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nikon-df-retro-style-camera Inspiration

3 Retro Digital Cameras For Vintage Loving Photographers

By Michelle Bird on July 15th 2014

Retro style cameras are what’s in right now with brands releasing their own modern-day twist on various vintage cameras from the 50s and 60s. The construction of their bodies and lenses remind us of the golden days of film, but yet carry the versatility of present day.

Visually, it’s hard to compare the cameras from today with their ancestors. There was a time when cameras looked like works of art rather than just a piece of plastic and metal dangling from your neck. Many top brands are realizing that photographers and others alike, want a camera that not only takes amazing pictures, but something that also looks good while you capture those memories.

[REWIND: Hands-On Preview Of New Olympus OM-D E-M10]

Below are 3 of the best retro-inspired cameras out there for those looking to add a bit more style to their gear.

SONY A7R

sony-a7r-retro-style-camera

The Sony A7R brings you full frame sensor and 36 megapixels in a compact body. It’s light base provides a good home for interchangeable lenses, manual control and simple connectivity to smartphones via Wi-Fi.

Read our field review on the Sony A7 and the Sony A7R in our THE SONY A7 & A7R FIELD REVIEW: HISTORY IN THE MAKING?

Nikon Df

nikon-df-retro-style-camera

The Nikon Df was designed for photographers who concentrated solely on the creative and artistic style of still photography. SLR enthusiasts rejoice! It holds a traditional shutter-speed dial, to avoid menu hopping when taking her out for a photo expedition. Contains a 39-point autofocus system, and is compatible with all current AF-S, AF-D and AF NIKKOR lenses.

Read our NIKON DF INITIAL REVIEW AND SAMPLE IMAGES here.

Olympus OM-D E-M10

Olympus-OM-D-E-M10-retro-style-camera

In this nice sleek body, Olympus manages to fit an electronic viewfinder, 3-axis image stabilizer and autofocus, built-in flash and Wi-Fi connectivity. Not to mention it can be combined with the Prime lenses of OM-D series.

Check out this HANDS-ON PREVIEW OF NEW OLYMPUS OM-D E-M10.

Have you tried any retro-inspired camera models recently?

 

[via] Classic Driver

Michelle Bird is a Southern California based freelance photographer and writer, with a strong focus on music, editorial and portrait photography. She is the founder and creative force behind the music+culture online blog Black Vinyl Magazine, and can often be found in the photo-pit shooting the latest concerts in town. She has a strong passion for art, exploring, vintage finds and most of all animals. Connect with her through Email,
Instagram , or Facebook

Q&A Discussions

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  1. Rafael Steffen

    I think it is just like having a Leica.

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  2. Lissette Garcia

    I don’t find the Sony A7R retro-looking (or even appealing) and agree with others about how the Fuji X-series should have made this list. They have some gorgeous retro looking cameras.

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  3. Ian Moss

    I love my OM-D. What I hate is the attitude of the Canon and Nikon users I encounter when out shooting with it. It’s not about looking retro, it’s about having a great little camera.

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    • Steven Pellegrino

      I get the same looks and attitude when I’m out with my Fuji X cameras.

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    • Cy Sawyer

      I just hate the brand snubbing in general. I am a Nikon shooter for my business, but, my favour camera by far is my Fuji XT-1. I love it. Who cares what others think? Just shoot and enjoy.

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  4. Herm Tjioe

    Amusing responses

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  5. Alim Hassam

    How do you miss ANY of the Fuji X cameras, seriously…

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    • Michelle Bird

      Hello Alim, you can find the answer to your question 6 comments above. If you have any of the Fuji X cameras, like/dislike something particular about a certain model, feel free to share your well-reasoned opinion in the comments here.

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  6. Cy Sawyer

    My comment apparently has been removed? Odd, are we not allowed to disagree with the author?

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    • Michelle Bird

      Hi Cy, the gentlemen above have disagreed with one of the choices mentioned in the article, but your comment was disrespectful. You are entitled to disagree and we welcome you to repost your opinion, but not in a rude manner. SLR Lounge does not condone disrespect, as it is an educational website, you can read some more information from our Founder and Editor Pye, here: https://www.slrlounge.com/how-haters-are-destroying-the-photography-industry/

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    • Cy Sawyer

      Michelle, It was tongue in cheek. I thought that was obvious. I mean really? I disagreed and followed with… “I’ll let it pass , this time…I’m watching you” Sarcasim. I have never commented in a negative way on here. I think you were being a bit over zealous on deleting that.

