Recently, after the battery of my 10 year old digital camera – a Kodak DX6490 – started to show signs of age and decide not to retain charge for more than on day, I thought it was time to look for a new camera. Given that this model is a compact bridge camera with 10X optical zoom (38mm – 380mm for the pedantic readers), I decided to look for a feature rich bridge camera. DSLR was not an option due to the cost.
After searching for some time, I came across the Canon SX 50HS and the Nikon P600, both of which are feature-rich bridge cameras with enviable zoom range (50X and 60X respectively). By the time I completed my comparisons and decided to make a purchase, the 50HS was replaced by the 60HS and the P600 was replaced by the P610 (50HS was announced about 3 years ago and was due for a refresh, while the P600 was refreshed fairly quickly, with the P610 sporting a GPS).
And then came the master ‘spanner in the wheel’. During a discussion with a colleague who is a photography enthusiast, my attention was brought to the size of the sensor used by the digital cameras. It was then I came to know that the Canon and the Nikon have a sensor size of 1/2.3″ (6.17mm x 4.55mm), while a DSLR with and APSC-C sensor has a sensor of size 22.3mm x 14.9mm for the Canon and 23.5 x 15.6 mm for the Nikon. As the size of the sensor is directly responsible for the quality of the photography, my colleague was trying to persuade me to go for a DSLR. But I was steadfast against it due to the cost.
Then I made a startling discovery – the size of the sensor of my 10 year old Kodak is 1/2.5″ (5.744 x 4.308 mm), which is almost the same as the newer bridge cameras. So, I was essentially going to shell out money to buy the same sensor size (obviously, there are many other features and also the fact that many more pixels have been packed on the sensor in the last 10 years – from 4 mega pixels to 16 mega pixels).
And that is where I am stuck presently. After much thought, it looks like there is no alternative but to buy a DSLR (while completely ignoring the most obvious answer of buying a new battery). The outcome will largely depend on how big a hole I dig for myself while blabbering about the fact that I want to buy a new digital camera.
For an image that shows the sensor sizes, look here http://cameradecision.com/sensorimage1/sensor1-Nikon-Coolpix-P610.png