1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Bridge or DSLR?

Discussion in 'General Equipment Chat & Advice' started by Bob101, Oct 17, 2017.

  1. Bob101

    Bob101 New Member

    I'm looking for a new camera for a 3 week break in New Zealand - ie hoping for lots of great views, bit of wildlife, need to carry in a backpack. I've had basic point and shoot and an ancient Sony Ax300 dslr - spend a lot of time on auto but can do very basic manual setting. Enjoy experimenting when I have time but don't have much spare so not likely to be serious hobby at the moment. Budget around £350-400. I've narrowed choices to a Nikon Coolpix B700 or Canon 1300D and would appreciate any advice on pros and cons of both.
  2. Andrew Flannigan

    Andrew Flannigan Well-Known Member

    I'd go for the Coolpix every time for your stated need. Just to make my position clear I've been taking pictures for 50 years and use Canon full frame cameras as well as small sensor cameras similar to the Coolpix.
  3. PeteRob

    PeteRob Well-Known Member

    No idea about the coolpix but bridge cameras are very useful if you want a good zoom range and don't want to bother with interchangeable cameras. The newer models with 1" sensors give very good results.
  4. El_Sid

    El_Sid Well-Known Member

    B700 pros: Compact, massive zoom range from 24-1400mm (35mm format equivalent), has advanced modes including raw capture. Cons: small sensor with high pixel count, max ISO1600 but quality may be limited by noise, Contrast AF can be slow with bridge style cameras so not always great at moving targets.

    1300D pros: Compact, large APS format sensor with max ISO6400 so good low light capability, less noise at higher ISO, Phase detection AF generally faster than contrast AF so likely better at action shots. Cons: shorter zoom ranges - supplied kit lens 18-55 (approx 28-90 in 35mm terms), additional lenses cost extra (that's the budget gone out the window), longer lenses really cost extra and add significant weight.

    It really comes down to what is most important. For image quality then the 1300D is likely the better option but without a major budget increase versatility is going to be limited. Closest you could realistically get to the B700's zoom range (and not that close even then) would be to couple it to Tamrons 18-400 zoom (28-600mm equivalent), this would still leave you short of the B700's maximum and push your budget out to around a grand plus. If light weight coupled with versatility is important then the B700 makes more sense, image quality may not be quite as good but you may end up with more pictures to keep and less back ache...
    EightBitTony likes this.
  5. Chester AP

    Chester AP Well-Known Member

    Other people have covered the size/weight/convenience debate, so I ask two other questions:

    1. How long will you have to familiarise yourself with the camera before you go?
    You won't have much fun if you get lots of poor pictures because you didn't know how to use it. You may believe you can judge the exposure of an image by looking at the camera's LCD screen, but this is not reliable because of its brightness setting. I have found that I need to see the histogram display on the LCD screen to be certain, but this is one more thing to learn about before you go. I used to work with a lady whose husband had a nice new DSLR and most of her holiday pictures had her (in the foreground) out of focus, whereas the background was always in focus. He hadn't read the instruction book carefully... (and this problem will be difficult to spot on the camera's small LCD screen).

    2. What will you do with the pictures when you get home?
    If they will only be viewed on a PC or TV (even a big 8K one), go for the smaller sensor and smaller camera.
    But if you might want to get some big prints for hanging your wall, it may be worth carrying the larger camera with the larger sensor.

    Note - by small and large sensors, I am not referring to the number of pixels, but the physical size. The DSLR will have a larger sensor, which earlier replies discuss.

    Have fun.
  6. Bob101

    Bob101 New Member

    Thanks all - bit clearer and bit more to think about :)
  7. Learning

    Learning Ethelred the Ill-Named

    You may be interested in http://www.techradar.com/news/photography-video-capture/cameras/best-bridge-camera-1259503

    Your old Sony A300, if I've correctly identified it is only about 7 years old and has a 10Mp APS-C size sensor. Its image quality is probably about the same as on my old D200 (which probably uses a very similar Sony CCD). It isn't bad. I would expect it to be better than even any modern 1/2.3" sensor irrespective of the number of pixels. I currently use a Sony Rx100 m3 as a pocket camera. This has a good 1" sensor which is about as good as the old D200 sensor. In good light it may be better. I don't suggest an Rx100 camera since it does not have the long zoom range that you require.
    Pete has already commented that the 1" sensor bridge cameras give very good results. I agree. The very best of those is about four times over budget .Even the Lumix FZ1000 stretches the budget.
    I would not be tempted by very high ratio zooms. I often use a 200-500 zoom on a Nikon D500 which gives an effective 750mm at the long end. It is difficult to keep a moving subject framed properly at that length. It would be a pity to sacrifice quality for all subjects just to gain a rarely used feature of very dubious value.

    I suggest that you do not buy a 1/2.3" sensor camera without trying it and examining the quality on a decent computer screen. If you had not used the A300 but had only used a phone camera then one of the small sensor cameras would seem like a huge improvement.

Share This Page