Vintage Under $150: 5 Point and Shoot Film Cameras You Should Try

Point and shoot film cameras are great for getting started with shooting film without putting a dent on your wallet.

For a lot of photographers today, vintage point and shoot cameras often serve as the gateway drug into film photography. They’re compact, easy to use, and often inexpensive. Some of these cameras also produce or enhance a distinct look of nostalgia that film photography has come to be known for. So, it’s not surprising that so many vintage point and shoots make it to lists of recommended film cameras for beginners. Whether you’re looking for one or two point and shoot film cameras to get started with, or add to your growing collection of vintage compacts, these are some of the awesome and affordable models you can grab today.

Previously, we shared 10 of the most popular point and shoot film cameras for compact shooters. But, we realize that a good number of them are pricey and not exactly beginner or budget-friendly. So we’ve put together another list for those who don’t want to spend a fortune on one of these vintage beauties.

Canon AF35M

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Launched in 1979, Canon AF35M (Sure Shot in the US) was Canon’s first autofocus compact lens-shutter camera and the first model of the popular Sure Shot/Prima/Autoboy series. It also has a 38mm f2.8 lens, electronically-controlled programmed shutter and aperture, and electronic self-timer. Wikipedia says it was very commercially successful in comparison to the competition, and was even awarded the Good Design Award from the Japanese Ministry of International Trade and Industry in 1980. It was equipped with an active, infrared Canon Auto Focus System which, according to camera-wiki.org, came to dominate the market.

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Nikon L35AF

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Introduced in 1983, the L35AF was Nikon’s first compact camera equipped with autofocus. According to camera-wiki.org, it was introduced at a time when Nikon’s competitors were already busy with the point and shoot market. A version with autodate function also came out, called L35AD. With features like a sharp 35mm f2.8 lens, flash, superb autofocus capabilities, and a compact size (for its time), this 1980s shooter continues to be a film photographer favorite and a cult classic.

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Fujifilm DL Super Mini Zoom (Tiara Zoom)

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The Fujifilm Tiara Zoom, also known as the DL Super Mini Zoom is definitely a compact camera worthy of consideration in form alone. Introduced by Fujifilm in 1996, it’s one of the more modern, sleeker, aluminum-clad options if you’re looking for truly pocketable cameras with a premium feel. Camerapedia says notable features include Super EBC (Electron Beam Coating), a Fujinon 28-56mm f4.5 – 7.5 lens, infrared active autofocus, AE lock and manual exposure compensation (0.5 EV increments in four steps), multi-program flash, and easy film loading. The “DL” in its name stands for “drop-in loading.”

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Konica Big Mini BM-201

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If you absolutely need to grab a bargain, Konica Big Mini models are among the options to check out. “Big Mini” models continue to be on the list of camera collectors and point and shoot hunters, and has since received a cult classic status. As such, some find it as a rather pricey camera for its simple features. There are a number of popular “Big Mini” models, including the BM-201 which came out in 1990. According to Camerapedia, its features include a 35mm f3.5 lens, DX-code reading for ISO 25-3200, a center-weighted exposure meter for automatic exposure, infrared, non-scan active autofocus, and automatic film advance.

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Pentax Espio 120SW

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Another sleek, modern compact, the Pentax Espio 120SW hasn’t been as popular as the point and shoot film cameras we’ve mentioned so far, but it has been getting attention in the last few years. Introduced in 2001, camera-wiki.org lists notable features that include a sharp SMC Pentax 28-120mm f5.6-11.5 zoom lens, five-point autofocus system, and DX-code reading for ISO 25-3200. It was also awarded the Best 35mm Compact Camera by the Technical Image Press Associations (TIPA) in 2001. If the collectible Espio Mini is too pricey for you and you shoot a lot outdoors, the tiny, all-aluminum Espio 120SW is a great alternative.

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