Nikon FM3A vs FE2
Reading about these cameras, I am finding it hard knowing what the difference is between them. Can anyone summarize this? The FM3A is priced much higher than the FE2, but I am not sure why. Anyone have experience with both these models by chance?
They are very similar. The advantage of the FM3A is that, in Manual, all speeds are manually controlled like in a FM2n, not needing a battery. The FM3A adds to the TTL flash control of the FE2 a small button to enable fill-in flash. Add in a few cosmetic changes and that's about it.
So, if you don't mind relying on 2 silver oxide batteries on the FE2, they're about the same in function.
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There's also the brighter focusing screens (the B3, E3, and K3 - all of which will work in the FE2 just fine). But, for the price difference, I'd go with the FE2, source a third generation screen, and some extra CR 1/3N batteries.
If money isn't an factor, get the FM3a with the pancake lens. Modern & manual, nice to handle.
But other Nikon cameras are fine as well. I recently bought a nice Nikon F3 for $28. Technically perfect. It only needs a new skin.
A real nice camera to use!!
I also have a Nikon EL2 I use for about 26 years now. Also recommended.
So take your pick...
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The main distinction of the FM3A is its hybrid shutter, which supports aperture-priority AE while still working on all speeds without a battery in manual mode. Few other aperture-priority AE cameras even approached this - the exceptions that come to mind are the Pentax LX, which has instantaneous mechanical speeds from 1/75 - 1/2000, Pentax ES/ES II (1/60 - 1/1000) and Canon New F-1 (1/90 - 1/2000). In general, aperture-priority AE cameras have electronic shutters with at most one or two instantaneous speeds - typically around 1/60-1/125 - available if the battery dies.
Last edited by Oren Grad; 07-14-2013 at 01:15 PM. Click to view previous post history.
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When I was looking to purchase one of these two I opted for the far cheaper FE2. I've been very happy with it. The only thing I see I really giving up to the FM3a was the fill flash button, the DX ISO/film window, and the ability to shoot without batteries. The batteries last forever in these things anyway so I have never had an issue with low batteries causing me to miss any shots. Regardless, S76/LR44s can be found cheap at any Walmart or Target and I always carry a few extra with me. To get -1 flash for fill I just adjust ISO or EXP comp to give me - 1 stop and shoot manual and overexpose 1 stop. For the price of one FM3a you can get an FE2 and an FM and most likely have money left over. I own and shoot them both. Great little cameras.
Thanks everyone! I know nothing about how to use flash on these cameras so it seems that an FM3A would be a waste on me. Glad to hear that the cheaper option will work for me.
I agree with the majority here, and would get the FE2 if money is at all an issue. Having said that, the FM3a is my favorite camera, and I never intend to part with it.