Dslr Camera or Bridge Camera?

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Most people will have a “point & shoot” camera somewhere. They are ideal for carrying around in your pocket or bag. Most will take relatively good pictures, in most situations.

But what about when you want better pictures than your little “point & shoot” can manage? When you want clear portraits, or close-ups of something interesting?

Maybe you want a better zoom capability than your little camera is capable of?

There used to be just one option, the SLR camera. But in recent years, we’ve seen the emergence of a new style of camera, the “Bridge”. So called, because it ‘bridges’ the gap between the point & shoot and the SLR, both in capabilities and, normally, price.

So let’s look at the pros and cons of both the DSLR (Digital Single Lens Reflex) and the Bridge.

Canon EOS Rebel T3i - Typical DSLR Camera

Canon EOS Rebel T3i – Typical DSLR Camera  

DSLR

Pros

Optical sensor is generally better.

Interchangeable lenses.

Better zoom and macro capabilities

Cons

More expensive

Need to buy extra lenses

More to carry around

Need more knowledge to operate properly

Canon SX40 HS - Typical

Canon SX40 HS – Typical “Bridge” camera  

Bridge

Pros

Less expensive

No need for extra lenses

Lighter and easier to carry around

‘Auto’ settings easy to start with.

Cons

Zoom and macro capabilities are limited

Low light settings are generally worse

So, which should you go for?

This will depend on what you are trying to achieve in your photographs.

It also depends on how much money you’re willing or able to spend.

Bridge cameras are a very good way of getting a lot more options, without spending too much. If you find that you don’t need the ability to change the settings, they have an “auto” setting, which will turn it back into a “point & shoot”, but better than most pocket sized ones. If you like being able to tweak the settings, then you have those options, but you will be limited. Not all bridge cameras allow ‘full’ control.

DSLR cameras, although more expensive and larger and heavier to carry around, offer you the widest options and greatest capabilities. With the range of lenses and flash systems available, you can photograph anything. But don’t expect to be taking great snaps straight out of the box. It can take a long, long time to learn how to use it correctly. Also, you will want to purchase more than the lens that came with your purchase. One thing to remember here, you MUST stick to the same manufacturer when buying lenses. If you have a Canon camera, you need a Canon lens. A Nikon or Fuji lens will not fit!

In summary, if you’re frustrated by your current pocket camera, but not wanting to lug around tons of lenses and stuff, then a bridge would be ideal. If you’re looking to take professional-style photographs, then you need to go for the DSLR.

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