My dream full-frame camera.

Started 8 months ago | Discussions
robin t
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Re: My dream full-frame camera.
In reply to Malikknows, 8 months ago

Malikknows wrote:

I don't agree, Jack. It is a fair question to ask why our cameras have to be so complex. Can't technology be employed to make them simpler? Do our cameras have to be computers with lenses on them? Do they have to be packed with features few of us will ever use? It is not simply nostalgia at work here, and it is certainly not snobbery, at least for me. I'm not a computer geek but I love taking photos, thinking about composition and light and experiencing the moment. I use a small fraction of the tech that's available in my 5D and do wonder if I wouldn't enjoy myself more without it. It is fair to consider the question of whether or not this spectacular technology is not for its own sake, rather than for the sake of photography or even art.

Notwithstanding these concerns, I am grateful for these incredibly competent and innovative instruments and for the scientists and engineers who make them possible -- at such high levels of reliability yet for such low cost.

Yours, Malik

Yeah Malik, what you said. Also, Jack, I gotta say that it would be fine if all the features were there but that so many things hadn't been taken away, such as:

Lightweight and small camera bodies
Manual aperture rings that have full stops at either end. 
Focus rings with full stops.

All I'm saying is that I would gladly give up all the fancy extras and focussing aids and even the screen if it would make the camera lighter and/or cheaper.

I've gone on in length (just now) about how important having the physical feedback from the camera that comes with manual controls, so I won't repeat it, but that is what is missing, IMO from todays SLRs at any price.

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robin t
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Re: My dream camera...
In reply to Doss, 8 months ago

Doss wrote:

Digital has brought us one MASSIVE advantage: Variable ISO. This is the single most amazing revolution in camera evolution and the one thing I could not sacrifice - hence the reason I do actually enjoy modern cameras with all their fiddly buttons and (personally) unnecessary gizmos!

Howver, there are a good deal of photographers who do want a return of some of the things we've actually lost as technology has 'advanced'. And, there is no reason these things can't be re-incorporated.

So, hopefully I can take a turn to 'fantasize' about my ideal FF and others can bring me back to reality with factsas to why this can't be done .......

1) A Large bright viewfinder. THE single most important feature on a camera as it is the part which your brain engages with to create the shot. No viewfinder has been made since the advent of digital which could compare to those on older manual focus models. A LBV = easier composition, less eye-strain, easier to see if focus is hit (without the backfocusing you suffer now, Jack Hass - and without the lens hunting, or without Aaron's needle-threading syndrome). I know of so many photographers who long for easy accurate manual focus that I'd bet the first FF to incorporate this will sell like hotcakes.

2) Removable/Interchangable viewfinder. This was a great feature of cameras like the Nikon F, great for macro-work, overhead or hip shooting.

3) Only 2 dials on the camera: 1 to control Shutter speed, the other to control ISO. Anything else is a distraction. The other two dials, aperture and focus, staying on the lens - This design is perfect for fast, intuitive control , firm grip and always being ready to hit the release. Simply put, it fits with the old adage: 'The best camera is the one which doesn't get in the way of taking photos'. Again - there's a large market for photographers who just want something simple that does the job. Call it a point & shoot if you will

4) Lightweight & portable AND solid as a brick.

5) Changeable backs: so I can keep hold of a perfectly working camera, and the tool I'm accustomed to, when they improve sensor technology. Perhaps we'd also have the options of a selection of VR sensors, specialist high ISO sensors, or high MP low ISO one's.
Alas, the marketing people have us over a barrel on this one (pssst...it's called planned obsolescence )

Doss I like your style. I think we're on the same page with this one, and I've elucidated a bit in a few other responses just now. I agree with all you say, but I have to add, that one of things that's really important is full physical feedback from the controls. All that requires is full stops at the end of the range with the focus ring, aperture ring, and shutterspeed. Nothing bothers me more than the infinity rings on almost every camera in existence now. Why do have to put the camera to my eye or look at the screen to see what the aperture or shutterspeed is? Why can't my relationship with my camera be more direct. I want to take pictures without thinking about it. That's what photography with the ol' FT2 was like, and that's all I'm asking for.

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robin t
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Re: My dream full-frame camera.
In reply to pavi1, 8 months ago

pavi1 wrote:

robin t wrote:

Tell me why I'm wrong and I'll cave in and buy that new Nikon. . .

