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Racing Teatray

Bridge or DSLR??

Any ideas?

My wife wants to get me a decent camera for my 40th next month (classic example of her buying me something she wants...).

She is really keen on getting a DSLR - she has alighted on a Nikon D5300 or a Canon EOS 750.

I, on the other hand, am completely unclear why a DSLR is really the right choice. I am neither a hobby photographer, nor a professional. And I am pretty sure I would miss the zoom functionality of my recently deceased Canon Powershot compact camera and I am certain I don't want to fart about changing lenses (which are also expensive and add bulk to luggage). Mostly I use a camera to take snaps when we visit places, go on holiday or go to parties/family events. Better quality would certainly nice - particularly for capturing wildlife or action shots.

So I was thinking of the Panasonic Lumix FZ1000, which for £580ish, seemed like a good compromise and good value for money compared to the Sony offerings. It seems to me that it addresses some of the normal bridge failings by having a decent 1" sensor and decent aperture, but still offers a reasonable 16x optical zoom and Leica lense, together with 4k video and an EVF (something the Canon bridges lack for example). The only downside is that it is as heavy and bulky as a DSLR (albeit that no need to cart additional lenses around). I am also attracted to it because I had an early Lumix TZ compact prior to my current Canon and recall it fondly (I think it was better than the Canon despite being 5 years older)

Obviously the Sony RX models appear to be even better but I'd query whether they are twice as good as well as twice the price. Plus, I'd not feel comfortable toting £1k's worth of camera around.

So, for those of you who know these things, any thoughts? My wife is keen to take advantage of Black Friday...
gonnabuildabuggy

My experience of black Friday deals is that it's pretty competitive all the way through Xmas and lots of the stuff I've seen (e.g. TV's in Currys) was old stock.

I was let down by Richer Sounds yesterday so cut a deal for a better model at the same price to be delivered next week but having looked at the deals online today just in case I could do better, theres not much around thats a big saving over the deals from last weekend.
Grampa

My daughter was in a similar position - she was starting to take some really nice photos on her phone of our grandson and as a result she was asked to become a 'brand ambassador' for some of the kids' clothing manufacturers - she gets lots of free clothes in return for sending them photos of him wearing them (I think they're getting lots of very cheap photos, but that's another discussion).

The upshot was that she wanted to step up to a proper camera and, after asking lots of advice from some pro guys and some keen amateurs she bought a Canon EOS 1300D - a DSLR of course, but at less than £400 (non sale price) for a body, a 50mm lens and a card it was excellent value.  She's since got an extra zoom lens, but of course that just ensures she now has to carry a proper camera bag - so getting even further from what you want.

If you're more into snaps than hobby photography though, a compact is probably easier to just keep in your pocket and might be a better idea - Mrs L has one and for just viewing holiday snaps on an iPad it's fine - unless of course Mrs Racing will carry it round for you, if it's going to really be her camera!

£580 ish seems a lot for what you seem to want from a camera.
Racing Teatray

I am more wondering whether entry-level DSLRs are kind of one-trick ponies (they take great quality photos of things that don't require any zoom). Whereas a good bridge gives as much quality as most of us will ever need plus a decent zoom and good video capture.

Or am I missing the point about DSLRs?

Bridge cameras go up to £1500 for top-end Sonys.

This is the bridge I am considering: http://www.whatdigitalcamera.com/...ras/panasonic-lumix-fz1000-review
Grampa

I deal with a lot of photos in my profession and I can see the difference, but if your photos are never likely to end up in some kind of professional print format (brochure or exhibition graphics for instance), then I doubt you will benefit from the SLR if all you want is something that will enable you to view images on a computer screen - for 'snaps' I doubt you will see that much difference between photos from a £300 compact and the £1500 camera you mention - certainly not to justify a 5x difference.

But then even photos from a top of the range camera need a fair amount of photoshop work before they're good enough for print - at the moment I'm doing a calendar of photos from a top motorcycle racing photographer, and even from such a source there's a fair bit of tweaking required to get the best from them.  I've yet to see any digital image that, straight from the camera, is as good as a high end scan from a large format film camera.

If Mrs Racing wants a DLSR though, unless you have a bank of lenses to carry round, the Panasonic you mention is just as inconvenient - hence the suggestion of a compact (if you're going persuade her to buy a camera that is really for you though) - if you're accepting of the idea that it's really for her, I'd let her get what she wants (within a reasonable budget of course!)
Boxer6

Grampa wrote:
If Mrs Racing wants a DLSR though, unless you have a bank of lenses to carry round, the Panasonic you mention is just as inconvenient - hence the suggestion of a compact (if you're going persuade her to buy a camera that is really for you though) - if you're accepting of the idea that it's really for her, I'd let her get what she wants (within a reasonable budget of course!)


This, for sure.

Much as I love my D7100, there are times when it's just too much of a palaver to lug it and all the lenses around; that's when my trusty old Panasonic TZ10 comes in to its own. I think Panny are up to the TZ80, or even TZ100 by now, but they are cracking wee cameras, still have Leica glass and deliver excellent photos. If you put in a big enough SDHC card you can store a decent number of RAW-file photos on them too.

I think for what you want, something like that would be more than sufficient, plus your good lady would have a few quid left over for a bottle of something nice!
Martin

My camera requirements are the same as yours and I have a Panasonic TZ-something that had really good reviews when I bought it a couple of years ago.  I'm very happy with the pictures and Lindsay has taken some excellent ones with it, both landscape and close up, that we've had put onto a canvas and they look great.

