Continuing in our search for a replacement for our bridge-cameras leads us onto the DSLR market.
From this part of the market we will look at what is usually called “Entry level kits” as this is the cheapest and easiest way to start in this sector of the market. There are a good number of models in the sub $1000.00 NZD range, a good many of which come in a two lens kit. While not exactly what we are looking for at these prices you may want to reconsider. Pricing for these cameras is from Photo & Video and from Photo Warehouse or taken from the Pricespy listings which are generally pretty well up to date.
The main players we will look at are, Sony, Nikon, Canon, Pentax, Panasonic.
- First up is the Canon EOS 1100D + 18-55mm + 75-300mm Twin A good starter if you are upgrading for the first time, since superseeded by the new Eos 1200d, but at $698.00 this is a bargain.
- Next up is the new entry level Pentax K500 PENTAX K-500 18-55-/50-200mm kit At $875 NZD this is another bargain. A whole lot of camera for the money.
- At $895.00 NZD the Sony SLT A37 is another well specced and priced unit. SONY ALPHA SLT A37 18-55mm/55-200mm Twin Kit
- The next item on the list is the G5 from Panasonic. Panasonic G5 twin kit 14-42+45-150 Black At a touch under the $1000.00 NZD mark it is a well proven performer. The Panasonic GF6 twin lens kit is available from here and at $975.00 is even better priced that the older G5. It pays to shop around.
- Nikon is often the most expensive of the DSLRs and is difficult to price in any combination. Currently the Nikon 5100 twin kit available from the link represents best value for money. At $809.00 NZD plus postage this is one of the better buys in the Nikon range.
Now what does all this tell us? It is easy to see that there are some great bargains to be had in this price range. All the models listed above have excellent features when compared to our bridge camera.
In a DSLR you get :
- Fast and accurate auto focus.
- Excellent image quality up to very high ISO
- Excellent ergonomics and options.
- Generally good quality glass in included kit lenses.
- Very good pricing.
- Large number of extra lenses and equipment.
However none offer us an all in one solution that would take the place of a Fuji or other brand bridge camera. So where does this leave us? The answer is that we would need a lens of the order of 18 mm to 250 mm or very close to this to have a good all in one alternative. This again limits things quite severely as these lenses are pricey. They do come on special from time to time so it always pays to keep a look out at your favourite camera shops. Even though the choice of combinations and camera models and accessories in the DSLR market is very large, this sector again has proven to be difficult to find an all in one solution.
For me the best buy in this sector would have to be the Pentax K500, whilst it isn’t as cheap as the canon its a lot more modern than the canon which has been around for a good three years and has now been superseded by the Eos 1200d.