View Full Version : Bridge camera help!

14-09-13, 05:49 PM

I am a keen but definite beginner in the world of photography, I love taking photos of everything and anything using my current point-and-shoot Panasonic Lumix SZ1. I however would like to upgrade this to a bridge camera, superzoom style (with them being like smaller DSLRs). I donít feel ready to take on a DSLR yet, but want more manual control over my shots. I would like to be able to take it out and about when on holiday, as well as portrait photography and some macro photography of products (to use on my blog).

I am of genuinely limited means and can only really afford to spend around £200 (which is rather a lot of money to me), preferably less to be able to account for case, batteries etc. I would happily buy second hand from a reputable source for the right camera, but only if said camera is actually available under £200 second hand.

Someone suggested the Pentax X5 because of its CMOS sensor, EVF and articulated LCD, but I have noticed it doesnít seem to offer a great deal in manual controls, and is lacking Aperture Priority and Shutter Priority modes, which somebody else said would be good to look for. My mind is now boggled by these various suggestions and Iím not sure what I should really be prioritising when looking. I have also looked at Panasonic Lumix LZ20 & 30, Fujifilm Finepix S4800 & S6800 and Canon Powershot SX500.

Can anyone suggest any cameras to look at or at least what I should/should not be bothered with? Iíve seen many different suggestions on different review sites and even after looking at videos on YouTube and a few visits to Curryís to play with the cameras, I am still mighty confused.


14-09-13, 06:43 PM
I would happily look at entry level DSLRs if anyone can make suggestions that fit my budget. Again, happy to buy second hand from a reputable source.

Huw Williams
15-09-13, 05:33 PM
Your budget is about half what is needed for a new entry-level SLR I'm afraid, although you could well consider an used one.

If you are keen for new and would like a nice bridge for sensible money that has manual controls, though not an EVF I'm afraid, then you should at least consider the Fujifilm S4800.
Personally I would be happier with the Pentax of the two, but that's just me.

I wonder what a nice used Nikon D5000 would cost?

15-09-13, 06:00 PM
Thanks for the advice! I quite like the 6800 - it seems to have a bit more to it than the 4800, eg a CMOS instead of CCD and is currently £150 in Currys (same price as the 4800) but still not sure. I've seen a used Nikon D3100 with VR 18-55 lens kit for £195 and I'm starting to wonder if that might be better. I'm a little bit scared of using a DSLR, which is why I thought a bridge with some good manual options might be a good choice to start with. I have a friend with a D5000 who keeps telling me to get one, if I could find a good used one at a good price I'd probably be tempted!

Huw Williams
15-09-13, 07:12 PM
How about a Panasonic G3 M4/3 camera for less than £250? It stretches your budget just a bit and you would need to save up for a longer zoom in the longer term, but it is a quality system camera. In my humble opinion it is in a different league to the others and you would never regret the extra £50 spent.

16-09-13, 07:09 AM
just seen the above a park cameras for £229 with a 14-42 lens

16-09-13, 01:39 PM
Thanks for the suggestions guys, I'll look into them.
Any thoughts on the Nikon D3100?

16-09-13, 02:51 PM
hi things to remember when buying a DSLR or a compact system. make sure that the system suits your needs canon and nikon have the largest supply of lenses. go and hold it and see how it feels if it feels right then that a long way to being right, are the buttons right for you dont settle for i will get used to it, is the menu system easy for you. think of what you will be taking and does focus quickly enough. i tend not to say get an entry level but go one stage higher as you will soon out grow it so spend a bit now and save in the long run

16-09-13, 03:14 PM
Hi, I like the look and feel, it's small like my hands.The Nikon is pushing my budget a lot as it is, it has taken quite a long time to save the little that I have for the camera, I've reached the point where I'm sick of saving. Pushing myself to a DSLR is like you said, already pushing beyond my original query on bridge cameras. I've seen it for a decent price brand new and second hand. I don't think I want something much more than entry level right now as like I said considering I wanted a bridge camera originally. My theory behind looking at a DSLR now is for that very reason; if i do buy a bridge i may want a DSLR next year, but buy an entry DSLR now and I may not want to upgrade for a few years at least.

16-09-13, 07:19 PM
Sorry if that came out sounding hostile; it was meant to just be stating fact/chatty. Just re-read and thought it sounded bad. Thanks for all the advice, you've been very helpful.

17-09-13, 09:12 AM
np i hate to see people spend more money than they have to so i try and give as much info as possible

Nigel Atherton
17-09-13, 02:47 PM
A bridge is basically a compact with a very long lens. It isn't more advanced than a good compact, and won't give you any better image quality. You don't need a bridge for portraits or macro photography. I agree with the previous post that a Panasonic G3 would be a far, far better option. It handles like a DSLR and has similar features, and the image quality is much more akin to a DSLR. If you're going to take photography up as a hobby it would be an infinitely better choice. On the downside you won;t get good macro right out of the box, but you could use inexpensive screw-on close-up lenses (available for under £20).
Alternatively look at used DSLRs. I've just been loking on Camera Jungle and you can buy a Canon EOS 400D, with 18-55mm lens, for about £180. I'm sure there are a lot of other options available if you look around. I'd advice buying froma reputable dealer though, rather than privately, as you'll get the security of a warranty and the knowlegde it has been checked over.