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Thread: Bridge vs DSLR

  1. #1

    Default Bridge vs DSLR

    Hi guys

    Thanks for your time. Im looking at buying my first camera which I plan to take with me on some of my travels next year. Im a complete novice but I really appreciate good quality photos and I don't want to waste my time exploring exotic landscapes & wildlife whilst taking poor photos.

    Having discussed it with a couple of my photographer friends one has recommended a bridge camera whereas another has suggested DSLR.

    Looking at the videos on youtube and reviews on various websites I'm a bit stuck. I see the benefits of a bridge as I won't need to carry an extra lense with me while i travel. However the DSLR looks to have better image quality and better focus.

    Just wondered if I could get someone else's opinion and advice on the matter? My budget is around 300 but this is flexible. The cameras I've been looking at are:

    Nikon D3200 (309 at Jessops, possibly with a Tamron 70-300mm lens for around 90)
    Nikon D3100 (just cos its 50 cheaper! wondering if its worth the extra money?)

    Fujifilm XS-1 (just been on Amazon black friday deal at 250 and have seen some resales around 300)
    Fujifilm HS50 EXR (around 330)

    Like I said, I'd like to take some wildlife shots when Im out there but I think the majority of my photos will be more landscape type stuff. Although I'm buying the camera initially for this holiday I'd like to take it for future travels too. Any advice, suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

    Steve

  2. #2
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    You need a zoom and a reasonably wide angle for the landscape. Panasonic FZ200 immediately springs to mind and is not way way out of your budget. It is their top bridge camera but if it is too expensive they have an FZ70, or similar model name, that zooms more but doesn't have the features or the constant aperture lens. This is at a considerable financial saving but you get what you pay for. Geotagging might be important to you on your travels, so GPS might be useful and a Nikon P520 will be a nice light and versatile tool.

    If you wish to go larger sensor then an APS-C camera like the bargain A58 or the smaller and lighter A3000 with two kit zooms would do the trick and give better photo qualityin very poor light than most bridge cameras.
    The Nikon you know about. Pentax K500? Nikon1, maybe the older J1 model which is still available? There must be a compact SLR Canon whose model name escapes me.

    Personally for travelling, I would take a Panasonic TZ40 and a spare battery. Either that of a Sony HX50V. The V in the Sony is important but not available from UK retailers. It is important for the geotagging GPS feature which the non-V versions do not have. Maybe I'd travel with a bridge camera or a Panasonic G6 with 10x zoom 14/140 lens, but personally I would think twice about carrying big heavy kit. That's just me though. I don't mind carrying stuff domestically or on the same continent, but would prefer to travel light and not worry about organising a camera bag on excretions into the jungle or desert.

    There is a new Sony bridge camera about to be launched which is a very top end environmentally sealed and sophisticated big-sensor product I think. It would be ideal for you apart from one little thing. It is nearly four times your budget. Sell your car and turn your heating off in Winter and order one.
    EDIT It's called the RX10 and it has the same 1" sensor size as the Nikon1. This is very substantially bigger than that fitted to compact and most bridge cameras. All that means is that in conjunction with its wide and bright lens it should take better images or be able to use faster shutter speeds etc in low light conditions. The price is apparently going to be around 1000 initially. It is some camera though by the looks of it, but it is obviously a rather niche product at that price. A more affordable high end bridge camera is the new Olympus Stylus1 which would also probably suit you.

    Me? I'd be happy to take my TZ6 or G6 Panys, but my choice would be my Nikon P500 bridge AND the G6. In which case my favourite Sony A57 would stay home along with the pocketable compact TZ6. Mind you, the TZ6 would take up no room in my shirt pocket so might come along for the ride.
    In other words, too much choice is as bad as too little.
    Last edited by Huw Williams; 28-11-13 at 12:05 AM.

  3. #3
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    hi and welcome. for your budget i would look at the bridge type camera it is a one solution for all and will get you decent shots. if you go DSLR then you will need extra lenses and to be honest you budget is to low for that.

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    I would go along with the other posts a bridge camera would be ideal for your needs. If you decide on a DSLR I would go for the D3200, I know it would cost a bit more but the 24mp would be an asset. I don't know about your lens choice though you would be better getting a 70 300mm with image stabilisation on it.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by graham_c View Post
    I would go along with the other posts a bridge camera would be ideal for your needs. If you decide on a DSLR I would go for the D3200, I know it would cost a bit more but the 24mp would be an asset. I don't know about your lens choice though you would be better getting a 70 300mm with image stabilisation on it.
    If he was printing off at the size of a two story house gable-end brick wall it might be. Normally, not really. There are more important and practical things to worry about. It might well be the right camera for many people but I doubt if more than a tiny fraction would see the difference between that size sensor as a 16mp and a 24mp. The lens choice is far more important.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Huw Williams View Post
    If he was printing off at the size of a two story house gable-end brick wall it might be. Normally, not really. There are more important and practical things to worry about. It might well be the right camera for many people but I doubt if more than a tiny fraction would see the difference between that size sensor as a 16mp and a 24mp. The lens choice is far more important.
    It's not about printing posters the size of a house,( of coarse the options is there is you need it), it's about clarity, I shoot mainly macro shots and a 24mp is a real asset, if you want to see the detail on an insects eye and then more mega pixels you have the better.

  7. #7

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    Wow, thanks for the great input guys, I'll take this on board and have a look at what you've suggested.

    Many thanks again

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