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depressed lemur

Bridge Camera - help in choosing

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Hi guys, I know that I am probably opening a great big can of worms here, but I would like some advice on a new camera. Currently I have a Lumia TZ9 point and shoot, but years exposure to the elements seems to be taking its toll, so I think it is about time I thought about a new one. I am not an expert, and don't want to spend a fortune, and am happy with last years tech, seeing as last year it was good enough :winkgrin: . Having had a bridge camera in the past, I think I want to go back to them, especially as they appear to have good lenses on the face of it.

As for requirements:-

I want to be able to photograph aircraft (who doesn't?) without having to get within a few feet, and also get decent pics at airshows.

A good zoom is pretty much essential, currently I have 16x and distant pics are not that great.

I would prefer a rechargeable battery over AA, but this is not a deal breaker

I am assuming that SD cards are the only real option, and I a ton of them, so again, this is pretty much a must.

I do not know the difference between CCD or CMOS sensors, so don't know what I need there.

I have seen two which seem to meet my needs the Sony H400B, and the Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ72EB-K

Has anyone come across these, or know of anything else which might meet my needs?

Any help is appreciated.

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Fuji do a good bridge camera. Make sure the zoom has the highest range in the optical mode rather than the digital. You will get better definition.
http://www.fujifilm.eu/uk/products/digital-cameras/super-zoom-bridge/

I used a Fuji as an entry level into digital. I went from Pentax SLR to Pentax DSLR via the Fuji. I was happy with it. Others will no doubt have similar experiences with other makes.

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I have the Fuji finepix HS50EXR, a great alround camera. 42x optical zoom, can take RAW files and up to 15minutes of HD video. I can highly recommend it.

Cheers,

Stuart

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I was looking into a bridge camera as a possibility for improving my model photography. The more I talked to people, though, the more a second-hand DSLR looked like better choice. I got a a used EOS40D from MPB Photographic, and it's fantastic. For about the price of a new Fuji Finepix HS50 you could get a EOS40D body and a couple of relevant lenses (I have an EF 50mm compact macro for model photography -- that one isn't so cheap -- and an 18-55mm and 55-250mm zoom lenses). One area where it's light years ahead of any point and shoot I've ever used is its ability to grab focus virtually instantly, and keep it, on fast moving subjects like racing cars or aircraft...

Might be worth thinking about unless you're absolutely set on a bridge camera....

bestest,

M.

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Fuji do manufacture some of the best bridge cameras on the market, capable of macro shooting down to distances of 1 cm and that's good. The HS50EXR is a good example of their technology at work. It has a really fast response time from pressing the shutter release in order to capture high speed shots and an extremely good zoom facility for those distance shots. I have an old Fiji that I bought in 2007 which I use as my car camera for those spur of the moment images and the quality of it doesn't disappoint. I'm mostly a Nikon man with a few SLR and full format systems of both the film and digital variety and still find my old Fuji to be a decent little system.

Unless you're going to post edit images, I wouldn't bother with the RAW mode as it gobbles memory up on your SD card. If you have access to Photoshop and Elements to post edit with, then buy lots of memory cards. It's always an idea to have a spare battery too. I once drove to York Minster for a day shooting the architecture and forgot to put batteries in my cameras. Luckily I had a few spare in my camera bag.

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Hope the original poster doesn't mind if I add my questions here, since I'm thinking of a bridge camera myself. I've also considered a DSLR however I don't like the idea of having to carry around more than one lens, I'd like something capable enough but small enough to fit in a small bag.

I've seen the Nikon P530 for sale at a good price around here, I like the fact that it has a number iof manual controls to start "playing" with something a bit more complicated than the standard automatic settings. Is this a good camera ? Anything else in the same price range any of you can recommend ?

The fuji mentioned looks brilliant, but is maybe above what I'd like to spend, any other good camera from the same company at a lower price (and of course with lower specs) ?

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Re batteries - the advantage of having AA cells is that you can get replacements almost anywhere -get a couple of sets of good rechargeables for cameras, and use them, but have the fall back of getting a set of duracells if you are stuck.

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I purchased a Canon SX40 Power Shot, two years ago after being an avid SLR user. Great piece of kit and punches well above it's weight the, SX60 is even better.

Colin

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Nikon P600 gets my vote at moment used one since Christmas .

