Cameras with manual dials, which cameras?

Started Dec 31, 2016 | Questions thread
T3 Forum Pro • Posts: 21,546
Re: Cameras with manual dials, which cameras?

yardcoyote wrote:

To me, the aperture ring is the king of manual controls, and only Fuji offers it at south-of-Leica prices. The other advantage to dial controls not mentioned above is being able to see your settings with a glance at the top of the camera, even when the power is turned off.

Fuji's aperture rings have nothing on true manual lenses with mechanical aperture rings that physically connect to the aperture mechanism, unfortunately.  The aperture ring on my Fuji 18-55/2.8 is waaay too loose, and gets moved inadvertently all the time.  So I definitely would not say that it is the "king of manual controls."  They just changed the location of the control, but I don't think it's really any better than having it under your thumb in the form of a thumb wheel.  I would feel differently if the aperture ring had more pronounced and stiffer mechanical detents, but they just don't.  It's simply an electronically linked ring around the lens.

As for "at a glance" sight of your settings, I'm not so sure how really valuable that is in real life. There are plenty of other ways to see what your settings are.  I think the "power is turned off" condition is mainly the time that it is advantageous.  But I generally prefer to use cameras power up.  Plus, dials take up a lot of room to display very limited information.   I mean, for an ISO dial, you got a huge dial that takes up a lot of space just to show what ISO the camera is at!  It's just not the most efficient use of space, IMHO.  LCD screens, including top-plate LCDs, are quite efficient in this respect: a lot of info in a small amount of space.  That's why I love that Fuji put an LCD screen on the top of their GFX. I would be more likely to glance at that then at several separate dials scattered across the top of the camera.

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