Although I do love my digital Canon EOS camera, and have to admit the things you can do with them now are pretty amazing, I am still amazed at how good images from film cameras are! It shows that fancy settings aren't always necessary to get a pleasing result.
I now own 5 film cameras - my Nikon OneTouch Zoom90, a Polaroid 600 Extreme, an Agfa Super Silette, a Canon EOS 300v, and a Polaroid PZ2001.
I love them all but for different reasons, and they all capture very different results.
Nikon OneTouch Zoom90
My original film camera that began my love for photography. I love it - it's my "go to" film camera if I need some quick shots. It's so easy to use and produces sharp, detailed images. With a choice of settings between Auto Flash, Infinity, No flash, and Slow Sync Flash you can get the effect desired without having to worry about changing too many settings. You can also choose Macro mode for close up shots, but it can sometimes be difficult to frame properly in this mode if you get too close, because the lens sits below the viewfinder so you have to remember to tilt the camera slightly to get the subject in the middle of the frame. The camera also has self timer so group shots are easy to take as well.
This camera is another beauty! It's such a classic, and now that polaroids are coming back into fashion I feel lucky to already own this. It's a beautiful camera, with a fold out flash which fires all the time, meaning its easy to get pictures indoors as well as outdoors. The whole design of the camera looks and feels very retro which I love, and the images themselves have an original effect.
I love how easy the camera is to use - just fold up the flash, wait for the green light, look through the viewfinder and shoot! There is also a slider control on the front which lets you choose your focal distance, and another slider which can either brighten or darken your images so these give you some control. It's a big chunky camera so doesn't easily fit into a bag like the Nikon camera does, and it is fairly heavy to carry around all day. However, it's fun to use and has a strap on the side to slip your hand into to make it more comfortable to hold.
The film is quite expensive which is a downside to shooting polaroid (about £17 for 8 shots) but once you have it, it's easy to install into the loading tray and it means each of your 8 shots is special and must be thought about very carefully - don't want to waste any at that price!
When I first got this camera as a Christmas present, I was so excited! It's a proper retro camera where everything has to be done manually - it also already had a roll of film in it which I decided to use up to test it out. I found it quite difficult at first - unlike the other film cameras I have, this one has to be loaded and wound manually. Loading isn't usually a problem but sometimes the rewind knob doesn't engage with the film reel properly - a few times I have only noticed this after taking a few shots and then hearing the film getting eaten up inside, which unfortunately means opening the back of the camera to sort it out but sacrificing that first bit of film! Rewinding at the end of a film can also be tricky as you have to pull the knob out slightly - but not too far - then just keep turning until you think you've reached the end. Sometimes you can hear a slight noise as the end of the film comes off the reel but you have to listen carefully - otherwise it's a case of taking a guess and sneaking a peek inside the back to see how far you still have left to wind!
This was another camera bought for me as a present from a charity shop, and I'm very happy with it! I think it is one of the easiest cameras to use as it's not too much different from digital Canon cameras. You get a lot of control over the settings and modes - there's a choice from Manual, Aperture Priority, Shutter Priority, Program, Auto, Portrait, Landscape, Macro, Sports, Night Time, and No Flash. Once you are confident with your camera settings after practising with digital, you will find this camera pretty easy to get to grips with. You can also buy different lenses for it unlike any of my other film cameras - it has a lot of potential to produce some amazing images!
This is the camera I have least experience with - I recently found it up on the loft and seeing as it already had a film in it, I decided to try it out. There were only a few shots left (most of the film had already been used on images of me and my family from about 10 years ago!) and the few shots I took weren't great. I don't know if the camera just isn't as good as it used to be after sitting in a box for over a decade, or if I just haven't figured it out yet. There's not much control over settings, it's pretty much all auto. The landscapes I took with it weren't very sharp, however, the few pictures I took of my dad were alright with the flash on. Maybe I will just use it for portrait shots if I ever use it again - or maybe just a new film might work better!
I highly recommend trying to shoot in film again if you can, or at least print out your digital photos - as good as digital photography is, what happens in the future when computers eventually shut down? All your files will be lost forever and future generations won't be able to look at your photographs the way we can still enjoy the works of artists such as Ansel Adams, nearly 100 years after his photographs were taken!
Do you shoot on film? If so, what camera/s do you use? Share your experiences in the comments below!