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Film Cameras

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Minolta Dynax 404si

Claimed as the smallest autofocus SLR currently on the market (is that necessarily a good thing?), the Dynax 404si includes ‘big league' features such as spot metering, exposure bracketing and exposure compensation at ‘little league' prices. Funny how once everyone wanted (and paid extra for) ‘professional' black and now we see a return to metallic

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Minolta Dynax 303si

Find the average weight of every camera in this section; the Dynax 303si weighs less than 2/3rds of that average. One of the smallest on the market. not at the cost of missing features though, the Dynax 303si has just about everything you could ask for. It all depends on whether or not you like small, light cameras.

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Leica R8

What can one say about the R8? It's a good job the name and the red dot are there, otherwise no-one would recognise the uncharacteristically sleek styling. This camera is crammed with everything you could possibly wish for in a manual camera – four exposure modes and more ambient and flash metering modes than you can shake a stick at. The Carlsberg of SLR cameras

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Leica R6.2

Never ones for a new model every five minutes (certain Japanese makers look after that), Leica have opted for an almost minimalist approach combined with their customary impeccable quality. Completely mechanical, completely manual and a camera for the understated perfectionist

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Contax N1

In a parallel AF system to the Contax AX, the N1 does use autofocus lenses, it also uses autofocus lenses from the medium-format 645AF. Anyone running both 35mm and medium-format systems will tell you of the horrendous cost of a decent lens range in both formats. Criticism is often levelled at the cost of Zeiss lenses; this method chops that cost right down.

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Contax RTS3

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Contax AX

Autofocus in reverse gear! Most cameras move the lens relative to the film; the Contax AX moves the film. Why? Because it allows access to the superb (and costly) existing range of Zeiss lenses designed for the manual RTS range. no autofocus lenses here, just autofocus. Dare to be different!

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Contax RX

A full range of exposure modes driven by centre-weighted or spot metering modes. The RX features digital focussing assistance that shows you when there is a difference between what you have set the focus to and what the camera thinks it should be. Usefully, there is built-in adjustment of the eyepiece to help spectacle wearers

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Contax Aria

A Contax for the masses, whatever next? Multi area metering meets current requirements, a far cry from the selenium ‘everywhere' meter on the earlier Contax cameras that established the brand. Unfortunately, putting the obligatory Zeiss lens on the front, even one of modest specification, doubles the price.

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Cosina C-100S

Take the name off a Vivitar V4000 and put the Cosina name on and you have the C-1S. Just add a tenner onto the price too. Badge engineering at its most obvious, its just a question of whose name was there first!

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Centon DF300

not continuing the Pentax K mount of its smaller sibling, the aperture-priority and manual DF-300 uses Minolta MD mount. Useful safe load signal avoids disappointment of missed pictures (we've all misloaded at some point in our careers as photographers) and could well lead to people users progressing rather than giving up in disgust.

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Centon K100

Basic manual-everything camera at an unbelievable price. Pentax K mount means that tens of thousands of second-hand lenses are available to build a good solid outfit at minimum outlay. An excellent camera to start to learn photography, as opposed to just taking pictures, with as it only does what you tell it to. Keep a notebook handy & learn loads.

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Canon EOS 500N

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Canon EOS 5000

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Canon EOS 50E

After many years of curved black plastic bodies, the EOS 50E now features partial metal covering on the body and dial controls. Canon's superb eye controlled autofocus again features strongly. All the modes, both metering and exposure, ensure full control over every picture opportunity.

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Canon EOS3000

Once upon a time, Canon made the world's fastest commercially available lens, an amazing 50mm f/0.95 called the Canon Dream. Since that time they have never ceased to innovate and offer incredible value. The EOS3000 continues in that vein with all the exposure modes, choice of metering modes in fact everything once the exclusive domain of ‘top end' cameras.

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Canon EOS 300

Stuck in a design rut since the T90, Canon have kicked over the traces with this replacement for the EOS-500N. Unrelieved black with rounded edges is replaced by a two tone body which actually features angles! no doubt like its predecessor it will become a best seller because it's cram jam full of options including a new seven point autofocus system.

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Canon EOS30/33

Highly rated for all-round photography, the EOS 30 has the eye controlled focussing system first seen on the EOS 5 where looking at a certain part of the viewfinder where you want the main subject to be selects that as the active AF zone. As on any current Canon, there are the full range of exposure and metering modes and everything you can set is visible in the full information viewfinder

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Canon EOS 5

This is the one that started eye controlled focus off. You don't have to use it as manual is always an option, but it works so well (once set up for your eye, in several different light conditions) that there is little reason not to take advantage of this major leap forward. Again, full features in this pro-grade camera

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Canon EOS3

Getting serious now, this model has 23% of the viewing screen targeted as potential focus points for the increasingly sophisticated eye-control autofocus system. Add to this a metering system now featuring 21 zones to evaluate, coupled to the AF system and you are talking serious technology.