DSLR or Bridge

Discussion in 'Photography Advice & Discussion' started by beeza1, 7 Apr 2017.

  1. beeza1

    beeza1 Member

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    Hi, apologies if this has been asked before.
    I have recently retired and am looking to purchase a new camera, I am not sure whether to go down the DSLR route or get a bridge camera, any advice would be greatly appreciated.
    I have a budget of around £450 thanks to the generosity of my workmates, I was in Jessops recently, where I was shown the Nikon D3300 with extra 70/300 lens for £430, and the Panasonic Lumix FZ1000 bridge for £589 (bit over budget), and the Lumix FZ330 for £450, any thoughts on any of these or any other suggestions?
    I still have my old Minolta SLR and 3 lenses, but I don't really want to carry that amount of kit nowadays.
    Thanks
     
  2. Temple Meads

    Temple Meads Established Member

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    DSLR every time for me. Bridge cameras are still quite bulky but are often compromised when it comes to image quality.

    The D3300 is a great camera, though if you're planning to shoot lots of fast moving trains (or indeed anything else moving fast!) I would look to the D5500 with its better focus system but for everything else the D3300 should be fine.

    The 70-300 lens is supposed to be a good one, but only if it's the version with the vibration reduction (VR) stabilisation system, without VR it will be harder to get sharp shots at the long end of the zoom.
     
  3. njamescouk

    njamescouk Member

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    dlsr for me as well. viewfinder essential in bright light, and it works at the speed of light, no laggy electronics. ability to take rapid succession of shots good as well. downside: is bigger and bulkier, but that's price you pay.
     
  4. HOOVER29

    HOOVER29 Member

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    I'm no camera expert & don't pretend to be either.
    I've always had Fuji cameras.
    Present one is HS50 EXR.
    Up to 1000mm lense, quick start up & focus, easy to use & mine for only £250.
    Like I stated I'm no expert but I've had good results & 7,000 photos says a lot for its reliability.
     
  5. EssexGonzo

    EssexGonzo Member

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    I've used both extensively and am now using my 2nd Fuji bridge / compact.

    It all comes down to your own priorities and preferences.

    If the desire for image quality and features outweighs the ease of portability then go for DSLR.

    If portability became a major factor, go for the compact.

    I got fed up lugging my DSLR bag around and therefore came to take fewer pictures. The compact fits in a (large) pocket so I take it more places and find it easier to use.

    To my eye I get about 90% of the image quality which works for me. Obviously less optical zoom capability too.

    If you are in pursuit of better, unusual, distant and richer images, go for the DSLR.
     
  6. najaB

    najaB Veteran Member

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    For 95% of shots, a good quality bridge camera is more than sufficient. Unless you are likely to be taking that 5% shot, the slight lack in capability is more than made up for the 'grab and go' nature of a bridge camera, and never having to worry about changing lenses (assuming you remembered to bring the one you needed in the first place).
     
  7. GB

    GB Established Member

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    All depends on your circumstance and budget. Bridge cameras are pretty good but have short falls. DSLRs is as much about lenses as they about the bodies. Can get very expensive.

    Personally I am in the DSLR camp and one of my favorite shots (below) I think I would have struggled with a bridge.

    https://angliarailways.smugmug.com/GeneralPhotography/F1-2014/i-N2kFzmL/A
     
  8. 455driver

    455driver Veteran Member

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    I have a Canon 600D with a couple of lenses which gives good picture quality, and I bought my 9 year old Son a Fuji bridge camera, after having a play with the bridge camera I thought about swapping him because of the ease of use and the picture quality isn't much less.

    Modern bridge cameras are blooming brilliant.

    The main thing is that you work out what you want the camera to do and can get along with the controls.

    Edit-
    Bridge cameras don't tend to be very good in low light conditions so that can be worth bearing in mind.
     
    Last edited: 8 Apr 2017
  9. HOOVER29

    HOOVER29 Member

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    As well as the HS50 exr I also take out my trusty Sony DSC-WX50. Very compact light & very capable.
    Nothing against them but I'll never have a Canon or Nikon camera unless it was given to me.
     
  10. najaB

    najaB Veteran Member

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  11. robert7111a

    robert7111a Established Member

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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.
     
  12. GB

    GB Established Member

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    That was a sigma 70-200 f2.8 with 2xTC
     
  13. najaB

    najaB Veteran Member

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    The HS50 EXR could give that a run for its money.
     
  14. AM9

    AM9 Established Member

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    In my view, the decision between a bridge type (or any all-in-one camera type) is a trade-off between:
    physical convenience of all-in-one cameras which is easier to carry and use
    and
    ready adaptation to specific shooting requirements with separate lens cameras (SLR and SLM types)​
    Bridge cameras come in many flavours, many of which are surprisingly good, e.g. the Sony RX10 series is well ahead of many separate lens cameras as supplied. They must though, be considered as a purchase for a set purpose and depending on the intensity of use, may well become inadequate for a particular person before they wear out. A separate lens/body combination can be part of a much longer-term investment though. Provided the correct lens mount is chosen, (the Canon 1300D kit mentioned above is a good example), the camera can be kept in use by adding both lens (that will have a long usable life) and body (which owing to continual sensor and electronics development) will probably be replaced sooner. Both lens and bodies can be sold on as separate items though.
    As long as one of the main manufacturer's systems is chosen, (Canon/Nikon/Panasonic/Sony) an initial purchase could have a very long life, - Trigger's Broom style. :)
     
  15. ac6000cw

    ac6000cw Established Member

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    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...

    Back to your original possibilities - the FZ1000 is one of the best bridge cameras around. Nice, reasonably large, 1" sensor (helpful in low light situations), good zoom range, and very good video capabilities (up to 4K video). Panasonic frequently have 'cashback' promotions, so if you are interested in that it might be worth waiting a week to see if there are any Easter/Summer promotions around.

    I use a Panasonic 'G' series mirrorless interchangeable lens camera myself (Micro Four-Thirds sensor size) because I shoot probably 70% video/30% stills, and it's very good at both. Usually I use a 14-140mm zoom lens with it, or sometimes a 14-42mm 'power zoom' lens which is handy for smooth zooming when shooting video.
     
  16. D6975

    D6975 Established Member

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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)
     
    Last edited: 10 Apr 2017
  17. AM9

    AM9 Established Member

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    Hence my reference to SLMs above. The Panasonic/Leica/Olympus MFT cameras are mirrorless and have pretty good video capabilities.
     
  18. beeza1

    beeza1 Member

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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.
     
  19. Deepgreen

    Deepgreen Established Member

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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.
     
  20. najaB

    najaB Veteran Member

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    That's a generalisation that wasn't universally true ten years ago and is even less so now.
     
  21. GB

    GB Established Member

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    In what way?
     
  22. Dhassell

    Dhassell Member

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    I bought that bundle but with the Canon 1200D 1 and a half years back and I was not disappointed!
     
  23. joshy.fre_2003

    joshy.fre_2003 Member

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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
     
  24. robert7111a

    robert7111a Established Member

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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.
     
  25. GB

    GB Established Member

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    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.
     
  26. najaB

    najaB Veteran Member

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    It's a lens in the same class with a similar sized sensor.
     
  27. najaB

    najaB Veteran Member

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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.
     
  28. joshy.fre_2003

    joshy.fre_2003 Member

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    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.
     
    Last edited: 20 Apr 2017
  29. ash39

    ash39 Member

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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.
     
  30. robert7111a

    robert7111a Established Member

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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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