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Are expensive compact P&S cameras worth it? I reviewed the Nikon 35ti to find out...

Since I began my film photography journey 3 years ago, I have tried many different cameras in an attempt to discover one that is best for me. On a tight budget while in college - yes, I'm a middle aged college student majoring in Communication - I had an average budget of $60-100 for each camera swap. My first camera, a Pentax K1000 had a broken light meter and so I sold it and invested in an Olympus OM1 and had also acquired an Olympus Pen EES-2 half-frame camera.


On a trip shortly after acquiring the OM1, I had to reduce my carry-on luggage weight which had me rethink my whole camera world. The OM1 is quite compact and relatively light for it's time, but the lenses are high quality and the build quality on the body and lenses is so sturdy that they are a bit heavy. So I jumped into zone focus fixed lens viewfinder cameras with the Minox 35gt and the Olympus 35 RC (which is still to this moment one of the best cameras I've ever used!). During this camera hunting process I would see these 1990's cameras like the Olympus Mju and the Pentax Espio and think "who buys these? They are usually in the junk bin at 2nd hand stores." I hadn't realized the power of an autofocus/auto-exposure full frame camera that fits in the pocket.


One of the local shop workers suggested the Contax T or T2 and when he told me the price ($300 and $900) I was shocked! Why pay so much for a camera that is old and has 1990's technology? I eventually got the Contax T (the original one with the drawbridge door) and while it's a great camera, it wasn't for me.


After trying out several of the expensive 1990's point & shoot cameras, I stumbled into the Nikon 35 ti. The camera is very unique as it has a swiss watch style analog display window on top that has dials/watch hands that point out the aperture setting, focus distance, remaining shots up to 36, and the +/- exposure compensation. While I could explain further, check out the review video here for a better explanation:



While the Nikon 35ti isn't quite pocketable, it is very compact and does fit in a jacket pocket. It has matrix metering (explained in better detail on Ken Rockwell's site here: https://www.kenrockwell.com/nikon/35ti.htm. The 35mm lens is incredibly sharp and rivals in my opinion any 35mm SLR lens. Also, very importantly, the camera has manual aperture adjustment and exposure compensation, customizable viewfinder display settings, and the body is titanium - it is durable! The autofocus rarely misses, but you guessed it, there's a manual focus override option if that's what you need. Oh, and did I mention it has one of the quietest shutters on an electronic P&S? Here's some sample shots of a recent roll as shot (not edited).





















Please let me know if you have questions about any of the cameras mentioned here and your thoughts on the review. Have a Nikon 35ti? Please let me know your Instagram handle so I can see your amazing photos!


Thanks for reading and stay tuned next week for more photography content.

Cheers,

Daniel

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