View Full Version : To Bridge or stick with what I've got!

09-06-12, 03:02 PM
I currently have an entry level dslr - Olympus e410. Its a nice little camera and takes some good shots. Its performance in low light is not so great - it can take ages to reel off a shot using the flash. Although I don't use it much in these conditions its a bit annoying on the occasions when I do.

With a more sophisticated DSLR out of my price range, I have been looking at a part ex deal for one of the new generation of bridge cameras such as Nikon P510 & Panasonic FZ45 as an alternative to the Olympus due to their massive focal length all without carrying lots of lenses. Does anyone know how these perform in low light?

I mainly take outdoor photos while travelling - usually landscapes & architecture, sometimes macro shots of flowers etc and the occassional snap at a family gathering! Some of my work has sold on a stock photography site, so the image quality needs to be at least comparable with what I already have.

I would appreciate any advice whether this is the right thing to do and advice on which camera to go for. The HD video part of the two cameras I have mentioned is not a factor to me, its the image quality/ease of use/portability that is important.

My other option was to keep the Olympus and get a little compact for the times I want to take shots in low light - usually city landscapes & indoors - if such a compact exists without breaking the bank!


Chris Cool
09-06-12, 05:30 PM
Hi and welcome.

The sensor in your Olympus e410 is far bigger than any Bridge or compact camera and I would have said great for low light.

For low light, I use a pocket tripod and the 2 second timer. I use pillars, lamp posts, walls, bars, seats etc. to rest on or against. And that's with a sensor no bigger than a finger nail (2/3"). Click for sizes (http://images.anandtech.com/reviews/cameras/2008/sensor-formats/sensor-size.jpg) Yours is 4/3" Might not be to exact size.

By all means get a pocket compact for everyday use in good light Clicky for Panasonic TZ30 (http://www.photographyblog.com/reviews/panasonic_lumix_dmc_tz30_review/), but don't give up your e410!



Nigel Atherton
10-06-12, 11:22 AM
Bridge cameras are great for those wanting a camera for personal snaps of subjects both close and very far away, thanks to the huge built in zoom, but image quality will not equal your E410 because, as has already been said, the sensor is a fraction of the size. This would make selling images from a bridge camera somewhat harder, as most stock libraries have quite high quality threshholds.
The water is muddied slightly by the fact that the E410 is quite old and the bridge cameras you mention are new, which means they feature the latest technological developments in sensors and processors, so the quality gap will not be as great as with current DSLR vs current bridge, and may not be that noticeable at small sizes. However, you specifically mention low light and this is the area where you'll see the greatest difference between DSLR and bridge. Even though the E410 was never very good in low light a bridge camera would still be a step backwards in this regard.

What is your budget? Because there's only about 60 price difference between the Nikon P510 and the Nikon D3100 or Canon EOS 1100D DSLRs, and these will deliver a marked improvement in performance and image quality over your E410.

Alternatively why not consider a compact system camera such as the Samsung NX11 which is excellent value at around 300 (http://www.amazon.co.uk/Samsung-NX11-Compact-System-Camera/dp/B004SB0SZO/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1339325189&sr=8-1) - the same as the P510. Being a CSC it's smaller than a DSLR but has a DSLR sized sensor, which would give you images of more saleable quality. The interchangeable lenses are fairly inexpensive too. You wouldn't get the huge zoom built in, but consider how much you really need that.