Written on: 22/06/2003 by Gus Michelson.
Small and light
Inexpensive (only available used)
Program mode for tyro photographers
Very slow flash sync speed
Only 1/1000 top shutter speed
No AE lock
Non-interchangeable focus screen
No DOF preview lever
The FG dates from 1980 and was Nikon's attempt to market an entry-level manual focus electronic camera with more features than the Nikon EM. Like the FA, Nikon did not pursue the development line of this camera after the 1980s, so it is not the basis for the FM3a. The FG was an outgrowth of the bottom-level Nikon EM electronic camera, with an additional program mode for inexperienced camera users that sets aperture/shutter speed. Unfortunately the extra electronics and computer required for this feature have resulted in somewhat lesser longevity than Nikon's other electronic cameras such as the FE2, and as a result nowadays one sees relatively more EM and FG cameras in the 'inop' bin as a result.
Unless you get the FG in perfect working order at a very low price, most experienced photographers who desire an electronic MF camera with both manual and aperture-priority functions would probably be better off with a higher-line FE2 or FM3a. This is because the FG has no DOF preview lever, a very slow sync speed of 1/90 vs. the FE2's 1/250, a relatively low top shutter speed of 1/1000 (vs. 1/4000 in higher-end Nikons), no AE lock, and no interchangeable focus screen.