Last Updated on April 2, 2022 by seanmichaelpritchard
The 80s and 90s had cameras with unique designs compared to today’s versions of the gadget, and if you wish to experience the feel of using such a camera, you can opt for a retro style digital camera.
This type of camera recreated the look, feel, and experience of using classic cameras but with more modern photography technology. So, what is the best retro style digital camera on the market?
Currently, many reputable companies like Fujifilm and Olympus make retro style cameras, giving you access to high-quality options.
At a glance:
Due to the vast amount of retro digital cameras in the market, this list will offer five reliable options, making the search easier.
1. Nikon Z FC
Nikon products have always been a good choice for lovers of retro style digital cameras, especially in. 2013 with the introduction of the Nikon Df. The Nikon Z FC has been the go-to option in recent times due to its beauty and attractive price.
The Nikon Z FC is the second APS-C camera for Z mount, possessing dial-based retro controls. However, if you prefer modern controls over the old option, you can still capture shots digitally with the touch screen.
However, regardless of what control option you choose, this Nikon Z FC retro feel camera consistently produces great images alongside 4K UHD videos with no slouch. As a result, it’s a worthwhile investment for collectors and enthusiast photographers.
The only drawback of this camera is it shoots videos at 11fps, meaning its quality won’t rival other high-end options on the market. Nevertheless, it comes with zippy burst shooting and a sturdy build and is usable for beginners and intermediate photographers.
- Retro and digital handling options
- Quick burst shooting
- Shoots videos at 11fps
By merely gazing at the Panasonic Lumix GX9, you can conclude that it’s a high-quality retro style digital camera as it resembles an old rangefinder-style camera. Furthermore, this mirrorless retro gadget works like any modern digital camera as it comes with a robust navigation system for its menu.
While it’s not on par with professional cameras, the Panasonic Lumix GX9 is a street photography camera with quick autofocus and decent burst mode. The Photo mode option also records high-res stills from 4K footage at 9fps.
As expected of a vintage style digital camera with modern features, there’s an electronic viewfinder that’s impressive for a device at this price point. Thanks to the MFT lens mount, you also have plenty of lenses to select.
- Can capture content at 4K
- Excellent viewfinder
- Robust controls
- Shoots at 9fps
- Small rear control dials
The Olympus OM-D series introduces a variety of beginner-friendly and affordable cameras to the market, making them a common purchase to new photographers. Fortunately, the Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark IV comes with all the common traits of this category, coupled with a retro style.
The E-M10 Mark IV is excellent for capturing above-average environment shots thanks to the 20MP sensors that ensure each image is sharp, detailed, and vivid. Additionally, the device is equipped with snappy autofocus, making it easier to take photos with little professional knowledge.
For an authentic manual shooting feel, Olympus included dials on the top plate of the E-M10 Mark IV, which immerses users in the vintage style of this digital camera.
The only noteworthy downside of this camera is its structure because the plastic feels light and is poorly resistant to heavy physical impact. Nevertheless, the camera is still a stylish travel companion with an affordable price and consistent image quality.
- Immersive retro style digital camera
- Consistent image quality
- Relatively weak build
- No mic port
4. Leica M10-R
Leica M digital cameras are unique compared to other digital options as they are digital versions of rangefinder-style cameras. However, unlike rangefinder-style cameras that were difficult to master, Leica M digital cameras were the opposite.
These cameras were easy to use because the company built the controls based on reflexes rather than extreme knowledge of photography. As a result, it was a sublime experience that even the Leica M10-R digital camera possesses today.
The Leica M10-R comes with a 40MP sensor capable of producing high-quality images, unlike most full-frame cameras. For a more Immersive retro experience, the M10-D does away with an LCD screen altogether.
The only drawback with this Leica digital camera is the high price point and its scarcity since it’s rarely in the market. Nevertheless, it’s an impressive vintage style digital camera.
- Immersive retro look
- 40MP sensor
- Easy to use
- Quite pricey
Last on this list is the Fujifilm X100V, a vintage looking camera of the X100 series that began the Fujifilm X revolution. The camera boasts some impressive constituents as it has a combination of APS-C sensors and a sharp 35mm equivalent prime lens.
These elements evolved the series’ winning combination, solidifying its foundation for producing such sophisticated cameras.
Staying consistent with it’s vintage design, the Fujifilm X100V digital camera comes with dial-led controls that work to ensure each image made is superb and consistent. There are also new extra features like the optional converters for altering the lens’s field of view, giving you more versatility as a photographer.
A vintage style digital camera with such attention to quality comes at an attractive price, making it the best version of the Fujifilm X100 series.
- Sharp lens high-quality images
- Electronic viewfinder
- Reasonable price for its quality
- Incredible vintage feel digital camera from Fujifilm
- No stabilization
Retro style digital cameras are excellent for experiencing the camera style of decades ago while keeping the image quality of modern-day cameras.
While the options here aren’t on par with professional cameras in the market, they are sufficient for travel and casual photography. And don’t forget: they look awesome!
If you’re on the road don’t forget to pair one of these great cameras with a top travel tripod for the best results!
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