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DSLR or bridge camera?

12 Jan 2011 7:44AM
Yo Ade & Linda

I think Ade is a canon man, and why not?

if you are on a budget olympus and sony have the antishake in the body, you can use (with cheep adaptors) a variety of lenses, and a small'ish profile / size


A G12 is excellent, I have one cos santa bought it for me. judging by your list of played with it might suit you

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strawman Plus
14 22.1k 16 United Kingdom
12 Jan 2011 9:19AM
to add to Pablo's comments the reason I mention Pentax is their entry camera has in-camera IS and has been updated to using a CMOS sensor. So if in-camera IS is your desire then Pentax looks the most attractive at the entry level. But note Canon and Nikon have in-lens IS kit lenses these days. Also if video is your thing, then in-lens IS is the better solution. Olympus have announced the end of development of 4/3 lenses, so I would buy a m4/3 camera but would hesitate to recommend a 4/3 camera.So if m4/3 is attractive I mention the Panasonic cameras.

Sony & Nikon have yet to complete the roll over of CMOS sensors across the range, that has implications for low light photography. If its not important OK, but if you need it then it is worth thinking about. In another years time then everyone should be CMOS across the range. also on CCD avoid the higher than 10 to 12mp cameras as often their output is worse than the lower pixel count sensor.

Too many choices Smile
12 Jan 2011 10:06AM
The OP was looking to take candids and wanted a frame rate, my experience is that point and shoots including the G12 don't yet deliver that
13 Jan 2011 10:57AM
Head reeling now guys it all seems very technical! Remember I'm a newbie and I still don't know my aperture from my light meter!!

Having said that though I do really appreciate you taking time to give advice to a beginner, I am still very undecided. At the moment I am quite taken by the Fuji finepix HS10 although I know I said I would really like a proper DSLR, the price is very appealing particularly as I am on a tight budget and cost is a real issue, 350 is a lot of money for me and if I could get what I want for less I would be really pleased. I also think it is maybe a bit lighter in weight than some of the DSLR's and certainly seems to have lots of the sort of functions I was looking for, however my one concern is that I might 'grow out of it' too soon.

I know I definately don't want another compact, and I'm sure this will sound crazy, but I would like something that looks and performs like a proper camera (delusions of grandeur probably!!!) I appreciate that everyone has their own likes and dislikes over make and such like and I am coming to realise that in most peoples opinion you get reasonable quality pics whatever you use if you have a bit of an eye for it and can learn to use your camera properly. I would like to get my camera soon, whatever it is, if possible and I am not too worried about getting the very latest model of anything (particularly as its usually pricey at the start)

Any further thoughts would be appreciated.

13 Jan 2011 12:49PM
As an ex camera salesman, it's jolly nice to look on

think the guy's are trying to point you in a direction away from the "bridge" (silly name?) cameras,

I can understand this, as if you want to progress you will be selling it on fleabay
strawman Plus
14 22.1k 16 United Kingdom
13 Jan 2011 1:30PM
Linda think of the Fuji as just a bigger compact camera and you are there. True it has a better grip and a massive zoom range, but the rest is compact camera. So I would argue that a camera like the S90 is a better choice for portraits than the Fuji. I would advise getting a basic dSLR and kit lens (any brand) over the Fuji.

You will want to have a good range of depth of field. The larger sensor of a DSLR will help.

Sadly you get what you pay for. So I would rather buy a 200 2nd hand dLR than the Fuji.

For example the guys @ T4 have a look at their 2nd hand kit. They have 20D plus 18-55 lens. OK its not new but its a solid good camera.

Or MPB have a Nikon D70 150 (a lot of Nikon users here started with that camera) and a 18-70 for 110 more (a very good kit lens in my view) Or for another 50 to 60 a D60.

I would pick those first for about the same money.
strawman Plus
14 22.1k 16 United Kingdom
13 Jan 2011 1:42PM
Or going new This Panasonic for 300 strikes me as far better value for money.

Or this nice Pentax Pete uses Pentax it's worth an EC Wink

Only kidding I do not think he is that easy tobribe it cost me 50 last time, but seriously there are some users of either who would be happy to give advice.
Photogeek Plus
12 605 6 Wales
13 Jan 2011 1:50PM
I bought a Minolta A200 'Bridge' Camera to fill in the time until Minolta brought out a reasonably priced Digital SLR . . .It is a damn fine camera . . . But I soon hit it's limits with the type of photography I wanted to do . . .Focussing on moving objects is a real pain, by the time it's focussed the object has moved . . . I bought a Alpha 100 when they came out and that just works.