You are wrong for creating a new account and making a ridiculous post just to see who will argue with you.

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To anyone who's interested, I've responded to four different threads, and I think this is a great discussion. I think the dream camera will appear, at some point.

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bobn2
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Re: My dream camera...
In reply to Doss, 8 months ago

Doss wrote:

Digital has brought us one MASSIVE advantage: Variable ISO. This is the single most amazing revolution in camera evolution and the one thing I could not sacrifice.

Film also had 'variable ISO'.

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Bob

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TheChefs
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Re: My dream full-frame camera.
In reply to Aaron801, 8 months ago

Aaron801 wrote:

I feel like my m4/3 camera captures far more detail than a 35mm image and for it to even come close you'd have to be shooting on some sort of 64 ASA film...

Does the claimed more detail make for a better photo? From 99.999% photos that I see on internet, it doesn't. It's just more terrible photos with more terrible detail.

FF has a long way to go to MF. It's like comparing P+S with FF... And that's just looking at lenses.

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pew pew
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Re: My dream full-frame camera.
In reply to bobn2, 8 months ago

bobn2 wrote:

vi) LCD on the back? People like chimping. An unchimpable camera loses some of the big advantages of video. Not putting it on simply restricts the market, so on it goes.

I had to go google chimping, everyday learning new stuff here : D

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Mark B.
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So why not go back to film?
In reply to robin t, 8 months ago

robin t wrote:

Basically like an old nikon or nikkormat with a sensor in it.

No screen of any kind - you can't see the image till you get home and upload it.

So keep the LCD turned off.  There will never, ever, be a digital camera produced w/o a screen.  If that's what you truly want, you'll need to produce it yourself or paint over it with permanent black paint.

Indicator in the viewfinder for light meter.
Manual shutter wind.

Not sure I understand this one.  There's nothing to wind.

Full manual controls, and works with legacy manual lenses.
Full frame sensor.

Hopefully this would allow for much better battery life than the new full frame cameras, as well as a much smaller form factor.

I guess this comes from looking at all my old prints and pining for the days of film SLRs. While I wouldn't want to have to process film anymore, I don't understand why, in 2014, you can buy a full-frame digital camera for anywhere near the price I bought my already 20 year old nikkormat ft2 for in 1994.

The astonishing thing is that old film cameras, despite having a relatively massive roll of film in them, win out in almost every comparison that matters to me.

1974 Nikkormat FT2 vs 2014 Nikon D610

Weight: FT2 wins
Battery Life: FT2 slaughters
Image quality: equal
Indestructibility: FT2 by miles
Price: FT2
Quality glass at a reasonable price: FT2
Fun to use: FT2 in a landslide

So why can't we get back to this? A camera with nothing other than light meter, lens, optical viewfinder, and battery indicator. Get home, stick the SD card in your computer and see what you got.

Tell me why I'm wrong and I'll cave in and buy that new Nikon. . .

Sounds like what you really want is to go back to a film body.  They're very cheap now, you should be able to pick up a top quality body for very little.  I've no interest in the least, but would never begrudge someone else for using whatever they want.

Mark

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Rservello
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Re: My dream camera...
In reply to bobn2, 8 months ago

bobn2 wrote:

Doss wrote:

Digital has brought us one MASSIVE advantage: Variable ISO. This is the single most amazing revolution in camera evolution and the one thing I could not sacrifice.

Film also had 'variable ISO'.

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Bob

Yeah, per roll. Not per picture. Which was obviously what was meant.

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tex
tex
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Good call, Stan
In reply to stan_pustylnik, 8 months ago

Although I'd add these:

  • I actually do need the 36mp of the A7R for my serious shooting, so I'd want that bump up.
  • I'd want real live view and a screen that at least articulates like the A7R's plus the rez.
  • I could use the better focus aids of the A7R, at least on the screen if we stayed with an OVF.  The EVF of the A7R is awfully good, though...and of course it lets you change it with just some button pushes.
  • I'd like it to be as weatherproof as the best Pentax cameras.

But My A850 is definitely one of my favorite cameras ever, easily top 5 (and I wonder if the A7R will be..., a bit persnickety for my taste, although the size is kinda awesome...), in what's getting close to 50 years with cameras.

