Recommend lightweight autofocus/autoexposure camera for my wife

Discussion in '35mm Cameras and Accessories' started by BetterSense, Jul 6, 2009.

  1. BetterSense

    BetterSense Member

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    I need:
    1. Autofocus
    2. Program autoexposure preferably with Matrix or other idiot-proof metering
    3. As small and light as possible.

    Despite that I have many 35mm cameras, my wife still keeps using her cheap Samsung point-and-shoot. All my MF cameras are too complicated to use and all my AF cameras are too big and heavy for her. She likes to take pictures of people.

    With her eyesight she has a hard time focusing the manual-focus cameras like my OM2, she is very slow and misses focus a lot, which frustrates her. I can get around the focusing by hyperfocaling the camera for her and telling her not to focus, but that only works when it's bright out and the results are conspicuously deep-focus of course.

    She can use Aperture Priority exposure but doesn't appreciate it and would rather use a Program mode. Even in a program mode, she isn't quick enough to dial in Exposure Compensation when needed so frustration sets in over underexposed backlit subjects and so on, when the metering betrays her.

    I have an F801 and with Matrix metering on and AF she does pretty well, but the camera is broken and only works on Aperture Priority mode, so I bought an F4 with MB-20 for 'her'. But even I didn't realize how heavy the F4 was going to be. Slap an SB-28 on there for daylight flash and she can barely hold it up by bracing her elbows. I think it's bigger to her than an RB67 would be to me. I realize that she's never going to grab it for everyday photography and is going to keep using her point-and-shoot.

    What she really needs is a camera about the size of my ME Super or OM2, only AF with a program mode and matrix metering, but I don't there such a thing exists.
     
  2. Rick A

    Rick A Subscriber

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    Hi--how about an Olympus OM-77AF. I picked one up on evilbay last year for my wife. She loves the dickens out of it! They run anywhere from $20-$100 depending on accessories. Ours came with a 37-70 zoom and dedicated(aftermarket) flash and a small gear bag. I paid $20 shipping included. There are loads of other brands Nikon 8008 would be another good choice. Look around-if you see something you are interested in GOOGLE it and do a little homework, and you'll get something worthwhile.
    Rick
     
  3. BetterSense

    BetterSense Member

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    I already have one of those. It's still a pretty big camera. My wife is very small. I've never held an N75 but they are supposed to be very light.

    One of the smaller non-SLR digital cameras would be perfect, but I don't think there is a film equivalent to the super-zoom style digital cameras.
     
  4. cmo

    cmo Member

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    If she does not really need an SLR and somewhat likes that Samsung camera, she will be very, very happy with an Olympus mju II - it is really tiny, weighs just 135g, has an incredibly sharp lens (f2.8), good AF, very good exposure metering. In addition, it is very silent, has a built-in flash and can even stand a little rain. It looks like a toy, but the results are amazing. I often use mine for... guess... yes, people shots. I have that camera with me whenever even my Leica M6 is too big or heavy.

    Other candidates would be Yashica T3, T4, T5, quite similar concepts, a good lens with an idiot-proof P&S built around it. The T3 and T5 have a second "Albada" finder, look into it from the top like you would with a WLF. Nice gadget for candid shots.
     
  5. Soeren

    Soeren Member

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    Does Ricoh GR1 fit the bill? Have to hunt it down on the used market though.
    Or how about the Contax G series?
    Best regards
     
  6. Mark Fisher

    Mark Fisher Subscriber

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    I'm not sure exactly what you are looking for, but I also have very small hands and the Canon Elan 7 is pretty comfortable for my small hands. Couple that with a 50mm lens and it is small and light (not bad with a 28-105mm either). The next step smaller and lighter is a bit more money. I've never used it, but the Contax G2 seems certainly fits the bill, but is a fair amount more expensive.
     
  7. Sirius Glass

    Sirius Glass Subscriber

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    A Nikon N-75 [F-75 outside North America] is light, provides the automatic functions [auto-exposure, auto-focus] you are looking for and can be set manually or manually focused when you want to.

    Steve
     
  8. Christopher Walrath

    Christopher Walrath Member

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    Wirelessly posted (BlackBerry9000/4.6.0.167 Profile/MIDP-2.0 Configuration/CLDC-1.1 VendorID/102 UP.Link/6.3.0.0.0)

    I second the N8008 (N65). Had one and it is light and compact. Make sure what you get accvepts any lenses you already have to cut down on costs.
     
  9. elekm

    elekm Member

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    Pentax made the *ist (film version). It's small and light in weight. It's a very simple camera for amateurs.

    There are similar models from Nikon, Canon and Minolta (later Konica Minolta) on the used market that should fit the bill. I can't imaging any of them costing more than $100 -- or more than $75.
     
  10. Whiteymorange

    Whiteymorange Member

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    I would think a Yashica T series camera would fit the bill nicely. I have a T4 and I'm constantly amazed at the quality of the negatives it gives me. Fairly wide lens, really high quality point and shoot. They bring a bit more used than I bought mine for new, but they are still in the $80 to $150 range on that auction site.
     
  11. BetterSense

    BetterSense Member

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    That camera looks very promising, and I have some Pentax lenses. I can't find any on KEH, though.

    What models are you thinking of? It's hard to get a sense of size/weight when buying online, like I did with my F4.
     
  12. Larry.Manuel

    Larry.Manuel Member

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    Minox? Olympus XA, pre-focused; f/5.6?

