"Bridge" Camera

Discussion in 'UK Photography' started by John, Jan 8, 2009.

  1. John

    John Guest

    I am thinking of getting a new digital camera.

    My first was a Fuji S3000 which I really liked - it was good at the time but
    soon it became apparent it was slow (shutter delay) and limited to 100ASA. I
    then has a small compact which is good for carrying with me at times when I
    may not need anything bigger.

    However, I really liked the eyelevel viewfinder (electronic) and would like
    a new camera with an electronic viewfinder ( I guess an optical one wouldn't
    give the same level of information and assurance).

    I would like a focus assist light and/or manual focusing as I hate it when
    the focus cannot lock on in low light.

    Any ideas on what I should consider? (Please don't try and push me toward a
    DSLR as I just don't want to ever change lenses - been there - done that
    with 35mm. )
    John, Jan 8, 2009
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  2. I've had very good results from my Panasonic Lumix FZ30, although I
    would gladly forgo the (admittedly quite good) electronic viewfinder for
    a traditional optical one such as are still found on most DSLRs.
    Chris Morriss, Jan 8, 2009
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  3. Until the new 24x zoom cameras are reviewed, there are only two really
    good 'bridge cameras' (I hate that expression.

    The Panasonic FZ50 (now discontinued, and apparently unlikely to be
    replaced - but some new ones are still available) and as Trev says, the
    Fuji s100fd.

    I use the FZ50* and think it wonderful - excellent lens stabilisation
    but a little noisy at higher ISOs, while the Fuji suffers a bit from CA,
    but produces excellent images and has a wider wide. (The Panny FZ28 has
    wide and long zoom, but no hot shoe and no fold out screen.)

    I've just got a Panasonic G1 for bigger shots, but it's taken me back to
    interchangeable lenses, so I'm still using the FZ50 for general


    Michael J Davis, Jan 9, 2009
  4. John

    John Guest

    Thanks - I also dislike the term "Bridge" - but if it is going to be used I
    wish the retailers would list them as a separate category and not just have
    them amongst compacts. The G1 looks superb and it was looking at a
    colleagues Panasonic (not G10) that got me thinking it was time I bought a
    new camera. Perhaps a non interchangeable model may come out soon.
    John, Jan 9, 2009
  5. Don't hold your breath! Panny have promised a 14-140mm lens for the G1
    sometime this year (28 -280mm eqiv). It might satisfy your need for
    non-interchangeability but it won't be cheap!

    Frankly, if you can find an FZ50 for £280 or under, grab it with both

    Read this to see if you could live with the Fuji's CA problem:-
    I see it is advertised at down to around £340.00

    Michael J Davis, Jan 9, 2009
  6. John

    Bruce Guest

    I have never seen any sense in buying a camera that takes
    interchangeable lenses, then buying a superzoom lens (with all the
    optical problems and poor performance that brings) so as not to have to
    change lenses.
    Bruce, Jan 9, 2009
  7. Well, I was only trying to be helpful to John's request, but I wonder
    how long it takes you on a shoot, to change lenses.

    I eventually got rid of my M3 and set of 5 lenses for two reasons:-
    1. The bag made my shoulders ache
    2. I always seemed to have the wrong lens on!

    The FZ50 has a fine lens and a great zoom range, that has enabled me to
    get many photos that I couldn't with the time taken to change them.

    Michael J Davis, Jan 10, 2009
  8. John

    Bruce Guest

    I repeat:

    I have never seen any sense in buying a camera that takes
    interchangeable lenses, then buying a superzoom lens (with all the
    optical problems and poor performance that brings) so as not to have to
    change lenses.

    You may have said quite a lot, but you didn't address that point at all.
    Bruce, Jan 10, 2009
  9. John

    John Guest

    I can see your point. Having had many lenses during my times with 35mm - it
    was always the single focal length ones that gave the crispest performance.

    My needs and interests have changed and a zoom of (equiv) 28 - 135 would be
    nice - with genuine manual focus override for those difficult subjects - a
    focus assist light - a good electronic viewfinder. Re-charge without
    removing batteries.
    John, Jan 10, 2009
  10. John

    Bruce Guest

    I have a Sony DSC-R1 that does most of those things.

    The sensor is APS-C sized with 10.3 MP, but it isn't an SLR. The Carl
    Zeiss lens has a range of 24-120mm (35mm film equivalent) with f/2.8 at
    the wide end. It is amazingly sharp. For manual focus, the viewfinder
    (and a superb tilting and swivelling LCD screen) show 4X magnification.
    You can recharge the batteries in the camera or buy an accessory charger
    and charge them outside.

    It's a wonderful camera. Unfortunately, Sony's investment is now in the
    ex-Minolta SLR line they call Alpha, and there will never be a DSC-R2.
    Bruce, Jan 10, 2009
  11. John

    newshound Guest

    Horses for courses.

    I have a brace of Canons, an S2IS with an electronic viewfinder and an Ixus
    850 IS with an optical one. Although the optical doesn't have all the
    setting details (which you can put on the screen, of course) I consider it
    better in sunny conditions, and still quite usable in low light. The one
    thing I would never buy for myself is a camera with no viewfinder, only a

    I don't find the flashing warning lights for camera shake, etc, much use at
    all. In low light, I decide whether I want flash or not and set that
    manually. If shooting without flash, I try to find a support or concentrate
    holding steady, or shoot when there is minimum movement in the frame.
    newshound, Jan 11, 2009
  12. John

    AnthonyL Guest

    Good performance at high ISO perhaps? Though depends on what you call
    superzoom. I wouldn't expect a lot out of any 10x lens.
    AnthonyL, Jan 12, 2009
  13. In the film days I had a Minolta manual focus kit (x300 & x700 bodies with
    lots of lenses & flash guns etc.) with the result that the camera bag was
    almost too heavy to lift. Now that I'm in my mid 60s I currently use a
    Fujifilm S5700 & I'm buying a S5800 at a discount as well, these cameras
    handle very well & the S5700 has a really good electronic viewfinder (no
    doubt the S5800 will be the same - if it hasn't, it will go back). I tried
    an S1000fd but I couldn't focus my eye on the poor electronic viewfinder in
    that camera so it was returned. I did check out a digital SLR (Sony A200)
    but it was too large sized with an 18-70 zoom lens. Compact size & low
    weight is important AFAIK. The other advantage of the S5700 & S5800 is that
    there is a filter thread (46mm dia) on the lens so with the aid of adapter
    rings I can use all the filters from my film SLRs. The ability to take
    filters is also very important.
    Regards Mike.
    Mike Cawood, HND BIT, Jan 22, 2009
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