After extensive reading of reviews and watching youtube videos i bit the bullet.

This may help,certainly helped me.

http://www.imaging-resource.com/PRODS/best-superzoom-2014/best-superzoom-2014-A.HTM

These were taken just after taking the camera out the box xmas morning

Same position,light a bit low and i don`t have a clue what i,m doing

DSCN0079.jpg

Zoom to right of building under castle turrets on horizon

StanDSCN0078.jpg

Edited by stan

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I'm not for a minute saying that bridge cameras are no good... just that for my needs they seemed more in the "fallen between two stools" than "best of both worlds" camp. The good bridge cameras quoted above seem to be in the £400-£550 range, which is a chunk of change that makes a fair range of alternatives affordable. They're not REALLY small -- my Powershot SX240IS is still my go-to "slip in a pocket and forget it" camera, and takes remarkably good point and shoot images in a variety of conditions (though the iPhone is no slouch, either...). Admittedly, my key selection criteria was something that would allow me to shoot magazine-quality images of models built and building, which led me towards the dedicated macro lens, and hence exchangeable lenses and a second-hand DSLR. But since I've got it, it's noticeable how good it is versus the Powershot or iPhone for all kinds of other photography. You can get a second-hand EOS body and a couple of zoom lenses covering you from 18-250mm for less than £400 (I'm sure it's true for other brands "last but one year's models" as well... I just went for Canon because the digital user interface was familiar from the Powershot). Usually, for any given event/expedition, you'll actually only need to take one of the lenses with you, on the camera. Yes, it's a bigger and heavier set up than a bridge camera, but both are cameras to carry around rather than keep in your pocket until needed, which is the Powershot's job. The other benefit of the DSLR is that, should you decide in the future that you want to take a lot of shots of a specific sort (say bird photographs...) that benefit from specialist equipment, then you can invest in the right dedicated lens and you're away.

YMMV, obviously.

bestest,

M.

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I'm not for a minute saying that bridge cameras are no good... just that for my needs they seemed more in the "fallen between two stools" than "best of both worlds" camp. The good bridge cameras quoted above seem to be in the £400-£550 range, which is a chunk of change that makes a fair range of alternatives affordable. They're not REALLY small -- my Powershot SX240IS is still my go-to "slip in a pocket and forget it" camera, and takes remarkably good point and shoot images in a variety of conditions (though the iPhone is no slouch, either...). Admittedly, my key selection criteria was something that would allow me to shoot magazine-quality images of models built and building, which led me towards the dedicated macro lens, and hence exchangeable lenses and a second-hand DSLR. But since I've got it, it's noticeable how good it is versus the Powershot or iPhone for all kinds of other photography. You can get a second-hand EOS body and a couple of zoom lenses covering you from 18-250mm for less than £400 (I'm sure it's true for other brands "last but one year's models" as well... I just went for Canon because the digital user interface was familiar from the Powershot). Usually, for any given event/expedition, you'll actually only need to take one of the lenses with you, on the camera. Yes, it's a bigger and heavier set up than a bridge camera, but both are cameras to carry around rather than keep in your pocket until needed, which is the Powershot's job. The other benefit of the DSLR is that, should you decide in the future that you want to take a lot of shots of a specific sort (say bird photographs...) that benefit from specialist equipment, then you can invest in the right dedicated lens and you're away.

YMMV, obviously.

bestest,

M.

Well, I have to say that after reading this I started reviewing my initial ideas and consulted more and more people and websites. The opinion of most was in the end that the small size of the sensors in most bridge cameras is a limitation that no zoom can compensate for.

In the end I noticed that with €50 more I could have got an entry level DSLR and went for this option The new camera should arrive in a couple of days, I'll soon know if this was the right choice or not. Trying some in a shop showed that the DSLR is not much larger than a good bridge, although this was with the typical "kit" 18-55 lens. At least now the pictures in my WIPs should be a bit better. The quality of the builds is unlikely to improve though... :D

Edited by Giorgio N

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Well I finally took the plunge on Saturday and bought the Sony HX300. Sunday was an airshow at Blackpool so a bit of a steep learning curve occurred. I took some fair shots, and a load of useless ones (you know, empty sky, trams, streetlights etc.) and will put the pick of the bunch on here later. Hopefully I will improve my photography skills as I learn to understand all the various settings available.

