Written on: 30/11/2011
This camera is indeed heavy, but the construction quality is superb. It will survive being dropped onto rough stone or cobbled streets. On these occasions, it is any attached lens which suffers, not the camera at all. The mode switch is easy to use, as is the metering switch. Spot metering is accurate and multiple spot-metering readings can be taken of the subject to be photographed. The camera even incorporates a highlight/shadow exposure compensation system to deal with a dark subject/light background or a light subject/dark background, as well as normal exposure compensation for light-emitting subjects before a bright background. There is a button which when pressed shows the aperture and speed which the camera will select. Perhaps one of the best features of this camera is the " safety shift " which automatically corrects the shutter speed/aperture combination selected by the photographer, if the selected combination is incorrect. The camera also incorporates multi-exposures on the same frame, and ISO override. The usual single-frame or continuos shooting modes are there, as well as a two-speed function for self-portraits. The data panel can be illiminated for low-light conditions or nightime.Film can be rewound automatically or manually. The continuous shooting mode offers approximately five frames per second, due to a built-in motor drive. Depth-of-field measurement is by the stopped-down method. The camera can be operated in both automatic modes and fully manual. I normally use this camera fitted with a Canon FD 50 mm 1:1,2 lens - a professional lens, and the combination produces excellent portraits in natural light without the need to use any flash. One can use 3 tele modes good for telephoto lenses and for taking photos at the fastest possible speed. There are three wide modes good for landscapes and large-group shots. The camera offers aperture priority and shutter-speed priority, as well as a fully-automatic program mode and a bulb mode. There are three metering modes : center-weighted average, partial and spot. The camera uses easily-found AA batteries : no problem. Shutter-speed priority can be selected from 30 seconds to 1/4000 of one second. There is also a viewfinder curtain useful to avoid stray light getting in the picture when the self-portrait mode is used and there is a strong light source behind the camera not blocked, as usual, by one´s eye.
Overall, I would rate this camera very highly in terms of features and exposure quality. It is a strictly manual-focus camera, and it accepts only lenses with the FD mount, but the FD lenses´ glass is optimum and such lenses can now be bought cheaply on the internet. Even the f 1:1,2 50 mm FD lens which I normlly use on this camera is not expensive, considering its superb low-light capabilities. Buy this camera if you love film, manual focussing, superbly-exposed potographs and a camera built like a tank to last almost indefinitely.