Off-Topic Bridge camera recommendations?

Discussion in 'Off-Topic Chat' started by Chunkylover53, Friday 31st Jan, 2014.

  1. Chunkylover53 Expert Advisor ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

    My sisters birthday is coming up and I decided to get her a "proper" camera as opposed to those point and shoot ones. She seems to have an eye for photography by the camera we use is shite. Realistically I have £150 max to spend which is gonna be an issue but I thought that a DSLR would be pointless as she probably wouldn't buy more lens etc.

    In all honesty I know jack about cameras so any recommendation would be much appreciated.

    EDIT: As a backup I was probably gonna get her a 2DS but I figured that at least this would count as a proper hobby plus every little helps when it comes to UCAS uni admission forms.
     
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  2. DeviateDefiant Co-Founder Staff Team

    United Kingdom Leo Northants
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    Honestly, the difference between sensors in budget point and shoot cameras isn't all that great, and hell, they don't even outshine the top end smartphones. The best point and shoots that actually produce quality images run £300-400 (such as the Canon G16 or Nikon P7800), and at that price, unless you're looking for small and simple, it makes no sense not to get an SLR.

    I just pushed my step-mother to get a Canon 1100D, it's their most basic and budget SLR. She doesn't know what the hell to do with all the modes, but pressing the shutter button on "auto mode" still produces 10x better results than a compact point and click, she's more than happy.

    On eBay they run as cheap as £180 new. Retail outlets are closer to £250-300.
     
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  3. exec Premium Member Club Supporter

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    I do casual photography myself, and have a DSLR with a few lenses and a high end P&S. Bridges cameras at that price point are okay and decent starting guide, you can pick up a nikon l820 for around £130, very good camera. But for extra £100 you can get a Nikon D3100 DSLR for around £250 or so with cashbacks, which is vastly better.

    I tend to find myself using my P&S these days, fantastic camera and small to carry. I have a Pana LX7 which has awesome Leica lens.
     
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  4. DeviateDefiant Co-Founder Staff Team

    United Kingdom Leo Northants
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    +1, the D3100 has a truly excellent sensor for the price.
     
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  5. Chunkylover53 Expert Advisor ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

    Thanks for the advice guys, by the looks of it I'm gonna have to take a different route. I'm now thinking of getting her a bridge camera and if she actually likes it and decides to progress further with her photography then sell it and get a proper DSLR. My main reasons are that I simply cannot spend more £150 right now plus with GCSEs and early A Levels she's gonna be more busy too.

    I did some research for what it's worth and found a few below, are they any good?
    Refurbished FinePix SL300, Long Zoom, High Speed, Advanced Bridge Digital Camera from Fujifilm UK | The Fuji Shop
    Buy Nikon L810 16MP Bridge Camera - Red at Argos.co.uk - Your Online Shop for Cameras and camcorders, Limited stock Technology.
    Buy FUJIFILM FinePix S6800 Bridge Camera | Free Delivery | Currys
    Buy Fuji FinePix S4900 Digital Camera, Black, 14MP, 30x Optical Zoom, 3 inch Screen from our Bridge Cameras range - Tesco.com
    Buy OLYMPUS SP-820UZ Bridge Camera - Silver | Free Delivery | Currys

    Any input would be much appreciated, I'm planning on buying the camera this weekend so I can get it in time.
     
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  6. Robbie Valued Contributor ★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆

    Robert Lancashire
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    Decent bridge cameras are fairly expensive. Which? reviewed thirty-nine bridge cameras and gave fourteen Best Buys. The cheapest Best Buys are: Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ 62 at £213; Panasonic Lumix DFC-LF1 at £260; Nikon Coolpix P7000 at £230. You'll probably be able to buy these more cheaply if you do a search. The rest went from just under £300 t0 £2,500 for a Leica X Vario.

    The cheapest Best Buy DSLR was the Canon 100D at £339.
     
  7. Chunkylover53 Expert Advisor ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

    Do you have a link to the article, maybe I'll be able to get something mid table around my price range?
     
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  8. Robbie Valued Contributor ★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆

    Robert Lancashire
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    Unfortunately, Which? is subscription only and a link will not give you access to its findings. If you let me know your price range I can look at Which Best Buys. There are no cheaper Best Buys than those I listed.
     
  9. AndyB1976 Valued Contributor ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆

    United Kingdom Andy Aberfoyle
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    A DSLR is really superior as has been alluded too, but you (she) will probably be less than impressed with the kit lens they generally come with and its not entirely obvious to a novice where the benefits are (namely sensor ability and more often the low light ability 'ISO'). Its only when you start broadening your photography ability you see how lacking point and shoots/bridges can be (inc focus speed, frames per sec etc)

    A DSLR in an enthusiastic owners hands will murder their savings or credit cards lol....my photobag is easily worth x4 or x5 the value of my Accord not including £4k on a wish list lol.

    Bridges are smallish, convenient and 'cheap'. I sometimes wish I never stepped into the DSLR world, yet when I look at the quality delivered I wish I never bought the previous S9600 Fuji bridge.
     
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  10. DeviateDefiant Co-Founder Staff Team

    United Kingdom Leo Northants
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    Generally referred to as "the bathroom window".
     
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  11. Robbie Valued Contributor ★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆

    Robert Lancashire
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    The kit lens on the Canon 100D and others gets fairly good reviews. I have the 500D which I've had for some years now and there is nothing wrong with the kit lens supplied with that. Which? gives the 100D kit lens four stars out of five for picture resolution, low light picture quality, and overall picture quality.
     
