5 of the Best 35mm Film Cameras for Travelling

When you take a trip, you want to document your experiences. There are lots of ways to do that, from taking countless photos with a smartphone to writing down your thoughts. 


If you’re looking for an alternative way to capture the sights and memories of your next trip, consider taking pictures with a 35mm film camera. These cameras allow you to slow down and appreciate your surroundings. They are also small, lightweight, and easy to use. 


In this article we will answer the question: “What are the best 35mm film cameras for travelling?” Let’s get started!

View of Amsterdam canal taken with the Olympus XA3 using Adox Color Mission film.
View of a boat next to an old harbour taken on the Yashica T5 35mm film camera.

Why Use Film When You Are Travelling?

Many people take pictures when they travel. You can use your phone, a digital camera, or even a 35mm film camera. But if you are looking for something different and special, then a 35mm film camera is the way to go.


There are many reasons why someone might choose this type of camera while travelling.The first reason is that these cameras are small and lightweight so they do not take up much space in your bag. They also have a limited number of settings so it is easy to figure out how to use them. 


They also allow you to slow down and appreciate your surroundings because you have time to make sure that you get the photo that you want. And you also don't get the instant gratification of a phone photo, which will probably be disappointing and not capture the memory as you remember it.


Plus, these 35mm film cameras are good for capturing memories because waiting for your film scans to come back from the lab is such a great feeling. 

What to Look for in a Good Travel Film Camera


There are lots of 35mm film cameras to choose from. When selecting a 35mm film camera for your next trip, there are some features to look for: 


  • Lightweight and compact design: A small camera is easier to carry when you’re on the go, and can fit into bags that you can carry with you everyday on your adventures.
  • Good lens: A good lens will help to create high quality photos. 
  • Easy to use: You want a camera that is easy to use, so anyone in your group can take photos independently. There's nothing worse than being the photographer of the group and getting no photos of yourself!
  • Manual settings: Manual settings give you more control over the final outcome of your photos, however if you want to take photos quickly and easily, automatic settings may be better. You can get SLR cameras that have both of these settings.
  • Fixed focal length lens: Fixed focal length lenses are perfect for capturing landscapes and other large scenes, and are generally higher quality as well.
  • Built-in flash: if you are doing lots of things at night and want to capture these moments, a built-in flash is a good idea.
  • Built-in light meter: These meters help you determine the best settings for taking pictures in different lighting conditions. All automatic cameras will have one.
Illustration of SLR film camera
Illustration of point and shoot film camera

5 of the Best 35mm Film Cameras for Travelling


There are a lot of good 35mm film cameras for travelling. But we decided to choose five of the best that we think you should consider, based on all of the cameras we have ever used and tried (which is a lot).

5. Canon Sure Shot Ace


This 35mm camera has a bunch of great features in a compact body. With a waist-level viewfinder, remote control for the shutter, and a tilt-feature on the base of the camera, this is a great option for being able to get in front of the camera and take photos of yourself. You'll no longer have to rely on asking strangers to take your photo! 


It also has a high quality lens and a built-in flash.

4. Canon AE-1 Program


If you want some control over your images, this is the camera for you. It has manual settings, as well as automatic ones for when you are too busy to stop and do the settings yourself. You can switch between manual and automatic quickly and easily. It is also quite lightweight and easy to carry. 


Other alternatives that are similar to this are the Pentax ME Super, Minolta X-300, and Olympus OM40.

3. Minolta Riva Zoom


This camera ticks a LOT of boxes. It is super compact, easily fitting in your pocket. It is made of metal, so it is durable and won't break easily. It is really quiet to use, which makes it great for street photography. 


It has lots of settings that are easy to use and a zoom lens as well. What more do you need!?


2. Yashica Samurai


This 35mm film camera is my personal favourite for travelling as it is so fun to use with the handgrip, and it is a half-frame camera. This means you can get 72 shots on a 36 exposure roll. Find out more about half-frame cameras here


It has a built-in flash, zoom, date settings, and a continuous shooting mode. 

Person holding Yashica Samurai 35mm half frame camera.

Before we reveal the best 35mm film camera for travelling, here are some more honourable mentions that did not make this list.

1. Canon Sure Shot A1


Perhaps the ultimate travel 35mm film camera: compact, waterproof, and with a high quality lens. This camera can be submerged in water (make sure you dry it off after) and it takes high quality photos on land too. 


It has basic settings for the flash, and is ideal for someone wanting a quick and easy camera to use that doesn't compromise on quality.

Summary


Choosing a 35mm film camera for your travelling adventures can be difficult, but we hope our guide has helped a little. To summarise, here are the things to look out for in a good travel 35mm film camera: 


  • Compact size
  • Settings and flash
  • Easy to use
  • Good quality lens

Those are some of the features to look for in a camera that is good to travel with, but ultimately choose something that will make you excited to use it!


Our recommendations for 35mm film cameras for travelling are: 


  • Canon Sure Shot Ace
  • Canon AE-1 Program
  • Minolta Riva Zoom
  • Yashica Samurai
  • Canon Sure Shot A1

Still not sure which 35mm film camera is best for you? Take our 35mm film camera quiz that gives personalised recommendations based on your experience, needs and budget. 


You can also contact us on social media, by email, or on the chat feature of our website We love chatting about 35mm film cameras and helping you find your perfect camera.



If this article helped you, please consider buying me a coffee, so that I can keep creating content for photographers like yourself. 

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