My Foray into Bridge Cameras

I’m taking this blogging thing seriously. A few days ago, I opened various social media accounts and linked them, I started a list of posts I wanted to write, and subconsciously, started dreaming about getting a good camera. I want my posts to be supported by my own photos, so that I could take pride in my entire blog post, and not just the words.

It takes awhile for new hobbies of mine to stick, and sometimes even when the going’s good, I end up dropping it (looking at you, guitar). I was debating with myself about whether I should wait for the blog to settle before investing in a camera, or whether having a good camera would encourage blogging.

What would you do? Buy a camera to support a new hobby, or wait for the hobby to justify the new camera?

Fiancé, graciously taking up his role of enthusiastic cheerleader, convinced me to get the camera right this moment. But I’ve only posted once!

We went to Costco. I was unsure what kind of camera I’d want, so their wonderful return policy meant I could really take the time to find the perfect one for me. After a long time of us hunched over Fiancé’s smartphone as we frantically researched everything about the available models, we settled on the Sony DSC-H300.

Sony DSC H300 Bridge Camera
Ironically I didn’t have a chance to take my own photo of it. This one’s from Amazon.

It was perfect. 20.1 MP! Wow! 35x optical zoom! Awesome! CCD sensor! Breathtaking! $200 and not $700! Perfect.

Comparison of Sony DSC H300 vs Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini
Mandatory comparison shot. “Raw” photos. The Sony DSC-H300 (top) vs my Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini (bottom). I love my greek yogourt.

Exciting! The colours were more rich, the details more sharp, the shallow depth of field more pronounced…! Except, if I were really honest with myself, it wasn’t really significantly better than my smartphone (8 MP, no optical zoom, CMOS).

But of course, it was time to walk the dog. It was the perfect chance to see how it performed with non-macro photos because it was sunny outdoors, and I happened to have some photos I had taken with the same dog, in the same park, but with a DSLR.

Comparison of Canon Rebel t3i, Sony DSC H300, and Samsung S4 Mini
“Raw” photos of Cricket. Canon Rebel t3i (top), Sony DSC-H300 (middle), Samsung S4 Mini (bottom)

I’m not a photography nerd (yet). However, even my inexperienced eye can see that the Sony I bought wasn’t significantly better than my smartphone. Fiancé did a bunch of research and found that the Sony DSC-H300 compressed all photos to jpegs, and had inaccessible RAW. So while the camera itself was capable of photos of much higher quality than my smartphone, it force-compressed its files such that it’s not magnitudes better than my smartphone.

The photos were better, yes, but as a person living on a budget, the difference in quality was too small to justify keeping this $200 camera. Sadly, I refunded it to Costco the next day.

Any suggestions on cameras I should consider? I love the shallow depth of field effect, sharp details, and have a budget of $200-$400 CAD.

Update April 14, 2016: I ended up buying a $300 mirrorless DSLR!




Sony bridge camera vs Samsung smartphone camera.



4 thoughts on “My Foray into Bridge Cameras

    1. I think for the most part, phone camera + some photo editing app/software is usually sufficient. Unless you’re thinking of becoming a photography hobbyist. : )

      Thanks for stopping by!


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