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DPChallenge Forums >> Hardware and Software >> DLSR... what's best?
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09/10/2006 09:05:18 PM · #1
I am researching dSLR's... and I need some advice... what I am looking for is a camera that has the option of full manual functions... manual focus, shutter speed, aperature... etc. Does anyone know where I can look?? Most things I have found do not allow the user to control both F-stop and shutter speed, and that is something I am really looking for. Any ideas would be helpful...

Thanks!!!
09/10/2006 09:07:15 PM · #2
Originally posted by jeannybeany:

I am researching dSLR's... and I need some advice... what I am looking for is a camera that has the option of full manual functions... manual focus, shutter speed, aperature... etc. Does anyone know where I can look?? Most things I have found do not allow the user to control both F-stop and shutter speed, and that is something I am really looking for. Any ideas would be helpful...

Thanks!!!


All DSLR's allow you to do this. What cameras were you looking at again?
09/10/2006 09:08:56 PM · #3
As far as I know, ALL dlsrs allow full manual operation. My 300D did and the other canon's do.
09/10/2006 09:10:30 PM · #4
All DSLR's will let you manually adjust both.

Compare the Canon 400D and 30D, Nikon D70s and D80 here:

Canon & Nikon DSLR's Side by Side
09/10/2006 09:11:40 PM · #5
All dslr's have manual controls, heck most point and shoots even have "M" mode these days, are you sure you worded your question right?
09/10/2006 09:12:14 PM · #6
All DSLR's have full manual control. What is best? Expect around *goes to check membership numbers* 65,000+ opinions on that.

There are lots of very knowledgeable people around here to provide some guidance, just gotta give them some limits in order to help their vicarious shopping through you. Most important bring price but it is also worth mentioning what you hope to do with it.
09/10/2006 09:17:28 PM · #7
My friend has a Pentax... but when you change the shutter speed it automatically adjusts the f-stop...

I want to be able to leave the shutter open longer, but let very little light in... maybe that's not even possible to do??? haha... still learning here, but i thought you could!!!

my point and shoot has manual options, but you cant change the f-stop...

i guess instead of asking about what camera is best, I should ask if anyone knows a good class I could take!!! hahaha
09/10/2006 09:18:40 PM · #8
Originally posted by jeannybeany:

I am researching dSLR's... and I need some advice... what I am looking for is a camera that has the option of full manual functions... manual focus, shutter speed, aperature... etc. Does anyone know where I can look?? Most things I have found do not allow the user to control both F-stop and shutter speed, and that is something I am really looking for. Any ideas would be helpful...

Thanks!!!


You need to personally handle a Canon 20D and/or 30D, a Rebel series (300D/350D/400DXTi), as well as a Nikon D50, D70/D80, D200 etc... at the very least before choosing. Consider a price range, including lenses, and then try out some more stuff. If you don't care about getting "the best" just buy whatever looks pretty and be happy with it. Not everyone wants to research their buy for months on end (like myself) and I understand that.
09/10/2006 09:18:54 PM · #9
Originally posted by Count:

All DSLR's will let you manually adjust both.

Compare the Canon 400D and 30D, Nikon D70s and D80 here:

Canon & Nikon DSLR's Side by Side


Thank you.. this is VERY helpful!!!
09/10/2006 09:20:12 PM · #10
Originally posted by jeannybeany:

My friend has a Pentax... but when you change the shutter speed it automatically adjusts the f-stop...

I want to be able to leave the shutter open longer, but let very little light in... maybe that's not even possible to do??? haha... still learning here, but i thought you could!!!

my point and shoot has manual options, but you cant change the f-stop...

i guess instead of asking about what camera is best, I should ask if anyone knows a good class I could take!!! hahaha


Well there are four basic modes which allow input. Your friends Pentax was likely set to "Shutter Priority", where you choose shutter and it meters the aperture. "Aperture Priority" is the opposite. "Program Mode" chooses both, and "Manual Mode" lets you choose. I assure you that all DSLR's will have these modes plus many more.
09/10/2006 09:21:43 PM · #11
Originally posted by Vapor63:

Originally posted by jeannybeany:

My friend has a Pentax... but when you change the shutter speed it automatically adjusts the f-stop...

