9 Retro-Style Cameras That Are True Modern Marvels Under the Hood

If you love retro cameras, but like the mod cons modern cameras bring to the table, you’ll love these cool retro-style Mirrorless cameras.

Modern Mirrorless cameras are simply fantastic. Under the hood, modern cameras are more powerful than we ever imagined, but a lot of cameras that hit the market today leave much to be desired when it comes to styling. They look okay, but they lack character and personality: they’re just boring. Fortunately, a few camera companies have tried to breathe some much-needed life into modern Mirrorless bodies by releasing retro-style cameras that are just as feature-packed as those without a soul. Join us after the break to take a quick look at several of our favorite retro-style cameras.

Captured with the Fujifilm X100F

There’s nothing wrong with plainly styled cameras. They get the job done, they are pretty rugged, and they feel good in the hand (for the most part). But if you crave style, a bit of pizzazz, or want to relive the feeling of holding a classic film camera from yesteryear without giving up IBIS, EVF’s, LCD touchscreens, and ridiculously fast autofocus systems, then you need to see the retro-style cameras we have featured below. There are retro-style cameras ranging in price range from ultra-affordable to “I need to sell a kidney,” but there is something for everyone. Check out our favorite retro-style cameras below.

Fujifilm X Pro 3

Here are the pros and cons from our full review:

Pros

  • Superia is beautiful (Classic neg)
  • We love the lack of no major screen
  • Autofocus can be fine-tuned for different situations
  • Everyone loves the look of Classic neg
  • You can push the shadows for forever and get details – the Highlights not as much, but they’re still there
  • The screen helps you stay focused and aware
  • USB C charging ensures that you can keep using the camera
  • Video features deliver pretty video
  • Arguably, you don’t need to edit the RAW files because the JPEGs let you do so much
  • For street and documentary shooting, the hidden screen will keep you in the zone when shooting
  • Face detection is fantastic when not trying to track erratic movements
  • Acros and clarity enhancements are going to make you fall in love with Fujifilm all over again
  • The Chrome effect for skies is very nice, but sometimes very subtle
  • Autofocus is fantastic for events and most professional work
  • Fujifilm’s collection of small primes pair wonderfully with this camera
  • The best camera to embrace high ISO noise on the market
  • Using the OVF will prolong battery life at the expense of slower autofocus
  • This is less of a street camera than it is a documentary and event shooter’s camera
  • The wider lenses make zone focusing easy. This is imperative for street photography
  • Multiple exposure mode is a very welcome addition
  • Very good battery life

Cons

  • Has problems keeping subjects in focus when they’re continuously moving
  • When you need the screen, it’s a bit of an annoyance; like when photographing a portrait subject in motion
  • This camera desperately needed Blackout Free EVF shooting
  • Touchscreen menu navigation should be on this camera, but it isn’t
  • Autofocus needs improvements still
  • Enhancing the clarity makes the camera take extra time to render the image
  • The battery life is about on par with the new Sony Z batteries
  • For street shooting, the wide and tracking AF area still lets you select a zone. And it shouldn’t. This can throw off shooting in real-life street situations
  • Shooting from the hip? You may accidentally hit the function button and not the shutter release
  • Exposure dial needs a locking mechanism
  • Multiple Exposure mode saves the final images only as JPEGs

Buy now: $1,729

Olympus OMD EM10 Mk II

Here are the pros and cons from our full review:

Pros

  • Beautiful wink and a nod to the retro ergonomics
  • Feels great in the hand
  • Good image quality
  • Fast AF
  • AF selection pad using the LCD screen is freakin’ brilliant!
  • S-OVF’s effects were simulated easily with some tweaks to previous cameras, but it’s nice that they made it more simplistic and put into one setting
  • Not a single misfocus during our testing even in very low light conditions
  • Olympus by far leads the way when it comes to ergonomics in the mirrorless camera world

Cons

  • Image quality is still great, but it’s starting to show its age vs APS-C sensors
  • We wish the dials would have been created with a higher quality metal

Buy now: $449

Fujifilm X-T3

retro-style cameras

Here are the pros and cons from our full review:

Pros

  • Brand new 26.1MP X-Trans CMOS 4 Sensor
  • Brand new X-Processor 4 Image Processor
  • Excellent weather sealing
  • Very solid build quality
  • Excellent image quality
  • In body RAW processing with built-in film simulation profiles
  • Versatile RAW files
  • Amazing video capabilities
  • Dual SD card slots (if your workflow requires it)

Cons

  • Battery life can use some improvement
  • Lacks in-body image stabilization
  • Low light performance is improved over the previous generation X-T2, but hit rates during high-speed low light situations still leave much to be desired

Buy now: $1,199

Pro Tip: Gorgeous retro-style cameras like the ones listed here deserve to be paired with equally classy camera straps. Camera straps are a great way to add a little more flair to your camera, and to you and your style. We have reviewed many straps, like the Vi Vante Classic Tread, which is pictured above. Head on over to our review section to see more.

