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Author Topic: DSLR or Bridge camera?  (Read 16937 times)

LandyLiam

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DSLR or Bridge camera?
« on: January 05, 2014 »

Wrecking my brains trying to decide which camera to buy. Budget is £300, but there are so many options and different formats to choose from. Do I go for a basic DSLR (Nikon3100/Canon1100d/PanasonicG5), or maybe a top range bridge camera (PanasonicFZ72). I've been around the shops holding them to see what fits best and read loads on online reviews. My priorities would be landscape and night photograhy, for sport stuff & wildlife i'll probably use my compact camera for handiness. I am tending towards Panasonic as I have a few of their compacts, any advice greatfully recived  :)
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phil_b

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Re: DSLR or Bridge camera?
« Reply #1 on: January 05, 2014 »

For what you are doing, i would probably say bridge. I dont know that much about them to be able to recommend one in particular though. You dont need particularly fast focus as your subject isnt moving, the higher end bridge models can handle a decent dynamic range and of course it is that much lighter to carry.
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LandyLiam

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Re: DSLR or Bridge camera?
« Reply #2 on: January 06, 2014 »

Always admired your photos Phil, what do you use yourself?
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phil_b

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Re: DSLR or Bridge camera?
« Reply #3 on: January 06, 2014 »

I have a Nikon D7000. It and the 2 lenses I always carry in the mountains are 2kg alone though.
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RedLeader

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Re: DSLR or Bridge camera?
« Reply #4 on: January 06, 2014 »

A DSLR will get you a significantly superior photo to all but the more expensive compacts but it will be bulky and heavy (800g or so for the camera + kit lens and 500g-1kg for additional lenses). I have a cheapy Nikon D3000 that I got a few years back for around £300 and I really like it, I wouldn't trade it for a compact, although I do have a cheap compact for the hills.
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phil_b

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Re: DSLR or Bridge camera?
« Reply #5 on: January 06, 2014 »

A DSLR will get you a significantly superior photo to all but the more expensive compacts but it will be bulky and heavy (800g or so for the camera + kit lens and 500g-1kg for additional lenses). I have a cheapy Nikon D3000 that I got a few years back for around £300 and I really like it, I wouldn't trade it for a compact, although I do have a cheap compact for the hills.

There is a big difference between the quality of compacts and the bridge cameras that Liam is talking about though. And for handiness in the mountains etc, with no messing about changing lenses and the light weight, a bridge is more than sufficient for most people. Pro photographers would tell you that the most important part of the camera is the 12 inches behind the viewfinder. I.e. your head!
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RedLeader

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Re: DSLR or Bridge camera?
« Reply #6 on: January 06, 2014 »

I've never used a bridge camera but considering the similar weight I'd still stick with a DSLR. I have a zoom lens that I love using and I like the flexibility (although I'd never bring it into the hills on account of the size and weight).

A DSLR will get you a significantly superior photo to all but the more expensive compacts but it will be bulky and heavy (800g or so for the camera + kit lens and 500g-1kg for additional lenses). I have a cheapy Nikon D3000 that I got a few years back for around £300 and I really like it, I wouldn't trade it for a compact, although I do have a cheap compact for the hills.

There is a big difference between the quality of compacts and the bridge cameras that Liam is talking about though. And for handiness in the mountains etc, with no messing about changing lenses and the light weight, a bridge is more than sufficient for most people. Pro photographers would tell you that the most important part of the camera is the 12 inches behind the viewfinder. I.e. your head!
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phil_b

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Re: DSLR or Bridge camera?
« Reply #7 on: January 06, 2014 »

I usually carry a 10-20 wide angle zoom and a 17-70 walkabout zoom in the hills. The panasonic Liam has mentioned has a 20-1200 zoom, that is a lot of versatility in 1 small camera. If a peregrine falcon was to circle over my head I wouldnt even lift my camera as I wouldnt have the focal length to get anywhere near it. Liam could zoom in until it fills the screen with his bridge ;D. It depends a lot on why you are taking photos and what you intend doing with them. If you are taking record shots of a day out and just viewing them online a bridge camera will do most people.
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LandyLiam

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Re: DSLR or Bridge camera?
« Reply #8 on: January 06, 2014 »

Quote
It depends a lot on why you are taking photos and what you intend doing with them.

My intentions may change to suit the camera I get. I've never really bothered with zoom photography, but with a 1200m lens I suspect I may suddenly find an interest in it  :)  If I get the DSLR I don't intend to get additional lenses and i'm not worried about weight, certainley the bridge would be the best all rounder, but would i always regret not going for the higher quality DSLR, would an amateur like myself even notice the difference  ???  I would say i'm 75% happy with my compact camera (Panasonic FS10), I can get some pics that i'm 90% happy with but there is a fair amount of trial and error with settings, although i sort of enjoy that part of photography, wouldn't it be boring if auto mode was perfect every time  :)
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phil_b

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Re: DSLR or Bridge camera?
« Reply #9 on: January 06, 2014 »

If you are interested in photography and would like to get away from auto mode try here http://www.talkphotography.co.uk/forums/ . Loads of info, tutorials, help and advice.
You say you will stick with the 1 lens but it is a slippery slope though. I started with a nikon D5100 2 years ago with the 18-55 kit lens. Then fancied more length so added a 55-300. Then wanted something wider for landscapes so got a 10-20. Then a 50mm 1.4 for portraits. Then upgraded the kit lens to a 17-70. Then got a 150-500 for wildlife. Then upgraded the d5100 to the d7000. Then bought a 105 macro. And thats just the big stuff!
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LandyLiam

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Re: DSLR or Bridge camera?
« Reply #10 on: January 06, 2014 »

I have been known to take my hobbies a bit too seriously  ::)  maybe I should avoid changable lenses  ;) (or maybe I should buy both!)
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phil_b

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Re: DSLR or Bridge camera?
« Reply #11 on: January 06, 2014 »

Yea, that happened me too!
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RedLeader

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Re: DSLR or Bridge camera?
« Reply #12 on: January 06, 2014 »

You're welcome to take my D3000 for a spin to help you decide.

Quote
It depends a lot on why you are taking photos and what you intend doing with them.

My intentions may change to suit the camera I get. I've never really bothered with zoom photography, but with a 1200m lens I suspect I may suddenly find an interest in it  :)  If I get the DSLR I don't intend to get additional lenses and i'm not worried about weight, certainley the bridge would be the best all rounder, but would i always regret not going for the higher quality DSLR, would an amateur like myself even notice the difference  ???  I would say i'm 75% happy with my compact camera (Panasonic FS10), I can get some pics that i'm 90% happy with but there is a fair amount of trial and error with settings, although i sort of enjoy that part of photography, wouldn't it be boring if auto mode was perfect every time  :)
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LandyLiam

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Re: DSLR or Bridge camera?
« Reply #13 on: January 06, 2014 »

Quote
You're welcome to take my D3000 for a spin to help you decide.
I'll probably have made the decision before i see you again, but if i'm passing soon i'd love a wee go with it.
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phil_b

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Re: DSLR or Bridge camera?
« Reply #14 on: January 06, 2014 »

I'm going to be in the Mournes this next 2 weekends, probably the 2 Sundays, if you want to try mine too.
Keep an eye on the shout box.
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