Buying A New Camera? Ask Grim!

Welcome back for a (sort of) lesson on photography.

This time we will look at what you really need to think about and a few deals I’ve found (at least here in the UK)

First things first!

Whats your budget and what are you using the camera for?

You have to remember that budget will need to include some cash for essentials, 99% of camera’s don’t come with memory cards, a case, batteries and charger (if it takes AA batteries, and belive me, you will want rechargable ones) or a spare battery, filters for lens protection, silca gel, lens cleaning cloth… the list could be endless but they are all things you may well need!

So what cameras do we have?

I’ll break it down into four catagories.

Compact – Small and easy to put ina pocket or bag, just as the name suggests.


Pro’s – Small, light easy to use and better than the camera on your phone!

Con’s – No viewfinder, very small sensor (limits image quality even with a large pixel count)control over manual settings- if any – will be hard to find/use.

Good for – Family snaps, holiday snaps, parties and general stuff

Not good for – Sports, lowlight, profesional photography or controlling depth of field (DoF)

Bridge – Why is it called a ‘bridge’ camera? Well, quite simply its a camera that ‘Bridges’ the gap between compact and DSLR/CSC camera’s, it looks a little like a DSLR but it doesn’t have interchangable lenses. You usually find its lens range has a wide angle (around 28mm in old film camera terms) and a big zoom, some, like the Canon SH60 upto x65 zoom, thats 21-1365 mm in old terms! Bridge camera’s are great for all sorts of situations – landscape, portrait and detail work, the generally have a built in viewfinder too (all be it a digital one)


Pro’s – Versatile with more control than compacts, comfortable to hold,built in viewfinder for better battery life, big/huge zoom range.

Con’s – Compact sized sensor (again, comparable image quality) Viewfinder normally digital and not great quality (B/W viewfiders are crisper) Bulkier than a compact.

Good for – Family/holiday pictures, general photography, basic wildlife.

Not good for – Sports (Long zoomis good but slow response can hinder great shots. Low light photography even with flash. High end profesional photography.

CSC or CompactSystem Camera’s.

These are getting very popular as an alternative to a DSLR, a great step up from a bridge camera and if you decide to go the whole hog in the future to DSLR you could take your lenses with you! (Although think carefully and research, some are a lot more expensive that a good budget DSLR) Thats right, CSC’s allow you the use of interchangable lenses but you need to rememberwhat ever one you go for you can only buy lenses that mount to that body (with a few exeptions, Panasonic and Olympus both use the micro four thirds standard both can use each others lenses) although you can get third party lenses cheaper, Sigma or Tamron to name a few. Some have touch screens, some have dials, most, but not all, have larger APS-C size sensors so have much better image quality than compacts or bridge cameras.


Pro’s – Accept interchangable lenses which could move up to your DSLR if you make that step, lots of control over features, some have touch screen – WiFi and NFC (thats more than an iPhone has) and (some) a bigger sensor than compact or bridge cameras.

Con’s – Bulkier than compacts, Auto focus not as fast as DSLR, most have no viewfinder, check it has a large sensor as a small one will let down a good lens on the front! A macro lens will be needed for close up work.

Good for – Everything with the right lens and semi professional work.

Not good for – close up work without a macro lens.

DSLR – Digital Single Lens Reflex.

A DSLR is bigger than the other cameras because it uses a mirror meaning what the sensor see’s you see through the viewfinder – WYSIWYG or What You See Is What You Get!

FRT VARI ANGLE MON w EF-S 18-135mm IS STM_pack_tcm14-1064827

Manufacturers like Canon and Nikonhave HUGE lens line ups of various quality and focal lentghs, mega wide to mega zoom (And mega price! From £97 for the humble 50mm prime to a stagering £120,000(used, I can’t find a price for a new one!)  for the EF 1200mm f/5.6 L USM!)


Some have ‘LiveView’ meaning you can use the large screen on the backfor taking pictures – but at a price – slower focusing and no good for moving subjects or hand held photography. All offer full manual control to semi automatic to fully automatic, and a huge variaty of filters for element protection to special effects.

Pro’s – If you move from a CSC camera, for example the Canon M3, to a Canon DSLR your lenses will move with you. Also if you are moving from a Canon film camera those lenses will migrate too, although a Canon digital (EFS) lens won’t fit a film or ‘Full frame’ DSLR. This is the same with all manufacturers. High image quality from the larger image sensors. Fast AF (AutoFocus) when using the viewfinder (And fast lenses) Lots of control, from fully auto to fully manual. Comfortable to hold.

Con’s – Bulky. Can be quiet complex for beginers. Lens prices can be astronomical. Seperate lens needed for macro work.

