Lightweight camera with full manual


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qljune

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Jan 20, 2008
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#1
Hi,
I am looking for a camera with full manual capability (so that I can learn!) but it has to be compact and lightweight (with batt <550g). Any recommendations?

From other threads, seem like Lumix FZ18 is recommended, but do I really need 18x zoom? Am hoping for something that is more reliable especially in low light.

In short, something compact and light, with a little bit more than the consumer's camera of 4x zoom and reliable in low light.
 

subwirl

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Mar 20, 2005
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#2
Gd choice this model, or u can look at Fuji or even canon. Wont know when that xtra zoom may come in handy
 

sin77

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Nov 28, 2004
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#3
Lumix FZ18 or Fujifilm F31fd

FZ18 good for learning manual controls and lightweight. Only up to ISO 200 still considered acceptable.

Fuiji F31fd up to ISO 400 acceptable. Only 3x zoom. Have partial manual controls which are already good for beginners. Some ppl dun even know how to deal with aperture, shutter and EV well. So even full manual controls also pointless.

Canon S5IS is heavy.
 

lsisaxon

Senior Member
Nov 29, 2004
11,941
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#4
Hi,
I am looking for a camera with full manual capability (so that I can learn!) but it has to be compact and lightweight (with batt <550g). Any recommendations?

From other threads, seem like Lumix FZ18 is recommended, but do I really need 18x zoom? Am hoping for something that is more reliable especially in low light.

In short, something compact and light, with a little bit more than the consumer's camera of 4x zoom and reliable in low light.
How about Nikon D40? I think with a kit lens will weigh about 680g. (okie.. it may be above your spec but it's a DSLR!)

Forget about the manual mode in PnS because you don't get to play much with the aperture anyway.
 

zac08

Senior Member
Feb 21, 2005
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#5
How about Nikon D40? I think with a kit lens will weigh about 680g. (okie.. it may be above your spec but it's a DSLR!)

Forget about the manual mode in PnS because you don't get to play much with the aperture anyway.
I agree with this. If you want to learn more, get a DSLR.

You can't do much with the smaller sensors and reduced amount of controls on a prosumer. ;)
 

Dec 31, 2004
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Yishun
#6
I agree with this. If you want to learn more, get a DSLR.

You can't do much with the smaller sensors and reduced amount of controls on a prosumer. ;)
i disagree here. i learnt my basics on a 2nd hand fz1...

it had aperture priority and that was sufficient (cos if u can use aperture priority well, u can get your desired shutter speed, in shutter priority, even if u set a high shutter speed, if the aperture can't open suffiiently, or iso can't go high enough, your shot will still be under exposed.)

besides, i think learning to compose a pic is more important than the technical skills or mental 'know-how' on calculating the required iso/f-stop/shutter speed.

btw, the fz-1's noise level is way higher than the fz-18 and (IMO) iso 400 is still acceptable with a good exposure.

obviously the dslr had a huge advantage, with larger sensors and more buttons/jog dials, but it may be disadvantegeous if you get overwhelmed by it .... i suggest you test out a friend's prosumer and dslr and see which u're more comfortable with ... don't just get a dslr cos it looks better to hold a big 'pro' cam than a regular prosumer cam
 

sin77

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Nov 28, 2004
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#8
play prosumer for 1 yr first then upgrade to dslr.

Why?
1. now buy dslr is a great learning curve for beginner. Overwhelming!
2. if duno how to maintain, the camera will get fungus!
3. if loose interest in photography, the lost in investment is not so great. DSLR tends to make u buy buy buy!

