Camera for the amateur

I’ve found that when it comes to getting yourself a camera, a lot of people don’t know where to start.

Well the best piece of advice I can give, is to decide on what you want to get out of your camera. Sounds simple doesn’t it? If you’re as indecisive as I am then this is no easy task.

I have a point and shoot compact camera. Its great, you get clear images and I never have any problems with the features. But I wanted more. Depsite being an amateur photographer,  I really wanted to get more experimental with my photos and see what I could capture.

DSLR Cameras
As everyone knows DSLR cameras are top of the range, and they give much more freedom when it comes to adjusting the camera settings to experiment with the images you take. But if you want top of the range, you have to pay for it. While the prices are enough to scare you off, you have to consider what you get for your money. A good DSLR camera will cost anything from £400-£1000+. And there are some reasonable priced DSLR cameras out there. Heres a quick list of some of my personal pros and cons.

– Different shooting modes available
– Different lenses available (to buy)
– Good quality images/videos

– Price
– Taking care of Lenses
– Equipment soon takes up space in luggage


As you can see I have to spend a fair amount of money, make sure I have room to pack all of it, then make sure my lenses don’t get damaged while im travelling. Lenses aren’t exactly cheap to replace.

Bridge Camera
And then there’s the Bridge Camera. A Bridge Camera is the perfect middle ground between a basic “point and shoot” and a DSLR. They give you more freedom then a point and shoot -granted not as much as a DSLR – but they do come at a fraction of the cost.

The price of Bridge Cameras can vary  anywhere from £30-£900+. Again depending on your budget you can get a decent camera for your money if you hunt around. Here’s another quick list of my personal pros and cons regarding the Bridge Camera.

Bridge Pros
– Allows more freedom to experiment in manual mode than point and shoot cameras
– Cheaper than a DSLR
– No need for lenses so takes up less room

Bridge Cons
– Depending on which camera, you’re limited to what you can do without lenses

You might have guessed I ended up going with a bridge camera. To be more specific, a Canon SX510HS. It was cheaper than a DSLR and much easier to get used to. Plus I didn’t have to worry about getting to grips with lenses while playing around with the camera.


So depending on what you want to get out of your camera depends on which one you should go for. As an amateur I personally think a bridge is perfect to get to grips with. It’s the next step up from a point and shoot and allows you to pay around with it and experiment. Then when you’re ready for more, you’ll be fairly familiar with the basics amd can move on to a DSLR and explore further.

If you prefer to jump straight to a DSLR then by all means do so, no question they are great cameras but make sure you take care of those lenses while travelling as dust/dirt can ruin them when they’re not in use.

I hope this article has helped. I’d be interested in hearing in which camera you prefer to use? Are you an amateur or an experienced photographer?

Thanks for reading!


41 responses to “Camera for the amateur

  1. I didn’t even know bridge cameras existed! Good to know, I’ve been thinking of upgrading from my iPhone camera so I’ll have to keep these in mind!

  2. I have a Nikon and I’m very satisfied with it but my BF has a Canon so we have some rivalry! But your camera looks pretty damn good too!

  3. Lots of useful information in here, Em 🙂 I have a Fuji bridge camera, which I love experimenting with, but I need to get my hands on a decent DSLR with a wide-angle lense next!

  4. You have no idea how much I’ve agonized about the purchase of a camera. It’s such an important thing to have on your travels, and yet prices out there are ridiculous. I always buy second-hand cameras, and try to avoid Samsung – terrible customer service. Right now, I have two DSLR.

  5. I think as a traveler you made the right choice. These bridge cameras make GREAT photos but don’t weight down your luggage or backpack and won’t break your bank if stolen or damaged while on the road. Good luck with your photos!

  6. People ask me all the time what camera they should buy. I never know what to tell them, because I don’t know what they want, and it’s always different from what i would buy as a professional. They end up buying the cheapest one that has good reviews. 😉 I would recommend choosing one with a menu system that you are familiar with, like Canon or Nikon. I have always had Canon, so I continued to upgrade with Canon and found the change easier than going from Canon to Nikon.

    • Yes Canon and Nikon do seem to be the best but perhaps chopping and changing between the two isn’t a great idea 🙂 think I’ll stick to Canon when I come to upgrade

  7. I’m a Canon DSLR owner and even with the stupid amount of lenses I have to take around on trips and how much it hurts my back I don’t regret it, the quality, the possibility, I wonder how I could live without it!

