Handling of DSLR compared to film SLR + DSLR recommendation

Started Dec 5, 2012 | Discussions thread
jrtrent Veteran Member • Posts: 4,341
some difficult adjustments

jrmack wrote:

I've read loads of reviews, mainly Nikon D40, D60 D80 D3000 D5000 D90 etc but one thing I can't get from these is how it compares to the usability/feel I had with the MX. My only digital experience is with compact point-and-shoots which don't compare! My concern is that the DSLR will be all plastic-y or will get in the way of taking pictures, have a not-so-great viewfinder or menus that are difficult to use etc.


I've purchased five dslr's over the years, given away three and thrown away two.  At this point, I don't plan to buy anymore.  I love my remaining manual focus SLR (Contax 139Q and Zeiss lenses) with its big, bright, easy to focus viewfinder; simple convenient controls for aperture, shutter speed, and focus point; and detailed distance and depth of field scales.  None of the dslr's I've tried have been as easy, straightforward, or fun to use--in comparison, they all seem crippled in operation, and issues like sensor dust/debris were a major pain with a couple of them.

Old habits die hard, and  I want to be able to look down at my camera and lens barrel and see my selected shutter speed, focus point, and aperture, along with the depth of field for that aperture.  These settings and information have a major impact on the appearance of the photograph, and one of my main difficulties in adjusting to digital is the lack of these simple features that I relied on for decades of film photography.  What I took for granted as fundamental aids on my Exakta, Pentax, and Contax cameras don't seem to exist in the digital world except on the Leica M9, and I really can't stand rangefinder viewing!

I find digital photography acceptable if I resign myself to pointing and shooting, and I've gotten many good pictures that way, but it's more fun from the standpoint of enjoying a hobby if I can control the camera myself, and DSLR's make that a lot more difficult than my older film SLR's did.

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