    How about a Minox or Olympus XA in prefocus mode? I have made hundreds of good photos with this equipment. At f/5.6 on either one, they're very easy to operate. I especially liked my Minox; would love another one. You can tailor it's operation by choosing the film to suit the light. There are [as you likely well know] great b&w colour negative films [and slides?] from ISO 100 to 800. In the old days, I used Kodachrome 25 in my Minox. I treasure those slides from 30 years ago. It was my favourite for motocross racing photos.

    Facetiously, I was going to suggest an M7 with 28mm lens at f/8. A bit smaller than a Rollei SL66.
     
  13. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

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    I recently purchased a Yashica Zoomate 110W for my wife. I bought it new from a store that bought up the inventory of a photo store that was closing down, and had a large number of cameras like this in inventory. It cost me less than than $30.00.

    I like the zoom range (28mm - 110mm), the size and the built-in diopter adjustment. It takes good sharp photos in a wide range of circumstances.

    I also picked up a nice Olympus Stylus for $3.00 at the local thrift store. It too works well, and appeals to me because of the focus and exposure lock features.

    It seems to me that an SLR would not be a good first choice for your wife, and would provide you with less of an "alternative" should you decide to borrow her camera :smile:.

    Matt
     
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  15. Fred De Van

    Fred De Van Member

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    The Minolta Maxxum/Dynex 5 meets and exceeds your specs. It is a more advanced camera than your Nikon. Light as a feather. Uses any Minolta/Sony lens made since 1985 See specs and manual on Minolta web site.
     
  16. Erik Ehrling

    Erik Ehrling Member

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    Here's another vote for the Nikon N75 (or F75 as it's called here). Today was the first day of my vacation and I spent most of the day with a F75 with a Nikkor 50mm f1.4 AF-D around my neck. It's a great snapshot camera. Although I usually prefer aperture priority (simply because that's what I've been using for over 20 years on my Nikon FE2) I use the Portrait and Landscape mode quite a lot on the F75. With the portrait mode I don't have to worry about the aperture being too large for the shortest exposure time, perfect when I just want to grab the camera and shoot.

    Best regards,
    Erik Ehrling (Sweden)
     
  17. budrichard

    budrichard Member

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    Picking out a 35mm camera for your wife will only result in your having an additional camera for yourself.
    Digital is what she is used to and the instant nature of the results and ability to send over the 'Net' far outwieghs any percieved benifit for her that you may see in using film.
    My wife purchased a Sony SQ with AUTO docking station and she is as happy as a clam. She and most others could care less about film and attendant learning that goes along with film not to mention development, printing and slide scanning.
    So save yourself some money. The best you might do is to take her to a large outlet with newer digitals and let heer pick out the one she wants. Otherwise its a waste.-Dick
     
  18. dougjgreen

    dougjgreen Member

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    You say that like it's a BAD thing?
     
  19. Mark Fisher

    Mark Fisher Subscriber

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    Dick is right....go with the Contax :smile:
     
  20. BetterSense

    BetterSense Member

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    Wow, how do you know so much about my wife? She and I are going to have to have a little talk I think.

    My wife does not like digital cameras at all. She hates them almost as much as I do. Her Samsung point-and-shoot is a 35mm camera; perhaps you thought it was a digital-point-and-shoot.
     
  21. Anscojohn

    Anscojohn Subscriber

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    My sister in law was petite and did quite well with an early Canon EOS Rebel. I told my wife after i first saw it that there was no way a "plastic" camera could hold up. Twenty years of hard shooting and that dude was still prancing. I sure ate my words.
     
  22. elekm

    elekm Member

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    The *ist was the last film SLR made by Pentax (I think). At the same time, it released the digital *ist, which I think was its first digital SLR.

    Here's a film *ist on eBay. Note that this one is in the U.K. and is a two-lens set.

    I think the Nikon SLR was the N75 or something like that. I can't recall the Minolta camera.

    At the time these were released, I was focusing mostly on older German cameras.
     
  23. Sirius Glass

    Sirius Glass Subscriber

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    You cracked the code! Why do you think I recommended the Nikon N-75 [F-75]?

    Steve
     
  24. alanrockwood

    alanrockwood Member

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    Canon Rebel 2000, Rebel Ti, or Rebel T2 are small and very nice in my opinion. Plus, they don't cost much on the auction site. These are the USA model designations. I don't recall what the international model designations are.
     
  25. budrichard

    budrichard Member

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    Sorry, my assumption was wrong. In that case I have nothing to reccamend as these type of film cameras are probably reaching the end of thier useful lives and the autofocus will be the first thing to have problems. Good luck and tell your wife I sad hello.
    Just joking!-Dick
     
  26. unohuu

    unohuu Member

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    The Minolta Maxxum 5 was introduced after the Maxxum 7 and accepts plenty of Minolta, Konica-Minolta and Sony/Zeiss AF lenses. It and it's brethren (Maxxum 3 and Maxxum 4; QTsi; STsi and Maxxum 70) are the last of the Minolta camera line. They are all plastic bodies with relatively quick AF. I had the 5 and could not adjust to only having one adjustment wheel. My wife has a QTsi that she still uses and the Minolta Maxxum 7 that I shoot with. Minolta had some great glass in its semi-pro lineup. You could not go wrong with one of these bodies. The Maxxum 5 sells in the $60-$100 range and the others slightly less. Happy hunting.