The Canon AE-1 Program is one of the most popular film cameras that has ever been on the market. This SLR 35mm camera is as simple as cameras come; load film, compose, focus, and shoot. There are no menus, custom functions or White Balance settings, just shoot. The “program” is the upgraded version of the original AE-1 and offers shutter priority mode, which is essentially the automatic mode of today’s cameras. Overall, the Canon AE-1P is a fantastic, reliable and fun camera to take on any adventure.
Year Released: 1981
Price Range- $150-$200 (with 50mm f1.8)
Yashica FX-3 Super 2000
The Yashica FX-3 Super 2000 is arguably my favorite and most reliable cameras in my arsenal today. This 35mm SLR is fully mechanical and will release the shutter even with the absence of a battery (which only powers the light meter). Metering information is presented via a trio of LEDs visible in the viewfinder. A red minus symbol (–) means you’re under exposed, a red plus (+) means overexposed, and a green light means your levels are good. I currently have both the 50mm f1.9 and the 28mm f2.8 and both lenses create crisp, clear images. Although the mechanical shutter can be a bit noisy at times, this truly is a fantastic camera for the money.
Year Released: 1980’s
Price: $100 ( with 50mm f1.9)
Rolleicord V - Model K3C
The Rolleicord V TLR (Twin Lens Reflex) is the 12th model of the Rolleicord ancestry. This medium format, fully mechanical camera consists of a fixed 75mm f/3.5 lens. The camera consists of an aperture and shutter speed lever, along with a focus dial and ASA meter. Overall, this, (along with others similar such as the Yashica MAT 124) are great, low cost cameras to experiment with 120 film and dive into the medium format world.