I agree DSLR can do wonders, but its the man behind the camera more impt.
I have seen ppl with expensive dslr, but pics turn out to be very crap... worst than 10yrs old kids.
 

zac08

Senior Member
Feb 21, 2005
11,755
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#9
i disagree here. i learnt my basics on a 2nd hand fz1...

it had aperture priority and that was sufficient (cos if u can use aperture priority well, u can get your desired shutter speed, in shutter priority, even if u set a high shutter speed, if the aperture can't open suffiiently, or iso can't go high enough, your shot will still be under exposed.)

besides, i think learning to compose a pic is more important than the technical skills or mental 'know-how' on calculating the required iso/f-stop/shutter speed.

btw, the fz-1's noise level is way higher than the fz-18 and (IMO) iso 400 is still acceptable with a good exposure.

obviously the dslr had a huge advantage, with larger sensors and more buttons/jog dials, but it may be disadvantegeous if you get overwhelmed by it .... i suggest you test out a friend's prosumer and dslr and see which u're more comfortable with ... don't just get a dslr cos it looks better to hold a big 'pro' cam than a regular prosumer cam
My main concern was the proper control of aperture which is very limited in a prosumer senario. If you want to talk about composing pictures, even a PnS can do tat already, but you're not gonna be holding it properly and you'd be shooting more often with the camera at the end of your stretched hands like a tourist.

You'd need to understand the proper relations of aperture, shutter speed and ISO. This will tend help you along to get better pictures and control how you get a good shot as opposed to a poor one.

I dun mean to say that a prosumer is bad here but in terms of controls and learning curve, I believe tat you'd learn better with a SLR.
 

lsisaxon

Senior Member
Nov 29, 2004
11,941
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#10
play prosumer for 1 yr first then upgrade to dslr.

Why?
1. now buy dslr is a great learning curve for beginner. Overwhelming!
2. if duno how to maintain, the camera will get fungus!
3. if loose interest in photography, the lost in investment is not so great. DSLR tends to make u buy buy buy!

I agree DSLR can do wonders, but its the man behind the camera more impt.
I have seen ppl with expensive dslr, but pics turn out to be very crap... worst than 10yrs old kids.
Just treat the D40 as a PnS and don't buy buy buy lah.... What makes you think prosumers will not get fungus? ;p

D40 is not that difficult to use.

Anyway, I hope this thread doesn't degenerate into a DSLR vs prosumer thread. I'm just stating my opinions why I think D40 might be good. Still up to TS to decide. :)
 

obewan

New Member
Feb 11, 2005
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obe.homedns.org
#11
A modern DSLR is not as overwhelming as what we think.
Read the camera manual and test out the functions while reading. Read up books on basic photography and know what aperture, ISO and shutter speed means. If still don't understand, nevermind. Shoot more and will learn along the way.
There's no end to learning, even pros they are learning.

If you have the money just get an entry level DSLR with kit lens and play with it.
Just remember to set aside money for a dry cabinet.

Prosumer is a class of their own. They may not have the speed of DSLR and the flexibility,
but less maintenance is needed. You can also learn a lot with a prosumer. It is all in the mindset what we really want. Start with prosumer if there is a budget constraint.
18X zoom you may not need, but it is good to have.
 

Astin

Senior Member
Mar 2, 2002
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Astin Studio
astin.clubsnap.org
#12
Lumix FZ18 or Fujifilm F31fd

FZ18 good for learning manual controls and lightweight. Only up to ISO 200 still considered acceptable.

Fuiji F31fd up to ISO 400 acceptable. Only 3x zoom. Have partial manual controls which are already good for beginners. Some ppl dun even know how to deal with aperture, shutter and EV well. So even full manual controls also pointless.

Canon S5IS is heavy.
Fuji F31FD dont have manual mode (although they put misleading M-mode on the button). I think Panasonic LX2 got full manual mode, and is compact and light and does not have a super zoom.
 

sin77

New Member
Nov 28, 2004
1,865
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#13
Fuji F31FD dont have manual mode (although they put misleading M-mode on the button). I think Panasonic LX2 got full manual mode, and is compact and light and does not have a super zoom.
f31fd has aperture and shutter priority.
 

