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Low SLR or a good Bridge??
Hello!.

I am a begginer in photography, but rigth now I am developing interest in the subject and I will learn more about it in the near future. I want to buy a good decent camera that allows nice decent image quality ( I hate to see porr quality images), and I am not sure what kind of camer ato buy.I was thinking on a bridge camera with a nice zoom option or either a SLR one..

I am thinking on spending around 500-600 euros in the camera, and I dont know if it's best to buuy one of the lowest SLR availables, like the Canon 350D or 400D or Nikon D40, olympus E410, (any other good sugestions), or if to invest in a very good bridge camera eit ha nice zoom like Sony H9, Canon PowerShot S5, Fuji 9600, olympus SP560 (is it Panasonic Lumix DMC FZ18 or FZ50 good cameras?).

I want to have a nice camera for the future and the SLR option is a good idea in that terms since I can latter on buy new lens. But probbaly I might be buying just one weak SLR while I could buy a very good bridge one..

I will spend most of the time photographing real life situations and landscapes..

By the way I am living in denmark and if you know where I can buy by the internet these kind of cameras for the lowest prices please just let me know..

Thanks.

Hugo..

Comments (16)

Guli wrote:.

Hello!.

Hi....

I am thinking on spending around 500-600 euros in the camera, and Idont know if it's best to buuy one of the lowest SLR availables,like the Canon 350D or 400D or Nikon D40, olympus E410, (any othergood sugestions),.

Also consider the Panasonic K100D..

Or if to invest in a very good bridge camera eit hanice zoom like Sony H9, Canon PowerShot S5, Fuji 9600, olympus SP560(is it Panasonic Lumix DMC FZ18 or FZ50 good cameras?).

The problem is that as manufacturers lowered the entry-level dSLR prices, the high-priced (ie, good) bridge cams have gone away. Of the above cameras, only the Fuji has semi OK IQ..

I want to have a nice camera for the future and the SLR option is agood idea in that terms since I can latter on buy new lens. Butprobbaly I might be buying just one weak SLR while I could buy a verygood bridge one..

Tough decision. I like bridge cams, but at the moment, there are none worth having. Get a little dSLR..

Charlie DavisNikon 5700 & Sony R1HomePage: http://www.1derful.infoBridge Blog: http://www.here-ugo.com/BridgeBlog/..

Comment #1

I think you meant the Pentax K100D. And I agree totally that it just makes no sense to get a bridge cam..

The reality is that for most people a "low end" DSLR will meet every requirment that they have. I have an E510 and it is a great camera. If you look back 3 years and the if the 510 came out then it would have been 4 or 5 times as expensive and everyone would have said it is one of the greatest cameras made. Now it is considered low end..

Unlike computers, cameras (unless you are a pro shooting sports and some indoor work) which have more processing power, pixels, AF points, 5 FPS, etc won't improve the picture you take very much between the low end DSLR and more expensive camera bodies..

I would go for a low end DSLR that will fit your budget, even used over a bridge. Just remember that the DSLR you choose drives the lenses you choose in the future. The glass is where the money is both in terms of $$ and IQ. Check out several, read the reviews, try to at least handle all of them and see if they are comfortable to you..

Olympus E-500, Olympus E-510..

Comment #2

Hugo,.

If you're brand new to photography I recommend a good compact/bridge camera. If you like photography you will be able to use the compact as a backup camera..

It can be difficult to start photography with an slr. SLR images tend to need post processing to bring out the image quality. I know several people who have unused SLRs in their closet because they don't have the time to learn..

I believe that all of the bridge cameras you listed would work for you. In most situations you won't notice the difference in image quality..

If you don't need telephoto, I recommend the Canon G-9 as it would be a good camera to have as a backup if you decided to grow in your pursuit of photography..

REd..

Comment #3

Hugo -.

I bought a bridge camera and, within just a couple of months, I got a DSLR (Pentax K10D). I use my bridge camera as a backup as someone else mentioned, but I can't help feeling that I wasted money on it. And I keep thinking of all the shots I took in the meantime that I could have had on my DSLR. (My husband just keeps saying "I told you so" because he wanted me to get the DSLR from the start.).

