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What is a good combination of DSLR Camera and 200-300 mm lens for manual focusing?

by Marl Smith
(Boothbay , Maine)

I like to photograph small birds but find the auto focus on DSLR cameras too slow and inaccurate. I did better with pre-digital SLR cameras, using the ring on the lens and prism split screen viewfinders to manual focus. Can I get this capability with a digital SLR? Older models would be preferred due to limited expenses.

Answer:

While some of the early DSLR cameras were not always known for their great focusing cabablities most Modern DSLR Cameras have excellent focusing systems and with almost each new model release the auto focusing improves from the entry level DSLR to the Professional Models.

I would not recommend any single model or brand of camera as there are two many variables that come into play. What I do recommend is you getting the best model you can afford. Keep in mind that like an older SLR you are really dealing with a combination of lens and camera body when it comes to how fast and accurate the camera will autofocus. A high quality lens can make all the difference in the world so getting the best combination within your budget is what I would recommend.

If you prefer to manual focus by using the focus ring on the lens that ability still remains on newer DSLR's. They have manual focus modes and some like my Sony Alpha 77 have what is known as "focus peaking" which will highlight the area that is in focus in your viewfinder when it is turned on. This allows you to quickly verify that the part of the picture you want to be the focal point is actually in-focus and can be a big help when using the manual focus mode.

Having used older pre-digital SLR's I find today's DSLR's to have very responsive and accurate auto focus systems.

Regards,
Alan
Practical Photography Tips

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