The Best Compact 35mm Film Cameras

We all love things that fit in our pockets, and some film cameras can be so big that it makes you not want to use them everyday. Here is our selection of the best compact 35mm film cameras.

Person in the woods taking a photograph

What do you mean by compact?

We mean, itty bitty cameras that are gonna fit in your pocket, or in the palm of your hand. I have small hands (and small pockets most of the time) so having a compact camera is super useful. Big cameras are great, take my Canon F-1 for example, but sometimes you don't want the weight swinging from your shoulder threatening to hit someone who walks by you. 

Judging how big a camera is just by looking at it online is hard, so we've divided our list into categories, making it easier to find a compact camera that suits you. 

Fujica Mini

Best Compact SLR

We'll start with the biggest on the list: the SLR camera. Granted, this won't fit in your pocket, but some SLR cameras are huge. This is our pick for a compact SLR that won't break your shoulder off (okay, that's a bit of an exaggeration for any camera). 

Anyway, here we go. 

Coming in with a weight of around 800g, and one of the most compact 35mm SLR bodies, the Pentax ME Super is a great choice. 

It also doesn't lack anything! With a self-timer, manual AND automatic settings, and bulb mode, this camera can do it all. 

Best Compact Fully Automatic Point and Shoot

This is a camera that does it all, and fits in your pocket whilst doing it: the Minolta Riva Zoom

It's a metal-bodied, fully automatic point and shoot with a zoom, and all the settings you could ever need. 

Best Compact Point and Shoot with Manual Focus

Sometimes you want that extra bit of control that comes with a manual focus camera. 

The best compact point and shoot with manual focus is the Olympus XA2. It's lens is super sharp, and it is a good looking camera too. 

You can detach the flash to make it more compact when you don't need the flash attached, and you will barely even notice its weight in your pocket or bag.

You can read more about the Olympus XA2 here.

Best Compact Half-Frame

Half-frame cameras are more compact than full-frame cameras because they take smaller images, so choosing a best half-frame here was really difficult.

We ended up choosing the Olympus Pen EES-2. It's not the smallest of the half-frame cameras, but it has the best features, and usability. 

It is similar to the Olympus Trip, except half-frame. It has manual focus, a red flag feature, and aperture settings for using flash.

Olympus Pen EES-2 cameras

The Most Compact Camera

You might be wondering what the most compact 35mm film camera is. Well, that would be the Fujica Mini. It is a half-frame camera that is truly tiny. 

It also has manual aperture settings and a built-in light meter. It avoids having features that would make it bigger, for example, its winder is built in to the top of the camera rather than poking out of the side.

They're pretty rare and hard to come by, so if we have it in stock and you like it, get it before its gone.

That's our picks for the best compact 35mm film cameras. We really hopes this helps you find your next pocket friend. If not, try taking our camera quiz. Or get in touch with us.

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