Good for – Well, everything the others are good at. Profesional work IF good quality lenses are used.

Not good for – Erm… Putting in your pocket?

This is just a general skirt over the different cameras available, there are more, a lot more, but the prices are way out of reach for most and unless you beg me to, I won’t go into them. There are of course other factors to think about when buying your camera, like I said earlier, price is one, memory is another, I’d suggest getting two or three smaller cards than one big card, yes it will cost a little more but if you are away and your card packs up or it accidently gets wiped you will lose everything (There are programs to buy that can recover images but they are expensive and not guaranteed to work), where as if you lose one small card you still have back up. Don’t put all your eggs in one basket!

here is a list of cameras on the market at the moment that personally I think are pretty good deals, yes they are in the UK but there should be similar across the globe.

C=Compact – B=Bridge – CSC= Compact System Camera – DSLR=Digital SLR

Below £100
Canon IXUS 160 Digital Camera – £70 C
Panansonic Lumix TZ55 16MP 20x Zoom Compact – £99 C                        £100 – £200
Nikon Coolpix S7000 – £130 C
Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ72EB-K – £199 B
£200 – £300
Sony A5000 + 16-50 lens – £249 (With 55-200 lens £449) CSC
Panasonic TZ70/ZS50 £260 C
Nikon D3200 Digital SLR Camera in Black + 18-55mm VR II Lens – £269 DSLR
Canon EOS 1200D Digital SLR + 18-55mm DC Lens – £279 DSLR
Canon SX60 HS – £295 B
£300 – £400
Nikon D3300 Digital SLR in Black + 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 VR II Lens – £329 DSLR                                                                                                                        Fuji X-M1 16-50 lens £350 CSC
Nikon D3200 Digital SLR + 18-55mm VR II Lens + Tamron 70-300mm Lens – £346 DSLR
Canon EOS 1200D Digital SLR + 18-55mm DC lens + Tamron 70-300mm Lens – £356 DSLR
Canon EOS 100D Digital SLR + Canon 18-55mm IS STM Lens + Tamron 70-300mm Lens – £409 DSLR
Sony A58 Digital SLT Camera Triple lens Kit 18-55, 55-200 and 50mm prime – £429 DSLR
Canon EOS 700D Digital SLR + 18-55mm IS STM Lens – £469 DSLR
Canon EOS M3 + 18-55mm IS STM Lens £499
£500 -£600
Nikon D3300 Digital SLR + 18-55mm VR Lens + 55-300mm VR Lens – £529 DSLR
Canon EOS 700D Digital SLR + 18-135mm IS STM Lens – £579 DSLR
Canon EOS 750D Digital SLR + 18-135mm IS STM Lens – £739 DSLR
Canon EOS 70D Digital SLR Camera + 18-55mm IS STM Lens £745 DSLR
Nikon D5500 Digital SLR in Black + 18-140mm VR Lens – £762 DSLR
Nikon D7100 Digital SLR with 18-105mm Lens – £828 DSLR
Canon EOS 760D Digital SLR + 10-18mm IS STM Lens – £830 DSLR
Nikon D7100 Digital SLR + 18-140mm VR Lens – £890 DSLR
Canon EOS 70D Digital SLR Camera + 18-135mm IS STM Lens – £939 DSLR
Canon EOS 70D Digital SLR + 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6 IS Lens – £1099 DSLR

Obviously the list is endless and completly your own personal choice. If you are looking at buying a new camera and require any help then feel free to email me or on my BBMC C0045B753 and open up channel chat!

Let me know what you want next! I’m thinking of Depth of Field photography but let me know!



Rev Grim

From BlackBerry Channels to blogs you'll find me bashing the sheeple! I've had 25+ years in the photographic trade, from taking pictures to printing and processing to profesional sales. I like to try and make it simple to learn rather than baffle with all the long words, new comers get confused to quickly and give up! Other than that I'll be here listening to my music the way its supposed to be listened too... FULL VOLUME! BBMC C0021F214(Rocks) - C000117D3(Temple) - C0045B753(Photography) or @UTBRock - @CRAPPLEBASHING

  • james pisano

    That’s very cool Grim! Really interesting overview. How do you know so much about cameras and photography anyway?

    My dad has an old Cannon AE1 with several lenses, an autowinder and flash. I was thinking of borrowing it to take some pics for fun since he’s not using it and he probably won’t want it back.

    • I’ve been doing photography for 30+ years now. I’ve done it all, weddings, portrait, commercial and sports. I’ve been a pro equipment salesman and a commercial printer. I’ve used every type of camera from 35mm to 10×8 plate cameras, and they are huge buggers to operate!
      I loved my AE1, great bit of kit, have fun with it!