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From what I've learnt from Bridge cameras, you will be disappointed when you take the first few long distance photos... they take a while to master, but once you have they are very handy to have in the camera bag. I keep one purely for long distance stuff and it's great, i'll get some photos up soon...

Edited by Radleigh

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I'm not for a minute saying that bridge cameras are no good... just that for my needs they seemed more in the "fallen between two stools" than "best of both worlds" camp. The good bridge cameras quoted above seem to be in the £400-£550 range, which is a chunk of change that makes a fair range of alternatives affordable.

Buying a good bridge camera such as the HS50, new, can be quite expensive. However there are massive savings to be had if you buy second-hand.

I currently use a Fuji HS20EXR which I bought second-hand from a very reputable camera store for £100 and, to be honest, you'd never know that it wasn't brand new. Before that I used the first Fuji 'HS' model, the HS10. In terms of appearance and function the two are almost identicle, but the HS20 has the (then) new EXR sensor and is a little faster generally. In terms of size, the 'HS' series is about the same size as a standard DSLR and both the 10 and 20 use AA batteries, whereas the 30 and 50 use a li-ion battery pack. Personally I'm happy with the AA option; okay the camera may be a little heavier but rechargeable AA's last ages in my HS20EXR and I can easily get some hi-end non-rechargeables in case of emergency.

People tend to get a bit sniffy about bridge cameras, but I have been happy with the picture quality of the HS10 and HS20; they are very versatile and can be used at fully auto or fully manual and anything in between. They have a manual barrel-twist zoom (30x) rather than a a power zoom switch which means you have complete control over it. The only down side to this is that it is really best designed for stills photography and can be annoyingly jerky when using video. Also, crucially, you can use filters - I always have a skylight filter on to protect the lens.

Here's an image example from LHR using the HS10.

16370508631_cb709d0348_k.jpgChina Southern B787-8 Dreamliner B-2735 by StevieCii, on Flickr

Last tip re. bridge cameras - go into somewhere like Curry's and you'll find a whole host of bridge cameras with impressive looking specs at very reasonable prices. Beware - these are not necessarily as good as they might appear, and some Fuji models are just downtight awful (I had an S8200 which was probably the worst camera I've ever used). If you are in a Curry's / Argos-type store, stay away from Fuji, and look at at Panasonic instead; the FZ72 is a good all-round bridge with an awesome zoom!

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I don't know if this will work, but for some reason Photobucket does not let me post pictures in my posts any more from my tablet (just updated it actually). So I have started a pintrest account to try to get pictures to show.I

took this at the Latest Southport show with my new HX300. Colour looks to be pretty good, despite having to lose 5 f stops between looking left sand right due to the sun being particularly bright.

8f1984054116e527de9559c4aa2dbd73.jpg

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For anyone still about to buy a new camera -

Ignore the 'Mega-pixel' number rubbish.

A good camera with 5MP can take far superior pictures to a cheaper one with a 20MP rating - it's all down to the lens and the sensor quality.

Google 'what does mega-pixel really mean?'

You'll be surprised at what you read.

It's mainly a sales gimmic until you start looking at serious mega-bucks high end cameras.

A high quality 2MP sensor can give better results than a low quality 10MP sensor.
Most (not all) lower priced pocket cameras use low quality sensors with a high MP rating.

It looks good on the box and on the front of the camera.
Then you get disappoining results.

I have a Nikon DSLR that is rated at 10MP and a little pocket Fujifilm rated at 20MP.

No need to guess which one takes the FAR better pictures.

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I've hada Canon SX40 Powershot (my first Canon) for just over two years and what a joy to use once you take it off auto. The new model SX 60 is out with 30X magnification plus it shoots in RAW. So once the cash is available I'll be jumping in.

Colin

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while I see that you have already made your decision - and sony make good cameras, compacr system cameras are possibly the best of both worlds.

I take one to work with me. The camera fits in one pocket and the zoom in the other.

While I would like to bring my dslr with me , it is impractical , but the csc allows me to get most of what I want.

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I also have a Fuji HS50EXR, as well as my Nikon D7100. The Fuji does take excellent photos, but it will never replace a DSLR, but this aside, the HS50EXR is very good.

Martin

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I have a Fuji and its a great little camera. Sometimes takes better pictures indoors than my Canon if you just want to shoot quickly without having to set the tripod up.

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