manual focus cameras

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Thomas, Jul 6, 2004.

  1. Thomas

    Thomas Guest

    I've had a Nikon Coolpix 2100 for a year now. It is a fantastic camera
    You need something like a D70. But its going to cost you over 1000 quid for
    the whole package. I can't think of any cheapy manual Digital Cameras.
    Thomas, Jul 6, 2004
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  2. Thomas

    Justin Thyme Guest

    If you are wanting your subject in focus and blurred background, then you
    want the ability to manually control aperture, so that you can get a small
    depth of field. Because of their small sensors (and consequently very short
    focal length lenses), most compact digitals are terrible at getting poor
    depth of field. A DSLR will do a much better job.
    Dunno what price they are over in pommy-land, but some suggestions with
    external flash are Fuji S7000, Olympus C770, Canon G5. All these cameras
    also have manual focus, and aperture priority.
    Justin Thyme, Jul 6, 2004
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  3. I've had a Nikon Coolpix 2100 for a year now. It is a fantastic camera
    and has taken nearly 12 thousand photos. However I'd like to replace it
    with something similar but with manual focus (for shots where I want the
    background out of focus). An external flash connector would be nice as
    well. Budget is up to around £200 and I don't need more than 3 m pixels
    or so.
    enorehtonatey, Jul 6, 2004
  4. I use a Canon G5. At f/3.0 and 28.8 mm tele (full frame equiv.
    140 mm), I get shallow enough DOF to do portraits - at 10 meters
    DOF is from 8.3 to 12.5 meters. But I need to put a greater
    distance between subject and background than I would with a
    Yes. You select the aperture, the camera figure out the
    right shutter speed.
    No, you can't :). The built-in flash on compacts give you
    horrible results: Deep shadows as well as a guaranteed red-eye
    (there is no such thing as working "red-eye" reduction).
    If $200 is the maximum you're prepared to spend, then you probably
    need to find a second hand camera. A Canon G1 or G2 in reasonable
    shape should fit within your budget (Note: the manual focus on
    these cameras are not very precise, and the shutter lag is
    If you want useable manual controls, then $200 is probably too small
    a budget for a digital camera at the present time.

    A final piece of advice: If you still go for a compact, make sure you
    spend some time to get the feel of it before you commit. You may find
    that you don't like the manual controls and the shutter lag.
    Gisle Hannemyr, Jul 6, 2004
  5. hmmm. I thought it was worth a try - was thinking that if I could set it
    to use max aperture and perhaps focus a bit on the short side . . . - Am
    I wasting my time then, and should just give up this idea????

    Fuji S7000 £309
    Olympus C770 £370
    Canon G5 £375

    Does aperture priority mean I can set the aperture?

    I can do without the flash connector . . . so Is there a small cheap
    digital camera with manul focus and a large enough lens to provide
    shallow depth of field?

    I guess a DSLR would be considerable more expensive - and heavier so
    that really rules it out. I still have my old OM2 35mm SLR. Perhaps I
    should just use it for the shots where I want short depth of field and
    buy a neg scanner instead . . . but then I have film costs and the long
    wait for results.
    enorehtonatey, Jul 6, 2004
  6. That is very useful information. Thanks

    Yes this is a major problem with the coolpix 2100 - flash is not much use.

    Not easy when you live in the country and are used to buying online. I
    don't like shutter lag, but the advantages of digital make up for it
    many times over.
    enorehtonatey, Jul 6, 2004
  7. Try the Canon A75. 3.2 Megapixels and it has manual,shutter
    priority,aperture priority,program, and lots more. It's about $249.
    Ernest Cassirer, Jul 6, 2004
  8. Very few digital cameras has useful manual focus. The manual
    focus on my G2 is not possible to use at all. You need a
    DSLR camera or a range finder camera to be able to focus
    manually. Maybe some electronic vewfinder cameras can be
    manually focussed with some accuracy, but I doubt it. Now,
    no range finder cameras exist yet for digital, so you are
    stuck with DSLR if you want manual focus.

    Now - digital cameras usually have (more or less) spot
    focussing and you might get it to lock on something
    nearby and keep the background unsharp.

    Then - there is another issue (if you really want unsharp
    background). The smalls sensor cameras really has large DOF.
    So - the background is still rather sharp, when out of focus.
    Sharper than is really suitable IMHO. So - even here you
    want a DSLR; it has a larger sensor.
    £200? Nope - nothing come close to what you really want IMHO.

