Although not very common, the bridge cameras are a good compromise between a compact and a reflex camera. Impressive zoom and wide-angle lenses are just some of the highlights of these cameras: let’s together see which ones to buy.
Dedicated to those who want to maintain a certain quality of shooting without giving up the small size: a bridge camera has everything you need to get into the world of photography.
The bridge camera term derives from the fact that this type of cameras acts as a “bridge” between a traditional SLR camera and a compact camera.
The shape of a bridge camera looks a lot more like SLR as it has a larger lens than a compact or mirrorless lens.
If you’re still not sure what the best camera is for your needs, let’s see together the Bridge Cameras: which one to buy.
Bridge Cameras: Which to Buy
As you understand, a bridge camera tries to maintain the quality and performance of an excellent camera without taking up too much space. It is also called a prosumer camera because it guarantees a professional quality to the average consumer, which does not necessarily have to be a photographer.
With this premise, precisely because the bridges are interposed between two different camera categories so it is clear that they come down to some compromises.
Unlike SLR cameras that require very bulky and expensive lenses, the bridge cameras have a very powerful integrated zoom that allows you to reach far away subjects without getting too close.
This type of camera is highly recommended for those who record documentaries or animal photography without getting too close.
To keep a more compact appearance the lens is integrated, which means that it is not possible to change lenses: a positive aspect because it reduces the equipment size; negative aspect if one thinks of the possibilities offered by other types of objectives.
Budget Bridge Cameras
We start our selection with the budget models, suitable for those who want to experiment without spending too much.
The first product offered by Sony incorporates a 20.1 MP Super HAD CCD image sensor. It has a 35x optical zoom (without loss of quality) that reaches a value of 280x in digital zoom (decreases the quality of the shot).
There is also a 3-inch LCD display that acts as an electronic viewfinder. Moreover, the SteadyShot image stabilization and 360° panoramic shots are also very interesting.
Canon PowerShot SX530
|Canon PowerShot Digital Camera [SX530] with 50x Optical Zoom, Built-in Wi-Fi and NFC - Black||$249.00||Buy on Amazon|
Another very interesting product in the budget segment produced by Canon.
It integrates a 16MP High-Sensitivity CMOS sensor combined with the DIGIC 4+ processor. The 50x optical zoom allows close- up shots and, with advanced systems like Intelligent IS and Zoom Framing Assist, it helps you track your subject easily and capture it with accurate focus and clarity.
It has a capability to record video in 1080p Full HD resolution and there is also Wi-Fi and NFC connectivity to quickly share content or to control the camera remotely.
Mid-range Bridge Cameras
We continue with more performing cameras, which guarantee a good quality in most of the shooting conditions.
Nikon Coolpix B500
The B500 has a 16MP 1/2.3″ CMOS sensor that allows you to record video in Full HD.
The 40x optical zoom can be extended up to 80x in Dynamic Fine Zoom mode, and the Nikkor optics guarantee excellent performance.
Stabilization is also present here and thanks to Bluetooth 4.1, it will be possible to communicate with the smartphone using the SnapBridge application.
Canon PowerShot SX540
|Canon PowerShot SX540 Digital Camera w/ 50x Optical Zoom - Wi-Fi & NFC Enabled (Black)||$349.00||Buy on Amazon|
Evolution of the previously analyzed model, the SX540 from Canon has a 20.3MP CMOS sensor, paired with DIGIC 6 Image Processor and a 50x optical zoom that comes digitally to 100x.
The 24mm wide-angle lens allows framing landscapes, videos are recorded in Full HD and 5-axis stabilization is also available.
There is no lack of Wi-Fi and NFC connectivity.
Panasonic Lumix FZ80
|PANASONIC LUMIX FZ80 4K 60X Zoom Camera, 18.1 Megapixels, DC VARIO 20-1200mm Lens, F2.8-5.9, 4K 30p...||$297.99||Buy on Amazon|
Panasonic’s one of the popular bridge cameras, it has an 18.1MP sensor with an ultra-wide 20-1200mm LUMIX DC VARIO lens.
The 60x optical zoom, 120x in digital one and video can be recorded in both Full HD and 4K resolution.
Very interesting is the Post Focus function, which allows you to set your desired focus points after the photo has been taken. In addition, selecting several focus points via the Focus Stacking feature provides greater depth of focus.
