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Old dslr verses new bridge?

Discussion in 'Introductions...' started by Linda McG, Oct 27, 2016.

  1. Linda McG

    Linda McG New Member

    Hi from a new member. I am looking for any advice re changing my camera.
    I have a Nikon D80 (since 2005). My lens are:
    Wide: 17 - 35
    Standard: 35 - 80
    Zoom: 55 - 200
    Zoom: 170 - 500 (hardly ever use this one as need to have tripod with me)

    I usually have my wide angle fitted with my smaller zoom in my bag when I'm out and about.
    Checked specification and I believe camera has 10.2 million pixels. (This is where I become confused)
    I normally take family photographs and landscapes (no sports)
    I now have visual difficulties and struggle with the view finder so I now want to upgrade to one with a screen. (Also like the idea of Wi Fi)
    I bought my daughter a Bridge Nikon coolpix P900 which she loves.
    I like the idea of not having to carry multiple lens with me but I really don't want to loose any quality in my photographs as I like to zoom and crop.
    Or I could just replace the body (with a Nikon D5300?) but this still means carrying all my lens.
    I'm also looking at the Sony bridge RX10 111 , which seems to have a better sensor than the Coolpix or Panasonic DMC FZ1000?
    There is so much choice! I appreciate any advice.
    Many thanks
  2. Andrew Flannigan

    Andrew Flannigan Well-Known Member

    You're concerned with "quality" but that means different things to different people. The first thing you need to be clear on is pixel count. 10 million pixels on an APS camera like your D80 gives you the same number of points as 10 million pixels on a camera with a 1/2.3 sensor BUT the bigger the sensor, the bigger each pixel is and the more light it gathers. The more light a sensor gathers the less amplification is required so the sharper the final image is likely to be. That's why a small camera can give decent pictures on a bright day but will struggle when the sun goes in. The smaller the sensor, the smaller the lens can be and it so happens that small lenses for small sensors can be made to give sharper images for less effort. So the bridge cameras can be quite sharp when compared with much bigger cameras WHEN the light is good enough. In terms of compromise, Micro Four Thirds cameras like the Panasonic GM5 are little bigger than compact cameras and have much bigger sensors while still having quite compact lenses. I use a Sony pocket super-zoom, a Micro Four Thirds setup and Canon full frame, accepting the limitations of each depending on what I want to do.
  3. AlexMonro

    AlexMonro Old Grand Part Deux

    Welcome to the AP forums!

    Bridge cameras tend to be a bit of a compromise, trying to be all things to all people. Their strengths, in addition to portability, are mainly either for very long telephoto work, although, despite the excellence of modern stabilisation systems, a tripod is still needed for best results, and macro (close up) work, where the small sensor makes it easier to get more depth of field (front to back in focus). From what you say, neither of these really applies to you.

    I would suggest that you either stick with a DSLR, or, as Andrew suggests, have a look at some of the Compact System Cameras (CSCs), which would be a bit smaller and lighter. To reduce the need for changing lenses, you could consider getting an ultrazoom, something like an 18-200 or 18-300mm on the Nikon, or a 14-150mm on Micro Four Thirds. There would probably be a slight loss of quality, especially at the long end of the focal range, but there's always a tradeoff between quality and convenience.
  4. PeteRob

    PeteRob Well-Known Member

    If your visual difficulties are the main concern then I suggest you do look at bridge cameras and perhaps compact system cameras. I don't think the liveview on DSLRs really enables them to be used at arms length like a compact. It is more for on tripod use. The viewfinders in modern DSLR cameras are not as bright as they used to be because the whole assembly is smaller and because autofocus is now so good it largely removes the need for accurate viewfinder focussing. The electronic viewfinders in bridges/CSCs are a bit hit and miss - either you get on with them or not but they are consistently bright. You should test them. A camera held to the eye is more stable than one held at arms length so the viewfinder is very important. The quality question ... well it is a hard one because it is all relative to what you find acceptable and what conditions you shoot at. I had a Canon compact camera that was widely slated for its poor quality due to noise blamed in too many pixels but in the light I usually used it in the results were not that far removed from my SLR.

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