    Mirrorless are a big new trend also and people seems to love it. I think picking a camera though has also got a lot to do with how you feel about it, the only reason I took Canon and not Nikon is that I had a better grip when picking up the camera!

  8. I honestly wouldn’t suggest a DSLR to anyone who doesn’t want to make or take the time to learn how to use it. Getting one and then shooting on auto 95% of the time defeats the purpose. You need to learn how to shoot manually so you have complete control. That’s a big learning curve, but well worth it. If that’s not for you, there are plenty of other cameras that do a great job.

  9. I am a nikon girl, but my dad is a cannon fan all the way. I think they are both great cameras – and nice to have some tips for new users, some time these new cameras can be intimidating – and I never even heard of bridge camera so thank you for sharing. 🙂

  10. It’s great that they make a camera in between a DSLR and a point-and-shoot. We have had our Canon DSLR for almost a year now and have learned so much! If you’re worried about having to carry extra lenses, I know that ours came with a great base lens that you could start with, and you wouldn’t have to worry about switching them out until you got more familiar with the camera and wanted to try other lenses.

  11. Thanks for this post, it’s being bookmarked. I use a point and shoot, I feel the need to get a better one but a DSLR is just out of my budget. I think I am going to go for a bridge camera, something I’d never heard of by the way.

    • Glad you found thispost useful. Bridge cameras a a fraction of the cost amd almost as good as a DSLR. Plus when you’re used to the Bridge Camera you can always upgrade later. They’re a good middle ground 🙂

  12. Pointed out the pros and the cons nicely. I second camera have more manual options than my first point and shoot and am planning to upgrade to a DSLR soon.

  13. Good tips! Another thing to note is when you’re traveling with a DSLR such as a Canon ( I have a 60d) plus any extra lens, it can be so heavy! I have been considering to switch down to a smaller camera I think they might be considered a Bridge Camera but one where you can change the lens and still have amazing image quality. I haven’t done any research on it other than using a friend’s camera, but there definitely are some serious pros and cons for both types of cameras.

    • Thank you! Yes exactly sometimes a bridge camera can be better because there’s no need for extra lenses when travelling. Glad you found this useful 🙂

  14. This is the first trip I didn’t pack my DSLR and I am definately regretting it. It seems that using them are so much easier to get the shot you want.

  15. Funny i stumbled upon your post as i’m thinking of buying a camera. I’m not photographer, not even amateur but i’ve been blogging for a while now and it’s got me seeing the world around me in a different way, a way i’d like to share better and i’m thinking i gotta have a proper camera (i currently use the one on my phone ** blush blush **). I don’t think i’m ready for something as big as the ones you have written about, i gotta have something i can carry around in my bag at all times (i’m a full time teacher, not an adventurer lol). Ok now i’m gonna sound totally dumb but is there any little camera, easy to use for total novices that can give some decent results for blogging? Do you think digital cameras are any good? Would you recommend one (low to mid-range budget i’d say)? May i suggest a future post “cameras for dummies”? lol just jokking

    • Hey Jameela! Nice to chat again 🙂 yeah theres definitely a camera out there for everyone. A lot of the compact cameras these days are good value for money and they have good picture quality, but they don’t always ler you play around with the settings to experiment with pictures. That’s not always a bad thing though! If you want a camera that makes things easy for you any compact camera will be useful. Fujifilm/Samsung are fairly good makes and the pictures are great. Of course having said that there are a lot of phones with good cameras too! My Samsung Galaxy S4 has 14mpx camera with gives really clear pictures. So I guess really it all boils down to personal preference 🙂 you may feel more comfortable using your phone? I’ll work on a little graph for you in the meantime 🙂

  16. Nice write up! Mirrorless and 4/3 cameras area are also a great “middle of the road” option. My Sony A6000 is the size of a bridge camera, but has the APS-C sensor of a crop sensor DSLR. It also allows for full manual control and lens changes. Sony also makes a full frame version, that is really pricey, but very cool. These cameras are a traveling amateur photographers dream!

    • Thanks for the comment Drew! Looks like you could teach me a thing or two about cameras. Good job I admitted I’m an amateur 🙂 there’s so many types of camera to chose from but there’s definitely a camera for everyone.

      • I agree, there are a ton of cameras on the market and new models come out all of the time! What I tell people is that in truth, the best camera is the one you have with you. I look forward to seeing more of your photos this year!

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