All products and services featured by IndieWire are independently selected by IndieWire editors. However, IndieWire may receive a commission on orders placed through its retail links, and the retailer may receive certain auditable data for accounting purposes.
Super 8 cameras are a great collectors’ item, and a perfect gift for cinephiles or anyone who wants to add a vintage aesthetic to their film collection. Beyond that, these handheld cameras are mostly affordable, they look pretty cool, and whipping one of these babies out will surely turn a few heads. Given how popular nostalgia has become, finding the right vintage camera can be a time-consuming task. To get started, you’ll want to narrow down what type of Super 8 camera works best for your film needs, and how much you’re willing to spend. If you’re unable to make it to a local thrift store or antique camera shop to buy one in person, we put together a list of used cameras that you can buy online, which includes options from the ’60s and ‘70s, and a 16mm from the ’40s.
More from IndieWire
All the cameras in our roundup have been tested by the sellers, reviewed by customers, and start at around $120 and up. So whether you’re a dedicated collector, or simply want to pick up a new (well, technically old) camera, these Super 8 and 16mm cameras from Canon, Bauer, Braun, Bolex, and more brands will make the perfect addition to your collection. Find our list below, and for more camera recommendations check out these nostalgia-inspired photography cameras, and the best film cameras for any budget.
When it comes to camera brands, Canon tends to stand out among the bunch. The Canon 514XL Auto Zoom Super 8 Cine Film Camera was originally introduced in the mid-1970s. The model pictured is in good condition and works fine. The camera has auto and manual zoom functions, auto exposure, macro and split image focusing. It’s been tested to make sure that everything works and runs smoothly and the lens is “undamaged and clean” according to the seller.
A light, compact, relic from the ‘80s, the Bauer S 204 XL Super 8 camera includes a Bauer Neovaron lens f: 1.7 \ F: 9-36 mm. This fully-functioning camera has been tested to ensure that it works, and it comes with a free Super 8 film test cartridge. The handheld camera uses Kodak Vision 3 Color film stock, or Kodak Tri-X Black & White film stock.
An option from the ‘60s, this vintage Super 8 camera from Bell & Howell is in good condition with a running motor, and has been tested to ensure battery functionality. Plus, it’s a little cheaper than a Bauer camera.
Originally released in 1975, the Canon 310 XL Super 8 camera was groundbreaking in its heyday. The camera features what was then the world’s fastest lens speed of f/1.0 with a 3x zoom. It’s suitable for low-light conditions and includes single-frame exposures for animation.
A cute little camera choice, this Ziess Ikon M803 Super 8 camera is in good cosmetic condition, and arrives in its original box. The camera features the standard 18fps, and includes a Moviflex-Variogon 1,9 / 12 – 30 mm lens, microprism focusing, and auto exposure. The camera hasn’t been tested but the lens and viewfinder/rangefinder have been cleaned.
The Sankyo MF-606 Super 8 camera has a boxier design than some of the other cameras on the list, but many of the same essential features. The camera includes macro and aerial focusing, auto/manual zoom, a 1.8 / 8 – 48 mm lens, and shutter degree of 220. It also comes with a carrying case, and uses four AA batteries (which you can purchase here).
This Elmo Super 8 vintage camera dates back to the 1970s. The camera has been tested and works perfectly, but it has light cosmetic scratches on the body. Other than that, the lens, focus and zoom all work, and the motor runs well according to the seller.
If you really want to go vintage, try the Bolex 16mm camera. The Swizz cameras went into production in the 1920s, and were originally developed by Polish designer Jacques Bogopolsky. Bolex cameras have been used by Andy Warhol, Jean-Luc Goddard, David Lynch, James Dean, Steven Spielberg, Peter Jackson, and more. The Paillard-Bolex H16 cinema camera pictured above was originally released in the U.S. around 1948. The camera is in working condition and comes with three lenses, an H16-F25 viewfinder, and an empty reel. The seller pointed out that the H16 camera has a couple cosmetic issues (the crank handle has been replaced, and a screw is broken) that won’t affect functionality. You can also find a few cheaper Bolex options like this H16 camera with external frame counter, and H16 deluxe.