Bridge Cameras

Discussion in 'Photography Advice & Discussion' started by 433N, 9 Mar 2019.

  1. 433N

    433N Member

    Messages:
    414
    Joined:
    20 Jun 2017
    Hi,

    Wondered if anyone had any experience of these.

    I suppose I do. I have an SLR (Sony Alpha A450 which I wouldn't recommend) and when its back screen went and I was faced with a massive cost for repair, I bought a Nikon Coolpix L340 instead. I've had good use out of both and I'm thinking of buying again. I find that both cameras give about equally satisfying photos (for my needs) on static subjects (i.e. trains) but the SLR wins out on moving targets (i.e. trains). The bridge obviously wins out on lack of faffing around.

    The Coolpix doesn't have a Shutter Priority mode and so I tend to stick it in 'Sport' mode but wondered if anyone had any experience of newer bridge cameras with a Shutter Priority mode such as the Panasonic FZ82 or the Canon SX540. These quote shutter speeds of 1/2000 and ISO's of 6400 and 3200, respectively which I would have thought adequate for all but the fastest of fast trains (and who ever sees any of those).

    So if these were any good, I'd be able to combine my 2 cameras down to 1 and as added bonus, since I video as well, I'd not have the SLR mechanism clicking away over video footage.

    Any thoughts appreciated on whether my thinking is straight or whether it is just all too good to be true.
     
  2. Registered users do not see these banners - join or log in today!

    Rail Forums

     
  3. vidal

    vidal Member

    Messages:
    45
    Joined:
    23 Feb 2017
    Someone once said that bridge cameras are a poor compromise - usually a smaller sensor and poorer optics in a package no smaller than a DSLR.

    If all you are doing is pictures for the web or up to A4 size then fine - especially if the light is good and the subject is pretty static. In challenging light then a larger sensor and better glass will always win. However I would caution against spending loads - learn to get the best out of the equipment you have and then replace it when you feel you have outgrown it.

    Don't overlook second hand bargains either. An older DSLR with a mid range lens will be more flexible than a bridge.

    James
     
  4. 433N

    433N Member

    Messages:
    414
    Joined:
    20 Jun 2017
    Thanks for that.

    As it happens, I actually took the plunge yesterday and got the Canon SX540 which is about 200 squid at Currys at the mo. What swung it was portability since I've got a trip or two planned where I don't want to be lugging the weight of an SLR anyway (who does ?).

    Absolutely agree about getting the best out of what you've got rather than spending loads on the best equipment. Interestingly in low light, I've learnt to favour the Coolpix of my SLR since it just seems to perform better ... but as I say, I've lost quite a bit of the functionality on the SLR through loss of the back screen and I'm not paying the silly money to replace it.

    I'll take the Canon for a trip out and post up the results sometime, hopefully soon.

    I do find that if you have a range of cameras and enthusiasm for one, or photography itself, is waning then taking a different camera does tend to rekindle the enthusiasm. In truth, I'll probably just keep using all my cameras whatever the results of the Canon bridge. :)
     
  5. 433N

    433N Member

    Messages:
    414
    Joined:
    20 Jun 2017
    On the off chance that anyone is interested, I thought I'd post up a small album of photos that I've taken with the Canon SX540 this past month, in a range of lighting conditions. These have just been taken as snaps in Sport mode with autofocus ... in other words, pretty much point and shoot. Very easy.

    https://flic.kr/s/aHsmAvyeTc

    The camera itself feels very light and maybe verging on flimsy. However, I've been fairly impressed at what it can cope with. Some of these photos were taken at the same time that my son was using my Sony Alpha 450 and the light metering on the SX540 suggests it was shooting around 3 or 4 stops faster than the SLR. All of the photos that I've dumped in the album are raw and all except the one of the 86s involve movement - and some of them, such as the Virgin Voyager (with added fly) and the mails were fair shifting at the time.

    In low light, images seem to get a little 'grainy' - perhaps the best example being the 88 photo - (pretty much like moving from 100 ASA to 400 ASA film in the old days). It may be possible with a bit of fiddling that this could be reduced and certainly upping the contrast in post-processing (not done for the album) makes this less noticeable.
     
  6. ComUtoR

    ComUtoR Established Member

    Messages:
    5,483
    Joined:
    13 Dec 2013
    Location:
    UK
    I have a Lumix FZ200 and I love it. It ticked all the boxes of what I wanted in a camera and had some very positive reviews. I am in no way a 'photographer' and I'm not interested in the technical qualities or every single capability it has. I wanted something with point and shoot capability and the ability to push for something technical when required. Bridge cameras certainly fit that criteria.
     
  7. xc170

    xc170 Member

    Messages:
    434
    Joined:
    28 Jan 2016
    Don't bother with bridge cameras, just buy a basic entry level DSLR, as your skills develop you'll soon grow out of the bridge camera and find it too limiting, the DSLR will give you full manual control.
     

Share This Page