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View Full Version : Bridge or DSLR - best image quality



DaveW
29-06-10, 09:31 AM
Hello all, hope you don't mind but I need to pick your brains. I am starting an evening class course in photography in a couple of months and want to get a new camera, I can't decide whether to go for a bridge or a DSLR or even something like a Canon G11. I have a budget of around 400 but this could be stretched for the right camera. I want to learn how to use the manual controls so want that option on whatever I get although it would be nice to have the option to point and shoot sometimes. I wouldn't taking a range of diffent pictures but my passion is motorsport so it would be nice to get something that can handle action shots. One question I do have is would I really be able to notice the difference in picture quality between a Dslr and a bridge camera? Any suggestions on what models to look at would be greatly appreciated.

wave
29-06-10, 02:15 PM
you have said that you are starting a course in photography thats a very good starting point. my advice would be get a dslr once you have an understanding of photography i think you would be come dissatisified quite quickly with any other type of camera and you will be back in the market for a dslr
can you tell the difference, well i can i notice what is wrong in all my pictures, but again i look at the picture as a whole i am not a pixel peeper either.
so dslr and all you now have to do is decide on which system
hope this helps

DaveW
29-06-10, 03:01 PM
Thanks for the guidance Wave, any recommendations for DSLR around the 400 mark? Would like to hear from actual users as I have read through reviews and can end up confusing myself. Also I won't have any money to spend on additional lenses for quite a while, are the standard lenses that come with the body ok for general use.

Thanks

Nigel Atherton
30-06-10, 11:48 AM
A DSLR will produce better image quality that a DSLR because the sensor is many times bigger. (See here (http://wapedia.mobi/en/Image_sensor_format) for illustrations of the various sizes, esp. 2.Common Image Sensor Formats. Bridge cameras will use one of the three tiny ones at the bottom.) Having said that, you probably won't notice that extra quality if you only view them at web resolution or print them to 6x4".

The fact you're starting an evening course means you're interested in creative photography you'll be learning how to use all the controls, so a DSLR is definitely the way to go.

The issue is your interest in motorsport. You'll need a good telephoto zoom for this. With a bridge camera you'll get this built in. On the downside bridge cameras always suffer greatly from shutter lag and slow shot to shot times, so you may miss some shots. A few cameras, such as the Sony HX1 (http://www.whatdigitalcamera.com/equipment/reviews/compactcameras/1052/1/sony-cybershot-hx1.html), Casio FH20 (http://www.whatdigitalcamera.com/equipment/reviews/compactcameras/1181/1/casio-exilim-pro-ex-fh20-review.html) and Fujifilm HS10 (http://www.whatdigitalcamera.com/equipment/reviews/compactcameras/128366/1/fuji-hs10-review.html) have a super highs speed mode which works over short bursts and should definitely be the ones you consider if you choose the bridge route.

A DSLR will respond almost instantly and can shoot continuously for a much longer period of time but but you won't get great close up motor sport shots with the 18-55mm kit lens unless you stand on the track! What you need is a telephoto zoom to go with it, but that's tough at this budget.

Your best bet, and my recommendation, would be the Sony A230 because its currently the cheapest DSLR you can buy, but is still a good camera. It only does 2.5 frames per second but over a longer period than the bridge cameras. Its discontinued now but a few places still have them. Warehouse Express has a twin lens kit which would be ideal for you for 459 (http://www.warehouseexpress.com/buy-sony-alpha-a230-digital-slr-with-18-55-and-55-200/p1032069), if you can stretch that far. Alternatively Argos has the A230 in its sale for 269 (http://www.argos.co.uk/static/Product/partNumber/5592867/Trail/searchtext%3ESONY+A230.htm) with the kit lens, and you can get something like the Sigma 70-300mm separately (It's 124 (http://www.warehouseexpress.com/buy-sigma-70-300mm-f4-5-6-macro-dg-lens-sony-minolta-fit/p1011620) at WHEXp).

Shop around though as other retailers may have similar deals too, but don't delay to long as the A230 is on the way out.