Bridge or Reflex ?

Discussion in 'What Camera Should I Buy?' started by Mathilde Bachelard, Jun 10, 2014.

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  1. Mathilde Bachelard

    Mathilde Bachelard New Member

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    Hello,

    I am a Belgian Student and I would like to buy a new camera. But I hesitate between a bridge and a reflex.
    I know the bridge is less expensive and it's why I hesitate because of my student's budget.
    But other side, the quality of a reflex is no doubt better.. So someone could advice me in my choice?
    I will mainly use it for my holidays, and some artistic pictures during the year but I am not an accomplished photographer.

    Thanks a lot !
     
  2. Andy Stanton

    Andy Stanton Super Moderator Super Moderator

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    Actually the higher quality "bridge" cameras (ultrazooms) such as the Sony HX300, Nikon P600 and Canon SX50, are as expensive as a lower-end DSLR such as the Sony A3000. One main difference between these "bridge" cameras and a DSLR is that the former has a built in lens with very long zoom capability, while the DSLR typically comes with a short 3x zoom lens - you have to buy additional lenses if you want more telephoto, macro or other features. Another important difference is that the DSLR has a much larger sensor and, therefore, much better image quality, especially in low light without a flash.

    Which one to choose depends on your needs and your budget.
     
    Last edited: Jun 10, 2014
  3. KCook

    KCook Well-Known Member

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    Some bridge cameras (Andy would know more about this than me) may have an automatic lens cover. DSLR and mirrorless cameras all need a separate lens cap, which really irritates some casual shooters.

    Kelly Cook
     
  4. Vogelbung

    Vogelbung Well-Known Member

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    All the good bridges have lens caps.

    The Sony DSC-RX10 is the only bridge that can go almost toe to toe with any SLR in the price range. I find that while images still lack the definition that SLR's do, but it's the first bridge in my opinion that really makes a lot of sense having and keeping for a while. I personally still want / usually use something a lot smaller but if you want an extremely flexible camera which you aren't plugging/unplugging lenses on all the time, then it's worth considering. However, it's ~€1400.

    The cheaper (<€500) bridges are seriously compromised - their sensors are TINY compared to SLR's so you have to use the lens a lot more to get sufficient detail in your photos which limits your creative framing / post-processing opportunity - or if you don't, you're left with a smeary photo that's no different from a ~€150 compact.

    I actually like the higher-end Fuji bridges (HSxxEXR) a lot for their ease of use and general versatility, but they're almost as bulky as a small DSLR/SLT and have the above tiny-sensor problem. They use something called EXR which attempts to counteract the problem of the small sensor by doubling up pixels, but it's still not that effective.

    I would say if you have any serious interest in photography, get a DSLR or an ILC like the Sony Alpha ILC-5000 / 6000 (which is basically a very compact DSLR without the SLR). If you want a decent snapper for holidays, you might be better off going for a 'prosumer' compact which will give you better images than a bridge for the vast majority of the time, like an Olympus XZ-2, Lumix DMC-LX7, or even an old-stock Sony RX100 Mark 1.
     
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