Best Vintage Cameras Filmmakers and Collectors Should Buy (2023)

Check out our list of vintage Super 8 Cameras and 16mm cameras from Bauer, Bolex, Canon, and other brands.

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Super 8 cameras are a great collectors’ item, and a perfect gift for cinephiles or anyone who wants to add a vintage aesthetic to their film collection. Beyond that, these handheld cameras are mostly affordable, they look pretty cool, and whipping one of these babies out will surely turn a few heads. Given how popular nostalgia has become, finding the right vintage camera can be a time-consuming task. To get started, you’ll want to narrow down what type of Super 8 camera works best for your film needs, and how much you’re willing to spend. If you’re unable to make it to a local thrift store or antique camera shop to buy one in person, we put together a list of used cameras that you can buy online, which includes options from the ’60s and ‘70s, and a 16mm from the ’50s.

All the cameras in our roundup have been tested by the sellers, reviewed by customers, and start at around $170 and up. So whether you’re a dedicated collector, or simply want to pick up a new (well, technically old) camera, these Super 8 and 16mm cameras from Canon, Bauer, Braun, Bolex, and more brands will make the perfect addition to your collection. Find our list below, and for more camera recommendations check out these nostalgia-inspired photography cameras, and the best film cameras for any budget.


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Best Vintage Cameras Filmmakers and Collectors Should Buy (1)

Elmo 230xl Super 8 Camera

Super 8 cameras can range in pricing, but you don’t have to spend a fortune to get a working one. This Elmo 230XL vintage camera from the 1970s has been cleaned and tested fully to ensure that functions such as focus, lens, zoom, and exposure are working fine. The camera is equipped with 18 fps, 220-degree shutter angle, auto exposure, and a working battery pack (it uses six 1.5V batteries). It also comes in the original box along with a user’s manual and lens cap.

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Best Vintage Cameras Filmmakers and Collectors Should Buy (2)

Minolta Super 8 Autopak D6 Camera

From cosmetics to functionality, this Minolta Autopak-8 D6 Super 8 Autopak D6 camera is a great find for collectors. Features include: 7.5-45mm f/1.8 MC Rokkor Zoom Lens, adjustable Viewfinder Diopeter, 5x manual zoom and focus functions (fully manual or auto zoom control), and three film shooting speeds of 18 and 32 fps (plus single frame). The camera uses four AA Batteries, and it has a convenient handle that doubles as a corded remote controller.

Best Vintage Cameras Filmmakers and Collectors Should Buy (3)

Quarz 2M Russian Movie 16mm Camera

If you’re into vintage Russian cameras, the Quarz-2M is a clockwork-driven movie camera with filming speeds of 8, 12, 16, 24, 32, and 48fps (plus single frame). The camera has a built-in selenium meter with a film speed range of 11-90 GOST (12-100 ASA). The lens is a Jupiter-24M, f1.9 12.5 mm, and two supplementary lenses (0.5X and 2X). The full camera kit includes a pistol-grip, instructions manual, and a leather case.

(Video) My Budget Film Camera Collection.

Best Vintage Cameras Filmmakers and Collectors Should Buy (4)

Canon Zoom 318 Super 8 Camera

The Canon Zoom 318 Super 8 Camera was first released in 1965, and marketed as an easy-to-use camera for home movies. This lightweight, vintage edition is in good cosmetic and working condition, the light meter functions properly, and it comes with original lens cap and a Canon leather case. However, there is a bit of dust on the lens but no scratches, according to the seller.

Best Vintage Cameras Filmmakers and Collectors Should Buy (5)

Paillard Bolex B8 8mm Movie Camera

The Paillard Bolex 8mm Movie Cameras originated in Sweden and dates back over 60 years. The camera above features a polished, duralumin body covered in genuine Moroccan leather with chrome-plated metal parts; Yvar f1.9/13mm lens (with Kern Lens cap), multiple speed variables (8-48 fps), along with a 165-degree disc shutter. An attached accessory prism allows for filming with 5.5mm lenses, as well as parallax correction for filming at close distances. This camera comes in the original box and includes a lens hood, a set of close-up viewfinders in the original case, and the instruction manual.

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Best Vintage Cameras Filmmakers and Collectors Should Buy (6)

Canon 514XL Auto Zoom Super 8 Cine Film Camera with Case

When it comes to camera brands, Canon tends to stand out among the bunch. This Canon 514XL Auto Zoom Super 8 Cine Film Camera was originally introduced in the mid-1970s. The model pictured is in good condition and works fine. The camera has auto and manual zoom functions, auto exposure, macro and split image focusing. It’s been tested to make sure that everything works and runs smoothly and the lens is “undamaged and clean” according to the seller.

Best Vintage Cameras Filmmakers and Collectors Should Buy (7)

Bauer C107 XL Super 8 Camera

A light, compact, relic from the ‘80s, the Bauer C 107 XL Super 8 camera includes a Bauer Neovaron lens f: 1.2 \ F: 7-45 mm. This fully-functioning camera has been tested to ensure that it works, but the seller notes that the rubber eye cups on these vintage Bauer cameras don’t typically age well and break easily. That said, Bauer Super 8 cameras tend to sell out quickly so it’s best to have other options such as the Bauer C8, Bauer C Royal, and the Bauer C3.

