Late updated: 2023-09-18
I shoot film and digital, though mostly digital recently due to the cost of film. Digital is personally a more flexible medium for the types of subjects I like to photograph (birds, landscape, scenery, not people). I'm already overwhelmed with the number of digital files to sort through, adding consistent film development and scanning time to the hobby would just turn me off of it. I'll still pick up my film cameras every now and again, but it's really been all digital for me for quite some time now.
It is weather sealed, an essential feature for anyone living in a place that rains, and does so unpredictably, like I do, and who wants a compact camera to carry on a daily basis. This camera replaced a Nikon D7200, a brilliant APS-C DSLR which itself deserves a lot of praise for getting me into photographing birds. Micro four thirds is lighter and less expensive (when considering the lenses) than anything else in its class. I love the photographs I get and every other camera I have is a peculiarity, justified only by the feeling of using it, and not by the practicality, a category in which this camera is undeniably superior.
This luxurious digital rangefinder does not have a screen and has terrible battery life, but is a joy to use, when it works. The software has proven to be rather finicky and support for the 32 bit version of the camera (which I still have) is apparently sidelined by the dominant 64 bit version. It is a tempting upgrade, almost exclusively for the auto-ISO feature, but the 32 bit camera does everything else I want it to do to the point where I never find it lacking—again, provided the software works!
My Android "smart" phone (it's quite incapable, so "smart" is a generous descriptor) barely opens the Pixii app, so my usage of the Pixii mirrors my usage of film cameras.
Pure joy in a compact camera. It fits in some of my trouser's pockets and helped reignite my love for photography when my old DSLR had dragged me down (literally and figuratively!). The lack of weather sealing makes it inappropriate for carrying around on a daily basis for about half of the year when nearly every day has at least a sprinkle of rain; but, on a clear day for walking around, when I don't want to be encumbered by a camera with interchangeable lenses, I love this thing.
I picked two of these up at an op-shop. This camera has a dedicate page discussing it.
A tremendous camera that is a joy to use, with a microprism focusing ring that never fails, and good built-in metering to boot. What's to say about a classic.
Aside from the Pixii, probably the most illustrious camera I own, despite its historical lack of prestige! From what I understand it's recently picked up popularity as a less expensive alternative to Leica cameras. I don't know about all that, but it's the rangefinder that got me in to rangefinders and is fun to carry around for a day. The simplicity of the fixed lens and the joy of using a rangefinder (in particular the slowness of it, at least for me) makes this my favourite film camera.
This camera came to me by way of a lot of hundreds of old cameras for sale on Craigslist for $1000 (US) that popped up just before I left the US. Someone had bought a house way out in the country and discovered a massive pile of cameras in the shed in their backyard. Apparently the previous owner was a camera collector, and my goodness did he collect… I was tempted to bite the bullet and buy them because it was an unbelievable find, including several cameras that by themselves justified the price tag. The lot of them were dusty as can be, and the lenses were mostly trashed from being kept in a shed for years; but none of the cameras looked like they couldn't be cleaned with some TLC, and some were easily worth 500+ USD even just for parts. But, it was an all or nothing kind of deal and would have filled the car I was in. As much as it seemed like a heck of a fun idea, I was less than a month away from moving overseas and would need sort out shipping these cameras. At that point it seemed less justifiable. I chickened out after spending about an hour indecisively picking through to see what wonders were in the pile. It was just too many cameras (who knew such a quantity existed). I said no and the guy selling them was clearly disappointed, but told me to go pick any one camera and I could have it for 10 bucks. Not sure entirely why he felt so generous. I searched desperately for one of the XPans he'd listed on the inventory list, but couldn't find it, so settled on one of the three SX-70s in the pile. It was dusty but nothing suggested it couldn't be cleaned up. That was that.
Once I got home, I spent time looking into SX-70 cleaning. Turns out they're a pain in the ass to open up, even if you have the right tool, which was unlikely because you need a proprietary screwdriver that no one makes anymore and is nearly impossible to find for a reasonable price. You can make your own with a rotary grinder, but I didn't have one so no dice there either. In the end I shipped it off to Retrospekt who did a beautiful job with it. If you're in the US, I'd recommend them in a heartbeat. They were super responsive via email when I had questions and went the extra mile to help me out. The camera came back in like-new condition and has worked perfectly ever since.
However, Polaroid film continues to be an absurdly expensive film medium, to the point where I don't think I've shot a single Polaroid frame in 2023.