10 Cool 35mm Film Compacts to Slip in Your Pockets and Purses


Don't feel like shooting with a hefty and heavy film SLR camera these days? Then, it's got to be a compact camera (or two) that you need to take with you. If you're not sure which handy dandy analogue companion to slip in your pockets and purses, we have a handful of suggestions that could help you make up your mind.

Lomo LC-A (1984)

Anything that starts a revolution is bound to have “iconic” next to its name, and the historic Lomo LC-A did just that: it’s the camera that started the whole Lomography movement. With its simple controls and legendary Minitar 1 lens, this classic Russian beauty is bound to get you shooting lovely lo-fi snaps dripping with gorgeous vignettes and vibrant colors in no time.

Lomo LC-Wide (2011)

Of course, wherever the Lomo LC-A goes list-wise, one can expect the Lomo LC-Wide to follow suit. The wide-angled sibling of the LC-A has been basking in the limelight since it was launched in 2011, for a reason: it’s the world’s widest 35mm compact camera equipped with a 17mm ultra-wide angle lens!

Photo via Wikipedia

Olympus Pen (1959)

This handy camera designed by the legendary Maitani Yoshihisa became revolutionary when it popularized half-frame photography during the 1960s, allowing people to snap twice as much photos off a roll of 35mm film. It was affordable, handy as a pen (hence the name), equipped with a 28mm f/3.5 D-Zuiko lens, and had fully manual controls. The original Pen later on expanded into the Olympus Pen Series, all models lauded for the big performance that came in such a compact size.

Photo by Kip Praslowicz

Olympus Trip 35 (1967)

Called the full frame 35mm version of the Olympus Pen, the Olympus Trip 35 was marketed towards travelers looking for an option that is both handy and functional. It became just that, coming with an auto exposure system, simple zone focusing, and extremely sharp 40mm f/2.8 Zuiko lens. Also, the Trip 35 did not require batteries, a great feature for travelers who may not find access to batteries all the time.

Photo by Himmel-R on Flickr

Contax T2 (1990)

The entire T-series of the Contax brand has been pretty much coveted to this day, but many agree that the Contax T2 is one killer compact camera. Aside from its slim and elegant design, this compact shooter has been adored for its multi-coated 38mm f/2.8 Carl Zeiss T Sonnar lens — the sort that you would find on high-end SLR cameras back then, says Bellamy Hunt of Japan Camera Hunter.

Photo via Mes appareils photos (French)

Olympus mju-II (1997)

Called Olympus Stylus Epic in the United States, the mju-II (pronounced myu-two) bagged awards for its accurate autofocus, sharp 35mm f/2.8 lens, and built-in auto-flash, all in a small, lightweight, and splashproof body. Compared to other Olympus point-and-shoots with zoom lenses, the mju-II has a fixed lens that is faster and of superior quality, attributes that are rare in compact cameras.

Photos via RolleiClub.com

Rollei 35 (1966)

When Rollei introduced the original Rollei 35 at Photokina in 1996, it was easily the world’s smallest 35mm film camera, measuring 97 × 32 × 60mm and weighing 370 grams. This precision camera became a favorite of many photographers for its elegant compact design, cutting edge CdS exposure meter by Gossen, and exceptionally sharp, high-quality f/3.5 40mm Tessar lens made by Zeiss.

Japan Camera Hunter on Flickr

Fuji Natura S (2004)

One of the most coveted compacts in the photography world, the sleekly designed Fuji Natura S is a rarity in every sense. It’s the smallest full frame 35mm camera equipped with an f/1.9 lens (24mm Fujinon lens) —and according to camera experts, you don’t usually find lenses faster than f/2.8 on most compact cameras. The Natura S was never officially sold outside Japan and was only produced for a while, so if you ever spot and get yourself one, you’d be one lucky photographer!

Photo via Lomography Online Shop

Fuji Klasse W (2006)

The wide-angled brother of the Fuji Klasse S, the Klasse W is a premium point-and-shoot camera equipped with a high-quality 28mm f/2.8 Super EBC lens. When paired with neat features like manual over-exposure or under exposure controls, full auto or aperture priority mode options, and zone focusing option, you have a powerful handy camera right in your purse or pocket!