Best Vintage Cameras Filmmakers and Collectors Should Buy (8)

Canon 310 XL Super 8 Camera

Buy: $429Buy it

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Originally released in 1975, the Canon 310 XL Super 8 camera was groundbreaking in its heyday. The camera features what was then the world’s fastest lens speed of f/1.0 with a 3x zoom. It’s suitable for low-light conditions and includes single-frame exposures for animation.

Best Vintage Cameras Filmmakers and Collectors Should Buy (9)

Sankyo MF-606 Super 8 Cine Film Camera

The Sankyo MF-606 Super 8 camera has a boxier design than some of the other cameras on the list, but many of the same essential features. The camera includes macro and aerial focusing, auto/manual zoom, a 1.8 / 8 – 48 mm lens, and shutter degree of 220. It also comes with a carrying case, and uses four AA batteries (which you can purchase here).

Best Vintage Cameras Filmmakers and Collectors Should Buy (10)
Elmo Super 8 Sound 1012S-XL Cine Camera

Another antique from the ’70s, this Elmo Super 8 vintage camera has been tested and works perfectly, but it has light cosmetic scratches on the body. Other than that, the lens, focus and zoom all work, and the motor runs well according to the seller.

Best Vintage Cameras Filmmakers and Collectors Should Buy (11)

Vintage Paillard-Bolex H16 Deluxe Cinema Camera

Buy: $636.24Buy it


If you really want to go vintage, try the Bolex 16mm camera. The Swizz cameras went into production in the 1920s, and were originally developed by Polish designer Jacques Bogopolsky. Bolex cameras have been used by Andy Warhol, Jean-Luc Goddard, David Lynch, James Dean, Steven Spielberg, Peter Jackson, and more. The Paillard-Bolex H16 cinema camera pictured above was originally released in the U.S. in 1953. The camera is in working condition and weight about 5 1/2 pounds (it measures 8 1/2″ x 6″ x 3″). The seller pointed out that the camera has a couple cosmetic scratches and a missing eye focuser. You can also check out other Bolex options like this H16 camera with external frame counter, and the H8 double film movie camera.

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What is the best camera for vintage photography? ›

What camera makes photos vintage? The Olympus Pen E-PL6 and the Leica M-D (Typ26) are some of the best cameras for taking vintage style photos. These are modern digital cameras that make photos look vintage.

Are old film cameras worth anything? ›

Used film cameras are selling anywhere from $30 to over $300 depending on the quality and model. If you search “film cameras” on Etsy, you'll see hundreds of vintage analogs quickly selling with terms like “Only 1 available and it's in 5 people's carts” warning buyers in bright red to make a purchase quickly.

Does anyone collect old film cameras? ›

There are several photography-related charities that accept used gear. The Film Photography Project donates film cameras to school and student programs around the world. Recycling for Charities recycles electronics and gives the value of what you send them to a charity of your choice.

Why are old film cameras so expensive? ›

But as more people have returned to film photography, they've brought with them a higher demand for equipment that will never increase in supply. The inevitable result of this supply and demand arithmetic, as any Economics 101 student will tell you, is higher prices.

What is the most sophisticated camera? ›

The Sony A1 is far and away the most advanced and most powerful camera on the market… yet this comes at a cost, literally. It's about twice the cost of the Sony A9 II, and it's even more expensive than the 100MP medium format Fujifilm GFX 100S.

Is there still a market for film cameras? ›

Yes, some people still use film cameras for photography. It is the reason why film cameras still exist in this digital world. Leica, Fujifilm, and Polaroid are some of the popular brands in this segment.

Are film camera prices going up? ›

Some cameras are now up to five times the cost they were four years ago, while some film rolls have more than doubled in price since the pandemic.

How can I sell my old film camera? ›

A Local Camera Store

If you want the easiest option with the least amount of stress, selling or trading in your gear at a local camera store is a great bet. They will look at your equipment and offer you a price for it. You can negotiate or accept their offer and you walk away with store credit or a check.

How do I find the value of old cameras? ›

However, in most cases, you can go to any good search engine such as Google and simply type in the name and model of your old camera. This will usually bring up a number of historical sites giving good information on identifying your camera, as well as commercial sites that may give you a fair idea of its market value.

Do film cameras ever expire? ›

Yes. Disposable cameras can expire.

Does anyone still use 35mm film cameras? ›

Yes! 35mm is still made and is by far the most popular film format that we sell. 35mm is still made by a few of the big dogs in film such as Kodak, Ilford and Fujifilm as well as lots of lovely indie brands such as Film Washi, Dubblefilm and revolog.

Are film cameras making a comeback? ›

Yes, there is an increasing usage of film in photography. Today, the old film cameras of a bygone era are more expensive than some full-frame DSLR cameras. As more folks buy up available cameras, the prices have steadily increased for some camera models by 25-50% year-over-year.