I want to be able to leave the shutter open longer, but let very little light in... maybe that's not even possible to do??? haha... still learning here, but i thought you could!!!

my point and shoot has manual options, but you cant change the f-stop...

i guess instead of asking about what camera is best, I should ask if anyone knows a good class I could take!!! hahaha


Well there are four basic modes which allow input. Your friends Pentax was likely set to "Shutter Priority", where you choose shutter and it meters the aperture. "Aperture Priority" is the opposite. "Program Mode" chooses both, and "Manual Mode" lets you choose. I assure you that all DSLR's will have these modes plus many more.


Thank you so much... i do plan to research more!! i want to make sure I get the right camera to best fit me and give me what I want from it!!!

Thanks for the info!
09/10/2006 10:04:30 PM · #12
check your local community college for a photography class, that may get you started and help you understand, thats if your looking for a class.

asking what the best camera is like asking if ford is better than chevy (which we all now the answer to that, LOL....runs with flame suit on).

good luck in your buy, since nobody mentioned it, check www.dpreview.com for reviews on diffrent cameras.
09/10/2006 10:10:15 PM · #13
haven't read all the replies, only the OP's post, and here's my reply:

there is no BEST dSLR, only what suits you the most.
and also, all those Manual controls that you wanted are available on almost all dSLR models regardless the brand, and also on all prosumer compact cameras. My suggestion on your 1st dSLR (if that's what you wanted) is to get a cheap used-dSLR body with kit lens and try it out. This way you can change system (body and lens) when you are ready to upgrade. There's more to dSLRs than just manual controls and changing lens - each are different and that is why we have sometimes silly XXX vs YYY debates that goes forever :)
09/10/2006 10:14:37 PM · #14
I'm with crayon.. stay away from xxx vs. yyy debates, do a *lot* of reading, go into stores and feel the different cameras.. ask everyone you can questions, visit photography websites, and just generally .. *learn*.

The more you know...

Also, I can't stress it enough, if someone you are talking to says anything like, "X is the *BEST* camera, everything else sucks" well, get your help from someone else :)

Message edited by author 2006-09-10 22:16:24.
09/10/2006 10:23:22 PM · #15
Originally posted by Vapor63:

Originally posted by jeannybeany:

My friend has a Pentax... but when you change the shutter speed it automatically adjusts the f-stop...

I want to be able to leave the shutter open longer, but let very little light in... maybe that's not even possible to do??? haha... still learning here, but i thought you could!!!

my point and shoot has manual options, but you cant change the f-stop...

i guess instead of asking about what camera is best, I should ask if anyone knows a good class I could take!!! hahaha


Well there are four basic modes which allow input. Your friends Pentax was likely set to "Shutter Priority", where you choose shutter and it meters the aperture. "Aperture Priority" is the opposite. "Program Mode" chooses both, and "Manual Mode" lets you choose. I assure you that all DSLR's will have these modes plus many more.


I'm fairly sure you assume correctly. My pentax certainly has has a fully manual mode.
09/10/2006 10:42:00 PM · #16
Originally posted by Artyste:

I'm with crayon.. stay away from xxx vs. yyy debates, do a *lot* of reading, go into stores and feel the different cameras.. ask everyone you can questions, visit photography websites, and just generally .. *learn*.

The more you know...

Also, I can't stress it enough, if someone you are talking to says anything like, "X is the *BEST* camera, everything else sucks" well, get your help from someone else :)


But dd00d, X liek totaly is teh betst camera ever!!!11
09/11/2006 03:39:01 AM · #17
Originally posted by Vapor63:

Originally posted by Artyste:

I'm with crayon.. stay away from xxx vs. yyy debates, do a *lot* of reading, go into stores and feel the different cameras.. ask everyone you can questions, visit photography websites, and just generally .. *learn*.

The more you know...