Photo via Camerapedia

Ricoh GR21 (2001)

A high-end 35mm compact offering by Ricoh, the GR21 was the first first 35mm compact camera to be equipped with super-wide 21mm lens. Other useful features such as aperture priority mode, multi-subject focusing, and film speed range of ISO 25 – ISO 3200 earned it the 2001 TIPA Award for Best Prestige Camera, and a place in the hearts and pockets of street snappers around the world.

Again, we know that it’s such a short list, and we may even have missed your favorites! That’s why we’d like to hear from you — which impressive compact cameras would you like to see on Lomopedia, and possibly, a part two for this list? Please do leave a comment below!

written by plasticpopsicle on 2013-10-02 in #people #reviews #compact-cameras #lomography #film-cameras #35mm #35mm-cameras #compact-film-cameras

Mentioned Product

Lomo LC-A

Lomo LC-A

Be an analogue photography pro with the Lomo LC-A family. Get the signature ‘35mm Lomographic look’ with shadowy vignettes, eye-popping colors and saturation.The Lomo LC-A is the Russian classic with customizable aperture settings. The Lomo LC-A+ has awesome added tricks like multiple exposure capabilities, extended ISO range up to 1600 and a cable release thread!


  1. stratski
    stratski ·

    The Olympus XA! My absolute favourite.

  2. segata
    segata ·

    I can recommend for those more on a budget the Konica Pop, its quick and easy to use and is small enough to the point I sneaked it past cinema security when I watched a movie on a visit to the O2 and no I didnt take pictures inside the cinema lol.

  3. diomaxwelle
    diomaxwelle ·

    Ooooh, a potential list to give as a birthday present suggestion XD I've been wanting an Olympus Trip for awhile, so its nice to see its really pocket friendly (pocket BOOK friendly might be another story!)

  4. sifree
    sifree ·

    One of my favourite and most used compacts has to be my Olympus 35 RC. The Trip 35's rangefinder cousin!

  5. stouf
    stouf ·

    Fuji Klasse W... Mmm interesting... : )

  6. adi_totp
    adi_totp ·

    yeah I want fuji klasse W! seems cool! and Ricoh GR21 too! hahaha

  7. slobill
    slobill ·

    I like my Olympus XA and Olympus 35 EC - both take lovely sharp photos.

  8. biblicalshower
    biblicalshower ·

    Definitely the Olympus XA's. Especially the original XA with the rangefinder which can be had for about £70-100 with the flash, and the XA2 which i s the best budget version, got mine for £10 and used it so much already, like a budget minded shooter's LC-A really :)

  9. kuryzu
    kuryzu ·

    Dont forget to add legendary Yashica T5 to the shelf. Its the "shoot from the hip" camera. :) cheerz

  10. plasticpopsicle
    plasticpopsicle ·

    @all Thank you for your recommendations, I'm taking note of them! Keep them coming! :)

  11. mrmaart
    mrmaart ·

    @plasticpopsicle i guess you've forgot the yashica t4/t5 and the ricoh gr1s (gr21 is different). correct?

  12. brandon-c
    brandon-c ·

    The olympus XA2, such a good camera for the money

  13. djobrien687
    djobrien687 ·

    Similar to the suggestion of @segata the Konica Auto S3, perfect for travel

  14. superlighter
    superlighter ·

    and what about the Minox 35GT or 35ML?

  15. geg_thomas
    geg_thomas ·

    Agree with superlighter - the Minox 35 line is the most pocketable 35mm camera ever! I believe Mr Warhol was a fan...

  16. kdstevens
    kdstevens ·

    Olympus xa series for sure! Contax T another great camera.

  17. martinpruv
    martinpruv ·

    Nice review! I agree with all these stunning cameras. Konica C35, Nikon L35AF and Canon AF 35 are amazing too! :)

  18. lasaron
    lasaron ·

    Yea, the Minox 35-series are definately worth mentioning. And also the Kiev 35A, the russian copy. Cheaper and more lomo-ish.

  19. jvujnovi
    jvujnovi ·

    I'll be on the lookout for the Olympus Trip - I like the idea of having a light-meter that doesn't need batteries.

  20. alienmeatsack
    alienmeatsack ·

    This was written a year ago and it makes me want to buy some more cameras and go so the ones I have above!

