Best Small Film Cameras For Film Students – [Pros & Cons]

Best Small Film Cameras For Film Students

Best small film cameras for film students – When you join a film course, the first and most important thing you need is a camera. You don’t need a big camera or something highly expensive. All you need is something small that will do everything you are expecting. If this is the case, then you are reading the right article. In this article, we will describe some best small film cameras for film students. Thankfully, most of the cameras we will mention can also be used even as you advance in your career. So without further ado, let’s get started. 

Best Small Film Cameras For Film Students

Perhaps you have heard of 35mm cameras. The 35mm is a small format film camera whose name comes from the size of the film used. Let’s look at some of the best small cameras for film students. 

1. Kodak EKTAR H35

Kodak EKTAR H35

Kodak EKTAR H35 is one of the latest released 35mm cameras in the market. For film students, you don’t need to rummage through stores to look for small cameras for your course. The best part of this camera is that, whether you are a beginner in filmography or a regular student, you can easily use it. This unique model can give you 72 photos from a standard 36-shot roll of film. It usually achieves this by exposing a half film for every shot. This means you receive two images in a single cell. It’s a free focus camera, so it doesn’t have manual focus features. It also doesn’t have autofocus. It’s all focused all the time. It allows you to shoot portrait and landscape images. You don’t even need to alter the settings. It features a built-in flash, giving amazing results when you shoot at night. The most excellent aspect of the camera is that it’s compact and lightweight. You can easily put it inside your coat. 


  • 72 shots from a 36-shot roll
  • Built-in flash


  • It doesn’t have a battery

2. Canon AE-1 

Canon AE

Since its release in 1976, it remains the best small film camera for filmography students. During that time, it was also the most famous camera. And people are still appreciating its incredible performance up till now. It was the first (Through The Lens) metering camera manufactured by Canon, and the TTL feature enables the brand to build the built-in light meter. Although modern people tend to take some of these things for granted, this was revealed nearly 50 years ago, and it’s still in use up till now. The camera has a basic control system, with ISO controls at the top area of the camera. You can also turn the ring on the lens when changing the aperture. By using a specific lens, you will enjoy the shutter priority mode that will enable you to shoot your shot easily. The design of this device is a combination of metal and plastic, making the building look fantastic. However, you must be careful when using the camera because the internal plastic part can easily break, although you can also repair it. Most beginners will feel the camera is bulky and heavy but believe me. This is an ideal device for photography. 


  • Lightweight 
  • It has The Through feature 
  • Built-in light meter
  • Shutter Priority mode


  • The plastic part is prone to breakage 

3. Olympus OM-1

Olympus OM 1

If you check the history of this great masterpiece, you will know what its title was in the 1970s after it was released. It’s called “working class Leica.” Olympus is one of the most affordable and made-for-masses cameras since its invention: It’s a Single Lens Reflex (SLR) camera and the analog version of the DSLR camera. Why you should consider this model is that although it has a compact body, it’s durable and likely to last you years without spoiling. It also uses TTL metering, which gives a unique built-in meter. Look through the viewfinder, and you can easily view the light meter. It gives an incredible aperture for the scene, making it the best for filming. One reason most people go for this camera is its small size and lightweight compared to other SLR models. It’s easy to use. You can pick it up, and with small controls, you can start filming. 


  • TTL light meter
  • Hot shoe connector


  • It’s too small for large hands

4. Canon Sure Shot Tele 80 

Canon Sure Shot Tele 80

Once you venture into the world of compact cameras, there are high chances you will come across the Canon sure shot tela 80 among the first available ones. You can find some features that are commonly available in most 90s cameras. Although it doesn’t come with a zoom, it features two lenses, each having a different focal length. One of the lenses comes with a 38mm focal length that allows you to capture wide shots, groups, and landscapes, and the other lens is an 80mm telephoto lens that provides you with the best magnification, drawing you closer to what you want to snap. It has an accurate focusing system, and it comes with different shooting modes. 


  • Standard and telephoto lenses,
  • Shooting modes and mode dial


  • It doesn’t have a face detector 

5. Kodak Ultra F9

Kodak Ultra F9

Whenever you hear the name Kodak in the camera industry, know that you are dealing with one of the biggest names in color film. The Kodak Ultra F9 is a compact camera featuring easy-to-use controls. It has a wide aperture that is sufficient enough to provide you with light even in daylight. It comes with a built-in flash that you can turn on or off using the switch in the front. It’s an affordable device, and it’s best for beginners and people that want to venture into the film industry. 


  • Fixed 31mm lens
  • 1 m to infinity focus


  • It doesn’t have a battery 

What To Look At When Choosing A Film Camera 

There are some important things you should look at when choosing the best film camera for your career. Some of these things include;

1. Easy of use 

The last thing you want is to purchase something with your hard-earned money and find it hard to use. All of the cameras we listed above are easy to use. It offers everything you want whether you are a beginner or a regular film student. 

2. Image stabilization

Although most expensive cameras in the market use complex gimbals to give you the best shoots. The ones we listed above provide internal image stabilization, and we understand most students are on a budget, so the devices are all budget-friendly. 

3. Sensor size 

Sensor size matters at any level of filmography course. The larger the sensor, the higher the resolution. When purchasing a camera, you should choose one with a large sensor so that even if you want to take your course to the next level as you advance, you will find it easy without spending money again. 


When choosing a small camera for filming, there are certain things you should look at. For example, you should check and ensure the camera is easy to use and it has a good sensor size so you can get the best resolution. There are many different types of small-size cameras you can purchase, and we have mentioned five among the thousands of them. Once you are ready to take this big step, our article will help and guide you. Remember, the last thing we want is for you to spend your hard-earned money to purchase something that isn’t durable.

Frequently Asked Questions 

Are small film cameras suitable for beginners?

Yes, small film cameras can be great for beginners as they often have simple and intuitive controls. They offer a hands-on learning experience and encourage a deeper understanding of the technical aspects of photography. Plus, the limitations of film can help beginners develop their skills and creativity.

What are the advantages of shooting with film cameras over digital cameras?

Shooting with film cameras offers a unique aesthetic quality, a slower and more deliberate approach to photography, and a valuable learning experience in working with limited exposures. Film cameras can also be more cost-effective in the long run, as there are no recurring expenses for memory cards or batteries.

Why should film students consider using small film cameras?

Small film cameras are portable and easy to handle, making them ideal for film students who are constantly on the move or working in tight spaces. They also provide hands-on experience and help develop a better understanding of photography fundamentals.

What film formats do small film cameras typically support?

Small film cameras usually support 35mm film, which is the most common format and offers a good balance between image quality and ease of use. Some models may also support medium format film, which provides higher image resolution but requires more specialized equipment.

Are there any specific lenses that work well with small film cameras?

Small film cameras often have interchangeable lenses, allowing photographers to choose from a wide range of options. Popular choices include prime lenses with focal lengths ranging from 35mm to 50mm, as they are versatile for various types of photography. Additionally, wider or longer lenses can be used for specific creative effects or subject requirements.

References – best cameras for short films – best cameras for film students – the best film cameras for students – best cameras for beginners 


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