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recommendations for good digital camera with manual focus?

Old 06-23-13, 08:39 AM
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recommendations for good digital camera with manual focus?

Looking for something that doesn't break the bank, and has manual focus ability?

alternatively, anyone have experience with a great point and shoot that they love?
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Old 06-23-13, 09:03 AM
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Re: recommendations for good digital camera with manual focus?

I love my Sony NEX. Big sensor in a compact model. Mine doesn't have a viewfinder, but some do. Highly rated, recent additions give it plenty of lens choices, plus very inexpensive adapters allow you to use legacy glass that are often cheap and amazing quality. And yes, you can focus manually with Sony NEX lenses, and of course legacy glass would be manual focus only.

As for P&S I recently picked up a Canon SX280 HS. I got it to have a 20x zoom that could carry in my back pocket. I'm very impressed with the image quality for such a small sensor camera. It also does surprising well in low light. Again, compared to other small sensor cameras. It also has wifi to enable you to send pics to your phone. Though I use a wifi SD card in my Sony to do the same thing.

In my mind there is no perfect camera. But prices have dropped so much, I think a good option to look at would be a decent DSLR or Mirrorless (I like the Sony line for mirrorless), and a good more pocketable camera.

Just realized this was in otter. Probably should be moved to Tech where you would get more replies and there have been several camera threads.
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Old 06-23-13, 10:56 AM
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Re: recommendations for good digital camera with manual focus?

Depends what your definition of break the bank is. You can get a Canon T1i with kit lens for roughly $300 or so.
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Old 06-23-13, 11:08 AM
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Re: recommendations for good digital camera with manual focus?

technically, I think a lot of the modern point and shoots have the ability to set the focus without using autofocus, but if that's a make-or-break criteria for you, I'd only be looking at DSLRs. The newest mirrorless cameras would also be good, but you can probably find an older DSLR at a much cheaper price than the newest mirrorlesses.
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Old 06-23-13, 12:08 PM
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Re: recommendations for good digital camera with manual focus?

A couple good point and shoot cameras: Sony RX-100 and Panasonic LX7. I personally use an RX-100 and it's a fantastic camera although it's pricey. Fast lens on the wide end, very well built, and a large sensor (for a point and shoot).
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Old 06-23-13, 01:07 PM
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Re: recommendations for good digital camera with manual focus?

There are some excellent middle ground cameras out there that are smaller and lighter than a full DSLR but have the same shape and most of the same features, including fixed lenses with excellent zooms. Some also come with a manual focus.

I have a Nikon P510 and am pretty fond of it. It has a manual focus as well, but it is a switch manual focus, not a focus from twisting the lense. I've only rarely had a reason to use it though.

http://www.amazon.com/Nikon-COOLPIX-.../dp/B0073HSH8U

Under $400 now that the P520 is out.
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Old 06-23-13, 02:20 PM
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Re: recommendations for good digital camera with manual focus?

Originally Posted by RoyalTea View Post
technically, I think a lot of the modern point and shoots have the ability to set the focus without using autofocus, but if that's a make-or-break criteria for you, I'd only be looking at DSLRs. The newest mirrorless cameras would also be good, but you can probably find an older DSLR at a much cheaper price than the newest mirrorlesses.
It depends on use and wants and preferences. But for sheer pic quality, I'd take a new mirrorless (specifically Sony NEX) over an older entry DSLR. Now if your doing studio shooting, want lots of accessories such as multiple flash options, grips, odd lenses, or really physically large lenses (large lenses feel better on larger cameras) then go DSLR.

But you can't lump all mirrorless together. The Sony NEX is somewhat unique. The new Canon is nice, but real focus issues. If that gets fixed on next generation, could be a sweet camera. The Samsung's just haven't taken off. There are a couple unique 4/3's camera from Olympus and Panasonic that can be at least argued have the pic quality of the NEX (or DSLR's) but you can't say that about all 4/3 camera's and especially those with even smaller sensor's.

Your talking pretty wide range if just saying "older" DSLR. But newer DSLR have an edge in faster focus and true optical viewfinder. But the current line up mirrorless are fast focus. I wouldn't hesitate recommending for kids, but if I were shooting sports a lot, I'd probably go DSLR. Both for the focus speed and handle better with larger lenses.

I'm also not sure you would need to get an "older" DSLR to save money. The mirrorless are sort of "in vogue" right now. You can often find current entery/low-mid DSLR's for less than some mirrorless.

Mirrorless offer the small package. This may not be a factor for some. I travel a lot and already have to carry a lot of stuff. I can fit my NEX, couple lenses, flash, battery memory cards, table top tripod in a very small bag (currently using a med Crumpler, a small would have been close but no extra room) that I throw in my gym bag. I LOVE the size.

But I will admit the main advantage is the compact aspect of it but takes as good of pic's as a DSLR. If you don't have a need for that size, sure go DSLR. Faster focus, true optical viewfinder, HUGE range of lenses, more accessories, etc. But unless your go a pro-model, I'd just get a new or maybe last years model new.
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Old 06-23-13, 05:22 PM
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Re: recommendations for good digital camera with manual focus?

Mod note: Might have better luck in the Tech Forum...
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Old 06-23-13, 05:28 PM
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Re: recommendations for good digital camera with manual focus?

If manual focus is important to you, you might want to look for models that offer "focus peaking" as an assist. All or most of the Sony NEX cameras have this. This video shows what it does.

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Old 06-24-13, 09:41 AM
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Re: recommendations for good digital camera with manual focus?

Not sure what your budget is, Brand new Sony NEX-F3 @ Sears for $349.99.

http://m.sears.com/productdetails.do...0050830x000545


You can use shop discover to get 10% rewards as well.
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Old 06-24-13, 02:54 PM
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Re: recommendations for good digital camera with manual focus?

Originally Posted by D.Pham4GLTE (>60GB) View Post
Not sure what your budget is, Brand new Sony NEX-F3 @ Sears for $349.99.

http://m.sears.com/productdetails.do...0050830x000545


You can use shop discover to get 10% rewards as well.
That's a good deal. I paid $350 for my C3 about 14 months ago. The F3 is largish for a mirrorless, but has a good grip that some really like and it does add to the handling. It has the original manual normal zoom (as opposed to the newer compact power zoom). I have the zoom and didn't think I would like, but it actually is useful and decent quality.
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Old 06-24-13, 03:01 PM
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Re: recommendations for good digital camera with manual focus?

Originally Posted by Dragon Fly View Post
Depends what your definition of break the bank is. You can get a Canon T1i with kit lens for roughly $300 or so.
This is how I would go. I'm still using a Rebel XT I bought used for something like $199 a good 5 years ago. Grab a Canon or Nikon DSLR from a few years back; they drop in price very quickly when the newer models come out.
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Old 06-25-13, 09:05 AM
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Re: recommendations for good digital camera with manual focus?

You can get the Nikon 3100 (refurbished) w/lens for $305 + free shipping. Good deal. Good camera. It is on eBay, deal of the day, but is a reputable dealer,

http://deals.ebay.com/5000343980_Nik...epn=5335869999
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Old 03-13-14, 07:15 AM
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Re: recommendations for good digital camera with manual focus?

The NEX F3 suits me perfectly. I am not a professional photographer, just a mom who likes to take beautiful pictures, especially of her little kids, friends and I also take pictures at small events. I did not want a point and shoot camera, and I also did not want a compact system camera that looked like a point and shoot. After reading different reviews from professional websites, I decided to go with this one because I really like the way it feels in my hands and I also like the way it looks.(beautiful, sleek camera)
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