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Old Feb 17, 2012, 8:16 AM   #1
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Default Help me decide which camera to buy: bridge or 2nd hand DSLR


I have been using bridge superzoom digital camera for the past 5 years. Before that I was a big fan of the Canon G series (owned a G1 and G2). My current bridge camera is a Canon SX10 IS.

I am taking mostly outdoor pictures: birding, and action outdoors (fishing scenes).

My budget is about $900.

The options I am looking at right now is the Panasonic Fz150 and the new Fuji XS1. I thought the Fuji was a winner but after reading a few reviews, it seems that the camera has a few problems especially when it is about focusing at high tele. So, it is probably not good for action shooting.

It would be nice to have a bridge camera with a large CMOS sensor to especially allow having a better picture in low light conditions (which I have quite often).

So, I am looking at the Nikon D200 which is an older DSLR, but a very solid performer. I am thinking pairing a used D200 (about $425 for a demo one, body only) with a Nikon 55-300mm f/4.5-5.6G ED VR AF-S DX Nikkor Zoom Lens for Nikon Digital SLR (I wished I could afford the 18-200mm one).

I am open to any suggestions.

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Old Feb 17, 2012, 9:33 AM   #2
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The Fuji and the Panasonic certainly have a decent zoom range- though I suspect the Panasonic will focus MUCH better at the long end of the zoom- as they're usually very good in this regard. Both also have fast burst modes,which is great. Though if you actually want to track a subject,as opposed to movement in just one place,then a DSLR will invariably be superior. The D200 is a fine camera(still) and the 5 frames per second shooting is pretty swift. The lens you choose to attach,of course will be significant- not least the autofocus speed of the said lens.
Maybe go take a look at the FZ-150 and try it out- see if it's adequate for what you require... It'll certainly work out less expensive,be more portable,lighter- and HD movie as and when you need it..!
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Old Feb 17, 2012, 9:48 AM   #3
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On the dSLR side, for what you want to do, I would recommend a Refurbished Canon or Nikon body (with or without the kit lens, depending on what else you want to do) from Adorama.com (comes with a warranty), paired with a Tamron SP 70-300MM F/4-5.6 Di VC USD.

DSLRs have better AF systems (useful for Action/Wildlife photography) than bridge cameras do.
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Old Feb 17, 2012, 9:54 AM   #4
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Too bad you weren't around at the beginning of February. I just sold a D200 and a 17-50mm lens and purchased a FZ150.

My reason for selling my dSLR was basically because I just don't have the budget available to purchase additional lenses and accessories. I wouldn't have been able to get a telephoto lens.

I haven't really had an opportunity to put my FZ150 to the test, but I already own a TZ5 and I used to own a FZ1, so I don't think I have anything to be worried about.

The answer to your question I guess depends on:

1) Do you wish to expand your system in the future (accessories, lenses, etc...)?

2) What subjects do you wish to shoot?

3) What situations/environments do you wish to shoot?
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