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I'm starting my Photography GCSE's in September and I'm looking at Bridge camera's and I've noticed some of them don't have view finders, up until now I haven't been using the view finder on my current camera but was wondering how important a view finder is?
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I think you will find that most bridge camera`d do have a viewfinder, be it an EVF viewfinder.
Its generally the compacts that do not have viewfinders these days.
I would say it's very important on that type of camera. I've used a Fuji and found it gave good results, but you'll probably want to use it like you'd use a DSLR - holding it up to your eye. Many bridge cameras have very long zoom lenses and you'll probably not get the sharpest pictures by holding them at arm's length & using the screen.
I'd go so far as to advise you not to buy a bridge camera if it didn't have an EVF - you won't be able to add one at a later date if you decide you need it!
Does your course have any recommendations re: camera? If you are that serious about photography - why not to skip the bridge and go straight to DSLR? Entry level DSLR set will not cost much more than an advanced bridge with good EVF.
Quote: I'm starting my Photography GCSE's in September
Should you be asking a very different question?
If you are taking the course to learn about depth of field, manual exposure and perhaps even using film have first asked what sort of camera the course organisers prefer you to use.
There is no point in spending money on a camera that is unsuitable for the course.
I started off with a bridge camera - I found the viewfinder very helpful in bright conditions................sometimes when the sun was bright I couldn't see the image on the screen (though the Canon S3 has a swivel screen, which really helps). I never felt the need (or had the funds) to move onto a DSLR, perhaps if I sold my images I may change my mind (but I can't really see that happening!).
Try using the viewfinder and see how it feels. Good luck with your course, I hope you enjoy it - don't worry about a new camera until you are ready! (My girls used to borrow the school cameras)
Thank you all and no I've had no recommendations of camera's for my course
The Pentax X5 has a swivel screen and viewfinder that sells for around £140.
Its powered by AA batteries that can be bought anywhere.
It doesn't support RAW reflected by the price.
They may be bound by rules not to promote a camera by brand although basic requirements would help.
With several weeks experience with a bridge camera (and 35+ years experience with DSLR/SLR's), I would say a viewfinder is very important. The LCD back screen is often very difficult to see in sunlight.
An alternative to a bridge camera is a compact system camera, check out places like London camera exchange in there second hand section.
There are some good deals to be had like this twin lens GF2 kit than can take a separate evf if needed.
My recommendations on a bridge camera would depend on your future plans:
-If you are looking for a camera that will satisfy all of your needs in foreseeable future, and not planning on any professional photography activity or taking participation in any high level competitions, buy a Panasonic Lumix FZ200. It's a great superzoom with fantastic capacity for amateur photography;
- If you are planning on higher, more "serious" level of photography than amateur image-taking for your own and your family/friends pleasure, try to have a go with Fujifilm Finepix HS50EXR camera. Although it is not any better than Panasonic image-quality wise, it simulates DSLR much more closely, and will give you the skills necessary to work with higher class cameras. And yes, both of them have a good usable EVF.
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