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jrtrent
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Re: My dream camera...
In reply to Doss, 8 months ago

Doss wrote:

1) A Large bright viewfinder. THE single most important feature on a camera as it is the part which your brain engages with to create the shot. No viewfinder has been made since the advent of digital which could compare to those on older manual focus models. A LBV = easier composition, less eye-strain, easier to see if focus is hit (without the backfocusing you suffer now, Jack Hass - and without the lens hunting, or without Aaron's needle-threading syndrome). I know of so many photographers who long for easy accurate manual focus that I'd bet the first FF to incorporate this will sell like hotcakes.

Yep.  And lenses with detailed distance and depth of field scales.  When I needed a new system to replace my unreliable Praktica gear, I chose Contax over brands like Nikon or Canon in large measure because of the superior scales on the Zeiss lenses (though even they were not as good as the scales on the older Schneider-Kreuznach lenses for my uncle's Exakta).

2) Removable/Interchangable viewfinder. This was a great feature of cameras like the Nikon F, great for macro-work, overhead or hip shooting.

Not something I would use, but I can see why some would like it.

3) Only 2 dials on the camera: 1 to control Shutter speed, the other to control ISO. Anything else is a distraction. The other two dials, aperture and focus, staying on the lens - This design is perfect for fast, intuitive control , firm grip and always being ready to hit the release. Simply put, it fits with the old adage: 'The best camera is the one which doesn't get in the way of taking photos'. Again - there's a large market for photographers who just want something simple that does the job. Call it a point & shoot if you will

If, as the OP desires, a camera is to have a built-in meter, I would add a control for selecting the metering pattern.  One could also make a case for leaving out the meter altogether and just using a handheld one, which I did for almost all my film cameras and three out of the five DSLR's I've owned.

I also wouldn't mind a DSLR that did not have fully interchangeable lenses.  A normal focal length lens is what I use almost all the time anyway, and no fixed lens digital camera I've owned has ever had a sensor dust problem.  Maybe a fixed lens but with interchangeable front elements would work well--my dream DSLR might look more like a Zeiss Contaflex than a Nikkormat FT2.

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bobn2
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Re: My dream camera...
In reply to Rservello, 8 months ago

Rservello wrote:

bobn2 wrote:

Doss wrote:

Digital has brought us one MASSIVE advantage: Variable ISO. This is the single most amazing revolution in camera evolution and the one thing I could not sacrifice.

Film also had 'variable ISO'.

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Bob

Yeah, per roll. Not per picture. Which was obviously what was meant.

Per picture too, if you wanted. Typically, that's what you got with a minilab - how do you think Instamatics with no exposure controls could produce such consistent output?

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Mark B.
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Re: My dream full-frame camera.
In reply to robin t, 8 months ago

pavi1 wrote:

robin t wrote:

Tell me why I'm wrong and I'll cave in and buy that new Nikon. . .

You are wrong for creating a new account and making a ridiculous post just to see who will argue with you.

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Everything happens for a reason. #1 reason: poor planning
WSSA #44

To anyone who's interested, I've responded to four different threads, and I think this is a great discussion. I think the dream camera will appear, at some point.

It won't, not with all the specs you've listed.

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Doss
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Film has nothing to do with it
In reply to Mark B., 8 months ago

Mark B. wrote:

robin t wrote:

So keep the LCD turned off. There will never, ever, be a digital camera produced w/o a screen.

Yes, there has been and there still are. eg Miniature 'spy' cameras don't have a screen as it keeps down size,weight and battery-drain.

If that's what you truly want, you'll need to produce it yourself or paint over it with permanent black paint.

That's like someone saying you must have a satellite dish on the side of your house when you only ever watch DVD's. Please read some of the previous replies to save repetition...your point has already been made as has the counter-argument.

Indicator in the viewfinder for light meter.
Manual shutter wind.

Not sure I understand this one. There's nothing to wind.

on film cameras the winder served to reset the shutter curtain as well as move on the film. Though I can't see a curtain reset using that much power.

Full manual controls, and works with legacy manual lenses.
Full frame sensor.

Sounds like what you really want is to go back to a film body. They're very cheap now, you should be able to pick up a top quality body for very little. I've no interest in the least, but would never begrudge someone else for using whatever they want.

Not sure of the last sentence being true, my friend :o

What you don't get is that by saying we should go back to film you don't understand your tool. If you had to go back to film which would you choose: a Canon EOS or an AE-1? Completely different 35mm film cameras - Just as we would like the choice of completely different 35mm digital cameras. Is that ok?

