The boom in film cameras is all down to people who weren't even born in the analog era

film cameras
(Image credit: Hannah Rooke)

For a long time, we’ve been talking about the surge in demand for film cameras and instant cameras. Despite the rising costs, cameras from yesteryear have had a bit of a resurgence and now there is cold, hard evidence it’s all down to Millennials and Gen Z. As the younger demographic is turning to vintage cameras for that unique aesthetic in their film and video projects, camera stores are updating their range.

Film Camera Store is a UK-based online retailer specializing in 35mm film cameras and accessories and over the last few months, it’s started to stock a larger range of cameras to keep up with demand. Customers can now purchase iconic cameras such as the Olympus OM-10, the Pentax K1000 and the Canon AE-1 which remains a firm favorite among analog photographers, despite being released in 1976.

One of the draws of film photography is that it enables people to relive cherished memories in a more meaningful way providing a printed-out picture that you can hold and display. Many students and young people reserve film photography for special occasions such as prom, holidays, weddings, and birthdays and ensure the photos taken on film are honest, thoughtful snapshots. 

When digital cameras first shot onto the scene, people quickly jumped to them because they offered consistency - now the opposite is true. People love film cameras because they are imperfect, they add an element of unpredictability and nostalgia and offer a departure from the polished perfection of modern mirrorless cameras, DSLRs or compact cameras.

Emily Wilson, a university student who recently made the switch from smartphones and digital cameras to told Film Camera Store, "I love the anticipation of waiting to get my film photos developed, not knowing exactly how they'll turn out. The nostalgic look of film really appeals to me.”

While some people may be daunted by film photography at first, there are lots of beginner-friendly cameras that make the jump to film a doddle. You don’t have to know everything about exposure before you switch, there are plenty of film cameras that you can shoot in automatic and Film Camera Store stocks lots of them.

It doesn’t look like the film fascination is going to slow down anytime soon - it’s a refreshing change from people relying on camera phones for photography and one that is helping small, independent businesses grow. 

Check out our guides to the best film you can buy for your analog camera, and our guide to the best darkroom equipment

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Hannah Rooke
Staff Writer

Having studied Journalism and Public Relations at the University of the West of England Hannah developed a love for photography through a module on photojournalism. She specializes in Portrait, Fashion and lifestyle photography but has more recently branched out in the world of stylized product photography. For the last 3 years Hannah has worked at Wex Photo Video as a Senior Sales Assistant using her experience and knowledge of cameras to help people buy the equipment that is right for them. With 5 years experience working with studio lighting, Hannah has run many successful workshops teaching people how to use different lighting setups.