Don’t feel like shooting with a hefty film SLR camera these days? Then, it’s got to be a compact camera (or two) that you need to take with you. If you’re not sure which handy dandy analogue companion to slip in your pockets and purses, we have a handful of suggestions that could help you make up your mind.
Lomo LC-A (1984)
Anything that starts a revolution is bound to have “iconic” next to its name, and the historic Lomo LC-A did just that: it’s the camera that started the whole Lomography movement. With its simple controls and legendary Minitar 1 lens, this classic Russian beauty is bound to get you shooting lovely lo-fi snaps dripping with gorgeous vignettes and vibrant colors in no time. In 2006, the Lomo LC-A+ was introduced. Bearing the original features of the Russian camera, this enhanced version offers a multiple exposure switch, expanded ISO settings, and a cable release thread.
Lomo LC-Wide (2011)
Of course, wherever the Lomo LC-A+ goes list-wise, one can expect the Lomo LC-Wide to follow suit. The wide-angled sibling of the LC-A+ has been basking in the limelight since it was launched in 2011, for a reason: it’s the world’s widest 35mm compact camera equipped with a 17mm ultra-wide angle lens! Plus, it allows you to shoot in three formats with a flick of a switch: Full Frame, Square, and Half-Frame.
Olympus Pen (1959)
This handy camera designed by the legendary Maitani Yoshihisa became revolutionary when it popularized half-frame photography during the 1960s, allowing people to snap twice as much photos off a roll of 35mm film. It was affordable, handy as a pen (hence the name), equipped with a 28mm f/3.5 D-Zuiko lens, and had fully manual controls. The original Pen later on expanded into the Olympus Pen Series, all models lauded for the big performance that came in such a compact size.
Contax T2 (1990)
The entire T-series of the Contax brand has been pretty much coveted to this day, but many agree that the Contax T2 is one killer compact camera. Aside from its slim and elegant design, this compact shooter has been adored for its multi-coated 38mm f/2.8 Carl Zeiss T Sonnar lens — the sort that you would find on high-end SLR cameras back then, says Bellamy Hunt of Japan Camera Hunter.
Olympus XA (1979)
Produced between 1979 to 1985, the Olympus XA boasted true rangefinder mechanism, which made it one of the world’s smallest rangefinder cameras. Equipped with aperture priority exposure system, manual focus, and a fast 35mm f/2.8 lens, it remains a coveted compact to this day for its capability to take sharp, vibrant photos that rival those of bulkier SLR cameras.
Olympus mju-II (1997)
Called Olympus Stylus Epic in the United States, the mju-II (pronounced myu-two) bagged awards for its accurate autofocus, sharp 35mm f/2.8 lens, and built-in auto-flash, all in a small, lightweight, and splashproof body. Compared to other Olympus point-and-shoots with zoom lenses, the mju-II has a fixed lens that is faster and of superior quality, attributes that are rare in compact cameras.
Minox 35GT (1981)
Once hailed as the smallest full-frame 35 mm camera, the Minox 35GT is favored by photographers for its remarkable performance in low-light exposures. An improvement of older models (EL and GL), this compact camera is equipped with a self-timer and a cable release socket.
Yashica T4 (1990)
Also known as Kyocera Slim T, the Yashica T4 is a slim and compact camera that is ideal for street photographers and candid shooters. A later model, Yashica T4 Super, had two viewfinders: a standard one and a “superscope” for hipshots.
Konica Pop (1982)
Manufactured between 1982 to 1985, this eye-catching 35 mm camera was a top-seller during its heyday with 1.5 million models sold. A no-nonsense camera with fixed focus, single shutter speed, and manual film advance lever, and 36mm f/4 Hexanon lens, the Konica Pop was sold in different colors, easily making it a collectible.
Ricoh GR1 (1996)
A sleek and elegant 35 mm compact camera that was aimed for professionals and high-end consumer market, the Ricoh GR1 was equipped with sophisticated features: a sharp 28mm f2.8 lens, multi-subject autofocus, and top shutter speed of 1/500th — all in a light and compact magnesium body.
Honorable Mention: Simple Use Film Camera (2017)
For those who are new to Lomography, the Simple Use Film Camera is a great starting point. Pre-loaded with Lomography film, this fuss-free camera is available in 3 variants: Lady Grey ISO 400 Black & White. Color Negative ISO 400, and LomoChrome Purple ISO 100-400. It’s equipped with built-in flash and color gel filters (for the Color Negative and LomoChrome Purple cameras) for fun, round-the-clock snapshots. Use it more than once — this “disposable” camera can be reloaded with a new roll of film!
You’re just one click away from your new favorite camera! Head to our online shop to see our wide range of cameras, films, and accessories. If you’re more of a hands-on shopper, visit one of our worldwide gallery stores stores and spoil yourself with a Lomography goodie!