An Understandable DSLR?

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by ChinoD, Feb 15, 2018.

  1. ChinoD

    ChinoD TPF Noob!

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    Can anyone out there recommend a DSLR camera for me? I used to really enjoy film photography, and used to regularly win minor awards for my photographs. I mention that just so you will know I understand about light, shadow and composition. Sadly, a few years back I hit a brick wall when I bought a Nikon D5000. I do not have good computer skills, so I found it impossible to understand the camera or the instruction book. Both the camera and the instruction book both use names and technical terms I am not familiar with. I found online tutorials, but they were for experienced photographers who already know their camera. It was so frustrating I ended up giving the D5000 away.
    I really like cameras that have manual exposure, shutter speed, and focus. Hopefully there is a DSLR camera that has a light meter for manual settings. Price is really no object. Is there a digital SLR that operates like the obsolete film SLR cameras?
    Thank you for any help you can give!


     
  2. jaomul

    jaomul Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    D3xxx series Nikons have a built in guide mode. It's fairly simple to follow
     
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  3. Destin

    Destin Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Every DSLR has manual settings like a film SLR. You just have to put it in manual mode.

    You’ll find the manual focus is very very difficult on a DSLR because of the focusing screen being made for autofocus.

    If you want a “classic” style camera that has controls similar to a film SLR look into the Fuji x-t2
     
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  4. vintagesnaps

    vintagesnaps Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    That sounds like me being a film photographer who used (and uses) mechanical cameras. My digital camera is a Ricoh GXR which isn't made anymore (so that's not much help). Other than it resetting the shutter speed anytime I leave the camera on for a minute and aim it downward (so it isn't getting enough light and resets it to like 1 sec.) I've liked that I can use the same lenses that I use for film rangefinders and mostly all manual settings.

    Maybe don't limit yourself to a DSLR. Seems like there are other digital cameras like the APS-C that are more similar to film cameras and might be worth looking into.

    My only other problem is switching from a film to the digital camera and a viewfinder to a viewscreen so that occasionally I've whacked myself in the forehead forgetting which camera body I have. That might be due to user error.
     
  5. nerwin

    nerwin Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Nikon D3xxx for sure. A perfect camera to get into dslr photography. Like @jaomul noted, it has a built in guide with nice colorful and graphical representations of most settings. I'm sure Canon has something equivalent as well.

    The D3xxx series was designed for beginners and in theory they would graduate to the D5xxx series which is slightly more advanced and then they'd ultimate graduate to the D7xxx line.
     
  6. ChinoD

    ChinoD TPF Noob!

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    Thanks for all the help. I'm kind of a F-stop, shutter speed, focus kind of guy. Modern computer technology came out 20 years after I was out of school and I'm really not looking for view screens full of menus and icons. Just a light meter!
     
  7. Derrel

    Derrel Mr. Rain Cloud

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    We're in the 21st Century now, and have been for 17 full years and a bit more. You want a 50-year-old camera type design that's a d-slr, and that's a tall order. You need to spend that one day reading the fine manual that comes with the d-slr. The Nikon Df is an analogue-looking type d-slr; perhaps it would suit your retro tendencies, since it has an external shutter speed dial AND can and WILL use external, barrel-mounted f/stop ring lenses, as many Nikkor lenses still are. MOST camera companies (Sony,Minolta,Canon,etc) went to inside-the-camera f/stop control about 35 years ago, but Nikon still has some lenses that have f/stop rings on the lenses themselves. The Nikon Df and some Fuji mirrorless cameras have external shutter speed and lens controls; that type of camera control ethos has largely been discarded among cameras made since the 1990's, and in d-slrs or similar image makers, it's super-rare.
     
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  8. 480sparky

    480sparky Chief Free Electron Relocator Supporting Member

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    Ditto Derrel's Df defferment.
     
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  9. Cortian

    Cortian No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Hmm... Perhaps because I am a "computer guy," I found the Canon 20D gifted to me by a friend to offer as much or as little automation as I wanted. Same with the 40D to which I upgraded.

    That being said: Ken Rockwell's Canon 20D guide was invaluable in getting me up-to-speed quickly. I would've hated to have gotten there via the user's manual, which, while not the worst I've ever seen, isn't the greatest, either.

    I also didn't come from a film SLR, either, so my experiences may be entirely inapplicable.
     
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  10. nerwin

    nerwin Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    A digital SLR works the exact same way as a film SLR does. It's just digital. You obviously have access to the internet, which means YouTube. There are ENDLESS amounts of tutorials available for just about every digital camera out there. If you know how to use a light meter and understand the basic exposure triangle, you'll have no problems using a DSLR. It's fundamentally the same.

    Sounds like what you really want is a Leica M-D (Typ 262) which is a digital full frame rangefinder with no LCD screen. No menus. All manual physical controls. But it'll cost you $6,000.
     
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  11. jcdeboever

    jcdeboever TPF Supporters Supporting Member

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    Fujifilm XT2, XT20. I bought the XT2 for that exact reason. It works like a film SLR.
     
  12. Dean_Gretsch

    Dean_Gretsch SuperDeeDooperExtraordinaire Supporting Member

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    Check with your local community college. They may have a short class with your query in mind. I took one here just after being gifted my camera and found it well worth the $99 it cost me.
     

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