Bridge camera or DSLR

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Name
Richard Parkin
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My interest is photographing birds and I use a Nikon D5600 usually with a Sigma 150-600mm lens. As I tend to mix my photography with walking I don't usually use a tripod. I have Parkinson's and therefore can sometimes struggle to keep a steady hand when taking shots. I've been considering looking at a bridge with a good zoom but have been put off by comments regarding poor image quality with a bridge as opposed to a DSLR. I tend to photograph at a good distance as I do not wish to disturb the bird so need the zoom. Any help and guidance would be much appreciated (obviously other than move nearer:))
 
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Name
Jonathan
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If you feel you do need to switch to a bridge camera then the Sony RX10 IV (or III) is the obvious choice as it has the best combination of sensor size and zoom range. It will only give 600mm equivalent compared to the 900mm that you currently get from your Sigma but you can't get more without a drastic decrease in sensor size.

As an alternative suggestion, have you tried using a monopod when out walking? Much more portable than a tripod and can often double-up as a walking pole.
 
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Richard Parkin
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Thanks for your comments - I have just recently started using a monopod and it does help. I was wanting more zoom if possible but obviously don't want to lose image quality.
 
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Name
Jonathan
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The contenders are probably the Nikon P950 and P1000 which would double and treble your zoom respectively but the sensor is only 28 square mm compared with your D5600's 368. Another possible candidate is the Panasonic FZ82 which has the same size sensor and a smaller zoom but still more than your Sigma. It has the benefit of being only £300 so is affordable if you decide to try the format. I recommend reading the reviews on dpreview.com for any camera you consider.
 
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Name
Lew
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I take my Canon Bridge camera wherever I go as it fits in my walking jacket pocket, If I lost or broke it I would replace it straight away.
I have won first place in photo competitions with images taken with this camera ..... Canon SX50... Also my Jay image on here ... Jay | Talk Photography

Take a look here at Tony's images to get an idea what they are capable of. .... Photo Galleries - tonybritton (smugmug.com)
 
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Barry Betts
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I've been utterly unimpressed with most bridge camera images I've seen compared to similar images taken with gear like you have. I would use the money for a x1.4 teleconverter if you really want more reach, or just save your money and accept there's a limit to how close we can get without using hides/baiting/etc.

The caveat is that maybe the bridge cameras are used by less experienced photographers and that causes the noise and/or softness, not the equipment.
 
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Name
Lew
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I've been utterly unimpressed with most bridge camera images I've seen compared to similar images taken with gear like you have. I would use the money for a x1.4 teleconverter if you really want more reach, or just save your money and accept there's a limit to how close we can get without using hides/baiting/etc.

The caveat is that maybe the bridge cameras are used by less experienced photographers and that causes the noise and/or softness, not the equipment.
If you re-read the op it states he is suffering with parkinsons and you suggest he buys another piece of kit to add to the weight he already has ... ???
Take a look at Tony Britton images (Link in my post above) and tell me you are not impressed with the results, and those are from a camera that it quite dated now.
There appears to be an anti-bridge camera fraternity that believes that Bridge Cameras are to be used by less capable photographers.
I suggest Raggers42 you find a carmera shop that will let you try and feel if it's what you want.
 
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1,590
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My interest is photographing birds and I use a Nikon D5600 usually with a Sigma 150-600mm lens. As I tend to mix my photography with walking I don't usually use a tripod. I have Parkinson's and therefore can sometimes struggle to keep a steady hand when taking shots. I've been considering looking at a bridge with a good zoom but have been put off by comments regarding poor image quality with a bridge as opposed to a DSLR. I tend to photograph at a good distance as I do not wish to disturb the bird so need the zoom. Any help and guidance would be much appreciated (obviously other than move nearer:))
I can certainly stress how good the Leica V Lux 114 is (Which is the clone of the popular rPanasonic FZ1000). These are getting a little old now - around about 2014 launch I believe. However, they're really great - very easy to hold, good OIS and great zoom and really great quality.
 
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13
Name
Barry Betts
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No
If you re-read the op it states he is suffering with parkinsons and you suggest he buys another piece of kit to add to the weight he already has ... ???
Take a look at Tony Britton images (Link in my post above) and tell me you are not impressed with the results, and those are from a camera that it quite dated now.
There appears to be an anti-bridge camera fraternity that believes that Bridge Cameras are to be used by less capable photographers.
I suggest Raggers42 you find a carmera shop that will let you try and feel if it's what you want.
Compared to a 2kg lens, adding
I never said meant to be used by less capable photographers, I simply meant that the majority of images using them are by beginners who don't know how to get the best out of any camera which could be why they have the reputation/appearance of under performing.

This is about offering options, as you have done by suggesting the op goes and tries for himself. I'm simply offering an option that allows him to keep using the equipment he is familiar with.

And yes, I completely agree that Tony Britton has captured fantastic images with his bridge camera, no doubt about that at all.
 
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I’ll throw another suggestion into the mix, how about an Olympus EM1-II (or III) and 100-400mm lens (200-800mm eq)? Fantastic image quality and almost half the weight of the D5600 and 150-600mm.

I had this combo until recently and was very impressed, both in terms of IQ and AF.
 
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13
Name
Barry Betts
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No
I’ll throw another suggestion into the mix, how about an Olympus EM1-II (or III) and 100-400mm lens (200-800mm eq)? Fantastic image quality and almost half the weight of the D5600 and 150-600mm.

I had this combo until recently and was very impressed, both in terms of IQ and AF.
I almost mentioned this but wasn't 100% certain about the models. Sensor size falls between the bridge and crop DSLR too so a good compromise there as well.

I feel like this will come down to a decision about high iso noise and weight. Depending where you photograph will dictate if high iso is a concern or not. I'm not familiar with how good/bad bridge and micro four thirds are with noise but sensor size suggests there would be a difference. And weight would be an advantage in the opposite direction. So the Olympus option would sit right in the middle and have the advantage of being completely weather sealed unlike the Nikon/sigma pairing.

Photography is never straightforward is it?
 
OP
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3
Name
Richard Parkin
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Reminds me of Mrs Merton "Lets have a heated debate"!
Seriously though I appreciate all opinions and I think it makes sense post lockdown to go to a camera shop that will let me try it before buying. Its the image quality that I've read about that was concerning me but the images above are great.
I'm very much a novice when taking photos and I don't photograph for anybody's benefit other than mine but obviously want to see a decent result .
 
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18,305
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I almost mentioned this but wasn't 100% certain about the models. Sensor size falls between the bridge and crop DSLR too so a good compromise there as well.

I feel like this will come down to a decision about high iso noise and weight. Depending where you photograph will dictate if high iso is a concern or not. I'm not familiar with how good/bad bridge and micro four thirds are with noise but sensor size suggests there would be a difference. And weight would be an advantage in the opposite direction. So the Olympus option would sit right in the middle and have the advantage of being completely weather sealed unlike the Nikon/sigma pairing.

Photography is never straightforward is it?
Tbh the difference in IQ between m4/3 and APS-C is minimal these days. In fact sometimes I was hard pressed to tell the difference between images shot with my EM1-II and D850 I had at the time, unless viewing at the pixel level of course.
 
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