A Canon 35mm SLR from the early 90’s has quickly become my go-to camera.
A gem from 1992, the “pro-sumer” Canon A2 was a tremendous find for me on eBay. Very versatile, this SLR camera features an internal light meter and most automatic shooting modes that you would find on a modern digital SLR—aperture and shutter priority, for example, as well as “portrait” and “action” settings. For those of use who are “regressing” to film from a digital SLR camera, this is a very adequate first step. The camera also uses the newer EF lens mount rather than the older FD, meaning that any EF lenses you bought for a Canon digital SLR will fit the Canon A2.
Even though I’ve collected five toy cameras since the Canon A2, I still find myself taking the bulkier A2 wherever I go and using it as my primary camera. I can use it under any conditions with any 35mm film, unlike my Ultra Wide and Slim, which I still haven’t been able to shoot because of gloomy weather. Because it looks like a modern DSLR, it’s also fun to take someone’s picture and have them get confused when they can’t see the result on an LCD.
In short, this camera will give you stunning pictures for a very low price. If you do find one of these cameras, be aware of its one major design flaw—a lock button that must be depressed before you can rotate the control dial on top of the camera. I broke mine and had to get it repaired.