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scoots Jun 11, 2008 3:48 AM

i recently finished a photo class with an old 35mm. i loved the camera so much that i want to use a digital version of it. the best part about the 35mm was the manual focus so i was wondering what would be a good digital camera i could buy that would have the manual focus but still not be very expensive?

secondly, are there any good slr-like cameras that have this function that are worth looking at or should i just stay with looking at slr cameras?


TCav Jun 11, 2008 4:59 AM

First, many film SLRs have digital equivalents, so any lenses and accessories that you already have for your film SLR will work with a dSLR as well. That should save you some money, possibly even a lot of money. What brand SLR do you have, and do you have a lot of lenses and accessories for it?

Second, there are a number of P&S digicams that can focus manually. Take a look at Steve's Best List. [ ]

scoots Jun 11, 2008 6:47 PM

i actually have a minolta and it is very old. i went to the store today to see if the lense fit on any other brands and that was a no go. i really liked the nikon d60 and the pentax. not sure which one i should go for. the last thing i need to have happen is for a salesman to talk me into something that i really don't need.

mtngal Jun 11, 2008 10:06 PM

Both the Nikon and the Pentax (I assume you looked at the K200 rather than the more expensive K20) will take very good pictures, you won't go wrong with either one. I've heard they use the same sensor, but have no way of confirming that. There are a number of differences, some of which will be important to some people, but not to others. Some of the more important differences:

The Pentax has weather seals while the Nikon does not. That comes in handy when shooting pictures in snow, humid conditions, dusty situations etc. It is not water proof - you can't go diving with it. I shoot in snow whenever I can, and can verify that it works quite well, especially with one of the weather sealed lenses.

The Pentax has 11 focus points, while the Nikon has 3. If you always use the center focus point and reframe, then it won't make a difference. For those who want the ability to focus on something on the third lines, it's very nice.

The Pentax has a top monitor where many of the important camera functions are reported, making it easy to just glance down to check. The Nikon doesn't have one - putting the same information on the LCD on the back. Some people (not all) will find it less convenient. Pentax's top monitor is small and is the type that doesn't take much battery power - Nikon uses sensors that turn the LCD off when you put the camera up to your eye to try to limit battery useage (LCD use does take quite a bit of power to use, no matter what camera you have).

Both have scene modes if you want - I've never used them personally and don't know if one is better than the other in this category.

The Pentax uses AA batteries, while the Nikon uses a Li-ion. Since I started using hybrid batteries I don't think there's an advantage either way, though some like having a commonly found battery if they are traveling.

The Pentax has a sensitivity mode on the mode dial- where you can adjust the sensitivity by the control wheel while the camera adjusts the exposre. The Nikon doesn't have this - you would have to change the sensitivity in it's normal way. It's not a big deal, but I was surprised how much I did use it once I had it.

The Pentax has anti-shake in the camera body so any lens you use will be stabilized. Nikon puts stabilization in the lens so you have to buy it all over again, and the VR lenses are more expensive. Anti-shake will be important to some, but not important to others (I'm one who finds it very useful as I'm always finding myself shooting with slower shutter speeds than I should use for the lens I'm using).

The Pentax can use any Pentax lens ever made (including the M42 screw mount lenses, though they require an adaptor), and it will retain whatever function/capability that lens had when new. The Nikon can only AF with lenses that have a focus motor in the lens - it doesn't have a motor in the camera body. That means that most of Nikon's fast primes won't auto focus on the D60 - that may or may not be a big deal (I use manual focus lenses all the time so it wouldn't matter to me). And there are lots of old, manual Nikon lenses that won't work on it at all.

JimC Jun 12, 2008 9:47 AM

scoots wrote:

i actually have a minolta and it is very old. i went to the store today to see if the lense fit on any other brands and that was a no go.
What camera and lenses do you have? If they're Minolta Autofocus lenses, any Sony dSLR model can use them without an adapter.

If their older Rokkors (Minolta MC/MD mount manual focus lenses), no currrent dSLR models will allow you to attach them directly.

But, you can find adapters that let you use them on some cameras. For example, you can get an adapter that lets you use them on an Olympus dSLR model. You can also find adapters that let you use them on a KM or Sony dSLR model (and you can probably find adapters for some of the other camera brands, too).

I'd let members know what lenses you have. If they're higher quality lenses, you may want to look into an adapter.

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