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Yashica T4 Super
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Yashica T4 Super (around $300), selected by Landon Nordeman, photographer "My point 'n shoot is old school. It's a film camera. A Yashica T4. I use it to photograph my family mostly. It's autofocus. Fixed lens 35mm. And I love it because just the feel of it in my hand reminds me of my early days in photography shooting and processing film when I had to wait to see the negatives to see what you got. It's not made anymore but you can find them on eBay."Kenneth Bachor for TIME
Yashica T4 Super
Yashica T4 Super (around $300), selected by Landon Nordeman, photographer "My point 'n shoot is old school. It's a film
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Kenneth Bachor for TIME
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We Asked Pro Photographers To Reveal Their Favorite Compact Cameras

It's the question professional photographers get the most from their family and friends: "What camera should I buy?"

Not everyone wants to lug around a large DSLR with one, two or three lenses. But among the hundreds of options available in the compact range — from point-and-shoot cameras to mirrorless, bridges and advanced compact cameras (yes, that's really a category) — it's not always easy to find the right fit for your needs.

TIME LightBox asked seven professional photographers — conflict shooters, portrait masters, documentary experts and artists — to reveal their compact camera of choice. Their answers might surprise you. While new models like Fujifilm's X100T made the cut, oldies are also revered by some of the world's best portrait photographers and photojournalists.

Shannon MartinShannon Martin photographed with the Yashica T4 Super camera Landon Nordeman 

For Landon Nordeman, who's known for his stunning fashion photographs, the holy grail – a Yashica T4 Super with a cult following – is now only available second-hand on eBay. Yet, looking at the results he gets, it's not surprising to see why he'd swear by it for his most precious photographs: those of his family.

In recent years, the iPhone and other smartphones with their ever-improving camera systems have supplanted the need for stand-alone compact cameras. But, as these photographers tell TIME, nostalgia and flexibility are strong factors for their continued existence – at least for now.

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