  12. DeviateDefiant Co-Founder Staff Team

    United Kingdom Leo Northants
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    I have a 550D, and I first thing I replaced was the kit lens (the same 18-55mm IS). It's terrible, has an effective resolution of only 8mp and the contrast is so low. You'll still kick a point and shoot in the teeth but as proper SLR lenses go, it's as bad as you can get.

    DXO Mark is often touted as the definitive authority on lens/cameras gives it a horrid score.

    EDIT: That came across harsher than I meant it to, my massive issue with that lens was the severe about of post production work I had to put in to get decent results. Big contrast and clarity boosts are needed. Here's a shot from an old shoot with the 18-55.

    JjzuGAe.

    Top: straight off the camera, bottom: after a lengthy post-production process.

    Bare in mind, that is an extreme example. Most shots don't get stylised half as much.
     
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  13. AndyB1976 Valued Contributor ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆

    United Kingdom Andy Aberfoyle
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    Nice one...I have the 500D kit (and 7D)

    I found the 18-55 IS is an alright little lens image wise but I only used it as an effective Point n Shoot lens as I'll explain. Its a bit slow focus-wise and aperture-wise aswell. Also you can't use grads, strong ND's and polarisers because the lens barrel is also the manual focus method (no distinct focus ring) so if you use any kind of filter that requires positioning then you knock focus when trying to compose.

    As I said, newcomers won't necessarily find these weaknesses out the box but expand your requirements and these little things begin to annoy you. Don't get me wrong you can certainly live with it and nor will spending £2k on a camera/lens get you necessarily better** images! (I should know lol)


    **They will be optically better, but not artistically or aesthetically any better.

    - - - Updated - - -


    Nice recovery and PP there! I need to get back into some photography, stuck on Elements 10 and my sealed Lightroom 4 hasn't even been installed, a year later lol.
     
    Last edited: Friday 31st Jan, 2014
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  14. DeviateDefiant Co-Founder Staff Team

    United Kingdom Leo Northants
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    My strength lies more in PP than the actual Photography itself to be quite honest, as a designer I'm so used to having to make sh*t shine :lol:

    Lightroom is fantastic for working with large sets of images. Whenever I do event photography I balance one in a particular style, apply the same adjustments to the lot and then go through and quickly tweak. The difference it made to my workflow was insane.

    I too need to get back into it, the only time my SLR gets used now is special occasions, quick jobs for friends and shots of the car!
     
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  15. AndyB1976 Valued Contributor ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆

    United Kingdom Andy Aberfoyle
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    I almost used the 'polishing a turd' phrase in my early comment about the 18-55 - seems to fit very well in photography lol

    Same with me, phone takes all the pics but my 10-22 was used for the Pollen Filter howto as it was able to get at what you might call 'eye level' whilst doing the job and yet get it all in the frame.

    12lowerbracket_tn1copy_zps007e28c3.
     
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  16. DeviateDefiant Co-Founder Staff Team

    United Kingdom Leo Northants
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    That's a great perspective, I wish I had an ultra-wideangle lens. Would really come in handy for those up-close shots.
     
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  17. AndyB1976 Valued Contributor ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆

    United Kingdom Andy Aberfoyle
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    UWA throws perspective all over the place lol

    The rocks here you could probably long-jump to clear, the other side of the loch is about 1mile away yet the rocks look almost halfway there.

    5820456101_3861884b82.

    Or you can make a small dog that you have been left with, look out of proportion to the horror of the returning owner lol
    8044377007_b1db69068a.
     
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  18. exec Premium Member Club Supporter

    United Kingdom London
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    Nice to see some proper photographers here! What kind of lens do you guys have?

    The kit lens on the Nikon's are very good, I bought my D5100 with the 18-105mm, and its a fantastic lens, hardly ever comes off! Other than that I have a 35mm, mostly for portraits and bought a 55-300mm, all cheap lens, hardly ever use the 55-300mm.

    chunky - If money is tight go for the Nikon L820, it's only £130 and more than adequate for a newbie! Buy Nikon L820 30x Zoom 16MP Bridge Camera - Black at Argos.co.uk - Your Online Shop for Bridge digital cameras.
     
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  19. DeviateDefiant Co-Founder Staff Team

    United Kingdom Leo Northants
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    Haha, yeah I've had a good play around with them before. I wouldn't use them for portraiture, anywhere below 30mm (on crop sensors) facial features become too angular - but they're great for comical shots, architecture and landscapes.

    I've also got a soft spot for fish-eye lenses.

    My go-to is a Tamrom 28-75mm f/2.8, almost never comes off the camera. My trusty cheap-ass 50mm f/1.8 handles low-light shots, and a crappy Canon 75-300mm for telephoto, which for me is mostly shots on dog walks. I have a 430EX-II flashgun too which used to get a lot of use. Next is definitely a wideangle lens (probably Tokina).
     
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  20. AndyB1976 Valued Contributor ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆

    United Kingdom Andy Aberfoyle
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    I'm shooting (I use that term loosely lol)

    500D, 7D, 18-55, 17-55, nifty50, 100macro, 10-22, 55-250, Manfrotto 055XProB, 322rc2, 410rc4, 580exII x2, Elements 10, LR4, Canon DPP, GIMP, Lee Filters, generic (ebay) umbrellas, reflectors, stands.

    I've got a 70-200f2.8II on my wish list but it shares top spot with a 1st Generation CR-V for the same cost give or take...decisions...decisions...


    Flickr here if you want a nosey
    Flickr: TrossachsTog's Photostream
     
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