I have both.
Stay with the FM2N if you do a lot of shooting in dark conditions and don't require Auto exposure because the LED's and lighted shutter #'s can be readily viewed whereas the FM3A cannot.
As said, the FM3A is a last gasp technological marvel of a camera and a delight to use in AUTO but not at night because you don't know what the shutter speed will be.
The ideal world would be to have both, FM2n at night and FM3A during the day!-Dick
The omission of the tab happened with the FE2/FA/FM2 which was long before the FM3A conception.
To be sure, the FM3A's total hybrid design was unprecedented and has since not yet been matched to-date by any other camera.
We can only be so lucky for another whimsical release . . .
Yeah but Nikon would retrofit F5s with a flippy tab. More whimsy? Probably.
Recall talking to visiting Nikon.jp techs in 2002 at Nikon.ca who bemoaned cancellation of plans to market a range of "chipped" manual lenses after the FM3a's disappointing debut. Still not sure what they were thinking when this project went ahead. Suspect it was mulled over for too long then fast-tracked only to fizzle. Reactions around Toronto ranged around: "WTF?" "Too pricey" "I've got an FE/FE2/FM2n," not to mention silent head-scratching and puzzled looks. Would have been a winner if it had hit the market in the mid/late 90s.
Last edited by CGW; 06-15-2011 at 09:22 AM. Click to view previous post history.
The FM3a is significantly newer and likely seen very little use. That is about the only reason to opt for the FM3a. The FE2 would be almost the same as the FM3a except for the mechanical shutter but you would not miss it unless you run out of batteries. I am not sure that the FM3a was a disaster for Nikon. There were a lot of interest in the camera but due to the high price of $600 at introduction (much higher when Nikon discontinued it) prevented a lot of people from buying on including myself. If Nikon could sell it for $400 I would have one and I believe many others.
If someone wants a camera with more automation then one can get even an F5 for the price of the FM3a these days.
'Is it worth the difference?' I can't help but chuckle. Volumes have been written comparing/contrasting these bodies. Have you searched? Do you anticipate needing the aditional features of the 3a? What is the value to you of the additional features and having a newer camera? You'll soon have your answer.
At times I can get by with my 2n, esp for potentially damaging situations in the wilds, and others when I want aperture priority or TTL flash, in which case the 3a is the ticket. Hard to go wrong with either.