Camera choice ~£500
After reading the February 2012 Issue of What Digital Camera, I have decided to replace my Sony Cyber-shot 3.2MP DSC-P5, which I have had for many years (and still does good service). The only problem as ever, is what to buy. If I set a budget of £500, would readers recommend a DSLR or stay with compact? The problem with the Sony Cyber-shot is the small screen and limited zoom. Apart from general home use, we plan a holiday to Africa so it would be good to have something that can cope with close-ups and distance, not too complicated or bulky. Thanks, John
hi and welcome £500 will get you a very nice camera, you dont say what your photography knowledge is and it will help us.
I would say that if you got a DSLR then you would have to get extra lenses if you wanted to get the best out of it so that puts the price up. There are a lot of good high end compacts on the market like a canon sx 40 that might suit you. Good Luck
Have you tried checking out amazon? I cant suggest you a good camera but a nikon L120 would be a great choice.
Some sound advice from Wave.
You'll be able to get a decent entry-level DSLR on your budget, but it might not necessarily be the best option for you.
We'd suggest you take a look at a bridge compact instead. These type of cameras offer a long zoom range that's hard to beat with a DSLR and a relatively small body. Most offer an electronic viewfinder and can be used as either a point and shoot camera or as a more advanced model with manual controls if you wish.
Downsides? The sensor isn't as big as a DSLR, so image quality, while good, isn't a match for a DSLR. The performance isn't as strong either. But if you're looking for a all-in-one solution that'll take telephoto shots as well as close-ups that's easy to use, then you won't go far wrong with a Bridge compact.
Your budget means your looking at the top-end of the bridge camera scale, and our two pics would be either the Panasonic LUMIX FZ150 or Canon PowerShot SX40IS.
The FZ150 (£399) is the best all-round solution, with a fast and precise AF system, excellent image stabilisation system and easy handling. It offers a a zoom range of 25-600mm that should be more than adequate for most shooting situations, but if you want even more reach, then the SX40 IS is the one to go for.
At £369, it has an incredibly zoom range of 24-840mm. It's a very good camera, though not quite as responsive as the FZ150. Go and try them both out in your local camera shop to see which one you prefer.
Wave, For the non-specialist, it takes time to understand all the features - which are important and which are not . Your suggestion of the Canon SX40 has got me started, I can now compare it with others around the same price range. Not sure if a DLSR is right for me - I don't want to be carrying/swapping lenses. Thanks, John
Phil, Thanks for the advice and suggestion to look at the Canon SX40 IS and Lumix FZ150. As above, I will see what features they have and then compare others with them. John
Pigital - Thanks for the suggestion but can't find the Nikon L120 in the Nikon listings - can you confirm? John