These days the sorts who opted for an F801, or EOS are catered for. We're the ones who opted for an AE-1, or OMD1, or F3. Why? Because we wanted control and reliability over automation and, what we perceive to be, weaknesses and things that simply get in the way of our photography.

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darklamp
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Re: So why not go back to film?
In reply to Doss, 8 months ago

Yes, we want the equivalent of a manual film body with a modern sensor. Is that ok?

None of us understand why you can't just switch to "M" mode and manual focus mode on a "normal" camera.

It appears you also want NO automation at all on the thing, presumably is case you might weaken and peak at the screen. Which is just not going to happen ( unless you like DIY ).

I understand wanting a more photographer-centric or more hand-on camera, but not the desire to expunge everything else from it.

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Doss
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Re: So why not go back to film?
In reply to darklamp, 8 months ago

darklamp wrote:

Yes, we want the equivalent of a manual film body with a modern sensor. Is that ok?

None of us understand why you can't just switch to "M" mode and manual focus mode on a "normal" camera.

Yes, I do - and mostly this works for me. My camera is set to use pretty much the same way as I did with my old film camera. And that's clever design. I switch to manual, dial in the shutter speed, dial in the aperture 'ring', ignore the meter reading, ignore all the other buttons. Job done....Except manual focus...

The desire to have the ability to manually focus is reflected in the recent implentation of mirrorless pixel peeping. On AF SLRs the viewfinder is 'crippled' - or perhaps I should say optimised - for AF (it's all about personal perspective). I'm not being a luddite here - I welcome improvements but autofocus over my ability to manually focus isn't one. As well as being quicker, other advantages to MF = no errors with foreground branches, or back-focusing or hunting.

It appears you also want NO automation at all on the thing, presumably is case you might weaken and peak at the screen. Which is just not going to happen ( unless you like DIY ).

I can shoot a roll of film without a dud exposure (well, one or two. I'm not quite perfect! ) - so I do not need an LCD. However, I find having an LCD screen great for reviewing, editing and correcting composition - So that would actually remain on my Dream SLR. Just not on OP's - we differ. That's fine. I don't feel the need to not understand him just because of that.

I understand wanting a more photographer-centric or more hand-on camera, but not the desire to expunge everything else from it.

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bobn2
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Re: So why not go back to film?
In reply to Doss, 8 months ago

Doss wrote:

The desire to have the ability to manually focus is reflected in the recent implentation of mirrorless pixel peeping. On AF SLRs the viewfinder is 'crippled' - or perhaps I should say optimised - for AF (it's all about personal perspective). I'm not being a luddite here - I welcome improvements but autofocus over my ability to manually focus isn't one. As well as being quicker, other advantages to MF = no errors with foreground branches, or back-focusing or hunting.

You could just get a Canon, which still have interchangeable focussing screens. Come to think of it, present digital Canons still have a whole load in common with film Canons (at least the EOS ones) and those were successful simply because people preferred them to the old style mechanical ones.

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Doss
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Re: So why not go back to film?
In reply to bobn2, 8 months ago

bobn2 wrote:

Doss wrote:

The desire to have the ability to manually focus is reflected in the recent implentation of mirrorless pixel peeping. On AF SLRs the viewfinder is 'crippled' - or perhaps I should say optimised - for AF (it's all about personal perspective). I'm not being a luddite here - I welcome improvements but autofocus over my ability to manually focus isn't one. As well as being quicker, other advantages to MF = no errors with foreground branches, or back-focusing or hunting.

You could just get a Canon, which still have interchangeable focussing screens. Come to think of it, present digital Canons still have a whole load in common with film Canons (at least the EOS ones) and those were successful simply because

<SOME>

people preferred them to the old style mechanical ones.

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Bob

Tru Bob, but I don't want an EOS - not even if it's EXACTLY a digital version of a film one. Indeed the design we don't like didn't happen with digtial - it happened with early EOS (actually Pentax was the first guilty party to put buttons instead of dials on a camera!)

Whilst I don't doubt EOS are great cameras, they still lack the split-image non-darkened viewfinder and the ability to attach old manual lenses with an aperture ring (again, something I could control faster than using the 'new' design).

I think the idea being proposed is a digital SLR styled on a 'slim with knobs' design SLR rather than a 'handgrip and button' design.