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  7. Mike Holman

    If its retro styling your after in a great camera, don’t forget the Pentax MX-1.

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  8. Emilio Savov

    I also think that Sony is nothing but a modern design camera.. nothing retro in it. Now a days Sony tries to put itself in every place. I’ve tried that A7R camera, honestly, I didn’t liked it at all. The display is laggy in Live View, every time you hit the shutter button half way for autofocus, the whole image bumps in the viewfinder …and that camera costs a ton o’ money. But everyone has his/her own taste, if I have to choose a retro camera, Nikon, Olympus or Fuji will be my choice.

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  9. Will Anlezark

    Very surprised no FujiFilm cameras in here at all.

    Very odd.

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  10. Michelle Bird

    Well fellas, this article is written on matter of opinion, just like some folks prefer Nikon and others prefer Canon, and that battle will continue until the end of time. If your personal preference is different, that doesn’t make a Sony A7R a bad choice. Which is why I asked for your constructive input at the end, if you have tried any other great retro-inspired cameras that you’d like to suggest to readers and perhaps tell them why do you like it that specific model, instead of just bashing a product completely, that doesn’t really help your fellow photogs that are looking for something new to try. Sony A7R is actually one of the top-rated cameras out there currently, more so than Fujifilm X series. Sony stepped it up when no top camera manufacturing company would, not Nikon, or Canon, or Olympus, or even Fujifilm, putting a full-frame sensor into a small mirrorless lightweight body that is actually still at an affordable price; not only that but the Leica M lenses work great on either Sony A7 or A7R. If you want to go full-frame the only other option was selling all you have and more to purchase a Leica, but Sony revolutionized full-frame and affordability in a retro 1970s body, sure their retro design is a bit more modernized than the others, but its design still yells Ricoh, Minolta and Chinon, which is why with the design and its many amazing aspects still sticks to my list.

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    • Phil Bautista

      Most of the comments recommending the Fuji over the Sony weren’t critical of the styling of the Sony or it’s abilities. We just don’t think it deserves to be in this list because we don’t think it looks retro. At all. Apparently, we don’t go by the same definition of retro as you. But I’m making much ado about nothing so I’ll let it go. Yes, I think I can do that. I hope. Argh.

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  11. Phil Bautista

    Looks like it’s unanimous. Quick, edit the article and take out the Sony A7R and swap in the Fuji XT-1. The sad part is that Michelle used it to lead the article which really destroyed the credibility of taste. It may be a great camera, but retro it ain’t.

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    • Michelle Bird

      Hahaha, just because you fellas have different taste buds doesn’t mean I’m going to edit the article to your liking Phil, nice try bud, now THAT would be destroying credibility. ;)

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    • Phil Bautista

      S’all good Michelle but, seriously, you think the Sony A7 looks retro?

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  12. Ralph Hightower

    I haven’t tried any retro-styled DSLRs. I’m still getting the hang of my Canon 5D Mk III; my Canon A-1 and F-1N are far simpler to operate due to the fewer controls.

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  13. Steven Pellegrino

    I would have replaced the Sony with a Fuji X100. Just from personal experience I get more comments from people about my X100 than I have any other camera. Some people think I’m shooting film, others think it’s a Leica. I love the design of the Nikon DF though!

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  14. Mark Gold

    Sorry SLR Lounge, but the Sony A7R is not a retro camera and should not be on this list. If you want a true retro-inspired camera, then you have to include the Leica M-series digital camera. Yes, it’s not an SLR, but it’s retro and more of a photographer’s camera than the Sony. I also have an issue with any digital still camera (the Olympus included), that uses an electronic viewfinder.

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    • Phil Bautista

      The article was on the retro stylings of modern cameras so maybe your issues with EVFs may be a little bit misplaced?

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  15. Pyropat Lebowski

    I’m not exactly convinced the Sony A7R is retro/vintage inspired. It is an absolutely amazing camera, but it definitely screams modern design. If you swapped in the Fuji X-T1, this might make more sense.

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    • Mark Gold

      I agree, the Fuji X-T1 is a better choice than the Sony.

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    • Drew Valadez

      Mark, anything from the Fuji X family is really qualified for this list. X100/X100s/X10/X-E1… Those all scream retro cameras.

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    • Michelle Bird

      The Sony A7R was designed with the nostalgic tendencies that we often saw in the bodies of the Minolta or even Konica from the 70s, sure Fuji might look more retro but Sony stepped outside the box with different take on a retro design.

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