The problem for me was that, every time I read a book about photography, it was more geared to DSLRs and it just made me wish I had that capability, so I was somewhat frustrated..

Bettyhttp://southpaw.smugmug.com..

Comment #4

I totally agree with Betty, I also bought a bridge camera just after christmas last year Fuji Finepix S6500fd and although I took some good pics with it and I still have it, every thing I read was about DSLR camera's, I have now bought a used DSLR and it feels much better, the fact that you look through the view finder and see what you are taking rather than an electronic image makes it feel right and you have more control over what you want..

Graham...

Comment #5

Hi, Hugo..

If you have no special need for active live preview and a flip and twist LCD, and if you are happy to carry a heavy camera and buy additional lenses (Warning: the purchase of a DSLR is the entry to a Black Hole for your bank account) then it makes sense to buy a DSLR..

I think if you buy the entry level camera you will very soon want the mid-range camera; so if you can budget for a Nikon D80 with an 18-70 lens you may not feel the need to upgrade so soon. Likewise a Canon 30D or the new 40D but you will quickly discover the limitations of 18-55 kit lenses..

Take a look at the introduction to my 'Back to the Bridge Camera" link below for a discussion on this topic. I like the Fuji 9600 a lot, but only because I know what I am doing and therefore can make it work almost as good as a DSLR..

John.Please visit me at:http://www.pbase.com/johnfr/backtothebridgehttp://www.pbase.com/johnfr/digital_dartmoor..

Comment #6

Maddogmd11 wrote:.

I think you meant the Pentax K100D..

I can't believe I wrote "Panasonic"! Freudian slip?.

Charlie DavisNikon 5700 & Sony R1HomePage: http://www.1derful.infoBridge Blog: http://www.here-ugo.com/BridgeBlog/..

Comment #7

Not sure I agree. Modern DSLRs can be operated in fully auto P&S mode if you want, and there is no reason to think that the images *need* to be post processed. In reality, I only rarely shoot RAW (astrophotography mostly) and use JPEG right out of the body the vast majority of the time..

[side note: this is *not* going to start another God awful RAW vs. JPEG discussion. There are reasons for both - don't try - I won't asnwer].

I have no reason to suspect that the images would be better if they came from a bridge camera. I have serveral reasons to suspect that they'd be worse..

Bottom line is that you can learn on either. However, the more you learn the more you'll want the DSLR. Do yourself a favor and start with it..

Http://flyheere.com/photogallery/album.ashx..

Comment #8

I was in the same position as you about 6 months ago...bridge camera with all the latest features or budget dSLR...which way to go? I tried out most of the superzoom bridge cameras since zoom range was the one thing I missed most in the Olympus C4040 that I was replacing..

I was pretty much all set to buy the Panasonic FZ8 when I started comparing it to budget dSLRs. For less than $150 more, I was able to pick up a Pentax K100D plus the 18-55mm kit lens and the 50-200mm telephoto lens. Image quality in my pre-purchase test shots was as good as or better than the bridge cameras (that all had higher megapixels). There was no shutter delay when I tried to take a picture and it included image stabilization in the body so it worked regardless of which lens I put on it..

Since July, I've been shooting with the K100D and am certainly glad I didn't waste my money on a bridge camera. I look over at my old Olympus every once in a while and wonder why I spent $700 on it when it was new. Now it just collects dust. At least with the dSLR route, I can keep my current lens set and move up to a new body when I feel the need to. Not to mention, at least with the Pentax line, I can pick up some old lenses for next to nothing and still use them with the latest camera bodies today. I just picked up 3 prime lenses - 28mm, 135mm, and 300mm for $50 - last weekend..

I think if you are serious about getting into photography, then don't waste your money on the bridge camera and go straight to the dSLR. If you aren't sure, then figure out what is drawing you to look at the bridge cameras instead of the fits in your pocket 3x zoom regular cameras..

Best of luck..

Http://www.flickr.com/photos/rolnslo/sets/..

Comment #9

Rolnslo wrote:.

With the latest camera bodies today. I just picked up 3 prime lenses- 28mm, 135mm, and 300mm for $50 - last weekend..

Would you care to share how you land such sweet deals for lenses? I was expecting good deals when I bought into the Pentax system, but I have hard time finding that kind of deal on ebay. Thanks...

