha Stortecky

Samantha Stortecky is a regular contributor for Shoot It With Film. Find her other articles here, such as How to Shoot Kodak Portra 400 and 5 Unique & Experimental Film Stocks You Need to Try.

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Blog Comments

I agree with you about medium format cameras. The special quality of the negs is worth the extra weight and the hassle of changing films every 8, 12 or 15 shots. But I never take both medium format and 35mm on the same trip – the extra weight and extra equipment is too much for me – so it’s one format or another. Instant photos are a novelty IMHO and again IMHO are not worth the trouble of carrying extra kit and supplies.

I like to travel as light as possible. If I want to shoot with film while travelling,… for MF it’s usually a TLR (Yashica LM or 635) or Holga, whereas for 35mm usually it’s my Olympus XA or OM2n. (But the XA is so small and convenient it usually goes everywhere regardless of what else I carry.)

Love the Olympus XA! It’s such a great camera, and totally agree, so small and easy to take everywhere!

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