Best Camera To Shoot A Documentary

By | 16/10/2022

At Casual Photophile, nosotros love film cameras for many reasons; notably their historical significance, their ability to make earth-class images, and their low toll compared to their digital counterparts. Just I recall most of the writers here appreciate and maybe even prefer film cameras for one very specific reason – they experience incredible. Moving picture cameras are creations from a time when physical mechanisms collection the globe, and it’due south rare to find such haptic joy in the mod era in which consumer goods are often thought of as disposable, or at least inevitably replaceable.

All of that said, there’s no denying that we besides honey certain digital cameras. While many digital cameras seem banal and, every bit stated, disposable, there does exist a handful of really phenomenal digital cameras that non only brand amazing images, but also experience similar the classic mechanical cameras that we beloved and then dearly. It’south also hard to argue against the speed and efficiency of the digital workflow (there’s a reason all of the production shots here and in my camera shop are fabricated with digital machines, after all).

The writers and I decided to sit down downwardly and brainstorm which 5 digital cameras currently selling today are best for those of us who beloved pic cameras. Hither they are.

Fujifilm X100 Serial

When the original Fujifilm X100 debuted at Photokina in tardily 2010, information technology made a massive splash. In an early on 2011 writeup, DPReview described the X100 as “…a business firm favorite in the dpreview offices.” Calculation that “Its drop-dead gorgeous looks and fantabulous build make it a photographic camera that begs you to pick it upwardly and take it out with you,” and later describing the prototype quality of its 12.3 MP APS-C sized CMOS sensor as “…nothing curt of superb.”

The original X100 and subsequent models in the series are such great cameras for people who love film considering they’re all characterized by some very “pic camera-like” features. They all look and handle similar the archetype compact or rangefinder cameras that motion-picture show-shooting street photographers lust over (think Canon’due south Canonet or even Leica’due south Yard series). They feature a traditional optical viewfinder (with a decidedly fob hybrid electronic viewfinder organization), they accept archetype physical controls for shutter speed, aperture, and more, merely like film cameras of the past, and they all feature a number of “Film Simulation” modes which reproduce the look of classic Fujifilm emulsions.

Since the release of the original X100 (actually called the FinePix X100 – all later cameras dropped the FinePix classification) Fuji has released three additional X100 models. The X100S refined the user interface and ergonomics while replacing the original X100’s splendid 12.3 MP CMOS sensor with a 16.3 MP Fuji Ten-Trans CMOS Two. The third model, the X100T, retain the sensor, lens, and core functionality of the previous model, merely meliorate on the X100S in incremental ways. About interesting to motion-picture show lovers might be the addition of the “Archetype Chrome” film simulation.

The fourth and latest X100 is the X100F. This photographic camera is naturally the most avant-garde X100 yet, packing a 24 MP X-Trans CMOS 3 sensor into the traditionally meaty X100 series body, too equally introducing a veritable cornucopia of new improvements. These include a new paradigm processor, congenital-in ISO dial (a friendly addition for united states of america film photographic camera fans), a larger battery, an improved 91-point autofocus organisation, a 60 frames per 2nd electronic viewfinder refresh rate, and a Fuji Acros film simulation fashion. This last add-on is especially interesting because that Fujifilm discontinued product of their Acros film terminal year, and only recently appear plans to introduce a new Acros picture after hearing the public outcry from film photographers.

The X100F has been the recipient of numerous awards in the photography press, and has successfully convinced the world that the X100 is a true professional person lensman’south camera.

Which X100 camera should you purchase? Well, the affair most the Fuji X100 series is that every single model in the series is fantastic. My advice is to first decide on your budget and so buy the newest X100 you lot can afford. Fifty-fifty if that ends up existence the original X100 with the 12.3 MP sensor, you’ll be getting an incredible machine that will make phenomenal images. Anything more than that is only a bonus.

At effectually $ane,200 the X100F is one of the more than expensive cameras on the list. Just for those of us looking to save money, the original X100 can exist bought on eBay for an astoundingly low price – around $300.


The Ricoh GRIII is an obvious pick for any picture shooter whose preferred picture camera is a meaty point-and-shoot. It’s a strong digital stand-in for the premium point-and-shoots from Contax, or the ever-popular compact cameras from Olympus and Yashica. And of course the Ricoh GRIII is the perfect digital photographic camera for anyone who lives and dies by the earlier Ricoh GR1 film cameras.

