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Camera with easy to use manual settings and focus?
I am interested in getting a camera that will easily let me do manual focus. I have had an interest in photography for the longest time, and in spite of some truly terrible auto mode shots I've taken over the years, I've decided that I'm going to read, learn and implement..

To that end, I need a camera to replace or complement my Pentax Optio S. I would like a decent size zoom, easy to use manual focus and other manual features like Aperture and Shutter priority or full manual..

One camera that I'm interested in is the Panasonic FZ50. Its great, but it gave me sticker shock - that's almost DSLR money! I could probably get a Canon 400D for a bit more money or a 350D for about that much..

However, I understand the bulk argument as well. The FZ50 is still pretty small and has a very useful zoom range and a good lens..

What other cameras are out there that would satisfy my requirements as well as being a bit cheaper than the FZ50?.

I don't really care about megapixels, I'm happy with my 3.2mp Optio S but I need to upgrade because that camera has it's limits...

Comments (5)

You will be disappointed eventually if you dont buy an DSLR.I think you will easily reach the limit of the Panasonic very quickly.The entry levels of DSLR's are really quite cheap by comaprison.Nikon D40 or D40xCanon 400D or 450DPentax K100D or soon to be released K200DOlympus E510Sony Alpha 700..

You will probably start with the Kit lens whichever you choose just make sure it has a manual focus ring, I think most of them do..

As far as Megapixels are concerned 6 seems to be just enough, everyone is going 10 and above at present but believe you me 6 is adequate..

Just for fun, take a photo with your Pentax 3.2, crop a piece out about 1/4 of the frame, then print it out at A4..

If finances are stretched, think obout a good secondhand unit, with the advent of a spate of new Camera's coming to market at present there will be a lot of trades and secondhands on ebay..

Comment #1

Solo1 wrote:.

You will be disappointed eventually if you dont buy an DSLR.I think you will easily reach the limit of the Panasonic very quickly.The entry levels of DSLR's are really quite cheap by comaprison.Nikon D40 or D40xCanon 400D or 450DPentax K100D or soon to be released K200DOlympus E510Sony Alpha 700..

I agree with the DSLR recommendation. However, if your budget can't stretch to even a used one, the Canon A series, like the A570 IS, are good cameras. But, no P&S offers nearly the manual capabilities of a DSLR...

Comment #2

Mark Larson wrote:.

One camera that I'm interested in is the Panasonic FZ50. Its great,but it gave me sticker shock - that's almost DSLR money! I couldprobably get a Canon 400D for a bit more money or a 350D for aboutthat much..

That may be true for the 400D with the kit lens. By the time you add image stabilized lenses to match the zoom range of the FZ50, you will be spending an additional $1500 or more. Seehttp://forums.dpreview.com/...forums/read.asp?forum=1002&message=26544968.

Joel Orlinsky.

Image control:Zoom outZoom 100%Zoom inExpand AllOpen in new window..

Comment #3

Thanks for the input all. My main question was, what other bridge cameras are out there with manual focus rings and maybe manual zoom? Is a Pentaprism, like that found in the Canon 40D et al, the only way to have a useful manual focus?..

Comment #4

First, why dont you go to the "Buying Guide" on this site and put in your parameteres..

The Pentaprism used on the better DSLR's are certainly very good and Bright, Pentax had one of the best Viewfinders for a long while..

Its not just the viewfinder thats important the lens focus ring ratio is also important, ie you dont want a ring that moves only 1/10 mm from spot on to totally blurry, you want a bit of movement in the ring to "fine tune" the focus, most of the better Lenses for the DSLR"s have "full time focus, in other words, you can use auto focus to lock onto your subject then whilst the shutter id still half pressed manually focus(fine tune) before taking the shot..

Please go into a store and have this demonstrated so you know what I'm talking about..

I know I said before "buy a DSLR" dont contemplate a "look alike" as they are just as big but lose it when you want moving targets or low light photography..

When it comes to low light there is no substitute for a large sensor, I dont mean large as in megapixel I mean large as in physical dimensions. I think that leads you toward Nikon, Canon and Pentax...

Comment #5

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This question was taken from a support group/message board and re-posted here so others can learn from it.

 

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