Sony Cybershot DSC-HX350
|Sony Cybershot DSC-HX350 20.4MP Compact Digital Camera with 50x Optical Zoom||No ratings yet||Currently not available||Buy on Amazon|
The Sony HX350 offers a 20.4MP Exmor R CMOS sensor combined with 24mm wide-angle Carl Zeiss lens.
The Bionz X processor allows you to capture more details in photos, trying to avoid noise, while the 50x optical zoom allows you to reach faraway subjects. The digital one reaches up to 810x zoom.
You can also record Full HD videos with Optical SteadyShot.
Panasonic Lumix FZ300
|PANASONIC LUMIX FZ300, 12.1 Megapixel, 1/2.3-inch Sensor, 4K Video, WiFi, Splash & Dustproof Body,...||$397.99||Buy on Amazon|
We conclude mid-range segment with the Panasonic FZ300, which features a 12.9MP 1/2.3″ MOS sensor combined with a LEICA DC 25-600mm lens.
It allows you to record videos in Full HD and 4K where Post Focus technology also remains.
The rugged design of this FZ300 allows it to be resistant to water splashes and dust, and there is also 3.0-inch adjustable TFT LCD monitor with 0.39-inch OLF LVF viewfinder.
High-end Bridge Cameras
We conclude this section with the top class cameras from the popular brand. Let’s see which of these offer breathtaking performance!
Nikon Coolpix P900
|Nikon COOLPIX P900 Digital Camera with 83x Optical Zoom and Built-In Wi-Fi(Black)||$596.95||Buy on Amazon|
Just yesterday, Nikon launched a new camera in this same segment called Coolpix P1000, which already up for pre-orders, but here we are talking about his junior Coolpix P900 which has a 16MP back-illuminated CMOS sensor.
The 83x optical zoom, extensible to Dynamic Fine Zoom 166x, and 24-2000mm Nikkor lens completes it.
Among the peculiarities of this bridge, we find the PSAM mode dial, much like a DSLR to control the aperture and shutter speed to control your shots exactly as you want them or overcome difficult shooting situations. You can also find the Wi-Fi and GPS connectivity.
Panasonic Lumix FZ1000
|PANASONIC LUMIX FZ1000 4K Point and Shoot Camera, 16X LEICA DC Vario-ELMARIT F2.8-4.0 Lens, 21.1...||$497.99||Buy on Amazon|
The Lumix FZ1000 has a 20.1MP MOS sensor combined with a Leica DC 25-400 mm lens.
The 16x optical zoom is greatly expanded in electronic mode, but the real highlight of this camera is 4K video recording, Wi-Fi and focusing with DFD technology.
Panasonic Lumix FZ2500
|PANASONIC LUMIX FZ2500 4K Point and Shoot Camera, 20X LEICA DC Vario-ELMARIT F2.8-4.5 Lens, 21.1...||$997.99||Buy on Amazon|
Evolution of the model just mentioned above, it mounts a large 1-inch 20.1MP MOS sensor combined with a wide-angle Leica DC Vario Elmarit f2.8 – 4.5 lens that achieves a 20x optical zoom.
Videos can also be recorded in 4K and Full HD up to 200mbps.
Sony Cyber-Shot RX10 IV
|Sony Cyber‑Shot RX10 IV with 0.03 Second Auto-Focus & 25x Optical Zoom (DSC-RX10M4)||$1,598.00||Buy on Amazon|
At the end of this guide, we find the high-end RX10 IV camera model, Sony’s flagship bridge camera with a 20.1MP 1″ back Illuminated Exmor RS stacked CMOS sensor with ZEISS Vario-Sonnar T 24-600mm3 f.2.4-F4 ultra-zoom lens.
It also integrates a fast Hybrid AF system with 315 phase-detection AF points covering approx. 65% of the frame. The touch display allows you to focus directly with a touch.
You can record 4L video and Super Slow Motion video at 960fps.
Alternatively, you can also bet on his younger brother the RX10 III:
Other Useful Guides
We have just seen the requirements for a good bridge camera. If they didn’t fully convince you? Do not worry: there are many other types of cameras that can do for you, which is why we leave you with a selection of articles and useful guides on the subject. Enjoy the reading!
- Panasonic Mirrorless: Which to Buy
- Best Compact SLR Camera: Which One I Should Buy
- Best 4K SLR Cameras: Which One I Should Buy
- Underwater Action Cam: Which One I Should Buy
- Best 360 Video Camera: Which One I Should Buy
- Best Action Camera: Which One I Should Pick
- Best Compact 4K Camera: Which One Should I Buy
- Best Underwater Camera: Which one to Buy