A fully manual dSLR

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by dfrancaviglia, Apr 1, 2005.

  1. Hello,

    So here is a question I hope someone can answer: I am looking for a
    digital SLR (6 to 8 MP). Ideally, the camera could both automatic and
    fully manual (shutter speed, aperture, focus, and a light meter). Does
    this exist? Years ago I bought a SLR (non-digital) but it is actually
    rather complicated, virtually impossible to use it for more than a nice
    automatic point-and-shoot (yes, there are all kinds of convoluted
    bracketing options, etc, but you need the manual to remember them).

    I would like to find a calera that combines automatic options with a
    fully-manual camapility. Am I asking for something that no longer
    exists? Seems like noting beats my 25 year old Ricoh SLR for
    simplicity and control...

    Thanks for any advice
     
    dfrancaviglia, Apr 1, 2005
    #1
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  2. Take a look at the Canon 20D (also check out the other dSLR's from
    Canon. I believe the Nikon equivalent also can go full manual.
     
    Joseph Meehan, Apr 1, 2005
    #2
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  3. Every single DSLR on the market today meets your needs. Every one
    offers complete manual control over exposure and also offers automation
    in the form of aperture-priority, shutter-priority and program modes.
    Some offer additional "newbie" modes in the form of portrait,
    landscape, action etc. Such modes try to optimize shutter speed and
    depth of field for the selected application.

    Since every production DSLR meets your needs, focus on which one is
    right for you. A good part of this decision will depend on which system
    you'd like to get involved with. I'd recommend that you visit the
    forums on www.dpreview.com for at least the following cameras: Canon
    350D, Canon 20D, Nikon D70, Konica-Minolta 7D and Pentax *ist-DS. The
    Canon 350D, Nikon D70 and Pentax *ist-DS are your best bets, with
    excellent capabilities and all under $1000 including a starter lens.
    Although it's quite cheap as well as very capable, I'd avoid the Canon
    300D at this point, since the incremental cost of moving to the 350D is
    small and the 350D is a much better camera.

    David
     
    David R. Greenberg, Apr 1, 2005
    #3
  4. dfrancaviglia

    Chris Brown Guest

    I think they all work like that. The Canons certainly do. On my 10D, I just
    switch it to M, and I'm away. Don't even need to flip the AF disable switch
    on the lens if it's a USM lens, because I have the autofocus bound to one of
    the extra buttons on the back, and not a shutter half-press. Taking a
    picture is just a matter of setting the aperture, shutter speed, turning the
    focus ring, and squeezing the shutter release.
    Depending on what lenses you have, I'd suggest taking a look at any of:

    Canon 20D and 350D
    Pentax *ist D and *ist DS
    Nikon D70
     
    Chris Brown, Apr 1, 2005
    #4
  5. I should have made clear that by the 350D I mean the "Digital Rebel XT"
    and by the 300D I mean the original "Digital Rebel."
     
    David R. Greenberg, Apr 1, 2005
    #5
  6. dfrancaviglia

    Lionel Guest

    Any of the current 'prosumer' (I hate that term!) or professional DSLRs
    can be switched to fully manual mode. I like Canon, so I'd recommend the
    EOS 350D or 20D (depending on your budget), but any of the other
    big-name (Nikon, etc) DSLRs should easily meet your requirements.
    If you're on a tight budget, now would be a good time to purchase a used
    6MP+ DSLR, such as the Canon 10D (the model I use now), because lots of
    people are selling them to upgrade to the latest 8MP+ models.
     
    Lionel, Apr 1, 2005
    #6
  7. dfrancaviglia

    Owamanga Guest

    I think many DSLRs will do this. The one problem they all share is
    also common with most AF film bodies. Manual focusing can be a bitch
    because the screen helper tools are not there.

    Not sure if you want some specific manual control but generally they
    allow you to:

    Choose the shutter speed.
    Choose the aperture.
    Choose the ISO.
    Manually focus.
    Choose the flash output power.

    Because of the digital darkroom, you will actually enjoy far more
    control over the whole process than you ever did with film. (Guessing
    here that you didn't have a color processing lab at home).

    Because to the zero cost per frame shot, you will also enjoy playing
    and exploring methods of photography that you may have never done with
    film. Some examples: Infra-Red, Under-water, Astronomy, Shooting 3
    frames per second until you get bored, compositing bracketed
    exposures, storm photography, photo diary, panoramics, 3D, flash
    gels.. there's lots more.
     
    Owamanga, Apr 1, 2005
    #7
  8. dfrancaviglia

    Guest Guest

    : Because to the zero cost per frame shot, you will also enjoy playing
    : and exploring methods of photography that you may have never done with
    : film.

    Something perhaps worth thinking about is the life of the shutter. They're
    often spec'd at a MTBF of 40k-100k life. Amortized cost on a $1000 camera with a
    shutter life of 100,000 cycles is a penny a picture. Food for thought is all, as most
    will want to get a newer camera before hitting that life cycle limit.

    -Cory

    *************************************************************************
    * Cory Papenfuss *
    * Electrical Engineering candidate Ph.D. graduate student *
    * Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University *
    *************************************************************************
     
    Guest, Apr 1, 2005
    #8
  9. dfrancaviglia

    Owamanga Guest

    On Fri, 1 Apr 2005 16:21:42 +0000 (UTC),
    Indeed, there is no such thing as a free lunch. But shouldn't you have
    amortized the cost of a replacement shutter / shutter repair ? Even if
    that's wrong, if the replacement in 4 years time is only $500, due to
    market forces, isn't that the realistic number to use (not an
    accountant, as you can probably tell).