    Roland Karlsson, Jul 6, 2004
  9. Thomas

    dwight Guest

    After about 3 weeks with the Canon PowerShot S1 IS, I seldom resort to the
    automatic or preprogrammed modes. It falls within your budget, is a 3MP
    camera, and focus can be adjusted (within limits). No external flash
    connection (that I know of), but you can also play with the camera's
    settings for the built-in flash...

    dwight, Jul 6, 2004
  10. Thomas

    Mark Turner Guest

    When I was comparing prices last week (concentrating on the S1 IS and
    the FZ10, finally bought an FZ10) the cheapest I could find the S1 IS
    for in the UK was UKP328 including VAT and delivery. More than a little
    over the specified UKP200 budget.


    Mark Turner, Jul 6, 2004

  11. Ebuyer have it and the A80 for well under £200 so they are
    possibilities. The A75 lens has 9 elements compared to the Nikons 7. I'd
    have thought fewer were better??

    Max aperture is a shade smaller at 2.8 and fastest shutter speed is a
    lot slower - 1/2000 for the Canon compared with 1/3000 for my Nikon.

    But they do have manual focus so I'll look at them again. Thanks.
    enorehtonatey, Jul 6, 2004
  12. Contax 139QD and 50mm f1.7 should set you back less than £200. If you insist
    on digital, something like an Olympus E10 on eBay would probably stretch
    your budget a little (£300) but has fairly comfortable manual focus,
    reasonably large sensor and a wide aperture lens- everything you need for
    selective focusing.
    Martin Francis, Jul 6, 2004
  13. :)

    I think you hae to wait some more for thtm to come
    down in your pocket though :) If you don't have
    huge pockets.

    Roland Karlsson, Jul 6, 2004
  14. Nope. It does not take any lenses at all - except aux. lenses.
    The lens is not interchangable. But ... it is true that you can
    focus for real with an E-10. The focus is "focus by wire" though.
    I have teste it and the action is not instant - feels like there
    are something elastic somewhere in there. But - it is better than
    focus buttons - much better.

    Roland Karlsson, Jul 6, 2004

  15. I forgot to say it has to be small and light and fit in my pocket as
    well! Think I'll wait for the DSLRs to come down in price a bit.
    enorehtonatey, Jul 6, 2004

  16. Yes it has to be digital. I hope I never have to pay and wait for film
    processing and prints again and I already have hundreds of negs I want
    to scan. The E10 looks nice. I don't suppose it would take the lenses
    from an OM2 would it???
    enorehtonatey, Jul 6, 2004
  17. Thomas

    dwight Guest

    Wait a week. I bought mine June 9th at US $499, and I see it now in the same
    store at US $399 (a bit closer to the 200 pound area).

    dwight, Jul 6, 2004
  18. Thomas

    Edhiker Guest

    The thing I didn't notice when I selected my Canon A75 camera is the
    lack of any way to save MANUAL settings at turn off (even turning off
    the LCD screen looses the focus), The C1 and C2 mode of the A80 seem
    to provide a way to save settings.
    Without an enlarged preview mode on the LCD, the MANUAL focus function
    is nearly useless.
    For focusing on close objects, use a focus card having vertical

    I've had my A75 for about a month and noticed many things, Soft Focus
    and Purple Fringing top the list.
    I posted some fixes and workarounds on a rather long web page at

    Good luck,

    Edhiker, Jul 7, 2004
  19. Thomas

    G.T. Guest

    The manual focus on it is impossible to use, though.

    G.T., Jul 7, 2004
  20. There exist non-DSLRs with usable manual focus - like the
    Minolta A2. Still fly-by-wire manual focus - but responsive
    enough to be usable.

    The Leica Digilux 2/Panasonic DMC-LC1 have the look of a classic
    rangefinder, but unfortunately isn't. But it has a precise
    mechanical focus ring on its lens.

    A digital rangefinder has at least been annouced - and will be
    available in the fall: The highly retro M-mount Epson R-D1.
    This comes with manual focus only!

    (All are outside the OP's target price range, tho'. The Minolta
    costs $1000, the Leica $1800, and the Epson (probably) $3500.
    Gisle Hannemyr, Jul 7, 2004
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