Which specific cameras (Brand/Model) have a DOF button that actuates the iris and is NOT just an electronic function?

I used the DOF and split screen focus extensively shooting 35MM. I don't have good enough eyesight to use the LED preview screen to comfortably compose and check DOF and other particulars.

I'm having a heck of a time figuring this out, as we don't have any camera shops left in Memphis, TN.

  • 3
    \$\begingroup\$ "List specific models" questions don't generally do well here, because it's not likely that one person has a good list offhand, and the answer may change next week, and no one is rewarded in any way for maintaining the list ans the answer changes. Can you find a different way to ask this? \$\endgroup\$
    – mattdm
    Commented Feb 9, 2018 at 20:26
  • \$\begingroup\$ Not really. That's my problem. Finding a camera with that feature is why I asked the question. I have a good understanding of the feature and how to use it, but have had trouble finding a camera with the feature. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Feb 9, 2018 at 20:31
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    \$\begingroup\$ What do you mean by actuates the iris and is NOT just an electronic function? The EF-mount on Canon-bodies does all things electronically, including the aperture control. Do you mean that it should not simulate (as in: not actually closing the aperture, but "computing" some DOF) the aperture? If so: I never heard of any camera that would do sucha very complex task. \$\endgroup\$
    – flolilo
    Commented Feb 9, 2018 at 21:59
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    \$\begingroup\$ @flolilolilo Some mirrorless designs do simulate brightness/exposure in the EVF without closing the aperture. \$\endgroup\$
    – Michael C
    Commented Feb 10, 2018 at 7:25
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    \$\begingroup\$ But not depth of field. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Feb 10, 2018 at 11:55

2 Answers 2


Pretty much any camera with a DOF button works the way you want.

The only caveat is that older manual focus SLRs could preview wider apertures (and had brighter viewfinders) than newer SLRs (including film SLRs). On some cameras you can get still brighter focusing screens, with split prisms, etc, either from the manufacturer or from a 3rd party (e.g. http://focusingscreen.com). But this has nothing to do with digital vs film, as autofocus film SLRs are the same. Only manual focus cameras are better here.

I am pretty perplexed why you thought this was not the case. The only way to alter depth of field is by changing the aperture, so obviously this is the method employed by cameras. How else could it work?

  • \$\begingroup\$ Note that with some cameras, custom-buttons can be used as a replacement of the DOF-button. The EOS M6 for example has no dedicated DOF-button, but you can assign e.g. the M-Fn-button to do that. (C.Fn II - 2) \$\endgroup\$
    – flolilo
    Commented Feb 10, 2018 at 14:54

There is an easy answer courtesy of my site, Neocamera.

Go to the Camera Search, select any criteria you want and turn on the Depth-Of-Field Preview icon (it looks like aperture blades) by clicking on it. For example, if you select SLR and DOF-Preview, you get the set of all DSLRs that have a DOF-Preview function.

There are currently 37 such cameras (from Canon, Nikon, Pentax and Sigma) but the link points to live results, so anytime you go there it will always show all currently available cameras that match (there is also an option in the search to include discontinued models if you are looking for old ones).

  • \$\begingroup\$ Hey, Neocamera is a great site, thanks for that! Any plans to add old Nikkor manual focus lenses? \$\endgroup\$ Commented Feb 10, 2018 at 17:35
  • \$\begingroup\$ That would be nice but it's not scheduled yet. \$\endgroup\$
    – Itai
    Commented Feb 11, 2018 at 2:44

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