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FM3A SLR Camera


Nikon

Categories: Reviews: Equipment : Cameras : 35mm Film Cameras : Manual Focus SLR Cameras

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From the manufacturer:
Nikon's FM3A, is a manual-focus, 35mm SLR camera featuring a special hybrid shutter control system enabling full mechanical exposure control range plus electronic shutter speed control. The FM3A is ideal for photographers seeking the quality and innovation of a 35mm camera with the freedom of personal control. For mechanical operation the shutter's control does not require battery power, allowing you to shoot in all types of conditions, including extremely cold weather, without having to worry about battery failure. When using the batteries, you can take advantage of the camera's built-in exposure meter, and Aperture Priority Auto Exposure Mode.

This Nikon series began with the classic Nikon FM2, which nearly two decades ago, was the first model to incorporate the then world's fastest shutter speed at 1/4000 second. The FM3A now inherits many of the FM2's features with some 21st Century improvements. The durable die-cast metal body is constructed of a rugged copper, silumin aluminum alloy chassis and metal outer body. The FM3A features Center-Weighted TTL (Through-the-Lens) full-aperture exposure metering with exposure compensation of -2 to +2 EV. The camera features a top shutter speed of 1/4000 second, plus a bulb mode for true exposure versatility. The electronic stepless shutter enables precise exposure control with the benefits of automatic performance. An advantage of the automatic aperture control is that it lends the ability to respond more quickly, when the photographer may not be able to do it manually; all without giving up what traditional photographers enjoy - full mechanical manual control.


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First 10 of 22 Reviews  (see all user reviews)

Average Rating: 4.5 out of 5

4.5 out of 5 BetterPhoto Golden Cameras 4.5 out of 5 BetterPhoto Golden Cameras 4.5 out of 5 BetterPhoto Golden Cameras 4.5 out of 5 BetterPhoto Golden Cameras 4.5 out of 5 BetterPhoto Golden Cameras
 
Jimmy Cheng

member since: 5/21/2007
4.5 out of 5 BetterPhoto Golden Cameras 4.5 out of 5 BetterPhoto Golden Cameras 4.5 out of 5 BetterPhoto Golden Cameras 4.5 out of 5 BetterPhoto Golden Cameras 4.5 out of 5 BetterPhoto Golden Cameras
Rating: 4.5 out of 5
Absolutely wonderful to use. Solid, reliable and accurate. Yet, handling could be better. I found that the grip egonomic is just old-fashion. Too thin and not as easy as the modern SLR.

I love this camera and it's an instant classic.

5/21/2007 8:44:23 AM
 
Koh B.K.
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 6/15/2006
4.5 out of 5 BetterPhoto Golden Cameras 4.5 out of 5 BetterPhoto Golden Cameras 4.5 out of 5 BetterPhoto Golden Cameras 4.5 out of 5 BetterPhoto Golden Cameras 4.5 out of 5 BetterPhoto Golden Cameras
Rating: 4.5 out of 5
probably the best classical looking manual camera out there

top grade built and finish
this camera has a "hydrid" shutter, with battries you can shoot on Nikon's proven "a" mode

if the batt dies on you, its fully manual with the full range of shutter speeds but you don't get metering without batteries :)

6/21/2006 7:50:00 AM
 
Bunny Snow
BetterPhoto Member
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member since: 11/16/2004
2.5 out of 5 BetterPhoto Golden Cameras 2.5 out of 5 BetterPhoto Golden Cameras 2.5 out of 5 BetterPhoto Golden Cameras 2.5 out of 5 BetterPhoto Golden Cameras 2.5 out of 5 BetterPhoto Golden Cameras
Rating: 2.5 out of 5
I bought the Nikon FM3A, after my second hand Nikon FE died a final death and I was in the middle of a classical portraiture session at a local university. The FM3A is manual except for the light meter, which I liked because I could learn how to meter and how to light and create the desired effect myself without the assistance of the camera. I still like the awesome Nikkor lenses, especially the 105 macro. What I didn't like, as I grew older and could not see as well to focus, was no option for auto-focus. I would have liked that option.
4/9/2006 1:10:14 PM
 
Jake Trexel

member since: 3/4/2005
5 out of 5 BetterPhoto Golden Cameras 5 out of 5 BetterPhoto Golden Cameras 5 out of 5 BetterPhoto Golden Cameras 5 out of 5 BetterPhoto Golden Cameras 5 out of 5 BetterPhoto Golden Cameras
Rating: 5 out of 5
It is the top of the line for an oldie like me. I use to use an OM-1 back in the 70's. Thanks to the answers that I received at your site, I bought the FM3a and could not be any happier. The same with the lens that were recommened to me. Thank to all of you that have helped me this past year. Jake
4/4/2006 8:51:15 AM
 
