AE (aperture priority) 35mm SLR?
I have a fully manual SLR. long story short, I need some degree of automation for those shots that are gone in an instant. I can focus reasonably quickly, but metering and changing settings is not very quick. The light meter on my camera basically doesn't work unless the scene is bright, i.e. outdoors. Indoor situations, the meter is not sensitive enough to provide a reading (it is a needle-type meter). A good portion of my shots are available-light situations (actually, all of them are, I don't own a flash), a fast lens is a plus. Any recommendations for a AE + manual option camera? AF is not necessary. I'm not sure if that feature adds bulk, price, battery life, etc.
The other features I'm looking for are mirror lock-up and double-exposure (the latter is less important, but would be a plus)
Also, does anyone know of a list of cameras that has their main features? I don't feel like reading a whole wiki article about each camera I'm considering, this way I can quickly eliminate cameras which do not have the features I am looking for, and help myself, which I prefer to do anyway.
Stop worrying about grain, resolution, sharpness, and everything else that doesn't have a damn thing to do with substance.
I went through a similar situation and I narrowed it down to Nikon, Canon FD, and Olympus because they are quality and the lenses are readily available.
Some aperture priority cameras:
I decided to go with Olympus because the bodies are inexpensive, small, beautiful, and the viewfinders large/bright, but I think I would have been happy for any of them really. All of their lenses are generally good but the fast Canon FD primes are consistently lower priced than the rest.
For Olympus, only the OM-1(N) has mirror lockup.
"She's always out making pictures, She's always out making scenes.
She's always out the window, When it comes to making Dreams.
It's all mixed up, It's all mixed up, It's all mixed up."
From It's All Mixed Up by The Cars
oops. Didn't read the mirror lockup requirement. I also found this:
If you want mirror lockup + aperture priority + fast primes then I'd go with a Nikon F3. They meet all your requirements and not-so-expensive.
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You don't mention what brand of manual camera you now own, that might help to find same brand, different model. I shoot Olympus OM's, mainly OM-1 fully manual/mechanical shutter. I also have OM-2 and OM-4, the later has spot metering, use them very infrequently, prefer to be in control. I preset my speed and aperture and only concern myself with focus and framing, with practice you could do the same. All the controls on the OM system are on the lens and lens mount, very convenient for rapid adjustments. Shutter speeds are set on the lens mount while the aperture is set on the lens itself.
All manual cameras have a film release control to allow you to rewind the film and this can serve as a multi-exposure control too. Instead of rewinding the film, you can advance the shutter without advancing the frame. Of course there are cameras that have a special multi-exposure control.
For a more sensitive/responsive built-in meter, you need to look for cameras with silicone photo diodes which were used in cameras starting in the mid 70's.
AF cameras are bulkier because they also added built-in motors. They are completely dependent on batteries too. Generally their prices are very low today. Unfortunately, unassisted AF lenses will tend to hunt or not achieve focus in low light unless they are the more expensive variety. At least this is my experience with Canon EOS and third party lenses.
There are few cameras that have on demand mirror lockup but there are some cameras that will MLU when using the timer. These include the Nikon FG, FE2, FA and FM3A, Chinon CE II and Olympus OM4T.
Of all the cameras in my own toolbox, I would recommend you take a look at the Pentax K2 & LX and the Nikon F3.
Last edited by Les Sarile; 02-19-2012 at 07:53 PM. Click to view previous post history.
Pentax LX can do all this and is pretty darn compact too.
msbarnes, thank you! I've been looking for something like this.
Rick A: I own a Praktica LB2 (M42 mount) I got for my birthday, I don't think I'll be getting another camera of the same brand.
Thanks everyone for the input, the F3 looks like the perfect camera for me, even has a WLF option ...
You said AF isn't a requirement but with AF very few cameras with AF and mirror lock up. I only know the Nikon F4,F5 and F6. I think none of the Canon EOS has mirror lock up. With AF all cameras have AE. They are mostly bigger because almost all of the AF cameras have built in motor drive so they are bigger and eats batteries. As for price? many are very inexpensive.