by ʇolɐǝz ǝɥʇ qoq

Submit your Photo
Hall of Fame

Please participate in Meta
and help us grow.

Photography Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for professional, enthusiast and amateur photographers. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I have a Canon SX230 HS. It's a good compact camera but I would like something better.

Do anyone advise me to upgrade my camera to a bridge Sony Nex 5 or it doesn't make sense?

Should I buy a reflex without pass through a bridge?

share|improve this question
up vote 1 down vote accepted

Those two models are very different types of camera:

  • The SX230 is a compact travel-zoom. It has lots of capabilities (including 14X optical zoom) in a small size but its image quality is relatively low. This won't show much in bright daylight and small prints but when shooting indoors and in low-light, quality drops significantly.

  • The NEX 5 is a interchangeable lens camera which lets you use different lenses which you must buy separately. The main advantage is that it uses a large sensor, like a DSLR, so it gives very good image quality. On the other hand, it is much more costly. Compared to the SX230 is will be quite a bit bigger when you include a comparable lens.

Right in between you can find a compact camera like the Nikon Coolpix P7000 which uses a larger sensor than the SX230 but smaller than the NEX 5. Image quality and price will be in between the two. The P7000 also has plenty of controls and is more efficient to use than both the models you are considering.

Finally, if you want high image quality and speed, you have to consider a DSLR. The obvious thing to consider is would you get tired of carrying something that big and heavy? That is why a lot of DSLRs get left at home and people buy a second small camera.

share|improve this answer
Thanks, has the Canon PowerShot S95 HS a larger sensor than the XS230? – Darion Badlydone Jun 22 '11 at 8:32
You are confusing your model number. The Canon Powershot S95 has a larger sensor plus a bright lens that lets more light in. That gives it an additional advantage over other compact cameras other than the Olympus XZ-1. The control of the S95 (and to some extent the XZ-1) are really nice. I did not mention them because you seemed to be looking for something with a long zoom. – Itai Jun 22 '11 at 12:59
That is a really close call! The handling on the S95 is a little better and the performance is quite close. Except the S95's lens does not let as much light in as you zoom in. Both cameras feature stabilization and are equally good as far as I can tell. – Itai Jun 24 '11 at 18:04

That depends primarily upon whether (and if so, how badly) you want an optical viewfinder or really fast focusing. The focusing difference is due to using contrast-detection autofocus instead of phase detection. While slower, this does have an advantage of being more accurate. Other than that, these have some distinct advantages over SLR/SLR cameras (essentially all of which the share with micro-4/3rds cameras).

One major advantage is that the camera is much smaller and lighter than an SLR (or SLT). Another advantage is that since the front of the camera is quite close to the sensor, you can use an adapter to mount almost any kind of lens you want to it. Sony makes lenses specifically for it, and has an adapter to use Alpha SLR/SLT lenses, but you can get 3rd party adapters to use virtually anything else you feel like, such as lots of truly classic lenses (e.g., screw mount Leicas). This is a popular enough pass-time that in the last year or so, prices on lots of such old lenses have risen considerably (though that often means $30 instead of $15). Of course, using these old lenses means giving up quite a few modern conveniences (e.g., auto focus).

As far as image quality goes, however, the NEX cameras the same size of sensor (APS-C) as most SLRs, and they're quite a new design as well. Overall, image quality is extremely competitive with most SLRs. For what it's worth, micro-4/3rds cameras use a sensor that's somewhat smaller so they get a 2x crop factor instead of 1.5x, but they're still a lot larger than most P&S cameras.

share|improve this answer

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.