A lot of modern cameras leave a lot to be desired when it comes to their styling. Fortunately, there are retro-styled cameras out there that are classy on the outside while being freakishly powerful on the inside.
We all know that not all cameras are created equal when it comes to looks. We get it, for the most part, we just need our camera to be functional. They just need to get the job done. However, some of us out there want more than just function. We want style. We want an unbeatable experience every time we pick up our camera. Cameras need to inspire us to use them. I have owned several cameras in my life that I just didn’t want to use because they looked and felt boring.
Luckily, we have options. There are quite a few retro-styled cameras on the market that have stunning vintage looks AND all the tech you could ever need under the hood. Here, we’ll take a look at five modern retro-styled cameras that will turn heads and that you won’t be able to keep your hands off.
The ultimate vintage experience — Leica M10-R
There’s no way you can have a list of retro-styled cameras without including at least one Leica. You can pick just about any Leica camera and be good as they are the OG cameras when it comes to having retro styling. However, if you want a camera that is gorgeous to look at and that has serious power under the hood, the Leica M10-R is the way to go. I’ve had the pleasure of using this camera quite a lot and it left a lasting impression on me.
The Leica M-10R has a brilliant 40-megapixel sensor, a gorgeous optical viewfinder, and a large 3-inch touch screen. This is not a camera for those who want to run and gun. No, the Leica M-10R is for those who want the ultimate experience when it comes to photography. The retro styling just adds to the experience. I’ve not used a camera that puts you more in the moment than this one. It’s expensive, but the user experience is unmatched.
One of the best retro-styled cameras — Fujifilm X-T4
Fujifilm has developed a cult following in the photography world, not just because their cameras are incredibly powerful, but because they’re great to look at and easy to use too. The X-T4 is just one of many cameras from Fujifilm with stunning looks and modern tech. IBIS? Check! A bleeding-edge sensor? You bet! Here’s what Bryan had to say about it in his review.
“The X-T4 is quite an amazing camera. It performs strong with accurate, fast autofocus, and creates a vibe you simply will not find anywhere else. I can see why people absolutely love the Fuji system.”Bryan Esler, Managing Editor
The Fujifilm X-T4 sports a 26.1-megapixel X-Trans Sensor that renders gorgeous images. There’s a fully articulating screen, dual card slots, a great EVF and fast burst modes (15fps with the mechanical shutter). You’ll also find an easy-to-navigate menu system, 4K video modes galore, and don’t forget about the incredible film sims. It’s one of the best retro-styled cameras around.
A modern classic — Nikon Df
There may be quite a few of you out there who have not heard of the Nikon Df. Why? Well number one, this is not a mirrorless camera. It’s a (dinosaur to some of you) DSLR. However, this camera from Nikon is one of the best retro-styled cameras you can buy. If you want one, you’ll have to spring for a used copy (follow the link below), but wow, you’ll be grinning from ear to ear if you buy one.
Nikon labeled this camera as a photographer’s dream. If focuses solely on stills. That’s right, there are no video modes. It has the same excellent autofocus system and sensor (16.2-megapixels) as the Nikon D4, and it renders images that will make your jaw hit the floor. The two-tone retro-styled camera with its vintage dials, 3.2-inch LCD and rugged magnesium alloy body offers a photography experience that’s hard to beat.
An affordable retro-styled camera — Olympus E-M10 Mark IV
The Olympus E-M10 IV is a camera that I use frequently and I love it. This is one of the smallest retro-styled cameras on this list but it packs a big punch. When I want to go out and have fun with my photography it’s the camera I reach for.
First of all, just look at it. The Olympus E-M10 IV looks beautiful with its two-tone finish and vintage dials. Secondly, it costs less than $700 and it features a 20-megapixel micro four-thirds sensor, IBIS, a tilting LCD, a fast and accurate contrast-detect autofocus system, a solid EVF and so much more.
A modern camera with vintage vibes — Fujifilm X-Pro 3
The Fujifilm X Pro 3 is one of the finest retro-styled cameras you can lay your hands on. The X Pro series has a cult following thanks to its iconic Rangefinder-style design. The impressive tech under the hood gets pulses racing as well. The X Pro 3 has the same fantastic 26.1-megapixel sensor as the X-T4. It also has a unique fold-up screen that can display which film sim you’re currently using. It’s a nice nod and a wink to days gone by. In our review, Levi Sim said:
“When closed, the LCD displays the picture style you’ve chosen, as if you’d tucked the label from your film box into the slot on the back to remember what film you have loaded. That display is an LCD, and it is always powered on, but it’s not backlit and uses very little power. This is a nostalgic feature that is fun.”Levi Sim
The hybrid optical and electronic viewfinder is a pure joy to use, and the retro controls on the top panel just add to the charm. You’ll also find IBIS, a fast and responsive autofocus system, dual card slots, weather sealing and more. The X-Pro 3 is labeled as one of the best modern cameras for street photographers for many good reasons. So, if you want to hit the streets in style you might want to take a closer look at it.