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Old 26th February 2015, 11:20 PM
alexmuir alexmuir is offline
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Glasgow, Scotland.
Posts: 2,488

I think that autofocus is an unnecessary complication in this situation, unless you have a big budget. Only a few MF cameras were developed with AF systems, and they were expensive when new. If AF is essential, I would recommend sticking with 35mm where there is a vast choice of very sophisticated equipment at reasonable prices.
The other point is that many MF cameras have a maximum speed of 1/500. If high shutter speeds are essential, 35mm is again a better choice. There are reasons, however, why high speeds might not be as important in MF. The design of many MF cameras allows them to be hand held at slower speeds. They also tend to use leaf shutters which are different from the type used in 35 mm SLRs. They allow flash to be used at any shutter speed, which can be useful.
While I agree that the old folding MF cameras can be a good starting point, I think it can be difficult to find a good, working example, unless you have quite a bit of knowledge and experience. If you can afford it, I would suggest one of the 645 SLRs would possibly be a more reliable choice. I'm thinking of the Bronica ETRS, Mamiya 645 or Pentax 645. I would check out examples from dealers where you get some sort of warranty.
I hope this helps,
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