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    Why not go bridge? Then with a latest Panasonic or Canon you can go from macro to well, the Panasonic FZ18 (three generations old now) on my desk goes up to a 35mm equivalent of 504mm. Moved from that up to the Panasonic G2 micro 4/3, didn't go up to DSLR as the lenses for DSLRs are much bigger - my 45-200mm Panasonic Lens is much smaller than the equivalent Nikon DSLR one, although it is still fairly big compared to a Bridge.
    However, if you go bridge you will sacrifice some image quality due to the size of the actual sensor (the part that mimics the film) and ISO range/performance. That said, they can be much cheaper, and a quick search for FZ18s like mine on Ebay shows that they can go for arounnd £70 lol. Bridge cameras can usually take filters as well, so you can put your UV filter on the end to protect the lens (advisable) when you get it, and you can put your Polariser on as well etc. Most Bridge cameras also come with a hood as well, so that aspect is covered, and they quite often still have all your "Auto" modes if you don't want to go full manual just yet. And, although some entry level DSLRs and the micro 4/3s do (well the Olympus ones are slightly odd in this regard) they all have "live view" although it is merely usually another LCD screen that you look at with one eye...

    Yes I know, I like bridge cameras and am slightly biased

    Do not get the Sony Nex (the autofocus telephoto lens costs > £600).

    Something like:



    sounds good
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