Torn between bridge and DSLR. Done the research, but its driving me mad now!

Started Jun 23, 2012 | Discussions thread
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redfox05
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Torn between bridge and DSLR. Done the research, but its driving me mad now!
Jun 23, 2012

Pref budget £300 Digital bridge or compact system? Or even DSLR?

Hey all, have been doing tonns of research into a new camera. Its been years coming, but now I want to get into photography properly. No more point-and-shoot. P.s. dad has a TZ10, so as long as its not worse than that, otherwise I might as well borrow his. Right, here we go, and Im not going to blindly say I want a DSLR, so ive done some research.

I dont want a compact, as I want plently of manual options.

I would prefer a bridge, as it means i dont have to lug around lenses, or risk them getting stolen while im taking pictures, and also the cost associated.

A compact system camera would be nice, as they tend to have bigger sensors, and also the extra option of interchangeable lenses (i know i contradict myself).

DSLR would be the best quality, but biggest cost, which means ill be more reluctant to take it out to slightly more risky events due to its cost value, ie, concerts/festivals/rainy days.

Bridge pro: manual options, great zoom, good macros, some good night time options, and reasonable quality higher ISO's, some cameras will have a lense that covers range equivalent of 3 DSLR lenses.

Bridge neg: at the higher costs for good all rounder model, might as well go for DSLR. Smaller sensor, and the big neg, max 30/60s exposure.

Compact sys pro: small, interchangeable lenses, bigger sensor, near DSLR pic quality, possible long exposure/bulb option, and much higher ISO's possible at still great quality/low noise.

Compact neg: not quite all in one so need lenses, havnt seen much mention on macro in kit lenses, would that need another lense? Lower zoom, but still decent.

DSLR pro: high qual photos, professional, future proof lenses wise.
DSLR neg: cost of the 'complete package'

The cameras ive been considering are:

Bridge:
Sony HX200V
Fuji FS25

Compact sys:
Sony NEX5N
Olympus PEN, PL1,3 and P3. Basically most of the pens.

DSLR
Nikon D3100 and D5100.

This is just where im at atm with my current research, with all being close top prize the Sony HX200V being the very slight favorite due to Carl Zeis lense, all the above requiremens. But worry is will 30s exposure be long enough?

I want to do night time shots, such as street etc, cars, and more. And also possibly light painting.

I have a £120 love2shop voucher plus a preffered extra £150 from my money, but then will spend a extra few hundred if the camera is worth it in the long run.

I feel I dont yet need the complexity of a DSLR, but therefore wouldnt want an expensive bridge if I decide to get a DSLR in later future.

Any suggestions very welcome! (This is after 1.5 weeks of research, and at the beginning not even knowing what a compact system cam was). P.s. my dad was a professional photgrapher, but that was a long time ago, so hes mot up to date with the latest offerings, but has still passed on the love of photography, and its time I upgraded from my point-and-shoot and take the plunge.

If I went for DSLR, I would strech my budget to £500-600 for a fairly decent complete package range of lenses etc. Not sure if this is too optimistic though.

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