5 of the Best Half-Frame 35mm Film Cameras

You've heard of half-frame film cameras, but just like regular film cameras, there are so many to choose from. We've narrowed them down to some of our favourite 35mm half-frame film cameras. We absolutely love 35mm film half-frame cameras and they make up most of our personal camera collections. 

Here are our top 5 half-frame film cameras.

Person using the Yashica Samurai

What is a half-frame film camera?

Okay, maybe you haven't heard of a half-frame film camera. Well, if there is one thing we love, it's talking about these cameras and how awesome they are!

In fact, we wrote an entire blog post all about how half-frame cameras work and what you can expect, which you can read here: 

Click on the image above to go to our blog post all about half-frame cameras. 

If you don't have time to read the whole post, here's the basics. 

Ordinary film cameras are full-frame, which means they take photographs measuring 36mm by 24mm. This means you can take 24 or 36 exposures on the roll, depending on which roll you've got. 

Half-frame cameras can take double the amount of photographs on one roll, as each exposure is smaller. They measure around 24mm by 18mm. 

Diagram explaining frame sizes

Why should I get a half-frame film camera?

There are many reasons to consider getting a half-frame camera over a full-frame camera. Here are some of the main ones:

You get double the amount of photographs on one roll. This means you have to buy less film, making it a little cheaper for you.

Most half-frame cameras are really compact, and can fit easily in your pocket.

Half-frame cameras have some of the best and most unique camera designs.

We have lots of half-frame film cameras available, so we highly recommend taking a look at our entire collection. There are some cameras that we absolutely love, that just didn't make this list.

Discover our full range of half-frame film cameras

5 of the Best Half-Frame Cameras

Let's get to the good stuff. Here are our recommendations for the five best 35mm half-frame cameras, and why we love them. 

Make sure you check out the blog posts we have written specifically about each camera, as they include example images taken by us!

5. Canon Demi

One thing that we love about this camera is how streamline it is. It is also the most manual of all the cameras on this list. 

You have shutter speed, focus, aperture, and ISO settings. The meter on the top of the camera is super easy to read, so it is easy for beginners and a great camera to start learning film photography with without wasting lots of rolls (half-frame, remember?).

4. Olympus Pen EF

There are lots of different versions of the Olympus Pen half-frame cameras, so keep your eye on the numbers and letters that follow the "EE" part of the name. 

This particular one is the only one with a built-in flash. It has fixed focus, and automatic settings. It will be your best friend for travelling and taking photographs any time of the day.

It is also lighter than some of its other siblings, as it is not made of metal, and it is pocket-sized.

3. Olympus Pen EE-2 or EE-3

With the super sharp Zuiko lens, compact size, and stylish design, this half-frame film camera is ideal for everyday use and travelling. 

This model of the Olympus Pen has all the best design elements that make it a true point and shoot camera that is ideal for beginners and professionals.

2. Yashica Samurai

This half-frame camera has been on countless trips with me and is one of my favourite point and shoots. It is shaped like a vintage camcorder, making it super comfy to hold and use. 

It has every feature you will ever need, including a great lens that is super sharp, a data back (for imprinting the date on your images), has a zoom, and always seems to nail the focus.

Our top pick on 35mm film cameras

1. Olympus Pen EES-2

Very similar to the Olympus Trip, this half-frame camera has everything you need in a great little point and shoot for travelling. 

Manual focus, aperture settings, and automatic shutter speed assisted by the red flag function, this compact little beast is ready to go when you are.

We have used this camera on lots of trips around the world, and love how it just always fits in our pocket, and produces sharp images. There is nothing better for capturing the fast fleeting moments of life on gorgeous 35mm film.

You can see our full range of Olympus Pen cameras here, including the Olympus Pen EE-2 (the same as the Pen EES-2, but without the focus settings).

Olympus Pen EES-2 cameras

Still stuck on which film camera to buy?

Try our film camera quiz. All you have to do is answer a few questions, and then you will get a list of personalised camera recommendations. 

Or send us a message on Instagram, send us an email, chat to us on our live website chat, or read some more of our blog posts!

If you like what we do, but can't buy a camera from us, please consider buying us a cup of coffee! It helps us to keep these resources free, consistent, and accessible. 

Read more of our blog posts here:

Max, owner of Cameras By Max

Article written by: Max

Max is the owner of Cameras By Max. They work full-time repairing and refurbishing all the 35mm film cameras you see on the website. Their favourite camera (at the moment) is the Olympus XA, and their favourite city in the world is Edinburgh.


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