Bridge (?) Camera Advice

craigy_b

Active Member
My wife has asked for a new camera for her Christmas and is looking for something that can be used as a 'point and click' but will have enough settings to start her off as she begins to experiment a bit with her pictures.

I've been looking at bridge cameras as they seem to be capable of good quality images but without being overly complicated.

Was out shopping today and noticed these two;

LUMIX DMC-FZ72 Bridge Camera | Panasonic UK & Ireland

Compact Digital Camera with Viewfinder & 63x Zoom | DSC-H400 | Sony UK

Any thoughts appreciated. Looking at a budge of around £200.

Thanks.
 

twist

Distinguished Member
Bridge cameras will offer the same image quality as a compact. They have the same size sensors. If she doesnt need all that zoom she may be happier with a smaller camera.

What does she want to take pics of?
 

craigy_b

Active Member
Bridge cameras will offer the same image quality as a compact. They have the same size sensors. If she doesnt need all that zoom she may be happier with a smaller camera.

What does she want to take pics of?

It will generally be family, tourist type shots and wildlife, horses etc. The zoom will probably be handy for the horse events that she goes to.
 

snerkler

Distinguished Member
She doesn't necessarily need a 'simple' camera as most cameras have full auto modes, so she could get a higher end camera that would offer more features as she progresses, but starting out in auto.

TBH I did this when I started out in photography, ie bought a bridge camera. I wasn't at all clued up and thought the bridge was a great place to start. I kept it all of about 3 wks before realising my mistake any buying a DSLR. Sure this might not be the same for everyone, but as Twist says a bridge offers you nothing over a compact camera other than zoom. If that's all you want then fine, but if she's wanting to start experimenting with subject isolation (eg portraits where the background is blurred) then this isn't easy to do with compacts and bridge cameras due to their small sensors. There are a couple of exceptions such as the Sony RX10 which have larger sensors than your average bridge, but they are still small compared to a DSLR.

If after this you still think a bridge camera is the right one (nothing wrong with this in the slightest) then they are all going to be similar in terms of image quality so just go for the one that has the features you want. It is also a good idea to try a couple out as button placement etc can be different from model to model.
 

_Sion

Active Member
If you can live with less zoom (just under x4) I'd consider the sony RX100 mark 1.

It's small like a compact but has a much. much larger sensor so will take much better quality photos especially in lower light conditions.

It's about £265 at the moment and you'd get £60 cashback, plus if you use quidco a possible additional 1% cashback.

Sony Cyber-shot RX100 Digital Camera - Jessops - Digital Compact Cameras

This was a £500-600 camera 2 years ago and will beat almost any camera available around £200 for picture quality
 

twist

Distinguished Member
If you can live with less zoom (just under x4) I'd consider the sony RX100 mark 1.

It's small like a compact but has a much. much larger sensor so will take much better quality photos especially in lower light conditions.

It's about £265 at the moment and you'd get £60 cashback, plus if you use quidco a possible additional 1% cashback.

Sony Cyber-shot RX100 Digital Camera - Jessops - Digital Compact Cameras

This was a £500-600 camera 2 years ago and will beat almost any camera available around £200 for picture quality

Only catch is the zoom is pretty crap.
 
Would a small camera be appreciated more by the missus than a large camera? One that can fit in a purse or a coat pocket? Or is size not a problem?

I bought a highly rated bridge camera for a holiday a couple of years ago, and took it straight back when I returned. Picture quality was just poor except in the best of light. I would not recommend one at all as a main camera as it will be like your phone in terms of quality but with a better zoom.

Folk on here told me the same and I thought better. Only time they've been right though :)
 
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craigy_b

Active Member
Would a small camera be appreciated more by the missus than a large camera? One that can fit in a purse or a coat pocket? Or is size not a problem?

I bought a highly rated bridge camera for a holiday a couple of years ago, and took it straight back when I returned. Picture quality was just poor except in the best of light. I would not recommend one at all as a main camera as it will be like your phone in terms of quality but with a better zoom.

Folk on here told me the same and I thought better. Only time they've been right though :)

We went to Currys today and had a look to try and get a feel for the different cameras. It seems like a compact is now the way she wants to go. I had a look at the Sony HX60V which seemed to tick a lot of boxes.

Essentially I'm happy to admit I now realise I know nothing about cameras. Holding them and playing with them in the shop is fine but i can't translate any of the spec into how good the image quality will be.

Hopefully black Friday might bring about some discounts and I'll see if any deals jump out at me.
 

AMc

Distinguished Member
Essentially I'm happy to admit I now realise I know nothing about cameras. Holding them and playing with them in the shop is fine but i can't translate any of the spec into how good the image quality will be.
I've previously used this site to help with compact camera choices. You have to do a little bit of translation for model names and numbers for some brands but their reviews are pretty readable without descending into too much jargon.
Digital Camera Holiday Gift Guide - $250 - $400 Cameras - Steve's Digicams
 

snerkler

Distinguished Member
We went to Currys today and had a look to try and get a feel for the different cameras. It seems like a compact is now the way she wants to go. I had a look at the Sony HX60V which seemed to tick a lot of boxes.

Essentially I'm happy to admit I now realise I know nothing about cameras. Holding them and playing with them in the shop is fine but i can't translate any of the spec into how good the image quality will be.

Hopefully black Friday might bring about some discounts and I'll see if any deals jump out at me.
If she wants compact I strongly urge you to look at the Sony RX100 (III and IV), Canon G7X, Ganon G5X, and Panasonic LX100 as all of these have a significantly larger sensor than your normal compact cameras and will produce much better IQ, especially when light is anything short of perfect.
 

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