Four Gorgeous Retro-looking Cameras With All The Latest Tech For Creators

best retro cameras

Whether you’re a content creator or a professional photographer, cameras these days are a daily accessory. We vlog our lives, our travels, and snap every moment we consider special, then share it on social platforms—it’s life. With more people ditching their 9-5 work-life for a flexible content creation gig, cameras have never been more in demand than they are today. 

With that said, I turned to retro-looking cameras to bring a little style into my content creating life. For the past month, I’ve been testing four gorgeous retro-looking mirrorless cameras, to see which one not only looks great but can keep up with my photography needs. Here’s what I found. 

best retro style digital camera
Photo: Nikon Australia

Nikon Z FC

Looks-wise, this was my favourite camera. I’ve long been fascinated with film cameras — I even collected a few growing up — which is why I was excited when I saw this beautiful, mint green, camera. Nikon brought back their EL2 style with the leather body and some of the dials on the top. Don’t be fooled though, the Z FC is not a film camera, but a mirrorless camera with a flip-out vlogger screen with live streaming capabilities. It’s small in size, which is great if you don’t want to carry around a backpack full of equipment. It uses Nikon’s new Z lens mount allowing the user to switch out lenses for different situations whether it be street photography or vlogging. The best part, the coloured grip material is available in pink, mint green, white, grey, amber-brown, and sand beige. 

Now for the downsides. As much as I love the dials that recall Nikon’s older film SLRs, for newbies, it can be overwhelming and tricky to navigate, especially if you’re unfamiliar with ISO and shutter speed. The coloured grip can be slippery at times when holding the camera, but that’s me nitpicking. Other than that, it’s a pleasure to shoot with. I love the autofocus system, which is controlled with one click of a button. The photo quality is as good as any professional DSLR camera, although I would suggest this camera is best used for content creators and vloggers. The 4K video capability is phenomenal. The price tag is around $1,649, depending on which lens you choose, but it’s one of the cheaper options on the market.

best retro style digital camera

Canon EOS M6 Mark II

I’m a longtime Canon user. It was one of my first SLR cameras and I had a trusty Canon EOS 600D when I shot weddings and travel photographs for magazines. Looking back that was an old camera, and I probably could have upgraded, but it stood the test of time. When I tried the EOS Mark II, I fell right back into my early days as a photographer. It was nice to walk down memory lane, but handling the M6 was nothing like the 600D. This small but mighty mirrorless camera is fast and versatile. You can never miss a shot with this pocket rocket. It’s lightweight, perfect for travelling and shoots 30 frames per second with a super high resolution of 32.5mp. Now, that’s a quality camera. The video capabilities are also exceptional, shooting 4K with no crop and full HD 120p high frame rate shooting, which means you can get awesome slow-motion videos. 

For vloggers and content creators, the camera is integrated with Wifi and Bluetooth connectivity, so you can share images and video quickly and easily to your phone. There’s an app for it, which also lets you operate the camera remotely through your phone. The removable electronic viewfinder lets you see exactly what you’re shooting, which is why I love mirrorless cameras. Remember when you had to adjust the settings then take a photo and hope it was exposed right? I do. 

This camera costs around $1,300 but will guarantee you quality content. 

best retro style digital camera
Photo: Sony Australia

Sony A7R IV

I personally switched to Sony five years ago when a few photographer friends of mine switched to mirrorless, and I’m never looking back. Sony is the Bugatti of cameras—it’s fast, reliable, and gets you to where you want to go. I had the privilege of testing the new A7R IV and am seriously considering upgrading my A7R III. This is a full-frame mirrorless camera, with remarkably high speed in a compact body. It doesn’t look as retro as the other cameras on this list, but it’s comfortable to grip and has a sleek design, you would want to show off when travelling or vlogging. 

You get quality images with its 61mp capability, and the new steadfast AF tracking produces movie quality videos. You can also attach an MI Show for quality sound. If you need to shoot a skateboarder or animals, this camera has burst speed. If you combine that with the AF tracking, you won’t miss a single moment. 

The A7R IV also uses remote software so you can snap content without touching the camera. I suggest this camera to professional photographers, but also content creators who need a reliable, quality camera to shoot both video and photos. 

It doesn’t come cheap though, you would be looking to spend around $5,999 for the body alone. 

best retro style digital camera

Olympus OM-D EM10 Mark IV

I’m still not sure why cameras have to have such a long name, but the Olympus OM-D EM10 is a great piece of technology, cased in a retro-style leather grip and steel body. It’s similar to Olympus’ OM-1 film camera, except this one is mirrorless and packed with the latest technology. 

It’s an entry-level camera, so it’s great for those just starting out or looking to upgrade from their smartphone to a digital SLR. The continuous AF locks on to your subject to keep them in focus, although it tends to hunt, which means sometimes if something comes into the background, the camera will lock onto it and focus on that instead of the intended subject. 

The flip-down LCD screen is great for selfies and vlogging, but the downside is you can’t use a tripod or selfie stick as it gets in the way of it— a design flaw they should look at remedying in the next product. 

In the end, the EM10 is compact and great for new vloggers. You can pick one up for around $1,199.

best retro style digital camera
Photo: @leica.bkk

LEICA Q2 Reporter

If Sony is the Bugatti of cameras, then LEICA is the Rolls Royce. These cameras are uber expensive and one of the most sought after camera brands in the world. Some of their products go for $13,500 for a simple digital camera. Slightly more affordable, the Q2 Reporter, which sits at $9,090 is a beautiful piece of machinery. It comes in an army green body with a black leather grip. It was built for press photographers, so this camera is ready for anything. It shoots 4K video, has fast autofocus, a 47.3mp CMOS full-frame sensor, and a high-res OLED electronic viewfinder. I will never understand why LEICA is so expensive, but I guess for style and quality, it pays to be top of the line.

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