The Best 35mm Film Cameras for Summer

Nothing feels quite as good as capturing all your summer memories on 35mm film. We are here to help you find your perfect 35mm film camera for your summer holidays, whether you will be lounging on the beach, running around a city, or swimming in the ocean. 

We run through our list of the best 35mm film cameras to take with you on your summer adventures this year.

Person holding half-frame 35mm film camera

Why should I use a 35mm film camera?

A lot of photographers prefer using a 35mm film camera over a digital one. Compared to digital cameras, 35mm film cameras are much simpler to use. They can also be a lot lighter and more compact than digital SLR cameras.

With a 35mm film camera, you’re forced to be more thoughtful and deliberate about each frame. It’s a great exercise that’ll help you grow as a photographer. 35mm film cameras are a great option for beginners who are looking to experiment with 35mm film photography and also to elevate their skills with photography and how to use camera settings. 

Film photographs are more true to life as film filters the light in a more organic way and as you see it in real life. The colours, shadows, and tones capture the world accurately and you'll always be impressed by how your memories are captured. Oftentimes, you take a photo with your phone and think "well that looks nowhere near as beautiful as it does in real life", film photography could be the answer to this problem for you!

Person walking on the beach taken on 35mm film
Taken on the Canon F-1 with Kodak Gold​​

How do I choose a 35mm film camera?

There are lots of things to consider when choosing a 35mm film camera, but the main thing is to choose something that you like the look of, so that you are excited to learn how to use it and take photographs with it. However, throughout this list, we highlight different cameras that are ideal for different things.

"Choose a camera that you like the look of, and makes you excited about photography and using your camera."

Vintage 35mm film cameras have so many unique designs and interesting features. You could get a coloured camera, a metal camera, a compact camera, and lots more! We have a huge selection on our website.

Range of different 35mm film cameras to choose frmo
A few of the cameras we have available​​

The Best 35mm Film Cameras for Summer

Throughout this list, we have considered a camera for each different type of holiday-goer, and what you may be up to. We've also given a title to each 35mm film camera, so you can find your perfect camera quicker.

These are our recommendations for the best 35mm film cameras for summer and to take on your summer holidays.

The best 35mm film cameras for summer holidays title

Olympus XA

This may be my favourite 35mm film camera for travelling. With some manual settings, you can have all the control you need over your images, whilst also having a camera that easily fits in your pocket

Ideal for: all types of travelling, especially those where you want to take portraits, street photography, as well as landscapes.

Image taken on the Olympus XA
Taken on the Olympus XA with Portra 400​​
35mm film cameras for summer

Canon Sure Shot A-1

Diving under the waves? Splashing around on the beach? This is the camera for you. 

With water-tight seals, this 35mm film camera can withstand being underwater for extender periods of time, as long as you keep the seals clean, and dry it off when you're finished.

It also has a super sharp lens, autofocus flash, and a self-timer. This camera performs well above and below land.

Ideal for: chilling on the beach, surfing, swimming, all that beachy stuff, but also portraits and landscapes.

Ideal 35mm film camera for festivals

Budweiser Beer Can Camera

I took one of these to Glastonbury Festival, and it was awesome. Not only did everyone around me love it, it produced some awesome images. 

This can camera has a built-in flash, and a really cool design. This is definitely one to show off, and have some fun with it.

Ideal for: snapshots, portraits, selfies, etc.

The colourful 35mm film camera for summer

Olympus Trip

The Olympus Trip is a great all-round, easy-to-use camera with manual focus. This was the original 60s holiday camera, hence why it is called the "Trip". 

Read more about the Olympus Trip here.

Ideal for: portraits, landscapes, everyday photography, and more!

The serious 35mm film camera for summer holidays

Canon A-1

You want to learn more about film photography over the summer and improve your photography skills.

The Canon A-1 is that 35mm film camera. It has every setting you ever need, and lots of different ways of shooting.

Ideal for: portraits, landscapes, and setting up your perfect, dream holiday photos.

Half-frame 35mm film camera for summer

Olympus Pen EE-3

Sibling to the Olympus Trip, the Olympus Pen is a half-frame camera that takes up to 72 photos on each roll of film. 

The camera has a super sharp lens, is focus-free, and beautifully designed. We are a huge fan of this camera.

Ideal for: portraits, landscapes, snapshots, and everything in between.

The quirky 35mm film camera for summer

Yashica Samurai

Designed like a camcorder, this 35mm film camera is one of my favourites. It is a half-frame camera, so you can get up to 72 shots on one roll of film. It is also really easy to use, produces sharp photos, and is fun to use as well.

Read more about the Yashica Samurai here.

Ideal for: portraits, street photography, night time photography.

Person using the Yashica Samurai 35mm film camera
Super simple 35mm film camera for summer holidays

Beginner Film Camera Set

Just looking for something really easy to use and not very fancy? Here is the ideal 35mm film camera for you. 

Our beginner gift set is ideal for people new to film, who just want to see what their summer will look like on 35mm film. 

Ideal for: snapshots and creating memories.

Honourable Mentions

Here are a few cameras that we totally love for summer trips and adventures, but we couldn't fit into this list.

That's it for our list of the best 35mm film cameras for your summer holidays. If you didn't find what you were looking for, don't despair.

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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