Cameras with manual dials, which cameras?

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

Herman Dijkhuis wrote:

If I wanna change aperture do I have to use the dial or can I too set aperture via the menu system?

What do you mean by "menu system"?  When changing aperture, it really does not matter whether you're changing aperture via an aperture ring on the lens, or a finger wheel under your finger, it's all electronic.  It all goes into the camera's computer brain.  But this does not mean that it's a "menu system".

I think you really need to go out and use these cameras, and educate yourself on cameras in general.  You seem to have some erroneous pre-conceived notions on how to use them.  All these cameras have direct control of aperture, and it is ALL done electronically.  The main difference is whether it's done via a finger wheel, or an aperture ring, or whatever.  I don't know of any decent camera that forces you to dig into any menu to change the aperture setting!

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mandm Contributing Member • Posts: 951
Re: Cameras with manual dials, which cameras?

I got the Nikon Df 1 year after it came out and it's great, small, light weight and with chrome looking top & bottom plates it doesn't look like like a black blob. You can look at the top plate and know how the camera is set without turning it on, I very seldom have to go into the menus and that's great. No movie mode, but that's not a problem for me. The Df is full frame FX, but the size of mid range DX camera bodies.

It also has the same 16.2 MP Sensor as the Pro Nikon D4 camera.

It's also one of the few Nikon Camera Bodies 'Made in Japan', it also come in all black. The aperture is controlled by a dial on the front to the left of the lens when looking at the front of the camera.

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T3 Forum Pro • Posts: 21,546
Re: Cameras with manual dials, which cameras?

yardcoyote wrote:

I would agree entirely with this if a camera, was like a watch, something that stays in one place to basically be looked at. But a camera is a tool, not a simple display--something you touch, handle and interact with, and the method of that interaction matters.

How much it matters is of course a personal thing. To me it's a lot, to others not much.

People touch, handle and interact with their watches too.  And there are different methods of that interaction in watches, too.  Today's watches do a heck of a lot more than just tell the time.  And people will definitely select watches based on the physical interface (aspects of "touch, handle,  and interact") and design of the watch.  I think there are a lot more similarities to how people feel about cameras and watches than you might realize.  But of course, as photographers, we want to think that cameras are something on a totally different level.  Watch aficionados and fans might beg to differ.

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T3 Forum Pro • Posts: 21,546
Re: Cameras with manual dials, which cameras?

Ido S wrote:

All replies so far have been mentions of cameras with marked dials for certain settings. That is one approach, but I actually prefer blank, unmarked dials. That way I can customize the camera to my liking, especially with the plethora of options provided on the Olympus OM-D E-M5 that I have. This also means I don't have any useless controls; if my camera had a marked exposure compensation dial, it would be of no use in Manual mode with manually selected ISO.

There are people who are going to say that the whole point of having marked dials with little markings on them is to see your settings even when the camera is off.  Otherwise, you might as well just go with a camera with finger wheels that take up a lot less space and that are typically more ergonomic.

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OP Herman Dijkhuis Contributing Member • Posts: 890
Re: Cameras with manual dials, which cameras?

The Oly F cam has attracted my attention.

It looks like a little charm, m43, has a lot of manual controls, thanks for your tip.

The F can even produce 50 MP files, wow! Great little cam.

Best regards, Herman

chipmaster
chipmaster Veteran Member • Posts: 3,225
Re: Cameras with manual dials, which cameras?

Mark Scott Abeln wrote:

One is the Nikon Df, which many regard highly, and since it's a few years old, is available at good prices.

Good price, nostalgia and has propped up this camera way beyond what it should be selling for, but I expect a Df2 shortly for the 100th anniversary will put this Df back to a place I might make this my 3rd camera.  Hated the ergo, but loved the output and fun, kind of like annoying but fun stick shift car

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" Today's Pictures Are Tomorrow's Memories "

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Mark Scott Abeln
Mark Scott Abeln Forum Pro • Posts: 16,601
Re: Cameras with manual dials, which cameras?

Herman Dijkhuis wrote:

If I wanna change aperture do I have to use the dial or can I too set aperture via the menu system?

On my Nikon DSLRs, there is a dial in front that I use to change the aperture, with a matching dial on the back for shutter.. I don't know of any cameras that require you to change the aperture from within a menu.

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Pontoneer Veteran Member • Posts: 3,141
Re: Cameras with manual dials, which cameras?