    Even at this calculated rate, people in the UK get two pictures for a
    penny, in the US we only get one.

    I think I average at slightly under 1,000 a month, so my D70 would
    last me 8 years if I get the higher end of the MTBF. I'll be needing
    an excuse to upgrade way before then :)
     
    Owamanga, Apr 1, 2005
    #9
  10. dfrancaviglia

    Paul Rubin Guest

    No, the requirements as I read them also include metering in manual
    mode. The low-end Nikons (D100/D70) can't do that. If you're using a
    manual focus lens, or an AF lens on a reversing ring/bellows/whatever,
    you get no metering at all. This is a significant drawback of the D70
    since I'd like to be able to mount it to a telescope.
     
    Paul Rubin, Apr 1, 2005
    #10
  11. dfrancaviglia

    Paul Rubin Guest

    I don't see why shutter replacement on a DSLR should cost more than it
    did on a comparable film SLR, i.e. maybe in the $200 range. But I don't
    know of any $1000 DSLR's likely to last 40k cycles, much less 100k.
     
    Paul Rubin, Apr 1, 2005
    #11
  12. Hand held light meter?
     
    John A. Stovall, Apr 1, 2005
    #12
  13. dfrancaviglia

    Owamanga Guest

    He said fully manual. TTL metering would be an automatic feature ;-)
    Come on, you weren't seriously going to get the D70 to meter telescope
    shots were you? (I presume you mean astronomy here).

    If the D70 will open the shutter, just use experience for metering.
    I've seen people using a D70 on a meade with a T-mount without
    complaint.
     
    Owamanga, Apr 1, 2005
    #13
  14. dfrancaviglia

    Owamanga Guest

    There *must* be people who have exceeded 40,000 shots already on these
    things. In continuous shooting mode, it would take less than 4 hours
    to do this.
     
    Owamanga, Apr 1, 2005
    #14
  15. dfrancaviglia

    Paul Rubin Guest

    Sounds to me like he wants to be able to use the camera as a manual
    light meter. You can do that with most SLR's, but not the D70/D100
    and its film counterpart the N70 and a few of the N70's relatives.
    Yes, Meade ETX90 with T-mount.
    No, just using the telescope as a long telephoto lens on the ground.
    Yes, your D70 turns into a 1950's-era Nikon F with no metering. You do
    get to use the LCD display and histogram to make adjustments quickly.
    However, if that were no big deal, they could omit metering from the D70
    altogether.
     
    Paul Rubin, Apr 1, 2005
    #15
  16. dfrancaviglia

    Paul Rubin Guest

    Yes, for example I have an interest in using a DSLR for a large
    document copying project, which involves much more than 40k shots.
     
    Paul Rubin, Apr 1, 2005
    #16
  17. Any one of them. They all do full manual control.

    They all have a bazillion options and such, too, so the full set of
    controls is extremely complicated in all of them -- *much* more
    complicated than a film SLR, because they have everything the film SLR
    has and then about a million digital-specific options on top of that.
    Luckily I can ignore most of it most of the time.
     
    David Dyer-Bennet, Apr 1, 2005
    #17
  18. dfrancaviglia

    Guest Guest

    : No, the requirements as I read them also include metering in manual
    : mode. The low-end Nikons (D100/D70) can't do that. If you're using a
    : manual focus lens, or an AF lens on a reversing ring/bellows/whatever,
    : you get no metering at all. This is a significant drawback of the D70
    : since I'd like to be able to mount it to a telescope.

    The Pentax *ist-D and *ist-DS work with TTL metering (stop-down) on a manual
    everything lens. Pretty much all DSLRs will let you manually set aperture and shutter
    speed.

    If you are doing astronomy-type stuff, the cameras typically won't meter with
    that little light.

    -Cory

    *************************************************************************
    * Cory Papenfuss *
    * Electrical Engineering candidate Ph.D. graduate student *
    * Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University *
    *************************************************************************
     
    Guest, Apr 1, 2005
    #18
  19. dfrancaviglia

    Guest Guest

    : Indeed, there is no such thing as a free lunch. But shouldn't you have
    : amortized the cost of a replacement shutter / shutter repair ? Even if
    : that's wrong, if the replacement in 4 years time is only $500, due to
    : market forces, isn't that the realistic number to use (not an
    : accountant, as you can probably tell).

    Yes, but unless you're using it up unreasonably quickly (<1-2 years), most
    likely it wouldn't make financial sense to repair your 4 year old camera for $500 if
    you can buy a new, better, replacement for $700. More likely, in 4 years it'll be
    repair your old one for $400 or buy a new, better one for $500.

    -Cory

    *************************************************************************
    * Cory Papenfuss *
    * Electrical Engineering candidate Ph.D. graduate student *
    * Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University *
    *************************************************************************
     
    Guest, Apr 1, 2005
    #19
  20. dfrancaviglia

    Mark² Guest

    Are you April Fooling, here??????

    If not, then you haven't looked at ANYthing on the market for at some years.

    Every single DSLR on the market has what you describe.
     
    Mark², Apr 1, 2005
    #20
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