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Old 10th April 2017, 11:13   #16
D6975
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I've used both bridge and DSLRs and it really is no competition. DSLR wins every time. Taking phots in good light using the bottom end of the zoom range, bridge cameras can give excellent results, but move away from this scenario and things change dramatically. Bridge cameras have small sensors and often have lenses with a top focal length that is unusable without a tripod. If you're in the habit of taking phots in low light conditions, a bridge is an absolute non-starter. Some of the shots I've taken at night with my Canon 7D simply wouldn't have been possible using a bridge camera. (440GBP from LCE, mint condition, shutter count 1200)
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Old 10th April 2017, 12:44   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ac6000cw View Post
It's not just a DSLR versus Bridge choice these days - there are also a lot of 'mirrorless' interchangeable lens cameras around as well (mostly from Panasonic, Sony, Olympus, Fuji with even Canon getting more serious about them recently). These are normally smaller than a DSLR, and are generally much better 'hybrid' stills and video capable cameras (if that is useful to you), not least because the viewfinder still works in video mode...
Hence my reference to SLMs above. The Panasonic/Leica/Olympus MFT cameras are mirrorless and have pretty good video capabilities.
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Old 12th April 2017, 13:05   #18
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Thanks for all the replies.
It looks like I am going to go down the DSLR route, either the Canon EOS1300D or the Nikon D3300 depending on which one feels best and what sort of deal I can get, lenses, accessories etc. I will try Jessops and Currys, although I am not too keen on Currys customer service.
I am also considering going on a Level 1 photography course, (if I do purchase from Jessops), anyone got any thoughts on this?
Thanks again for the replies.
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Old 12th April 2017, 14:21   #19
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I was looking at DSLR options but came across the Sony RX10mk3. I was taken aback at the price initially (just over £1000) but took the plunge based on a large number of glowing reviews, and I am glad I did. It has a 1inch sensor and therefore the image quality is superb. Full manual controls, a 600mm lens, 4k video with high quality still extraction, excellent high ISO performance, an ultra slow motion function, f2.4-4 aperture when zoomed and a very solid build quality. DSLR with multiple lenses will have to wait. Image quality is good enough for major cropping.
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Old 14th April 2017, 03:33   #20
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Originally Posted by D6975 View Post
. Bridge cameras have small sensors
That's a generalisation that wasn't universally true ten years ago and is even less so now.
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Old 17th April 2017, 18:44   #21
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The HS50 EXR could give that a run for its money.
In what way?
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Old 17th April 2017, 18:47   #22
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I have never used a bridge camera so can't vouch for its "goodness". I went from an Olympus film SLR to a dSLR. I believe Currys/PC world are selling the Canon 1300D as a bundle with 18 - 55mm and 75 - 300mm lenses (+ SD card and bag) for under £400.

It really depends on what you want to use the camera for. This is a cheap and lightweight combo and within your budget.
I bought that bundle but with the Canon 1200D 1 and a half years back and I was not disappointed!
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Old 17th April 2017, 21:43   #23
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Well, I've never tried DSLR but my Canon SX420 IS is pretty good for its size and cost. I got it in a half price sale at £130, it's got 20mp photo quality and 42x optical. I'd definitely recommend it. I know the op's got their mind made up now but if there's anyone out there looking for a good value camera, get at this one. Even at normal £260 price I'd still get it, good stuff
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Old 17th April 2017, 22:14   #24
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To the OP, if image quality is important, then remember that a bridge camera has a smaller sensor than a dSLR meaning that there will be more noise issues in low light and more distortion the more you zoom it in. It's all very well having a 50x zoom lens in a compact size (e.g. 4.3 - 210mm) but something has to give and that'll be image quality.

Lightweight zoom lenses generally tend to have smaller higher apertures (f5.6 or if you're lucky - f4), show barrel distortion at the wide end and pincusion distortion at the zoom end. The cheaper ones often show chromatic aberration (colour fringing) but can be eliminated in post-processing using photo editing software.

Also don't be fooled by pixel count. More pixels isn't always better - especially on smaller sensors as the individual pixels need to be made smaller and thus compromise their light gathering capabilities.
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Old 19th April 2017, 14:27   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by robert7111a View Post
To the OP, if image quality is important, then remember that a bridge camera has a smaller sensor than a dSLR meaning that there will be more noise issues in low light and more distortion the more you zoom it in. It's all very well having a 50x zoom lens in a compact size (e.g. 4.3 - 210mm) but something has to give and that'll be image quality.

Lightweight zoom lenses generally tend to have smaller higher apertures (f5.6 or if you're lucky - f4), show barrel distortion at the wide end and pincusion distortion at the zoom end. The cheaper ones often show chromatic aberration (colour fringing) but can be eliminated in post-processing using photo editing software.

Also don't be fooled by pixel count. More pixels isn't always better - especially on smaller sensors as the individual pixels need to be made smaller and thus compromise their light gathering capabilities.
Exactly. Theres a reason why DSLR lenses are bulky, heavy and expensive. They are designed to gather much more light for the larger sensors and produce optimum image quality throughout its entire focal length.

A digital camera that has such a large focal length or "zoom" only gets it by the processor cropping the image and then upscaling it. This not only produces poor quality images but uses up more power and slows down sequential shooting.
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Old 19th April 2017, 21:30   #26
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In what way?
It's a lens in the same class with a similar sized sensor.
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Old 19th April 2017, 21:32   #27
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A digital camera that has such a large focal length or "zoom" only gets it by the processor cropping the image and then upscaling it. This not only produces poor quality images but uses up more power and slows down sequential shooting.
Not true in all cases. The better bridge cameras have quality optics. My S9500 is nearly ten years old and it's mechanical optical zoom all the way from 28-300mm equivalent.
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Old 20th April 2017, 19:03   #28
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Not true in all cases. The better bridge cameras have quality optics. My S9500 is nearly ten years old and it's mechanical optical zoom all the way from 28-300mm equivalent.
I agree, they are optical and me personally, can't compare to a DSLR as I've never used one, but my bridge does deliver with a balance of zoom and quality.

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Old 21st April 2017, 12:48   #29
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Something to consider - I've got a Canon 5D mk2 which is very bulky, but an absolutely superb camera. I've had it around 5 years and intend to keep it for at least that time again. It does everything I want in a camera, it's just very bulky and needs it's own bag.

The thing is, camera phones have come on so much that I now use my Galaxy S7 edge for general quick snap shots, and only take the big camera out when I'm out for a full day and know I'll be taking a lot of pictures. Whilst there's an argument for saying it's pointless having a good camera and leaving it at home, this way seems to work for me.

The main thing I notice when editing the shots is you can't get away with cropping shots from the phone like you can the DSLR (as you'd expect). As long as you frame your phone shots carefully so you don't have to crop them, and don't rely on them at night as their performance tends to drop off quickly in low light (compared to a DSLR on a tripod), then the 'two camera' option is worth considering if bulk is the only reason you don't want a DSLR.
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Old 21st April 2017, 13:08   #30
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The Canon 5D series would be well beyond the OP's budget unless he can source a second-hand bargain and know the shutter count from say, a MkII (for example) - the last thing he needs is to buy a second-hand one and having to replace a worn, well-used shutter at great expense.

Camera phones are ok if you don't need all the usual gubbins for creativity, although with my HTC, I can set shutter speed and aperture independently - but remember, camara phones have digital zooms (not optical) which will degrade picture quality. Remember too that camera phones have tiny sensors from which you can only get half-decent pictures in good light.
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