- Consumer Electronics & Personal Gadgets»
- Portable Electronics
Retro Style Digital Cameras - That Vintage Look
While I'm definitely a big time gadget freak, it took me a long time to make the jump from film photography to digital. I still love film, especially some of the more unique stuff, such as Polaroid (all kinds) and Holgas.
Partly it is also that I just love the look of film cameras, particularly vintage ones. Small point and shoot Digital cameras, while incredibly practical and economical, just aren't very exciting looking. They all look alike -- tiny silver or black rectangular boxes. That is until some of the camera companies started designing their digital cameras with a bit of retro style. Film may be dead, but the camera body that used to use it may be alive and well.
Here's a few examples of the retro digital cameras available. Not all of them are easy to find in the US, but if you live or travel in Japan, you are lucky, lucky, lucky!
Rolleiflex Digital Camera
The first one, depicted both here and above, is the miniature "Rolleiflex". I love the look of Rolleiflex cameras and owning the real thing is on my wishlist, but I'd happily take one of these babies as well, despite the fact that these mini-cams aren't exactly known for their stellar picture taking abiliities. They look awesome though, so they are tempting.
Made by the Komomura Corp., their new miniature-size "Rollei", is a 5.1 digital camera modelled on the original twin-lens 6×6 Rolleiflex, which was first made in 1929. This is the second minidigi Rollei made by Konomura. Their first one was a 3.1 digital. If you want to grab one, it is probably worth keeping an eye on Ebay.
Leica M8 10.3MP Digital Rangefinder Camera
Leica has two different digital cameras that resemble their analog rangefinders quite well. In fact, the priciest offering, the Leica M8, is a true Digital rangefinder, part of Leica's M Range. It will only set you back about $6K *g*
It is gorgeous though and if you finally made the switch to digital, but miss your old rangefinder, these Retro Leica's may be just the thing for you.
The Leica M8 is a 10.3mp digital camera and most of the M range lenses will fit its body. It also incorporates the rangefinder system and outputs in raw format.
Leica's retro D-Lux 3 digital camera
The second option in the Leica digital range comes in at a bargain $585 on Amazon, and don't forget the classic Sixties-style brown leather case to go with it. The case alone will set you back $115.
This Leica is a 10mp point and shoot with a lot of manual settings available. It also inputs in both raw and jpg format. If i didn't already own a point and shoot that I'm very happy with (a Sony) I'd probably this camera.
Minox DCC Leica M3 4.0
Like the Rolleiflex miniature reproduction above, this camera is a miniaturized digital version of the classic Leica, the 1950s M3 rangefinder camera. But it should be noted that, at this price, it is a rather expensive plastic toy.
Most of the control dials are merely ornamental and the photos it takes are are a bit rubbish. It is one of the cutest things I've ever laid eyes on, but in my opinion it should really cost about $50. At that price, I'd buy it just to display it on my camera shelf.
If you really want one, the best prices are definitely on Ebay and you may just get lucky on a much better price.
Pentax Optio 750Z
The Pentax Optio is an older digital camera, but you can still find it used on either Amazon or Ebay. This is a ruggedly retro design in a decent 7MP camera with a 5x Optical zoom, full manual controls and an LCD display. It also looks like a camera straight out of the 60s. Love it!
Can't afford a Leica? Neither can I! But this new Fuji X100T is extremely tempting. It's the first electronic rangefinder camera and it has a gorgeous retro look to it. This camera won the DPReview Silver Award in 2015 and Fuji makes GREAT point and shoot cameras. If I had the money, I would be all over this one.