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Old Jul 1, 2004, 12:47 PM   #1
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I am really interested in the Kyocera M410R but it hasn't got the manual exposure and focus. As I am a beginner I don't really understand this but I wouldn't like to regret my buy in a few month so thats why I would like an answer from someone more advanced. Will I miss these manual controls and why and when?

Thank you very much for your help!

Ed
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Old Jul 1, 2004, 3:07 PM   #2
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Hi Ed,
Of course, the medium-advanced users will look for manual possibilities, even if they will use it rarely (me for example ) . Here is my opinion:


1) Manual focus:
This is not a must especially in a consumer grade camera , and when we need it , it could be difficult to use anyway ( the lack of clarity of the LCD/ eye viewer make it more or less easy to judge the focus by eye :?) . Another thing is if the camera use pushbutton to manually focus, it's a pain as well. A focus ring for manual focus is easier to use
You need it in some cases that autofocus could probably fail : too bright and uniform scene (sand, wall, clear sky, etc, … ) , not enough contrast for autofocus, several nearby object at different distance ( a subject car in the traffic ) etc..
This said, there are also many tricks to overcome those problem as well, there is also spot autofocus (narrow the focusing area) that helps.


2) Manual exposure:
This is a very desirable option to have for the advanced amateur user. You will need it in cases you want control the exposure (night shot, action scene) , nevertheless , you got aperture priority and shutter priority already.
You also need manual exposition in case you use an external flash in "auto" mode , what I frequently use (despite the "auto" appellation , this mean the flash is set to an aperture, and the camera in manual, with the same aperture and the speed you judge for the circumstances)

So, all depends your needs and desire, you will miss these 2 manual features if you are the guy who possibly take the time to do experiences, and try this try that …
Other wise , the user who cares only to have some average good pictures as souvenir, you won't have regrets

Hope that helps a bit :-), other users will sure have more advices
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Old Jul 2, 2004, 3:46 AM   #3
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Thank you very much!

You made alot clearer to me!

Ed
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Old Jul 2, 2004, 7:51 AM   #4
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Just to show there are two sides to everything...

I'm a very experienced photographer who has decided to move into the compactdigital field. I find, with an appreciation of light and subject matter, it is possible to return with some stunning digital images taken on full auto.

I am happy to have a mainlyauto camera with either a fast shutter orshutter priority mode...but a full manual exposuremode is way down the list.

However I would *never* buy a digital camera without the ability to manually focus. There are times when this can make the difference between getting a shot and getting rubbish.

The image below was taken recently,shutter priority was used but it may well have been OK on full auto....but setting the focus manually was crucial.

The full image on the PC here looks a bit more than a "some average good pictures as souvenir".



David
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Old Jul 2, 2004, 8:26 AM   #5
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Thanks for your reply.

Can I ask you what camera you have?

One can really see that each person has to decide for himself whats important .

I think I'll wait for the reviews on the pentax optio mx as that one has full manual control so I cant go wrong (If pics quality and shutterlag are ok)

Thanks again for your help,

Ed
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Old Jul 2, 2004, 8:45 AM   #6
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David,

sure the pic is great , but it could be properly focused with "spot autofocus" as well, right?:|
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Old Jul 2, 2004, 9:42 AM   #7
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ed33,

I have a Sony P12 5MP but that image was taken with 3MP Canon A75



Kcan,

The image was taken through a viewing pane with defects that experience has shown can cause any autofocus system to pick up on the window. You are right this is less likely to happen with the spot focus.

However there were reasons why the aircraft would be a certain distance from the window so manual focus was the 100% way to know every image would be in focus. There were no second chances to get the subject to "just stand still and smile again"!

Another very good reason for manual focus on the A75 (and many other compacts)was its poor ability to focus in low light, even despite an AF assist lamp. I found indoor flash images of the family were far better if the distance was pre-set manually.

David










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Old Jul 2, 2004, 1:08 PM   #8
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Quote:
setting the focus manually was crucial.


I have 4 non-DSLR digital cameras, 2 of them compact. None would have problems with autofocus with that shot. I would have to be careful my Minolta didn't focus on the wing, but it would be easy enough to shift the focus to the fueling probe area. I'm guessing you must have something with IR focus that the canopy would interfere with. But my cameras wouldn't have any problem at all with the good contrast from the fueling probe bay.

None of my cameras have ever been in auto mode except by accident. But I probably shoot in program more than most. Two of my cameras have histograms in the viewfinder and you can shift the EV easily. You can also cycle through all of the shutter speed/aperture combinations if you want to increase the shutter speed say. The compacts aren't quite as versatile, but spot metering and/or EV shift works in most situations where I suspect the matrix metering might be fooled.

I use manual exposure for panoramas and night shots on a tripod. Also sometimes for macro. I use shutter and aperture priority only for my external flash. Manual focus on a non-DSLR is emergency only except for macro or night work on a tripod. I have been known to pre-set manual focus for a burst shot where I anticipate the action will be. Everything else I do in program with auto-focus.

I wouldn't want to be without the manual modes, but my little Pentax S4 doesn't have manual exposure and I can usually compensate. It is an occasional irritant and I would like the S4 more if they had included manual exposure. It does have manual focus.
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Old Jul 3, 2004, 1:44 AM   #9
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slipe,

Bear in mind this is a crop from a larger image. You'll just have to trust me there were objects in shot that could have confused the autofocus...also that as an experienced photographer I knew what settingswe needed to be *certain* of getting these images home. OK they *might* have been OK with autofocus but might wasn't good enough.

Also there is no shame in getting home with stunning shots resulting from auto settings.....landscape, candid, portrait...I do it all the time.

However I will admit at some frustration when Sony refuse to include a shutter priority mode on their Cybershot range which I'd always prefer to a fast shutter scene mode.



David


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