While digital photography has almost completely replaced film photography, there is still a strong following for the latter. This made me curious to try it out.

I already own a couple of good lenses which are compatible with film cameras in the EOS line of Canon. So all I really need to start shooting film is a camera body… of which there are an insane amount available for very low prices.

Canon EOS 3000v: Last of its kind

My eyes fell on the Canon EOS 3000v. This is one of the very last film cameras in the EOS line.

Canon EOS 3000v

Being aimed at casual photographers, it’s not the most feature-rich option. But a fast frame rate and other advanced features is not what I’m looking for with this camera. It does have a decent auto-focus and the modes I like to use (Manual and Aperture priority among others).

What also makes the Canon EOS 3000v stand out is it’s size and weight. It’s the smallest and lightest I could find of the late Canon film cameras.

That actually also leads to this cameras weak spots: its flimsy construction. The pop-up flash can pop up unintentionally because it’s not secured well. Another issue is the material of the grip. The black plastic of this part of the camera can get sticky over time. Look out for this when getting a used copy.

The first roll

Most of the photos of my first roll were taken in Zeeland, the Netherlands. All photos are taken on 35mm film from the HEMA (a very common Dutch store which for some reason still sells and develops film rolls) with an ISO of 200. The negatives were scanned on an EPSON V350.

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After developing and scanning the first roll of film I got the following impression: Less sharpness but a lot more character. And on that cold winter day in Zeeland, that is exactly what I wanted. Even unedited, the pictures already captured the mood very well. Whereas digital pictures would have given a very neutral (almost boring) impression straight out of the camera.

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It was also nice to see the results were very close to what I was aiming for. The difference between using a DSLR and an SLR just isn’t as big as you might think. The same settings will lead to the same result.

One remark I would like to add: I’m not certain if Image Stabilization (a feature of most recent Canon lenses) works in combination with an old SLR.

Conclusion

In the meantime I’ve also taken pictures on film when visiting Cologne, Germany. I’m still happy with the results I get.

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It didn’t convince me to use film in every situation however. When capturing the rich details in a landscape or a taking a neutral portrait, I prefer digital. When capturing the mood of a moment, I will now consider using film.

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For those with a Canon DSLR who are interested in film, I can really recommend trying out an old SLR. It’s cheap, easier than you think and a lot of fun.