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bobn2
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Re: So why not go back to film?
In reply to Doss, 8 months ago

Doss wrote:

bobn2 wrote:

Doss wrote:

The desire to have the ability to manually focus is reflected in the recent implentation of mirrorless pixel peeping. On AF SLRs the viewfinder is 'crippled' - or perhaps I should say optimised - for AF (it's all about personal perspective). I'm not being a luddite here - I welcome improvements but autofocus over my ability to manually focus isn't one. As well as being quicker, other advantages to MF = no errors with foreground branches, or back-focusing or hunting.

You could just get a Canon, which still have interchangeable focussing screens. Come to think of it, present digital Canons still have a whole load in common with film Canons (at least the EOS ones) and those were successful simply because

<SOME>

people preferred them to the old style mechanical ones.

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Bob

Tru Bob, but I don't want an EOS - not even if it's EXACTLY a digital version of a film one. Indeed the design we don't like didn't happen with digtial - it happened with early EOS (actually Pentax was the first guilty party to put buttons instead of dials on a camera!)

I had the first ever EOS, the 650 - it's a very well worked out interface. In some ways the mode dial was a step back - there is a reason that the top end DSLRs don't use them. To change mode with one, you almost have to take the camera from your eye to switch mode, with the button and control wheel, you don't. Similarly the shutter speed on the top plate isn't a great idea, it's only there because that is where the shutter mech puts it on a horizontal roller blind shutter, but it's not a great place for adjustment. Actually, my old Nikkormat (or the OM-1) with the shutter speed round the lens throat is a better idea, by Canon's invention of the control wheel (first with the T90) is even better. Those first electronic control wheel SLRs were single wheel, but still more controllable than the classic arrangement.

The Pentax buttons (on the ME Super as I remember) were always a bit of a kludge, not placed in a sensible place and not well thought out.

Whilst I don't doubt EOS are great cameras, they still lack the split-image non-darkened viewfinder and the ability to attach old manual lenses with an aperture ring (again, something I could control faster than using the 'new' design).

You can fit a split image screen in an EOS. In fact I have one in my old 350D (not officially swappable unlike the higher end cameras).

I think the idea being proposed is a digital SLR styled on a 'slim with knobs' design SLR rather than a 'handgrip and button' design.

Yes, I know it is. It's just not such a good design. The two wheel SLR works much better than the traditional layout which just has the controls where the clockwork puts them, instead of where the ands need them. So, design a camera like that, you restrict the market to the traditionalists if that is its only advantage. The Df sells not just because of its control layout (which is frankly rather silly) and retro looks (which are frankly rather phony) but also in large part because it's the cheapest way to access the D4s sensor which has its own aficionados.

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Erik Magnuson
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Re: So why not go back to film?
In reply to Doss, 8 months ago

Doss wrote:

Whilst I don't doubt EOS are great cameras, they still lack the split-image non-darkened viewfinder and the ability to attach old manual lenses with an aperture ring (again, something I could control faster than using the 'new' design).

There was a Canon EF-mount camera that used a split image screen: the Canon EF-M.   You can also  use M42, Nikon F, Olympus OM, Contax/Yashica, Leica R, Pentax K, and some Topcon/Exacta lenses on EOS (and the EF-M) film bodies. Some lenses may have mirror clearance issues and K lenses need the aperture lever removed.

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Doss
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Re: So why not go back to film?
In reply to Erik Magnuson, 8 months ago

Erik Magnuson wrote:

Doss wrote:

Whilst I don't doubt EOS are great cameras, they still lack the split-image non-darkened viewfinder and the ability to attach old manual lenses with an aperture ring (again, something I could control faster than using the 'new' design).

There was a Canon EF-mount camera that used a split image screen: the Canon EF-M. You can also use M42, Nikon F, Olympus OM, Contax/Yashica, Leica R, Pentax K, and some Topcon/Exacta lenses on EOS (and the EF-M) film bodies. Some lenses may have mirror clearance issues and K lenses need the aperture lever removed.

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Erik

Well, yes. And I could also purchase a 3rd party split screen for my dSLR but the viewfinder will still be darker and smaller and harder to focus than anything I owned pre-AF, so it will still be a step-backwards in that department. It remains that the only way to have a big clear optical view (because the light-diversion to the AF sensors) is to have an MF only camera. Yep - if they could do it with film EOS then why not with dSLR?

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