What are vintage film cameras called? ›

SLRs. What are they? This is the classic form factor many people imagine when picturing an analog camera. They have interchangeable lenses in the front and a viewfinder that lets you look out through the lens and into the world with some help from a mirror inside.

Is a Leica film camera worth it? ›

Older Leica digital cameras hold their value really well but will decrease in value each year even if buy used. Buying new Leica cameras is a near guaranteed money loss but life isn't just about money. If buying a new Leica will make you happy and get you out of the house then it's still a great investment in my book.

Are old digital cameras making a comeback? ›

Digital cameras are, admittedly, harder to find. But, they're not extinct. If you look online, you'll see that celebrities and influencers like Emily Ratajkowski and Charli D'Amelio have posted pictures with digital cameras, helping to convince people to start using them again.

Why are old cameras better? ›

Advantages over modern cameras

Many older cameras are more sturdily built than newer ones. These pro-level cameras from another time often preferred metal parts to plastic, and are sealed against weather and dust. Equally important is the design.

Why do people buy old digital cameras? ›

These old digitals are cheap, and are often a lot better value than similarly priced film cameras. They're also less complex and therefore more simple to use than modern digitals.

What camera produces the best image quality? ›

The 5 Best Cameras For Photography - Winter 2023 Reviews
  • Best Camera For Photography. Canon EOS R6. ...
  • Best Upper Mid-Range Camera For Photography. Sony α7 III. ...
  • Best Mid-Range Camera For Photography. Nikon Z 50. ...
  • Best Budget Camera For Photography. Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark IV. ...
  • Best Point-And-Shoot Camera For Photography.
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What is the best camera for everything? ›

Best cameras for photos and videos in 2023
  • Sony A7R IV. We think this is the best, good value for money all-rounder. ...
  • Nikon Z9. Best for pros — Nikon's flagship mirrorless camera body is packed with enviable functionality. ...
  • Nikon Z6 II. ...
  • Sony Alpha A7 III. ...
  • Canon EOS R5. ...
  • Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark IV. ...
  • Sony A1. ...
  • Nikon D850.
3 days ago

Which camera do most professionals use? ›

The Sony a7III is the most popular camera used by professional photographers. 7% of pros use the Sony a7III mirrorless camera, with the Canon R6 mirrorless camera and Nikon D750 DSLR camera coming in joint 2nd and 3rd.

Can 35mm film still be developed? ›

No matter what type of film requires developing, you can bring it to your local CVS Photo location for processing. Services include processing for 35mm film, disposable cameras, Advanced Photo System film, black and white film, 110 film and slide film.

Why do film photos look better? ›

Film Blends Light and Color Better

Digital camera sensors, are made up of millions of tiny squares that give us an image. Film isn't split up in such a linear way, and because of that, it naturally blends light and colors better.

Does Hollywood still use film cameras? ›

Using Film in Modern Movie-Making. While most movie theaters are no longer playing movies on film, many filmmakers still choose to shoot their movies on film. They choose this for a number of reasons - mainly for simplicity, efficiency, nostalgia, and the look of it.

Is it cheaper to shoot on film or digital? ›

Film is better at capturing subtle details and color contrasts, especially between black and white. Lower initial costs. Traditional film cameras are generally cheaper than digital cameras.

What is a good price for 35mm film? ›

Average PriceUSD $13.64

Today's average price of a single roll of 35mm (36 exp.) Fujifilm Superia X-Tra 400 in USD is $13.64. It went up (on average) by about $2.69 since July 18, 2022.

Why did they stop making film cameras? ›

Kodak, the world's largest photography company, is to stop producing traditional 35mm cameras because of the rise of digital technology, it announced yesterday. The company took its decision as digital cameras outsold film cameras in the US for the first time last year.

How do you take good vintage pictures? ›

13 Tips to Achieve the Vintage Photography Look
  1. Look for Vintage Photography Inspiration in These Places. ...
  2. Take Photos in Black & White Mode. ...
  3. Use a Large Aperture to Blur out the Background. ...
  4. Use Antique Furniture and Props to Make Your Vintage Photography Look Realistic. ...
  5. Create Light Leaks Using Everyday Objects.
May 22, 2020

How do you take vintage photos with a camera? ›

To make a photo look vintage, you have to decrease the contrast while slightly increasing the brightness to create a haze effect. Noise – All old photos have a high level of noise due to bad cameras and lenses. You can use film grain noise or HSV noise to alter your image and simulate camera noise.

How do I take vintage pictures with a digital camera? ›

Here are some of the settings you should adjust to achieve a vintage or retro effect:
  1. Saturation: this increases or decreases how vibrant colors are in your photo. ...
  2. Highlight: this increases or decreases the bright spots on your photograph.
  3. Contrast: reducing contrast will help you get that lo-fi look.
Dec 19, 2021

How do you make a photo look vintage on a camera? ›

A simple way to give your photos an antique look is to transfer them into black and white. Since camera film was initially only available in black and white, this automatically gives your photo a retro vibe.


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