Capturing the Future

Film cameras are taking the place of phones and digital cameras as Gen Z turns back to old tech.

Words and photo by Michael Cummings

Since 1890, film has been used to encapsulate history and memories across the world. After digital cameras were invented in 1975, film started to become an afterthought for photographers who wanted to use the latest and greatest technology.

But there’s a certain feeling film gives that a phone can’t quite provide. Film only allows for a few chances at a photo — making every shot count. Anthony Arroyo, a Des Moines photographer, believes film allows you to live in the moment. You’re not looking at the back of a screen. You just take a photo, and get to appreciate that moment later.

So, what camera is best for you? Let’s break down some of the best film cameras on the market:

Kodak EKTAR H35

The Kodak EKTAR H35 is a fan favorite for most. This camera is one of the most accessible and user-friendly cameras on the market. The EKTAR H35 gives users double the amount of photos that can be taken per roll, extending from the typical 36 exposures to around 72. The easy-to-use interface allows for anyone to pick it up and immediately begin shooting, without needing much practice or experience with film.

Kodak EKTAR H35, $49.99,

Holga 120CGFN

The Holga 120CGFN is known for its simple, plastic design, which adds vignetting and light leaks to photos. Great for someone who wants to
try film photography, it has minimal controls and automatic functions. This camera brings the fun back to photography, allowing you to try your hand at film photography, without the expensive investment.

Holga 120GCFN Medium Format, $59.99,

Canon AE-1

One of the most popular film cameras ever, the AE-1 was a staple for many because of its auto-exposure and manual metering modes, allowing photographers to have even more control of light and the look of each photo. This camera allows you to have all of the bells and whistles of an authentic film camera from the ‘70s but with some of the automatic and electronic features that many film cameras don’t possess.

Canon AE-1, $247.99,

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