350 is a lot of money to me too . . . but the A200 cost me 400 and then when I spent the 300 on the alpha 100 12 months later . . . . .

Incidentally . . . don't let the lack of lenses for the Sony range put you off . . . You have access to all the old Minolta (AF) lenses with no issues, and a lot of the 3rd party manufacturers now make them in Sony/Minolta fit. Whilst you haven't got things like a 600mm f0.5 IS APO L lens the odds are that for the very vast majority of photographers you don't actually need one at all.

The other thing to consider is low light performance, and The DSLR wins hands down, as it has a bigger sensor so less noise . .so better sharper pictures.
13 Jan 2011 5:29PM
Thank you guys, that is really helpful, you are gradually persuading me back to my first thoughts of getting a dslr will have a look at those links Strawman, and see what they look like. Brilliant. Smile
strawman Plus
14 22.1k 16 United Kingdom
13 Jan 2011 5:34PM
Happy hunting camerapricebuster lets you compare prices of cameras from a lot of different sellers, but you need to know what models you are interested in. It may help you look for bargains.
9 1.4k 30 England
16 Jan 2011 7:22PM
Don't write off the bridge cameras. I own a Panasonic FZ30 bridge and a Canon SLR. The bridge camera is the one that I always take on holiday and if I am out for the day and have nothing specific in mind. The Canon comes into use when I know exactly what I am going to photograph and what lenses I will need.

Yes, you should get better results from an SLR due to the larger sensor but the better bridge cameras are capable of stunning results in good bright conditions. The zoom range of the bridge cameras is also worth thinking about not only for their telephoto capabilities but also for closeups.

You need to think hard about the type of photography you are going to do before you make a decision and with only about 350 to spend you will soon outgrow any SLR you buy.
StrayCat Plus
13 19.0k 3 Canada
16 Jan 2011 7:42PM

Quote:You need to think hard about the type of photography you are going to do before you make a decision and with only about 350 to spend you will soon outgrow any SLR you buy.

I agree wholeheartedly with this. A DSLR is what you will eventually end up with if you take an avid interest in photography, but to start with one with your budget might just turn you from persuing the activity further. John's(Strawman) comments make sense above, but you will quickly become frustrated if you can't afford more lenses and accessories.

I would add that if you end up like many of us, you won't be printing a lot of photos, especially large ones, and the bridge cameras give good quality for web posting and viewing on your computer's monitor. If you buy wisely, you will be able to recover most of what you spend on a bridge camera when you are ready, and can afford, to move up to a DSLR.

In the past 12 months I have purchased 2 bridge cameras, a Panasonic, and just recently the Nikon P100, both around $300.00 dollars. I resold the Panasonic for 100.00 more than I paid, and I'm using the Nikon for family photos, wildlife and close-ups, for which it's surprisingly good. It has a good flash with reasonable range, and for my money, displayed on a computer monitor, there isnn't much between the Nikon pics and my Pentax K20D pics. If I wanted large prints, naturally I would use the Pentax.
Jestertheclown Plus
9 7.6k 252 England
16 Jan 2011 7:48PM
Bridge camera aren't all bad provided you realise their limitations.
I have to use one because I can't afford anything else but I like to think that I've managed to get some pretty good results with what I'm using.
16 Jan 2011 10:21PM
Hi Jester, Dogsbody and Straycat, thanks for you comments I found them very helpful, as I said earlier everyone had their favourites and obviously the best option would be a reasonable DSLR but at the moment my budget is tight and I'm not sure which way I will go yet, I may take a few weeks to think it through.
strawman Plus
14 22.1k 16 United Kingdom
17 Jan 2011 3:43PM
Sounds like you have the arguments from both sides then, good luck in your choice. What might help is to go on a meet and have a play with some of the cameras. It may help you decide and there is nothing like taking actual pictures to help make the mind up.

If you do decide to not go the dSLR route then try some of the top compacts as well as a prosumer. For example Panasonic LX3/LX5, Canon S90/S95/G10/G11/G12 as they have a larger than average compact sensor and reasonably fast optic, so while the zoom range may be less they have image advantages. If it helps I find the S90 has @ 1 stop of adjustment you can make in the RAW image and a dSLR has @ 2. The differences between sensors is not just the number of pixels and noise levels but also the usable range of light levels they can capture.

Plus I also do prints so I guess we all judge differently. But with photography, if the bug bites, sadly you will be after different lenses etc, it is addictive so be warned, your spare money could find a new home Smile. And if its not kit its the desire to go somewhere to take photo's.

But above everything its about having fun. So whatever you buy, enjoy it. Lifes to short for regrets or worries on kit.

Good luck

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