Photography is a popular passion among many hipsters. From snapping pics of friends to places throughout town, many hipster photogs are forever in pursuit of the perfect shot.
However, to capture the best images, you’ll need the right hipster camera.
Forget about using the camera on your smartphone, or even a digital camera. Instead, hipsters prefer vintage or retro cameras, which use traditional, old-school film.
At first glance, many hipster cameras seem outdated, low-tech, and technically limited. However, hipsters have turned these apparent deficiencies into artistic strengths.
With a hipster camera, you can capture images, unlike what’s possible with a modern digital camera.
Today, we’re taking a closer look at popular types of hipster cameras. Whether you’re new to the world of hipster photography or are an experienced vet, you’re sure to find plenty of awesome options:
Diana F+ Camera
Diana F+ cameras have been a hipster fave since the 1960s. Originally marketed as a toy, the Diana camera has a plastic body with a simple meniscus lens.
The camera uses two types of film: 120 roll film and 35 mm. At first glance, it probably doesn’t seem like anything special.
Why do hipsters like this simple camera so much?
Its unique design allows it to take “lomographic” photos. Lomography is a style of photography characterized by soft, colorful, and slightly blurry images. Photos have a dreamlike, impressionistic quality.
Keep in mind these cameras aren’t always easy to use, especially if you’re new to using them. They’re prone to light leaks and film advancement issues.
However, no other camera creates photos quite like the Diana.
A variety of different options are available. The standard model is the Diana F+ Medium Format Camera with Flash from Lomography. Another option is the Lomography Diana Mini with Flash, which is a more compact version.
- Electronic Flash with color flash capability. Uses one AA battery
- Variable shutter (daytime &for unlimited long exposures)
- The Diana Flash works via a two-pronged plug adapter just like the original. It plugs directly into the Diana F+ camera body.
Launched in Hong Kong in 1982, the Holga camera was originally intended as an affordable, general-purpose camera. It’s a medium format camera with a plastic body which uses 120 roll film.
Although the camera isn’t packed with fancy tech, hipsters have turned the camera’s weaknesses into strengths. The camera is imprecise and prone to light leaks.
However, the resulting photographs have a surreal, other-worldly quality.
Aside from hipsters, professional photographers and artists also use Holga cameras. Photojournalist David Burnett won a major prize from the White House News Photographers’ Association for his pic of vice-president Al Gore taken with a Holga. Many photographers credit the camera for inspiring Instagram’s style.
- This new version uniquely combines several methods of photography all in one neat package.
- It is a Wide-Angle Panorama camera, Pinhole camera and Medium Format Plastic camera all rolled in to one.
- Add to your Plastic Camera collection with this unique version of the Holga 120Ncamera
Adjust between three formats: wide-angle panorama, pinhole, and medium-format.
Fujifilm Instax Mini 8 Instant Film Camera
Hipsters love cameras that print out physical photos instantly. While Polaroid is the most widely-known type of instant camera, the Fujifilm Instax Mini 8 is another popular option.
It has a slim, light model for maximum portability. Plus, it has a constant firing flash with automatic light adjustment.
The camera has a flashing LED, which indicates the recommended aperture setting. It’s easy to take great pictures during the day and night, indoors or out.
Hipsters love using this camera for portraits. It has a High Key mode, which creates a bright, soft look. Additionally, an improved viewfinder allows for increased clarity when lining up your shots.
Note that these cameras are no longer made by the original manufacturer Fujifilm, although they’re still fairly easy to find from third-party sellers.
Polaroid’s had some interesting developments (no pun intended) in recent years. They’ve introduced a variety of products powered by modern technology but which retain a retro feel.
Their newest offering is the Polaroid Snap Instant Digital Camera. It’s as simple as the original Polaroid but with a high-tech twist.
- SNAP, PRINT, SHARE - The Polaroid Snap instant digital camera captures all the fun and spontaneity of the legacy Polaroid instant camera in an easy, compact package. Simply...
- ZERO INK, ZERO TONER, INSTANT RESULTS - The integrated ZINK printing technology enables you to instantly print full-color, smudge-proof 2x3 inches prints automatically when an...
- EMBRACE YOUR INNER PHOTOGRAPHER - Get snapping, capture details with the powerful 10 megapixel sensor, insert a microSD card (32 GB max) to expand the memory, load your Zink...
All you do is point, click, and print. The camera instantly prints two-by-three full-color prints. Even better, it requires no ink, toner, or ribbons.
Aside from physical photos, you also capture digital images you can then upload to your phone or PC.
Of course, hipsters always prefer analog when possible. Share your photos with friends instantly.
Each photo has an adhesive backing. You can stick them to practically any flat surface. It’s the old-school way to post pics!
If you’re looking for the more traditional type of Polaroid, go with the Polaroid Originals OneStep. As Polaroid proudly declares, “The Original is Back.” It uses both i-Type and 600 films.
- Easy to use: Just point & shoot. Compose your shot, press the red button and magic will appear!
- Self-timer function - 60-day battery life: high performance lithium ion battery, 1300mAh, 3.7V nominal Voltage, 4.81Wh
- High-quality lens: Optical grade Polycarbonate and Acrylic lenses - Fixed focus lens: 2 feet - infinity - Field of view: 41 degrees vertical and 40 degrees horizontal
Even though they call it the original, it does have some cool modern-day upgrades. You can now charge the camera with a USB cable.
