Over the years I’ve used a tonne of film cameras while travelling and now I can confidently give the 5 best 35mm travel camera!
What makes a good travel camera is that it’s small, compact, reliable, durable and easy to use. I’d also argue that if the camera is too expensive, you won’t want to take it out with you. There are many 35mm cameras the fit the bill but the question is, what are the best?
If you want to find the best camera to take with you on your travels, take a look at the rest of the article!
Travelling With Film Cameras
When travelling with film cameras, you need to be really careful, if you’re travelling by air then you need to be careful with you film! If you’re travelling through an airport then the scanners can damage your film. The general rules are that you should always take your film through hand luggage and try to get your film hand inspected, to find out more, you can read this ultimate guide on keeping your film safe while travelling!
Importantly your camera needs to be nice and portable, I use a small bag like a fanny pack that i wear over my shoulder and head so my camera is always accessible but it’s not always on show. Staying safe can be hard, if you have your camera always on show around your neck then there’s a much higher chance of being a target and being robbed.
The Olympus MJU II
Of course, you can’t really make this list without including the Olympus MJU II. For a point and shoot, this camera really has everything, it’s really reliable, super durable and strong, the lens is fantastic and this camera will produce some brilliant shots.
The MJU II is a fairly expensive camera for a point and shoot but it should hold its value if you take care of it. The autofocus and the overall quality of the lens is really top notch and the size of the camera makes it perfect for travel.
If you want to find out more about the Olympus MJU II, take a look at this ultimate guide I made!
Olympus Trip 35
The Olympus Trip 35 is 35mm camera that was completely made to be a travel camera. This cameras light meter and shutter speed are basically solar powered so you’ll never need to worry about your batteries running out! This is a lovely compact camera with a great 40mm 2.8 Zuiko lens which will allow you to take some really sharp shots.
You have a little bit more control when shooting with the Olympus Trip 35, you change the settings or shoot it on automatic. You also have to control the focussing, some people might like this and some might just want a point and shoot, usually, more control means better shots in the end!
The Yashica T4 is one of the best point and shoot cameras available, you’ll notice that I’ve left out the famous Contax T2 and that’s because the cost is way out of most peoples price range. The T4 has the brilliant 3.5 Zeiss lens with beautiful autofocus, it’s nice and compact and if you want it to be more weatherproof then you can get the T4 Super/T5.
This camera is easy to use but it’ll provide some beautiful shots. The T4 wouldn’t let you down while travelling although at the price that it is, you might be a bit worried about taking it away with you.
If you want to find out more about this brilliant camera, I made the ultimate guide for the Yashica T4 here!
The Nikon FM/FM2n
Price: FM -$200+ FM2n $400+
The reason why I’ve included the Nikon FM/FM2n is that it’s a fantastic SLR camera with a selection of brilliant lenses and it still fully functions without a battery! Not only that but the Nikon FM can take many different types of weather and conditions and it’ll keep shooting as it should! Because of this, I think that the FM is a brilliant camera to choose for travel, especially in testing conditions.
The great thing about using a camera like this is that you can use a variety of prime lenses and produce much higher quality shots. Also this camera is a bit more professional and it’ll allow you to get a lot better and learn some photography principles in the process.
This is the kind of camera that I’ve used quite a lot in travel and as long as you have a small bag to carry it with you then this is a brilliant option, especially if you want to make some more professional shots with much more control.
Pentax Espio 738s
I thought I’d have to include a budget camera, the 738s is actually a great point and shoot camera but it was never quite so sort after as some of the other cameras available. This is reasonably compact, very easy to use and the lens is actually very good.
This is also the only point and shoot camera on this list that has zoom capabilities which means it’s a more versatile camera. If you’re going travelling and you just want to get nice film shots then this is a brilliant option for you.