We’ve written about the reasons the GR1 serial of film cameras are such incredible signal-and-shoots in our commodity earlier this year, and many of the core superlatives that characterize those film machines are carried over to their counterparts in the digital GR series. In his video review of the new GRIII, Kai Wong called the Ricoh GRII one of his “…favorite cameras of all time,” and went on to describe the GRIII as “..something truly swell.”

Kai’s not wrong. The Ricoh GRIII was released just a few months agone and it offers everything you lot’d expect from a brand-new, world-course digital compact while retaining the core concept that has made the GR serial a camera loved by street photographers and snap-shooters for decades. Information technology’s incredibly modest and well-made, features 1 of the best 28mm (equivalent) lenses in the photographic world, has in-body image stabilization, first-class high-ISO capability, and an incredibly quick start-upwardly time for capturing snapshots at a moment’s notice.

Information technology’s an peculiarly cracking photographic camera for those of us who dear compact film cameras because while it offers everything we’ve mentioned plus countless modern conveniences, information technology’s actually a unproblematic photographic camera like the compact movie machines we all love. Information technology’s as “point-and-shoot” equally information technology gets, without sacrificing anything in terms of image quality or tech. Oh, and information technology’s got some pretty fantastic motion-picture show simulation modes too, if you’re into that (and we are).

At $899, it’south the least expensive new camera on the listing. For what the GRIII offers, that’s truly impressive.

[Friend of the site and sometime president of Pentax U.s.a., Ned Bunnell has been shooting the GRIII since it released before this year and he’s been posting his images and experiences with the new camera on Instagram. He’southward also been posting a collection of film simulation shots made with the photographic camera, which you can see via the hashtags #NedsGR3bw
and #Nedspositivefilm.]

Olympus Pen F

I’ll admit that some of the allure of classic film cameras, for me, is just how gorgeous these onetime machines look. There’s something most the proportions, something about the finish of satin metal contrasting against black or brown leatherette or vulcanite; film cameras are cute objects. It’southward especially intoxicating when these gorgeous machines also happen to be extremely capable epitome-making devices. Which brings us to our third pick, and it comes from a legendary photographic camera maker – Olympus.

Olympus is celebrating their centennial this year, and like they’ve done for many of the last hundred years, information technology seems Olympus is content to become down to the business of quietly making infrequent cameras and lenses. Without a lot of fanfare or marketing hullaballoo, Olympus has recently released a truly impressive digital compact in the form of the Pen-F Digital.

Like its earlier film ancestor, the Pen-F digital is uncommonly small. The Maitani-designed Pen F film camera was a one-half-frame camera, while the newest Pen-F Digital is a micro 4/3rds machine. This makes it well-suited for travelers and lifestyle shooters, or for event photographers looking for a pocketable camera for candids.

Like earlier Olympus designs, the Pen-F digital has outsized dials and knobs and switches for all the virtually important controls in photography. Big, mechanical dials click into place with directed force, controlling exposure compensation, firing modes, discontinuity, shutter speed, and more. And it feels dense and solid while never feeling heavy or awkward. Put the Pen-F Digital into the hands of a film photographer and he or she volition instantly feel at home.

The tiny camera is packed full of incredible features – a 20 MP sensor (with fifty MP high-res shot mode), five-centrality image stabilization, 10 FPS sequential shooting mode, an infrequent OLED electronic viewfinder, 81 betoken autofocus, and… a tilty-flippy screen. If you lot tin can’t get the shot with the Pen-F, it’south probably not the camera’south fault.

Interchangeable lenses from Olympus’ famed Zuiko line consummate an imaging ecosystem that can compete with much larger (and more expensive) cameras. When we see the images that Olympus’ micro 4/3rds cameras tin can make it becomes obvious that the lesser-celebrated brand is still a powerhouse in optics – they’ve been doing this for a hundred years, after all. Oh, and the Pen-F Digital is (in my opinion) only about the prettiest photographic camera on the market today. That counts for something.

At $999 the Olympus Pen F body lands right in the middle of the pack regarding price. Add a lens and we’re looking at a $one,200-one,400 price point.

Nikon Df

The Nikon Df was very about replaced on this listing after the team and I discussed its history and reputation and modernistic relevance. We had almost decided to include it at the end every bit an honorable mention. Call it nostalgia or perhaps a ability move by my inner Nikon fanboy, but I but had to include information technology on the list.