Leica M10-D

retro-style cameras

Here are the pros and cons from our full review:

Pros

  • Quiet shutter
  • A bit of an improvement in battery life
  • Leica Fotos integration is very nice
  • Same great image quality as the Leica M10
  • Looks and feels like a film camera
  • Very low profile

Cons

  • Pricey
  • We really, really wish this were a true mechanical shutter

Buy now: $8,750

Olympus OMD EM5 Mark III

retro-style cameras

Here are the pros and cons from our full review:

Pros

  • Beautiful retro styling
  • Excellent image quality
  • Robust weather sealing
  • Reliable image stabilization
  • Accurate autofocus
  • Compact form factor
  • Built-in Live Composite and 50 MP High Resolution shooting modes are highly effective

Cons

  • Form factor can be too compact for some, particularly for photographers with larger hands or when mated with larger lenses
  • Plasticky build quality
  • Single UHS-II SD Card slot
  • Lacks dedicated joystick
  • Poor battery life
  • Convoluted menu systems

Buy now: $999

Panasonic GX8

retro-style cameras

Here are the pros and cons from our full review:

Pros

  • The absolute best color Panasonic has ever delivered out of the camera
  • Incredible build quality
  • Very nice EVF
  • Nice shutter sound
  • Fast-focusing capabilities even in the lowest of lighting situations
  • Lots of buttons and dials
  • Dials feel very, very nice
  • In-camera stabilization is quite nice

Cons

  • Layout and placement of dials and buttons are a bit awkward
  • Highlight retention could be better
  • Pretty expensive

Buy now: $896.19

Captured with the Panasonic GX8

Pro Tip: Just like any other camera out there, these retro-style cameras are going to get dirty. With them being as gorgeous as they are, you’re going to want to keep them nice and clean. We recommend carrying a basic cleaning kit with you at all times so you can wipe off any dirt, dust, or water while you’re out and about. Take care of your gear and it will last for years. You don’t need an expensive kit: this one is just fine. 

Leica M10P

retro-style cameras

Here are the pros and cons from our full review:

Pros

  • Very quiet shutter.
  • Nice look to it
  • Lightweight
  • Smallish
  • The same good color output from the Leica M10
  • It’s possible to make big prints from the sensor even at higher ISOs

Cons

  • Not totally sure why it’s a few hundred dollars more expensive than the Leica M10

Buy now: $8,795

Fujifilm X100F

retro-style cameras

Here are the pros and cons from our full review:

Pros

  • Great image quality, though we wonder how much better it could have been made
  • One of the best autofocus cameras when it comes to candid street photography
  • Compact
  • Nice feel that you’d expect from a camera like this
  • Acros video is very welcome
  • AF selection point joystick was long overdue
  • So light, small and great that you’ll want to take it with you everywhere
  • Much improved battery life

Cons

  • At this point, it could use sensor-based image stabilization
  • Could use a lens update
  • No weather sealing; absolutely not sure why
  • Though not necessary, it would be nice to have a headphone and microphone jack for video shooting.
  • Doesn’t adhere to Sunny 16 rules of metering, which is REALLY WEIRD

Buy now: $1,299

Olympus Pen F

Here are the pros and cons from our full review:

Pros

  • The absolute best and in some ways almost perfect image quality from an Olympus ILC camera yet.
  • Handles very much like an old analog camera
  • Feels amazing in the hand for street photography
  • Thumb rest is absolutely fantastic
  • Autofocus performance is more than satisfactory
  • Not too large of a camera body.
  • The knob that lets me shoot in black and white mode has me addicted to not only shooting in black and white but also being very happy with the JPEGs
  • Flippin’ fantastic JPEG output
  • Great EVF
  • The electronic shutter is super nice
  • The most beautiful digital camera made thus far.
  • 80MP High res mode is there but I’m honestly not sure that it should be. It wasn’t really designed for that user.
  • We haven’t been this excited about a camera since the Olympus OMD EM5 came out.

Cons

  • Price point
  • Really, really wish that Olympus put weather sealing into the camera.

Buy now: $999