Suggested cameras, help pick one!

Discussion in 'Photography Equipment & Products' started by Dimitry, Jul 8, 2004.

  1. Dimitry

    Dimitry TPF Noob!

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    Hey guys,
    Im basicly looking for ups and downs for below cameras that a local guy recommended to me to learn on:
    - Pentax K-1000
    - Canon AE-1
    - Nikon FM10

    I originally was asking about Nikon N75 because it caught my eye but he said that with latest SLRs you cant really learn and have to go through a bunch of button pressing just to adjust something manually.

    I basicly did a search on those cameras on Ebay and most come within similar price range. There's also a good local store that was recommended to me that sells used cameras and has these in stock.

    Which one in your opinion is better to learn on and get good pictures?
    What should I look for when checking the cameras out in the store?

    Thanks a lot!
    Also if you can recommend any other manual cameras, please do!
    Ive been intersted in photography for a while but all I had was my Sony 3.2MP cybershot and I coulndt really learn much about photography with that. I want to play with filters, with shutter speeds, test different exposures, etc.

    Thanks again :)
    Dimitry
     
  2. LizM

    LizM TPF Noob!

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    Pentax K-1000

    There again, I'm biased. That was my first SLR. It really is a good camera though. I learned tons about taking photographs with that camera. Oh, and the Takumar lenses are great!
     
  3. drlynn

    drlynn TPF Noob!

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    You will find fairly large support groups on here for both the K-1000 and the AE-1.

    In the Nikon manual line, a used FM2N is generally agreed to be a better choice than an FM10.

    With the AE-1, if you can actually play with it before you buy, click the shutter 8-10 times. If it doesn't make a squeaking noise, buy. If it does, ask the shop if they can clean and lube it for you.
     
  4. Soulreaver

    Soulreaver TPF Noob!

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    I dont know about the N75 being bad for learning.
    Besides modes that do some to all the work for you there is a manual mode as well, and 3 types of fotometer.I have a F80 and am using it on manual all the time now that Im in a photography course.
    But if you are set on a manual body, I liked the pentax k1000.Also drylinn is right, FM2 is better than FM10.
     
  5. Slowboat

    Slowboat TPF Noob!

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    If you choose the AE-1 route you will be purchasing lenses that use Canon's FD mount, so any investment you make in lenses will not move forward if you choose to move up to a Canon EOS model camera.
     
  6. japmula

    japmula TPF Noob!

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    Hehe....I'm not sure if I'm biased or not about this, but the Pentax K-1000 was also my first "learning" camera and I have to say, it's great if you want to learn manually. No offense to our digital world friends, but you really get a feel for doing "real photography" with this camera if ya' know what I mean....in the sense of learning how to read the good ol' needle light meter and winding your film manually, etc. I loved it! Hehehe...I suppose it's safe to say I'm biased.... :D

    Oh and P.S. - I moved onto a Canon EOS afterwards and it was fine, less work than the Pentax and is great, but definitely glad that I learned on the Pentax first. :wink:

    Good Luck!
     
  7. Dimitry

    Dimitry TPF Noob!

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    Does N75 have a manual mode for shutter speed selection?
    On the camera specs it says Automatic selection or something of that sort.

    I definatly wouldnt mind buying a top notch camera like that (even though a bit more than Id rather spend), but I dont want to be limited to automatic features only.

    Thanks
    Dimitry
     
  8. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    If you can use a digital camera, the N75 (or most any) newer SLR camera should not be hard to learn.

    Any typical modern SLR will allow you to shot the 4 basic modes.

    Shutter priority - you pick the shutter speed and it picks the aperture

    Aperture priority - you pick the aperture and it picks the shutter speed

    Full auto - you just point & shoot

    Full Manual - you pick both the shutter speed & the aperture. The cameras do have a built-in light meter to help you choose.

    The newer cameras have all sorts of other modes like portrait or night or sports but they are just variations of the basic modes and (I think) make it harder to really understand how the camera works.

    For your needs, an older manual focus camera will work just fine but a newer SLR camera won't limit you in any way because you don't have to use it in auto mode.
     
  9. Dimitry

    Dimitry TPF Noob!

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    Well I visited local camera shop and they have quite a few Pentax K1000. I played with one and really liked how clean it was so I asked for a price and it was $249.99 without any lens. I wasnt sure why it was so expensive. I know theyre great cameras and theyre classics but I just didnt expect that price.

    At any rate, I decided to go with a newer SLR camera like N75. Does that camera have good competition cameras that have similar features so I can compare? Oh... and do any newer SLR cameras have Bulb option for shutter speed? I dont think this one does.. can anyone clarify?

    Thanks!
    Dimitry
     
  10. airgunr

    airgunr TPF Noob!

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    FWIW, While I still have my old AE-1 and love it I would consider the Nikon. Nikon is very good about backward compatiability of lenses. The body is important but a HUGE part of your investment is in the lenses. Should you move on at a later date you will not have to invest in all new lenses. I am also partial to Nikon glass, they do have some great lenses. HTH
     
  11. Dimitry

    Dimitry TPF Noob!

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    I called my grandma yestreday because I remember having an SLR camera back in Ukraine when I was little (I remember playing with it).

    She found it and Im going to receive it in a few weeks! Cant wait :)

    Its an older Zenith ET that my parents bought in the 80s back in the good old USSR days.

    The only problem for me is to find a manual for it. I dont care if its in russian or english... any will do for me. Anyone know of a place that carrier various manuals?

    Thanks!
    Dimitry
     
  12. ksmattfish

    ksmattfish Now 100% DC - not as cool as I once was, but still

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    I'm not up on the latest description of the N75, but Nikon is notorious for leaving basic features off their entry level AF SLRs. For example: manual ISO control and cable release socket. Without the cable release socket I suppose there isn't much need for a bulb setting, so they've probably dropped that too.

    These features have to be so cheap to include in the camera; most other brands have them, and once upon a time (pre 1995) it would have been unheard of for a SLR not to have these basic features. My cynical point of veiw says that they fired all the photogs working at the big companies, and hired up a buch of sales goons that figured out if they save 10 cents on each SLR body sold, it adds up over a couple of million pieces sold. I'm sure they have some consumer study that shows how 90% of the people never use the bulb setting, and for those who do, well, it's a good way to get them to upgrade to a more expensive camera.

    You should be able to find a K1000 w/ 50mm f/2 lens in good shape on Ebay for $100 or less. The Canon AE-1s seem to be going even cheaper, although I think most would consider it a more advanced design than the K1000. I've seen both go for less than $50.

    I like the AE-1 a lot, in fact I just got my Dad's old one (in perfect condition). But I'd still go with the K1000 for a couple of reasons that may only work for me:

    1) I've always been a Pentax guy, and the K1000 has always been a favorite camera. Although I don't think it's true anymore, for a while it almost seemed like Pentax was holding out against the crass commercialism that was so evident with Canon and Nikon.

    2) When the K1000 runs out of battery, the meter stops, but the camera works fine. When the AE-1 runs out of juice, the whole camera locks up. The K1000 doesn't have an off switch, but if you leave the lens cap off it runs down the battery. The AE-1 has an on/off switch that I always forget to turn off.
     

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