The Pentax K-1 would qualify if you assign the 'spare' dial to ISO . Shutter speed/aperture can be controlled by the front and rear wheels , besides if the lens has aperture/focus rings then these can be used .

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With kind regards
Derek.

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thomo
thomo Senior Member • Posts: 1,330
Re: Cameras with manual dials, which cameras?
1

mandm wrote:

I got the Nikon Df 1 year after it came out and it's great, small, light weight and with chrome looking top & bottom plates it doesn't look like like a black blob. You can look at the top plate and know how the camera is set without turning it on, I very seldom have to go into the menus and that's great. No movie mode, but that's not a problem for me. The Df is full frame FX, but the size of mid range DX camera bodies.

It also has the same 16.2 MP Sensor as the Pro Nikon D4 camera.

It's also one of the few Nikon Camera Bodies 'Made in Japan', it also come in all black. The aperture is controlled by a dial on the front to the left of the lens when looking at the front of the camera.

It's my favourite also - built the way DSLRs should have been!

The Fuji is a close second though - another of my favourites!

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mandm Contributing Member • Posts: 951
Re: Cameras with manual dials, which cameras?
1

I agree, digital did not require getting rid of dials for ISO, Shutter Speed, Exposure Comp, I'm 64 and had a Nikon F starting in 1969, so yes, I like the Df. I used for business, 645's and then the D100, D200, D2x & D300, but they could have made them easier to use with dials!

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HRC2016 Senior Member • Posts: 6,116
Re: Cameras with manual dials, which cameras?
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How about the Panny LX100?

It has a lens ring that can control the aperture. It also has the quick menu, to reduce menu diving.

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KCook
KCook Forum Pro • Posts: 19,294
Re: Cameras with manual dials, which cameras?
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thomo
thomo Senior Member • Posts: 1,330
Re: Cameras with manual dials, which cameras?

It must be an "age" thing!

I'm also 64 - started with Nikon F3, F3HP, FE2, FM2, and FA before going to digital in 2006 with the D80, then D90, D700, D7000, D800E, D7100 and then Df.

I'm hoping 2017 will bring a Df2 with built-in wifi and GPS and maybe 24MP - but still with dials and the retro look!

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Vegar Beider Regular Member • Posts: 427
Re: Cameras with manual dials, which cameras?

Herman Dijkhuis wrote:

Which cameras do have manual dials for ISO setting, shutter speed, aperture, focus?

Most cameras are menu driven.

I like the go and feel of analog cameras into modern digital cameras.

I do look forward to any replies, thanks in advance.

Happy New Year!

Best regards, Herman

Hello Herman!

Happy New Year!

If you don't mind older cameras with buttons and dials how about this old one:

https://www.dpreview.com/reviews/konicaminolta7d/5

" Overall conclusion:

In use the 7D proved to be an excellent 'photographic tool', it feels good to hold, it's easy to change settings (thanks to the fact that almost all the major settings have external buttons / levers) and the camera feels responsive in use. The 7D is one of those cameras which I enjoyed using and encourages you to shoot more and experiment more (the availability and access to manual controls achieves this).

There's definitely been a lot of clever thinking implemented into this camera; the automatically orientating recording information display, the eye-piece sensor which blanks out the LCD, the design of the white balance lever, the locking of certain settings, the display of adjustments made in the viewfinder, the mirror lock-up implementation. It's satisfying sometimes to at least believe that the designers responsible for SLR's are also photographers. - "

And - while being years back in time - I heard there once was an terrible accident in the town Enschede when the firework factory there suddenly exploded with an enormous explosion which destroyed the surroundings and left a big crater in the ground where the firework factory used to stand. I have a friend in Groningen who told me this. He also told me that when they began to tidy up after the disaster, sorting all the rubble and pieces, they found an ear, a torn off ear, and that the finger was still stuck inside it. Do you know anything about this, Herman?

My friend also told me that the assassinated politician, Pim Fortuyn, was buried in Italy because there were no more room left in the Netherlands?

Regards

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absquatulate Forum Pro • Posts: 11,301
Be careful what you wish for....

