10 Cool Compact Film Cameras to Slip in Your Pocket

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Don’t feel like shooting with a hefty 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. In 2006, the Lomo LC-A+ was introduced. Bearing the original features of the Russian camera, this enhanced version offers a multiple exposure switch, expanded ISO settings, and a cable release thread.

Credits: blue-0610, onkel-m, hodachrome, myvitaminx & makny

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! Plus, it allows you to shoot in three formats with a flick of a switch: Full Frame, Square, and Half-Frame.

Credits: wapclub, marcinzk, frenchyfyl, jennson, camielioo, b0rn2b1ush & i_am_four-eyes

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.

Credits: susielomovitz, boredbone & warning

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.

Credits: eyecon, monoflow & weidong

Olympus XA (1979)

Produced between 1979 to 1985, the Olympus XA boasted true rangefinder mechanism, which made it one of the world’s smallest rangefinder cameras. Equipped with aperture priority exposure system, manual focus, and a fast 35mm f/2.8 lens, it remains a coveted compact to this day for its capability to take sharp, vibrant photos that rival those of bulkier SLR cameras.

Credits: wallywalter, elvismartinezsmith & opon21

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.

Credits: phaliyp, dannyedwards & life_on_mars

Minox 35GT (1981)

Once hailed as the smallest full-frame 35 mm camera, the Minox 35GT is favored by photographers for its remarkable performance in low-light exposures. An improvement of older models (EL and GL), this compact camera is equipped with a self-timer and a cable release socket.

Credits: monsieur_trucnul, zark & glorfind

Yashica T4 (1990)

Also known as Kyocera Slim T, the Yashica T4 is a slim and compact camera that is ideal for street photographers and candid shooters. A later model, Yashica T4 Super, had two viewfinders: a standard one and a “superscope” for hipshots.

Credits: trw, zark & superlighter

Konica Pop (1982)

Manufactured between 1982 to 1985, this eye-catching 35 mm camera was a top-seller during its heyday with 1.5 million models sold. A no-nonsense camera with fixed focus, single shutter speed, and manual film advance lever, and 36mm f/4 Hexanon lens, the Konica Pop was sold in different colors, easily making it a collectible.

Credits: begbie86, zwetschkenspaghetti, tsnsak & pixiefey

Ricoh GR1 (1996)

A sleek and elegant 35 mm compact camera that was aimed for professionals and high-end consumer market, the Ricoh GR1 was equipped with sophisticated features: a sharp 28mm f2.8 lens, multi-subject autofocus, and top shutter speed of 1/500th — all in a light and compact magnesium body.

Credits: ajagee24701, sumlom & nicolas_noir

Honorable Mention: Simple Use Film Camera (2017)

For those who are new to Lomography, the Simple Use Film Camera is a great starting point. Pre-loaded with Lomography film, this fuss-free camera is available in 3 variants: Lady Grey ISO 400 Black & White. Color Negative ISO 400, and LomoChrome Purple ISO 100-400. It’s equipped with built-in flash and color gel filters (for the Color Negative and LomoChrome Purple cameras) for fun, round-the-clock snapshots. Use it more than once — this “disposable” camera can be reloaded with a new roll of film!

Credits: nural, frenchyfyl, choupilla, sierracarvalho, aleyna, skinnyboy, loubarray, serra8 & amanachan

You’re just one click away from your new favorite camera! Head to our online shop to see our wide range of cameras, films, and accessories. If you’re more of a hands-on shopper, visit one of our worldwide gallery stores stores and spoil yourself with a Lomography goodie!

written by plasticpopsicle on 2013-10-02 #gear #people #35mm #review #lomography #compact-cameras #35mm-cameras #film-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!

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37 Comments

  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...

  26. argentic-translation
    argentic-translation ·

    MINOX 35 GT & Lomo LC-A !

  27. basilis
    basilis ·

    Don't forget the Canon Demi with the 28mm lense

  28. stekks
    stekks ·

    Leica Minilux 40mm/f2.4

  29. tmgreenhalgh
    tmgreenhalgh ·

    Where is the Minox 35? Its much smaller and better made than easily a third of the cameras posted hear. Obviously the Trip etc. are classic and hold lots of nostalgia but the 35 is far more convienant i.e folding high quality lens. with variety of appertures.

  30. tonybelding
    tonybelding ·

    Some of these "classic" 35mm cameras are getting too expensive and difficult to find. I might suggest instead...
    Contax Tix. Great little camera, great lens, much less costly than the T2. Yes, I know APS film hasn't been produced since 2011. Every roll of long-expired film will be a new adventure.
    Ultronic Panoramic. Cheap little toy camera, ultra-lightweight, rounded edges, easy to carry everywhere, easy to point-and-shoot, wide angle plastic lens makes everything look like a dream.

  31. theblues
    theblues ·

    the xa serie is definitely good (XA and XA2 for me)

  32. chas52
    chas52 ·

    Trip 35 and Pen EE-3 every time

  33. benedettafalugi
    benedettafalugi ·

    @kuryzu, right! I've got also Leica Mini II, very similar to Yashica T5, mostly because they both have great lens.

  34. wahiba
    wahiba ·

    Sardina is good option to have around, especially for those very near shots and arm length selfies.

  35. herbert-4
    herbert-4 ·

    Find Zeiss Tenax I or similar more common Taxona, a lot of these were made, and 24x24 squares!! Article: https://www.lomography.com/magazine/32274-zeiss-ikon-tenax-…

  36. pjdejesus
    pjdejesus ·

    What about the Nikon L35AF? That's my personal favourite P&S camera!

  37. msiegel
    msiegel ·

    I'm a fan of the clamshell design so Olympus XA (all five). Original XA is my favourite, then the XA 4. I prefer the XA 3 over the XA 2 but don't shoot them too much. XA 1 is a story of it's own. Not so bad as many say. A true Olympus, very much in the tradition of the Pen EE, but not half frame. I also have Ricoh FF-1, Voigtländer Vito C, Vivitar EM, cosina CX-2 and some mju:s..... everything that fits in a shirt pocket ;-)
    Minolta Riva Zoom 125 - metal body and great AF and fast zoom.
    Fun is the motto here.

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