Also, I can't stress it enough, if someone you are talking to says anything like, "X is the *BEST* camera, everything else sucks" well, get your help from someone else :)


But dd00d, X liek totaly is teh betst camera ever!!!11


Example: I chose the Nikon D50 over the D70s and the canon Rebal xt... why? Because the Nikon D50 was more suitable for "me" and what I wanted in camera (less noise, good size, and etc...).
09/11/2006 04:28:41 AM · #18
In many cases, it's more about the lens choices than the camera. When you choose a system, there's also the ability to upgrade at a later date according to need... Most people never really need to upgrade beyond an entry level or prosumer level cam and most brands have that covered...

A quick rundown on the practicals:

Canon 400D - decent camera, excellent noise characteristics... lens choices are usually cheaper than other brands for similar quality. The second hand market is usually strongest here with lenses that are NEW...

Nikon D50/D80 - I personally don't like the D50 as I hate the feel of it, but the D80 is a serious camera. Long term lens costs usually work out a fair bit more if you buy all Nikon glass... (20-30% more when I was working out my budget) in some countries, there is lots of second hand Nikon glass, but it's almost exclusively older lenses... Nikon glass is often a bit better than Canon glass too though... This is largely due to Nikon being almost without challenge for so many years in the pro camera field, but having recently lost dominance to Canon...
Noise is a bit cleaner with normal exposures because of a different quality, but is stronger on longer exposures...

Pentax K100D - a very affordable body with anti-shake in body. Can use the pentax lens system which in some countries is well supported in the second hand market as well.. Similar imaging characteristics to the Nikon D80 IMHO.

Sony - also has anti-shake in body, with some neat extra features, but I and many others were left somewhat unconvinced by certain smaller issues such as image noise...

Sigma D14 - unknown at this point, but it stands a pretty likely chance of being a major player ***IF*** they offer their camera with Canon/Nikon mounts... it's a pain to deal with the Sigma mount...

Olympus - seems to be falling behind a bit because they aren't keeping up with image quality. Glass is pretty good, but the sensors are smaller and therefore have more noise, and more noise correction.

I believe that should cover the basics..

I will be helping a friend buy a first camera in a few months, and I will probably be steering her towards the Pentax or the Sigma, then possibly the 400D... She's not a serious user and won't move beyond the initial investment... I only say that because I've known her for many years though... for anyone else, that is probably an unfair statement...

If I she were more serious about photography, I would recommend the SD14, then the Nikon D80 then the Canon 400D.
09/11/2006 05:23:04 AM · #19
I have a Canon EOS 300D, which is now obselete. The equivalent now is the entry level 400D. These are a great introduction to digital photography, they are easy to use, competitively priced and have a wide range of lenses available. Canon is killing it in the DSLR market and rightfully so.
09/11/2006 10:40:25 AM · #20
I am not really sure if my camera (Sony DSC-828) is a DSLR or not. But I like it. It is big and comfy and has lots of buttons. Plus you can get them now under $600.
09/11/2006 10:48:16 AM · #21
Eschelar... thank you so much for all that info... that helps tremendously... now i know where to look in my general research!!

Sneakypete, thank you as well... I will look into the 400D as I do need a bit of an introduction!!! :-)

Thanks to everyone!! This is excellent help all around!
09/11/2006 11:19:35 AM · #22
I have an Olympus E500 and I love it. Does a wonderful job for me. I haven't had any problems with it as of yet. It was affordable at the time when I bought it and I'm so glad I made the jump from p&s to dSLR. I still have TONS to learn but I'm getting there. Hope this helps.

g
09/11/2006 12:14:10 PM · #23
Originally posted by crayon:

haven't read all the replies, only the OP's post, and here's my reply:

there is no BEST dSLR, only what suits you the most.
and also, all those Manual controls that you wanted are available on almost all dSLR models regardless the brand, and also on all prosumer compact cameras. My suggestion on your 1st dSLR (if that's what you wanted) is to get a cheap used-dSLR body with kit lens and try it out. This way you can change system (body and lens) when you are ready to upgrade. There's more to dSLRs than just manual controls and changing lens - each are different and that is why we have sometimes silly XXX vs YYY debates that goes forever :)


The BEST DSLR is the one you use.

Go to a store. Pick some up. Hold them. Shoot a few frames. Play with them. Change some settings. Which one can you see yourself using? Which one feels the best in your hands? Which seems the easiest and most intuitive to use?
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