  21. neanderthalis
    neanderthalis ·

    I agree that the Olympus XA would be nice on this list.

  22. edwinchau
    edwinchau ·

    Include Contax T3 please

  23. billseye
    billseye ·

    Oh, the Rollei's are awful. The Petri Color 35 is a more ergonomically pleasant alternative, in my opinion. A few other choices for point & shoots:

    Agfa Optima
    Canon AF35ML
    Fujica Flash
    Konica Big Mini 101, 201 or 302
    Minolta AF-C
    Minolta TC-1
    Nikon L35AF
    Olympus Stylus Epic 170 (best of the zooms)
    Pentax PC35AF
    Pentax UC1
    Ricoh FF-70 or FF-90
    Ricoh FF-1
    Vivitar Ultra Wide (seriously fun!)
    Yashica T2 through T5

    A few things to consider include Canon's light seal foam is terrible and you will have to clean/replace (but it's easy), Konicas are noisy (this is normal) and the water-tight seals around the lens of all Stylus cameras can deteriorate causing light leaks (don't spend a lot on an un-tested camera).

  24. edwardconde
    edwardconde ·

    Olympus XA4 Macro (28mm), Canon Demi (28mm Original) & EE17 (30mm f1.7), Minolta AF-Sv aka Talker!!!

  25. lorenzo1910
    lorenzo1910 ·

    Indeed the Konica Pop is one of the best fixed focus camera ever made...

More Interesting Articles

  • 10 Steps to Better Photography with the LC-A+

    written by Julien Matabuena on 2015-06-08 in #gear #tipster
    10 Steps to Better Photography with the LC-A+

    With features that allow one to be as creative as possible and a size compact enough to bring it anytime, anywhere, the LC-A+ is indeed an embodiment of our 10 Golden Rules. In this week's feature, we list down some of the ways you could up your photography game with this wonderful camera.

  • Press Call Out: Scandinavia, Australia and New Zealand

    written by bgaluppo on 2015-03-25 in #world #lifestyle #locations
    Press Call Out: Scandinavia, Australia and New Zealand

    Ladies and gentlemen, it's no secret that without you, our website would never be possible. With that in mind, we're calling on all Lomographers (that's you) for a helping hand by giving us your expert opinions. In return, we're passing out Piggy Points to spend in our Online Shop. Kiwis, Aussies and Scandinavians, whether you're residents, dreamers or just big fans of these great places — everybody can contribute and everybody can win!

  • Lomo’Instant Wide Tip No. 6 - Splitzer Fun

    written by Lomography on 2015-10-18 in #gear #tipster
    Lomo’Instant Wide Tip No. 6 - Splitzer Fun

    Our Splitzers are nifty little tools that let you easily create mind-bogglingly cool multiple exposures. Just attach it to your Lomo'Instant Wide to start experimenting with different patterns, shapes and angles!

  • Shop News

    Ondu 4X5 Large Format Pinhole Camera

    Ondu 4X5 Large Format Pinhole Camera

    Want to push your limits in the field of photography? Go large format! This camera uses a 4x5” film and can capture all the subjects you want with this pinhole camera in large format!

  • December 17th Advent Offer: Get A 3-Pack Of Films For The Price Of 2! (Online Code: THREE4TWO)

    written by Lomography on 2015-12-17 in #gear #news
    December 17th Advent Offer: Get A 3-Pack Of Films For The Price Of 2!  (Online Code: THREE4TWO)

    You can never take too many photos this time of year, which is why we've got this extra special deal to help make sure you have enough film to capture it all! Stock up today with a huge array of Lomography films that suit your style this holiday season.

  • Klara Johanna Michel's Ethereal Visions as Captured by the Lomo'Instant Wide

    written by lomographymagazine on 2016-01-04 in #people #lomoamigos
    Klara Johanna Michel's Ethereal Visions as Captured by the Lomo'Instant Wide

    Influenced by the work of Caravaggio, Berlin-based photographer Klara Johanna Michel hand-painted photographs are reminiscent of Renaissance art. The images are highly stylized and the subjects are posed to mimic the appearance of religious beings. Who would have thought that such mystery and old world charm could similarly be achieved with the help of an instant camera?