I wouldn't want to be lugging an SLR or even a bridge camera around on holiday, not when a decent compact can do such a good job.  If you want to improve your photography and make it more of a hobby, then it would be different.

Edit: it's a TZ-30, 14MP, 20x optical zoom, GPS etc
Chris M Wanted a V-10

Basically, what has been said above already makes a lot of  sense.  If you do not want the bulk, weight and cost of additional lenses and are not "into" photography, then a decent bridge camera, or compact camera with a large zoom range will almost certainly be all you'd ever need.

If excellent low-light photography and ultimate image quality (when you zoom right in to photos on your computer) are high priorities then get a DSLR....... ditto if it's really for your wife to use, not for you !
Boxer6

TZ80

For £329 you'll get pretty much all the camera you'll probably ever need.

Make that two bottles of something nice!!
Big Blue

You've set your own spec by saying you're not "into" photography in a big way. My DSLR is almost exclusively used for motorsport and a recent trip to Kew for some Autumn shots showed what an encumberance it is if you're not going all-out to photograph.

Decent Panasonic is what W2.0 and my Ma have each and can't go wrong.
simonp

I have a small DSLR which I take on holiday with me. I then leave it in the room every day and take all the pics with my phone!
TreVoR

I am seriously considering selling my camera gear and getting a decent compact. My DSLR just doesn't get any use.
Andy C

I don't use my SLR as much these days . Indoor events like motor shows  I just use my iPhone

Distance , moving,  portrait/landscape etc  Obviously SLR
Racing Teatray

I have just spend some time in Currys talking to a camera-buff sales guy. He thought the compact system camera would be the way to go. Smaller, lighter, cheaper but still has the quality, decent sensor and ability to change lenses that I suspect her ladyship wants.

There was an Olympus one (an E-M10 Mark II) which was just a very desirable object - nice-looking, lovely to touch and fiddle with, but possibly not the last word in spec.

He was in favour of something called a Lumix G7, which was uglier and plastickier, but more comfortable to hold (had a side grip) and had more features for the same money.

I also looked at a Canon M3 and some sort of similar Sony, which were alright but less appealing. They apparently have even bigger sensors but the lenses are interchangeable between Panasonics and Olympuses as they use some sort of common size, whereas Canons and Sonys require you to use their own lenses, which are immediately much more pricey as a result.

Off to do some more internet research I think.
Big Blue

Check who makes the glass for which brand. Panny are Leica whereas Sony used to have a tie in with Zeiss. Decent lens makes a difference.
Boxer6

Big Blue wrote:
Check who makes the glass for which brand. Panny are Leica whereas Sony used to have a tie in with Zeiss. Decent lens makes a difference.


Really tempting myself with the idea of a TZ80 now!

Must. Resist.
Chris M Wanted a V-10

Racing Teatray wrote:
There was an Olympus one (an E-M10 Mark II) which was just a very desirable object.....
He was in favour of something called a Lumix G7.....

..... but the lenses are interchangeable between Panasonics and Olympuses as they use some sort of common size.....

You're on the slippery slope to spending loads of money on cameras and lenses; congratulations!

Olympus and Panasonic use a lens mount called "micro four-thirds" (often abbreviated to MFT) and whilst the lenses are interchangeable, they started off using different vibration reduction technology.  IIRC Olympus used in-body whereas Panny used in-lens.  The G7 is a great piece of kit with 4k video functionality and the ability to extract a still shot from a 4k video clip.  Its menu system is probably going to be easier to understand that the one on the Olympus, however both of the above take excellent shots and are highly capable.
Whilst there is a reasonable range of different lenses in MFT fit, they tend to be a bit pricey as they are nearly all made by Olympus or Panasonic, with almost nothing from the independent lens manufacturers.  Also if you want a reasonable "all in one" zoom lens, you'll have to shop around for a decent price.

www.camerapricebuster.co.uk is a good starting point to check current prices in the UK - and don't forget a memory card or two, a spare battery and some lens filters, plus a bag/case, wide neck strap, tripod etc etc.......
Boxer6

Damn you Racing - I've just bought a TZ70! It's ALL your fault too, and I think you should man up and pay for it for me. Or something.

* It may be that I have an over-sufficiency of alcohol this evening. This does not, however, absolve you of responsibility for my actions OR the financial obligations thus acquired.

Excellent. Good night!
Alf McQueef

It sounds like a bridge camera might be perfect for you. The problem comes if you get to the stage where you have the opportunity to take an amazing shot, and/or get really into it, and start getting annoyed with the quality of the shots with a bridge. Then you can upgrade to a DSLR - but I for one wish I was using the pro-grade lenses ("L" lenses in Canon-speak) years ago, before I even went digital. You can't just nip back to Africa and ask the animals to pose the same way, when married, with kids, and when the countries are no longer safe or the animals have all been shot, for example.

Megapixellage is irrelevant - even a half decent camera phone will have far more pixels in the image than the resolution of a screen you are likely to view it on. But the CCD/camera body does make a big difference - I was shocked how much better my EOS6D is than my old APS-C CCD DSLR.

But the glass makes the biggest difference, and that's the bit that is likely to fall down on a bridge set up - IF you get really keen and/or care. Nothing wrong with starting with one - but always spend more, and read reviews, first. Those long zooms you love also feck up the image quality so make sure you get a good one...
Big Blue

Yep. I've got all L lenses and even a klutz like me can take a good photo.

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