Comment #10

Hi I' ve been following this thread for a couple of days with interest..

I started presuming that I'd buy an entry level dslr, then drifted towards the FZ18..

Then I ran into a good salesman and he said that as I was doing a big trip ( HK, China, NZ, Auz, Malaysia) then I should really go for a dslr. They had quite a good deal on the Nikon D80 with 18-135 lens..

I know I will not use the majority of the functions on a D80 (or is it 80D?), it's heavier, I'll be terrified of getting it stolen or losing it..

Size wise I probably prefer the dslr. Obviously the zoom range is not as good as the FZ18 and the D80 is just over twice the price of the FZ18..

I'm not keen on carrying more than one lens around with me, which rules out some of the cheaper kits (410, 510 and d40).

My question is would there be a big difference in image quality if most shots were taken in idiot mode? I enjoy taking photographs but will not be learning to get the full use of the D80s' functions before my upcoming trip..

All feedback much appreciated...

Comment #11

LightBug wrote:.

Rolnslo wrote:.

With the latest camera bodies today. I just picked up 3 prime lenses- 28mm, 135mm, and 300mm for $50 - last weekend..

Would you care to share how you land such sweet deals for lenses? Iwas expecting good deals when I bought into the Pentax system, but Ihave hard time finding that kind of deal on ebay. Thanks..

I usually keep an eye on http://www.craigslist.org for these types of deals. The ones I picked up came from some guy that ended up with them as part of his brother's estate and had no interest in them at all..

EBay might be the most popular place to search but in reality, I've seen people pay at or more than retail prices for the same things they can buy brand new in a store. It seems that everyone runs to ebay looking for a deal and they might find one but more than likely won't.  .

Http://www.flickr.com/photos/rolnslo/sets/..

Comment #12

Cphshots wrote:.

Hi I' ve been following this thread for a couple of days with interest..

I started presuming that I'd buy an entry level dslr, then driftedtowards the FZ18..

Then I ran into a good salesman and he said that as I was doing a bigtrip ( HK, China, NZ, Auz, Malaysia) then I should really go for adslr. They had quite a good deal on the Nikon D80 with 18-135 lens..

I know I will not use the majority of the functions on a D80 (or isit 80D?), it's heavier, I'll be terrified of getting it stolen orlosing it..

Size wise I probably prefer the dslr. Obviously the zoom range is notas good as the FZ18 and the D80 is just over twice the price of theFZ18.I'm not keen on carrying more than one lens around with me, whichrules out some of the cheaper kits (410, 510 and d40).

My question is would there be a big difference in image quality ifmost shots were taken in idiot mode? I enjoy taking photographs butwill not be learning to get the full use of the D80s' functionsbefore my upcoming trip..

Then maybe consider the Nikon D40, which will work fine with the 18-135 (or 18-200VR). Cheaper, smaller, image quality just as good. And better than the FZ18, especially in low light..

I agree with the posters who say a bridge camera can be a wasteful brief flirtation on the inevitable way to the dSLR - I bought a Sony H1 in March 2006 and liked it, but got a Nikon D200 a year ago and have never used the Sony since..

Alex.

Http://alexandjustine.smugmug.com/..

Comment #13

Thanks very much for sharing, I've started scouring for deals through craigslist, hopefully I will be as lucky as you someday ..

Comment #14

Good question. another related question. Is the Canon 75-300 lens worth it or should I spend more to get better quality? the $269 price scares me that it is too cheap.thanks,Z..

Comment #15

Hey lightbug... also check the local camera swaps... they are geared heavy in the nikon/canon favor. But I picked up some really nice lenses for cheap. In fact even at the swaps the guys who know pentax lenses charge more than the Nikon/canon tables do for a pentax lens. I got my two off of a table that had almost all nikon lenses on it..

A S-M-C tak 50 1.4 for $30. It has seldom left my camera.A S-M-C tak 135 3.5 for 40 bucks. A beautiful lens..

Ebay frustrates me more than makes me happy lately. Folks are bidding these lenses way too high. And those darn autobid programs are unbeatable...gusGet what makes you happy...Anything less makes you less happy!..

Comment #16

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This question was taken from a support group/message board and re-posted here so others can learn from it.

 

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