  • Shooting Squares with the LC-A 120

    written by pripri2000 on 2015-04-22 in #gear #news
    Shooting Squares with the LC-A 120

    Capture the world and all its contours in vibrant, wide-angled photographs any time, any where! The LC-A 120 is an adventure of its own with lots of exciting functions to experiment with, like seamless long exposures or full ISO control. It's also super-fast and ultra-compact - perfect for your everyday. If you're worried about the Medium Format film, don't be! You are free to use any 120 Film you want and there are plenty to choose from. In fact, that's what makes this camera so versatile! Scroll through this gallery for a little taste of the glorious shots this nifty invention is capable of.

  • Shop News

    Standard Photo Development Services

    Standard Photo Development Services

    Done shooting and want your films to be processed? We can process your colour and black & white 35mm, 120 or 110 films! Development, prints and scans are also included. (Service availability depends on your markets)

  • Introducing Pixelstick — The Light Painting Tool Of The Future

    written by shhquiet on 2015-03-12 in #gear #news #videos
    Introducing Pixelstick — The Light Painting Tool Of The Future

    Have you ever dreamed of creating magical scenes with just the wave of your hand? Wish no longer — Pixelstick makes that dream a reality! Packed to the brim with 200 full color, high fidelity LEDs, the 1.8 meter long Pixelstick is your ticket to incredible, mind-boggling light paintings. It's now available for the first time in the Online Shop!

  • A Collection Of Awesome Konstruktor Snapshots

    written by shhquiet on 2015-04-10 in #gear #lifestyle
    A Collection Of Awesome Konstruktor Snapshots

    There's nothing more satisfying than taking fantastic photos with a camera that you built yourself. If you've always wanted to impress your friends with your mad DIY skills, pick up a Konstruktor Camera Kit and show them what you've got! It's also a cool way to get them into Lomography, because as you build the camera you'll discover how analogue photography works. Oh, and the Konstruktor takes gorgeous photos, too - check out the gallery and see what we mean!

  • Creative Ways to Shoot the Lomography LomoChrome Purple Film

    written by Robn Kester on 2015-03-03 in #gear #tipster
    Creative Ways to Shoot the Lomography LomoChrome Purple Film

    The LomoChrome Purple is easily one of the coolest films to come out in a very long time. The amazing colors and vibe it gives each shot and its wide range of exposures make it a must-have and must-shoot film. Here are some cool ways to help you get the most out of your LCP.

  • Shop News



    The most incredible lightpainting tool is here! Consists of 200 full color RGB LEDs in a lightweight aluminium housing will color your analogue world in different way! Create and animate different shades and shapes with the Pixelstick!

  • Painting Delights: Going Wild with the Pixelstick

    written by jennifer_pos on 2015-03-17 in #gear #news #lifestyle #tipster
    Painting Delights: Going Wild with the Pixelstick

    Ever since light painting was invented, it inspired artists from all around the globe to magical creations that capture hidden movements and reinvent the world we live in. "Life is a fairy tale, stay wild little child!" is what they want to tell us. Bringing light to life became the next challenge for anyone rigged with a film camera and a creative mind. Now, how can you take your analogue light paintings from the ordinary to the outstanding? After the carriage came the car, so we definitely need some spacy inventions to follow the old school light pen. So here it is, our new best friend: The Pixelstick!

  • September 2015 Callout for Contributions

    written by Jill Tan Radovan on 2015-09-11 in #world #news
    September 2015 Callout for Contributions

    It's Tipstember! For this month, we will be awarding 25 fat piggies to every tipster article that gets published on the Lomography Magazine. You can share tips on composition, lighting, film experiments and camera modifications; or maybe techniques for shooting portraits, landscapes, still life and even wildlife! If you don't have tricks up your sleeve, however, you can still contribute to the Magazine and let your voice be heard. Here are some suggestions.

  • Five Days, Four Kinds of Film and Three Cameras on the French Riviera

    written by nickpage on 2015-09-19 in #world #lifestyle
    Five Days, Four Kinds of Film and Three Cameras on the French Riviera

    It had been five years since my last visit to the Côte d'Azur in France. During this period, I took to film photography again. And so for my return, I was looking forward to capturing, with my handy film cameras, some of that special light and blue sea that had drawn so many artists to the Riviera.