As far as battery life for the F3 I can only say - A lot.
All the battery has to do is to fire the shutter and do the metering. The FM3a is a much newer camera than the F3 hence the price. I suspect Nikon are running out of spares for the F3 by now (electronic ones) and the FM3a will be a better proposition spares wise. Having said that there are a mountain of little used F3's out there which have only had light amateur use and I would go for the F3 HP every time were I in the market for a manual body. The only drawback that I can think of with the F3 and the Fm3a is the choice of flash unit. I don't know of any independent flash units that fit onto the F3's shoe, except possibly Metz so you are limited to a couple or possibly 3 Nikon ones if you want TTL flash.
The sound of the mirror on the last F3 I used was not bad. Not as quiet as say the shutter on my F100 but quieter than the early FM and Nikkormats.
Last edited by BMbikerider; 08-18-2013 at 04:28 PM. Click to view previous post history.