Jimmy Bhogal
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 2/21/2006
4 out of 5 BetterPhoto Golden Cameras 4 out of 5 BetterPhoto Golden Cameras 4 out of 5 BetterPhoto Golden Cameras 4 out of 5 BetterPhoto Golden Cameras 4 out of 5 BetterPhoto Golden Cameras
Rating: 4 out of 5
Light weight , rugged , reliable.
2/22/2006 3:24:44 AM
 
Jeff C. Hedrick

member since: 8/21/2005
4.5 out of 5 BetterPhoto Golden Cameras 4.5 out of 5 BetterPhoto Golden Cameras 4.5 out of 5 BetterPhoto Golden Cameras 4.5 out of 5 BetterPhoto Golden Cameras 4.5 out of 5 BetterPhoto Golden Cameras
Rating: 4.5 out of 5
Strong full featured will go anywhere. No complaints except price of film.
8/22/2005 5:15:52 PM
 
George Anderson

member since: 7/6/2005
5 out of 5 BetterPhoto Golden Cameras 5 out of 5 BetterPhoto Golden Cameras 5 out of 5 BetterPhoto Golden Cameras 5 out of 5 BetterPhoto Golden Cameras 5 out of 5 BetterPhoto Golden Cameras
Rating: 5 out of 5
The introductory information is right on for the basic specifications of this wonderful SLR, so I'll just add a few details. This is an amazingly well-built camera in a day and age of cheap printed circuits and throwaway, battery-dependent technology.

Expensive? Not for what it is, once you know how it's made. They don't make small 35mm SLR cameras anymore like this one. The Nikon FM3a is NOT assembled in China or Thailand by semi-skilled workers, but still made in Tokyo in small manufacturing batches by trained assemblers.

The FM3a's best traits are its electronic/mechanical dual-use shutter, its durability and its high level of build quality. There is no hi-tech carbon-plastic body to shatter or crack, no large LCD panel to bleed or short out, no super-state-of the-art, untried electronics to go haywire. The body is high-strength silumin alloy. The film advance rides on ball bearings, the shutter transport is metal. The camera uses the tough AI/AIS metal manual-focus lenses with no autofocus ICs, motors, or plastic focusing gears to break. What electronics it does have are evolutionary, thoroughly tested, and well protected inside the metal body. In fact, the FM3a follows Nikon's old tradition of gradual evolution of tested design, the better to ensure its longevity and continued operation under adverse conditions.

Bottom line? This camera should never need anything more than new seals to keep working over the next 20-25 years, long after this year's autofocus wonder has bitten the dust (check the camera repair forums if you think modern AF cameras don't break). The FM3a is certain to be a collector's item as the last of the high-quality small Nikon SLRs.

7/24/2005 2:27:09 PM
 
Jake Stanton
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 2/15/2005
5 out of 5 BetterPhoto Golden Cameras 5 out of 5 BetterPhoto Golden Cameras 5 out of 5 BetterPhoto Golden Cameras 5 out of 5 BetterPhoto Golden Cameras 5 out of 5 BetterPhoto Golden Cameras
Rating: 5 out of 5
I love Nikon better than any other kind of camera's. The Nikon FM3a is completely Manual (which i love) and is everything i have ever wanted in a camera. I love everything about it. The only bad thing i can say about it is that im always afraid to hurt it (cuz i love it so much) so i dont use it to it's full potential. Other than that i think all film photographers should have one or ten!
2/22/2005 8:15:16 PM
 
Thomas A. Carter

member since: 11/11/2004
4.5 out of 5 BetterPhoto Golden Cameras 4.5 out of 5 BetterPhoto Golden Cameras 4.5 out of 5 BetterPhoto Golden Cameras 4.5 out of 5 BetterPhoto Golden Cameras 4.5 out of 5 BetterPhoto Golden Cameras
Rating: 4.5 out of 5
Just bought this Nikon--will know more in a few months. Tom Carter
1/29/2005 2:12:54 PM
 
Chipper S. McWilliam

member since: 9/5/2004
3.5 out of 5 BetterPhoto Golden Cameras 3.5 out of 5 BetterPhoto Golden Cameras 3.5 out of 5 BetterPhoto Golden Cameras 3.5 out of 5 BetterPhoto Golden Cameras 3.5 out of 5 BetterPhoto Golden Cameras
Rating: 3.5 out of 5
I have not had it long enough to judge it but its as close to the Canon AE-1 that i will get tese days and i loved that gem for over 20 years.
9/5/2004 7:49:41 PM
 
Veeky Liew

member since: 5/7/2003
5 out of 5 BetterPhoto Golden Cameras 5 out of 5 BetterPhoto Golden Cameras 5 out of 5 BetterPhoto Golden Cameras 5 out of 5 BetterPhoto Golden Cameras 5 out of 5 BetterPhoto Golden Cameras
Rating: 5 out of 5
This is the best 35 mm manual camera so far for me....
7/24/2004 9:32:22 AM
 

First 10 of 22 Reviews  (see all user reviews)

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