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DSLR or Bridge?


18 Mar 2010
Castleford, West Yorks.
Hello all,
I'm thinking about upgrading my point and shoot camera for something a bit better. I'm on a limited budget and a photography beginner, but for taking good pics of family and decent tank shots which do folk think would be better and do people have any recommendations and/or examples of pics taken with different cameras. Budget at most is going to be around the £300 mark (if i can get the overtime in!) and i'm looking to buy in a couple of months hopefully. Don't have a prolem with used/refurb gear, as long as it comes with a warranty of some sort
Thanks as always,
Yep, fantastic compact camera. I don't see the point of bridge cameras, it's just unnecessary bulk. You either want something small and compact for the pocket, or you don't mind the extra bit of weight for a DSLR. I'd love a G11 or similar - my walkaround camera at the moment is up to 2kg of 5D+lens.
Entering the SLR market is more like buying into a system. Go hold a few at your local Jessops and see which feels better for you. You can then go check the technical reviews to help make a decision.

I went with the Canon EOS 400D a few years back and it's served me very well.
I had a Fujifilm Finepix S5700 Bridge (£88) and it gave me good results, it was just limiting when you wanted to try something a bit different, and it can be frustrating in aquarium photography as you are limitied to ISO400 (due to noise any higher) which makes for a slow shutter speed - unless of course you have extra lighting!

DSCF0329 by A.North1, on Flickr
Hatchet Fish by A.North1, on Flickr
Bristlenose plec by A.North1, on Flickr

However I upgraded to a Canon 350D (£240 second hand) and it makes photography much more enjoyable as it is so easy to use, you can pu half the effort in and get the same quality as the bridge. Focusing is much quicker so you get those shots that you would usually miss.

IMG_9060 by A.North1, on Flickr
IMG_9026 by A.North1, on Flickr
Sealife - Brighton by A.North1, on Flickr

Have a look on my Flickr account for more examples, as you can see there is just that bit more sharpness in the SLR, and the better balance of lighting.
The Nikon

Thanks, Aaron
I spent a bit of time looking around when I decided to grab a DSLR. I researched lenses, prices, availability of accessories etc. It is an important decision when you start investing in glass. You change, you change your glass too.

I'm not a big Canon over Nikon man, there's probably very little in it at entry level. I just went with what offered what I needed and what felt comfortable when I played in Jessops. :D
that's good to know - i'll have a look tomorrow! Being as i know NOWT about this SLR game a couple more questions ... what's good for a beginners all round lens, and can anyone recommend a good book as a starting point? Thanks again, Matt
bigmatt said:
that's good to know - i'll have a look tomorrow! Being as i know NOWT about this SLR game a couple more questions ... what's good for a beginners all round lens, and can anyone recommend a good book as a starting point? Thanks again, Matt
Hi Matt

The supplied 18-55mm VR lens is a good starting point. The build quality isn't great, but sufficient for your requirements. The Nikon 18-55 is also a very sharp lens - better than the equivalent Canon.

18mm is good for wide angle shots i.e. landscapes, funky portraits and increased depth-illusion aquascapes...
55mm is great for portraits.

This book will be a good starting point - http://www.amazon.co.uk/Nikon-D3000-Sna ... 089&sr=1-3

The net has thousands of great articles on photography. Join a forum and check out the pinned threads for a good introduction.

This is a good one - http://photography-on-the.net/forum/sho ... p?t=414088

The Canon 1000D is another option, but if I had £300 I'd go for the Nikon (even though I'm a Canon user myself).

Perhaps the biggest advantage Canon have over Nikon is their better lens selection, but this really isn't an issue for most of us.
After reading this thread I've been thinking about taking the hit and buying a nice quality slr. I went into a shop and saw the 1000d for around that price and was really tempted. I just don't want to buy cheap crap or overpriced cap :) and end up buying twice...and no on had mentioned the 1000d.

When looking through starts of cameras and comparing them, what's the important are the imported things other than price and mega pixels?

Sorry to hijac, I'm sure it'll benefit you thread anyways :)