The Nikon Df was released in 2013, and marketed by Nikon as a return to the purity of their earlier F series film cameras. With a full-frame sensor, dedicated concrete dials to control the near of import aspects of photography, a full metal construction including height plate and metal controls, and removal of the video way often found on DSLRs, the Df does indeed seem like a perfect film-like estimation of the DSLR.

The top plate is packed with large metallic control dials for exposure bounty, ISO, shutter speed, shooting modes, and more. And in this way it truly does wait and experience like 1 of Nikon’south modern classic SLRS, the F4 or the F5. But the residual of the camera is incomparably a digital machine. The back has everything you lot’d notice in one of Nikon’southward contemporary to the Df DSLRs, the D610 or the D750 for instance. Which is good, but also somewhat confusing.

Is shooting the Nikon Df like shooting a motion picture camera? Non really. Certain, it’southward got physical controls, but information technology’due south really quite a massive camera with very DSLR-like ergonomics. It’southward the least pleasant photographic camera on this listing to shoot for those of usa who just don’t get excited by DSLRs. And on this site, that volition include a lot of readers also.

Where the Nikon Df might become the perfect digital camera for the film shooter is when we discuss Nikon specifically. If you’re already shooting a bunch of Nikon cameras, say an original F, an F4, and even a Nikon DSLR, the Nikon Df could be a groovy fit. That’s because it’southward the just Nikon DSLR that can mount and shoot every Nikon lens that’s been made since the original F mountain was introduced in 1959. That’s pretty incredible. But then again, the new Nikon mirrorless Z6 and Z7 can do that also (with adapters). Decisions.

At $2,795 the Nikon Df is one of the more than expensive cameras on the listing. In fact, it’due south merely topped by our next machine. This will not be a surprise…

Leica M10-D

For many film photographers, the Leica Thousand series is the perfect combination of all the things that make film cameras special. A cute, timeless blueprint encapsulating nothing just gears and levers and steel and contumely, the early M cameras particularly are mechanical masterpieces (see our guides to the Leica rangefinders and their SLRs). Even today, Leica nevertheless makes two mechanical movie cameras, the meter-free 1000-A and the calorie-free meter-equipped M-P.

With this pedigree and connected ability to create what could be the best film camera in the world correct at present, it’due south no surprise that Leica should brand some truly impressive digital cameras. While the brand seemed to struggle to notice its footing in the digital historic period, their latest releases, the Leica CL, the Leica Q and Q2, and their newest M, the M10, are all grand slams.

Each of these cameras feels like a archetype film camera in the hands. The dials and controls are uncomplicated and straightforward. The mechanisms actuate with incredible precision. The ergonomics and methodology are simplified down to the nuts of ISO, shutter speed, and aperture. In many ways, shooting a CL or a Q2 or an M10 feels like shooting a Leica M3 from 1954 or a CL from the 1970s. And that’s a good thing.

The M10-D is a contempo release, and it’s the purest expression of the film camera ethos in a digital car. The M10-D is essentially a Leica M10 that recalls the look and feel of the original M serial camera. Information technology loses the Leica Cherry Dot logo and replaces information technology with the more film-traditional Leica Script engraving. At that place’s a thumb rest on the top of the machine that flips out, looking and actuating almost exactly the same way that the picture advance lever of the M3 does. The on/off switch is a ring surrounding an exposure compensation wheel that’s a clear reference to the movie speed reminder of the oldest 1000 picture cameras (or the ISO selector on later M movie cameras). This on/off and exposure compensation dial sits on the rear of the camera, exactly where nigh digital cameras would show their LCD display (this space is available because the M10-D simply doesn’t take an LCD display). This is the M10-D’s boldest move.

For a digital camera in 2019 to not take an LCD screen is weird and, some would say, empty-headed. And it’due south an easy thing to poke fun of when nosotros’re talking virtually the extremely pricey products that Leica creates. In example you lot’re non keeping track, I’ll tell yous – the M10-D costs approximately $1,500 more than the M10. Why would anybody spend more money for a digital photographic camera with fewer features than the photographic camera from which it’s derived? In that location’s something to be said for staying in the moment and eliminating distractions, certain, just is that worth $8,000?

It’s a question that I won’t reply in a definitive fashion. Different strokes for different folks. But if you’re looking for the closest experience to shooting an incredible picture camera but desire those digital files and digital workflow, the M10-D might exist the pinnacle of modern machines. (Even if I’d never buy i).

Got a digital photographic camera that only feels right? Let us know in the comments.

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