Having owned a Fuji XT-1, and many other models, I found all manual dials can slow me down. The best cameras I have found for me are the ones with a combination of front and rear dials and well placed easily identified (by touch) buttons. This means I can look through an ovf and control the camera without having to take my hands away from the camera if I don't want to. I can access all the important functions quickly and easily, using a combination of buttons and dials, and adjust to suit when shooting. Adjusting using purely mechanical dials is not as easy or quick for me, and can result in some unnecessary movement and fiddling around. There is a reason that cameras have evolved this way, because it works.
Don't get me wrong, I get the retro look and feel of it, I still shoot with film cameras myself occasionally. If you're a more deliberate shooter it's fine, I am sometimes, but at other times I need to think and act quickly. The other thing I like is a top plate LCD, which also makes it quick and easy to adjust settings when the camera is away from your eye.
My least favoured option is using the main LCD, which is the slowest method of all. My camera of choice has all three, so I'm never short of options either way. You can keep touch screen interfaces, they work for small cameras where it's a better option in the absence of room for buttons and dials, but they don't work for me for a number of reasons.
I think Pentax does a great job of designing cameras that work the way I want them to, they feel like they've been designed by photographers for photographers, they're also great value and incorporate weather sealing as much as possible in lenses and cameras.
Lastly, muscle memory is very important in operating a camera efficiently, people change models so often, and often to different brands, that they never truly get comfortable with the way a particular model works, I've done it myself. I'm sticking with Pentax and the more I use my K3II the more comfortable I am with it, the more I like it and funnily enough my results get better with it. I've noticed over the years that some of the best work I have seen has come from people who choose their tool and stick with it, I don't think that's a co-incidence.
So yes, retro dials are nice, but not necessarily the most efficient way to operate a camera, or easiest, so choose wisely and whatever choice you make, stick with it and learn it properly, so it becomes an extension of your eye, that's the best advice I could give.

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davesurrey Senior Member • Posts: 1,629
Re: Cameras with manual dials, which cameras?

Surprised so little said about the Panasonic LX100 with its separate Aperture ring, Speed and EV compensation dials and ISO available with a Function push.

Plus approx a quarter of the price of a Df, not withstanding its "free" lens.

I find it a very pleasant camera to use.

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fujifilmx New Member • Posts: 1
Re: Cameras with manual dials, which cameras?
1

I have the Fujifilm X-T2, X-E1, and X100T. All have external, dedicated shutter, aperture (on the lens), and exposure compensation dials. The X-T2 also has a dedicated ISO dial. In addition, the X-T2 has a drive and a metering dial below the ISO and shutter dials. I've gotten used to glancing at the dials even before turning the camera on. I also do a rough setting for all these features before turning it on. This saves me a lot of time once I look into the viewfinder. I don't notice the convenience until I switch to my Nikon D5500, which doesn't have any of these external dials. Everything has to be adjusted electronically. Is one system better than the other? For me, yes. I can't imagine shooting without at least a shutter and aperture dial. I can program other buttons for manual control over ISO.

OP Herman Dijkhuis Contributing Member • Posts: 890
Re: Cameras with manual dials, which cameras?

fujifilmx wrote:

I have the Fujifilm X-T2, X-E1, and X100T. All have external, dedicated shutter, aperture (on the lens), and exposure compensation dials. The X-T2 also has a dedicated ISO dial. In addition, the X-T2 has a drive and a metering dial below the ISO and shutter dials. I've gotten used to glancing at the dials even before turning the camera on. I also do a rough setting for all these features before turning it on. This saves me a lot of time once I look into the viewfinder. I don't notice the convenience until I switch to my Nikon D5500, which doesn't have any of these external dials. Everything has to be adjusted electronically. Is one system better than the other? For me, yes. I can't imagine shooting without at least a shutter and aperture dial. I can program other buttons for manual control over ISO.

Hi, thanks for your reply.

Do you prefer Fuji over Nikon?

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Best regards, Herman

neftali New Member • Posts: 2
Re: Cameras with manual dials, which cameras?

Hi Herman please tell me if you have found a solution to this question. As I have been looking for the exact same thing.

I learnt photography on analog camara (years ago obviously haha). Anyway I have a Nikon5100 its nice, but I just cannot be very creative having to go through the digital settings of speed and aperture. I would like a camera where it has the aperture ring to adjust, and the manual speed knob at the top, but that registers the photograph on a digital format, given its not very practical to have to develop film, scan photos, etc.

LET ME KNOW if you've found a camera.

Thank you

Mark Scott Abeln
Mark Scott Abeln Forum Pro • Posts: 16,601
There are several
1

Look at the Fuji cameras, many have old-style manual knobs; same with the Nikon Df, as well as the Leica rangefinders.

All of these are expensive, however.

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