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How to choose your next film camera? Read this quick guide.

Choosing the right film camera - A guide to buying a used film camera.

Olympus MJU II in silver from Harrison Cameras

Analogue film photography is a great way to capture memories and enjoy the creative process of photography. If you're thinking about getting into film photography, there are a few things you need to know to choose the right camera for you.

In this blog post, we'll discuss the different types of film cameras, what to look for when buying a camera, and some tips for getting started with film photography.


Types of film cameras

used Olympus SLR camera at Harrison Cameras

There are two main types of film cameras: single-lens reflex (SLR) cameras and rangefinder cameras.

SLR cameras have a mirror that reflects the image from the lens up to the viewfinder. This allows you to see exactly what the lens sees, which is helpful for composing your shots. SLR cameras are typically more complex and expensive than rangefinder cameras.

Secondhand Olympus SLR at Harrison Cameras

Rangefinder cameras don't have a mirror. Instead, they use a separate viewfinder to show you the image. Rangefinder cameras are simpler and more compact than SLR cameras, but they can be more difficult to focus.

In addition to SLR and rangefinder cameras, there are also a number of other types of film cameras, such as point-and-shoot cameras, medium format cameras, and large format cameras.

Point-and-shoot cameras are the simplest type of film camera. They have automatic settings for most functions, making them easy to use for beginners.

Nikon Compact 35mm camera at Harrison cameras

Medium format cameras use larger film than 35mm film, which results in higher quality images. Medium format cameras are typically more expensive than 35mm cameras.

Medium Format cameras to buy at Harrison Cameras

Large format cameras use the largest film format, which results in the highest quality images possible. Large format cameras are very expensive and require a lot of experience to use.

What to look for when buying a film camera

When you're buying an analogue film camera, there are a few things you need to consider:

Film format: The film format determines the size of the images you can take. 35mm film is the most common film format, but there are also medium format and large format films available.

Lens: The lens is responsible for capturing the image. The quality of the lens will have a big impact on the quality of your photos.

Features: Some film cameras have more features than others. Features to look for include autofocus, built-in flash, and manual controls.

Condition: If you're buying a used camera, it's important to inspect it carefully to make sure it's in good condition.

Tips for getting started with film photography

Once you've chosen a film camera (read our handy guide), it's time to start shooting! Here are a few tips to help you get started:

Read the manual: The manual will tell you everything you need to know about your camera, such as how to load film, set the exposure, and focus.

Experiment with different settings: Don't be afraid to experiment with different exposure settings, film speeds, and lenses. The best way to learn is by doing.

Take your time: Film photography is a slow process, so take your time and enjoy the experience.

Where to buy secondhand film cameras?

Most film cameras on the market will be secondhand and Harrison Cameras sells a whole range of used and secondhand film cameras and accessories. We have ranges of Film compact cameras, film SLR cameras and medium format cameras. They all come with our famous 12 month warranty for peace of mind. 

Secondhand cameras for sale at Harrison Cameras


Analogue film photography is a rewarding hobby that can help you capture memories and create beautiful images. If you're thinking about getting into film photography, I hope this blog post has helped you choose the right camera and get started.

by Harrison Cameras on 31/07/2023


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