If you’re familiar with the original model, you’ll know how robustly it drained batteries!
Also, today’s Polaroid has Optical Grade Polycarbonate and Acrylic lenses. The pictures still have the classic Polaroid look, but taking clear ones is now much easier.
Jollylook Mini Instant Camera
Do you want an old school camera? We’re not talking just analog; we’re talking about as old school as it gets.
The Jollylook is a vintage replica of the earliest cameras invented.
- Authentic vintage retro design, with an appealing, analog steampunk vibe that looks appealing in any setting
- Advanced design includes 110mm lens, viewfinder, 7 aperture values, auto or manual shutter, and more
- Ultra-compact pocket-size design is convenient and portable, folds up to the size of a smart phone box
Originally a Kickstarter project, the Jollylook is more than a novelty. It takes awesomely authentic photos with a 110mm lens, viewfinder, and ability to switch between an auto and manual shutter.
It uses Fujifilm Instax Mini film cartridges.
Plus, it’s surprisingly portable. You can fold it down to the size of a small box for easy and secure transportation.
Canon has a hipster-friendly history. As one of the original developers of 35mm film, they were known as a technical powerhouse in the camera industry back in the 1950s.
However, the prices were beyond the average family’s budget.
In 1958, a team of young engineers at Canon urged the company to make cameras they could afford. Soon, Canon revolutionized the camera industry with the development of the 35mm lens-shutter camera.
Its affordability opened it up to the youth market. Photography became youthful and fun.
Today, Canon remains popular among young people. Hipsters especially love the brand due to its commitment to film and its classic, retro design.
Their most popular modern camera is the Canon AE-1. It’s a Single-Lens-Reflex camera with a variety of features to make taking photos easy.
- 35mm SLR (Single-Lens-Reflex) camera with electronically controlled AE (Automatic Exposure) and focal plane shutter.
- Canon FD series interchangeable lenses with full aperture metering and AE coupling. Canon FL series with stopped-down metering.
- Standard lenses for the Canon AE are Canon FD 55mm f/1.2 S.S.C, Canon FD 50mm f/1.4 S.S.C, Canon FD 50mm f/1.8 S.C.
Why do hipsters like film cameras, anyway?
Well, first, it’s not just hipsters. Many professional photographers also prefer film to digital for a few reasons:
- Film has better resolution than digital
- Film allows you to print large prints and wall-sized prints
- Film cameras are usually cheaper than digital
- Film cameras can create unique looks
Hipster Camera Bags
Once you’ve selected the perfect hipster camera, you’ll need to choose a camera bag. Fortunately, you’ll find plenty of hipster options available.
When searching for a camera bag, consider the following:
- The bag’s durability
- The bag’s style
No matter how cool the bag looks, it’s worthless if it won’t protect your camera from harm. Now, not many bags will keep your camera safe from a major drop.
But it should have enough padding to protect against bumps and bangs on a subway or when you’re riding a bike.
This large Bluboon bag is strong and secure. It has a fully-padded inner lining plus separate compartments for camera components.
- Water resistant canvas camera bag nice and sturdy, and the strap is comfortable. Fully padded shockproof inner lining for shock-proof and secure protection. Including...
- Size: 10.2*5.9*7.1in/26*15*18 cm (L*W*H); a perfect traveling size camera messenger bag fits besides the camera body and lens, 1 standard lens or mini digital camera, like...
- The little front pocket on small camera bag has room for chargers, spare batteries, spare as cards, cleaning solution, wipe, your cellphone etc.
Even better, it has a vintage style with genuine leather.
If you ride around town on your bike, check out this backpack from CADeN. It has a unique triangle design, so the top corners can’t get snagged on obstructions.
Plus, it’s waterproof so your camera can stay dry in wet weather (we’re looking at you, Portland, and Seattle hipsters).
Once you’ve found a bag that will protect your camera, it’s time to choose a style. This canvas bag from Evecase has a distinctive but understated hipster style.
If you want something smaller, this leather-braided camera strap from SupaDupa Photo combines function with fashion. The woven leather strap securely holds your camera around your neck.
- 100% GENUINE DARK BROWN LEATHER: Handmade & finished to the highest quality. The leather becomes softer and more supple with use. Over time, the strap will provide an...
- SECURE DESIGN: Intricately & tightly weaved into a cylindrical shape, with an additional cotton cord embedded within for added strength & security.
- ADDITIONAL INFO: Includes a soft leather neck / shoulder pad for optional use & a complimentary dust bag. Neck pad size; length 9 inch (23cm), width 1.6 inch (4cm).
With a camera in every phone, taking pictures has never been easier. However, if you want to take your snaps to the next level, leave your phone in your pocket.
All the hipster cameras on our list create cool, beautiful, and unique images far superior to what you can do with a smartphone filter.
Plus, these cameras are fun to use. Their imperfections give each camera a unique charm.
You never quite know how a photo will turn out until it’s printed, creating a sense of exploration and adventure in every shot.
Also, learning how to use these cameras is a great starting point for anyone interested in photography. The unique images they capture will help you develop an artistic eye.
Our list is a great starting point for anyone interested in hipster photography. While the cameras above aren’t the most technologically advanced, they can create indelible images you’re sure to treasure.