#14
Wait for Sigma DP-1 then.
Although no zoom, just get closer loh, 28mm is perfect for street photography and learning for composition. Somemore the sensor is big, means nice nice bokeh.

I never even zoom once with my LX-2... always shoot wide :embrass:
 

Aug 23, 2004
371
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#15
Aiya! Nikon P5100 then. Full manual mode compact camera with VR:)
 

sin77

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Nov 28, 2004
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#16
Wait for Sigma DP-1 then.
Although no zoom, just get closer loh, 28mm is perfect for street photography and learning for composition. Somemore the sensor is big, means nice nice bokeh.

I never even zoom once with my LX-2... always shoot wide :embrass:
if u shoot human ... no zoom not nice.. and hardly get nice bokeh.
 

ngck12

New Member
Dec 4, 2007
704
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beside jurong point
#17
i believe that canon s5is would be one of the best options out there. Body itself weighs 450g and with battery, it should not be more den 550g. I tried it out before, and it has more than enough functions for you to play with.

also, if you want something even lighter, u can try out G9. it weights only 320g w/o battery. tried it out before, definitely one of the best options out there too just that i dont quite like the grip.

however, i think A720IS should suffice. I have been using it for about 6months or so. it has served me very well. It is the cheapest among the 3, at about $450 at alan photo. only a mere 220g
 

Jan 23, 2005
1,095
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0
Singapore
#18
Forget about the manual mode in PnS because you don't get to play much with the aperture anyway.
I believe manual mode is extremely important, for reasons other than just controlling aperture. Some of the more popular cameras simply do not work in low light situations in automatic exposure modes because the automatic exposure time is limited to something like 1s max, or because the metering simply isn't accurate at low light levels. Also, in high contrast situations (example: still-life illuminated by candlelight), it can be extremely cumbersome to trick automatic exposure programs into what you want to do - and it's almost hopeless if you try to reproduce the same exposure for several shots in a session.
 

viewwing

Senior Member
Nov 6, 2006
575
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16
North
#19
Hi,
I am looking for a camera with full manual capability (so that I can learn!) but it has to be compact and lightweight (with batt <550g). Any recommendations?

From other threads, seem like Lumix FZ18 is recommended, but do I really need 18x zoom? Am hoping for something that is more reliable especially in low light.

In short, something compact and light, with a little bit more than the consumer's camera of 4x zoom and reliable in low light.
put it this way...

DSLR = P&S on steriods if you just use it on AUTO mode. You'll get pretty decent picture from those great machines...

Prosumer = Super zooms and macro... you don't have to worry about changing lens and buying new items...

bottom line... if you're looking at a one time buy... get a prosumer...

Personal favorite for prosumer is a fuji S6500D. It has a super huge super CCD sensor 1/1.6 if i didn't remember wrongly... it handles noise well up to 800 iso... which is comparable to DSLR already... and it has manual zoom up to 10x...

great thing about the DSLR is its accessories... which is also the bad side of it... BBB virus... very strong... must resist...
 

sin77

New Member
Nov 28, 2004
1,865
3
0
#20
better use prosumer to learn first.
after 1-2 yrs the technology improve and things become cheaper then u buy DSLR more worth it.
Now is just using time to learn the basics of photography.

Seriously, i am using prosumer cam for some time alrdy yet there's still so much to learn.

Practise on composition and exposures first.

Wat makes u think that jumping into DSLR will make u an expert in few months time?
As i said before some DSLR owners' skills are worse than mine.
Prosumer cameras can also churn out nice pics.
Wat i like most is, dun need to change lens.
So troublesome.
And no need to buy dry cabinet (for me lah)

And when u start with inferior specs, later u will appreciate the muscle of dslr more.
From prosumers, u will learn about limitations and hence learn more.
Give u good things u will take for granted and never try to learn the basics of photography.
Then when people pass u compact cameras, u will be lost and kpkb.

And recently got a group of dslr owners stare at my fren's prosumer and act like see him no up.
Why huh?
 

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