Loving a bridge camera is such an easy thing to do especially if you are handling one of the best. Given the fact that they come with the functionality and ergonomics of DSLR and top-notch mirrorless camera, the best bridge cameras may feel like the perfect solution for most photographers. Additionally, these cameras are endowed with fixed ultra zoom range which makes for a versatile, real range shooting.
However, as there are many products on the market, choosing the best bridge cameras might be a hassle for some. That is why we’ve compiled a list of ten of the best products around in this review. We’ve also chipped in a detailed guide and some tips to ensure that you know and choose only the best bridge cameras.
TD;LR - 10 Best Bridge Cameras:
- PANASONIC LUMIX FZ80 60X Zoom 4K Digital Camera
- Sony Cyber Shot RX10 IV 25x Optical Zoom
- Minolta 35x Optical Zoom Wifi Digital Camera
- Canon PowerShot SX530 Digital Camera w/ 50X Optical Zoom
- PANASONIC LUMIX FZ300 Long Zoom Digital Camera
- Nikon COOLPIX P900 83x Optical Zoom Digital Camera
- Canon Powershot SX60 65x Optical Zoom Digital Camera
- Nikon COOLPIX P1000 3000 mm optical zoom
- Kodak PIXPRO Astro Zoom Digital Camera
- Sony Cyber-Shot DSC-HX400V Wi-Fi Digital Camera
1. PANASONIC LUMIX FZ80 60X Zoom 4K Digital Camera
While the Lumix FZ80 doesn't offer the best features you can find in a high-end camera like the Nikon P1000, it does offer some immaculate features that makes it stand out as one of the best bridge cameras on the market. First off, the FZ80 is incredibly cheap for the features it offers. At a price point that's close to 300 dollars, you'll have to intensify your search to find a product that's just as good as the FZ80.
Next is its ability to put out 4K videos and capture incredible 4K photos. Provided with Post Focus and internal Focus Stacking, this camera can shoot photos up to 30 fps. And it also allows you to set your focus points even after the photo has been taken.
Third is its 60X zoom, which is such a huge feature for a camera in its price range. With its 18.1 megapixel MOS sensor, Power Optical Image Stabilization, and Vario lens, this compact camera allows you to take far off moments in grand styles. You also get Wi-Fi connectivity, USB charging, and low light performance with the package.
2. Sony Cyber Shot RX10 IV 25x Optical Zoom
If you are looking for an all-in-one shooting solution, the Sony Cyber Shot RX10 IV may be the best option for you. Building on the RX10 III, Sony has packed this camera with a host of incredible features. It comes with a large sensor, fast zoom lens, and a performance that would make some DSLR cameras jealous.
The Sony Cyber Shot RX10 IV comes with a 20.1MP one inch sensor. Add that to Sony's EXMOR RS CMOS and the BIONZ X image processor, you get a performance that rivals that of many DSLR cameras from this RX10 camera. With full auto exposure and auto focus functionality, this RX10 camera runs at 24fps and has the ability to focus in just 0.03 seconds. Its Zeiss Vario Sonar T 24-600mm/f 2.4-4 optic provides you with a fast variable maximum aperture and a massive zoom range. This allows you to take impeccable images in broad and tight vistas, including wildlife image.
You may be thinking the extreme focal length may cause some serious camera shake. Well, for this Sony RX10, this isn't the case. The RX10 IV comes with Sony's SteadyShot image stabilization system, which allows you to take pictures at 4.5 shutter speeds lower than what you'd normally need to get a sharp shot.
3. Minolta 35x Optical Zoom Wifi Digital Camera
The Minolta camera is one of the best and cheapest products around. At a price point below 195 dollars, this camera is endowed with many beginner and pro friendly features. While it doesn't have the 60X zoom like the Panasonic Lumix above, the Minolta comes with face detection and panorama shooting capabilities.
Not only that. With its 20MP sensor, the Minolta has the ability to capture stills that can be enlarged or cropped without compromising their quality. Unlike the Sony and Panasonic reviewed above, the video recording of the Minolta is in 1080P HD at 60fps. It also features Wi-Fi connectivity, 27 scene modes, and a bright 3.0 LCD display.
4. Canon PowerShot SX530 Digital Camera w/ 50X Optical Zoom
The range of your object doesn't matter to the Canon Powershot SX50. Whether the object is far out or close to you, its 50X zoom capabilities ensure that you are able to vividly capture the moment. Featuring advanced systems like Zoom Framing Assist and Intelligent IS, the Powershot gives you the power to take only clear and focused pictures and videos.
Its 16MP sensor delivers high sensitivity and great imaging performance for improved ISO capture while removing noise. You also get a brilliant capture in low light as well as excellent tracking performance. Bring out the professional photographer/artist in you as you utilize the Creative Shot and Hybrid Auto modes embedded into the SX530. Sharing is easy. With Wi-Fi, NFC, and Bluetooth, you can easily share your photos to your devices for more touch ups and online sharing.
5. PANASONIC LUMIX FZ300 Long Zoom Digital Camera
If you are a novice or an enthusiast looking to get one of the best bridge cameras on the market, then this Panasonic Lumix should be at the top of your list. Known as the FZ330 outside the US, the FZ300 was created back in 2015. Why, then, is it one of the best cameras around now?
While its got the standard 23-600mm, it boosts that up with a f/2.8 maximum aperture. This makes the FZ300 one of the best cameras for long range shooting as its zooming is just perfect. Add that to the high resolution electronic viewfinder and its splash resistant body, and you'll have a camera that's ahead of its peers.
With its WiFi connectivity, vari-angle touchscreen, and top-notch image stabilization system, the FZ300 is definitely a good value for money. You are sure to create awesome projects with this camera, especially if you are a novice or a photography enthusiast.
6. Nikon COOLPIX P900 83x Optical Zoom Digital Camera
Nikon is a boss when it comes to optical zoom range. And the Nikon Coolpix P900 is here to back that claim up. Yes, you've seen cameras with 60 and 65x zoom, but this Nikon bridge camera beats them off with an incredible 83x zoom. In fact, the P900 is considered to be a bridge camera with one of the longest zoom in the world.
However, if you are going to be enjoying that zoom benefit, you'll have to live with the weight of the P900. Other features you get with this snapper includes NFC and WiFi connectivity, an articulate LCD screen, vari-angle display and a high-resolution eye level viewfinder. However, you need to note that this snapper is neither capable of taking pictures in raw format or shooting video in 4K.
7. Canon Powershot SX60 65x Optical Zoom Digital Camera
Looking for a camera that offers speedy operation and great autofocus as one of its pros? Then the Canon Powershot SX60 is one of the best options you can go with. Although it has no touch control and you will have to manually activate the viewfinder, this snapper is great on full manual control, image quality, and image stabilization.
With its 65x zoom lenses, this snapper may not be as good in the zooming department like the Nikon above, but its 65x zoom lenses surely gives you an incredible long range performance. Unlike the P900, however, the SX60 allows you to shoot in RAW. You also get NFC and WiFi connectivity with this camera.
8. Nikon COOLPIX P1000 3000 mm optical zoom
We know you think the P900 above is cool, but the P1000 comes with a new definition of cool. Close to the $1000 price point, this is one of the best snappers that offers incredible shooting features. In fact it is the perfect camera bridge between point and shoot and DSLR cameras
First off, the P1000 takes the lead from the P900 in the zoom department. Blessed with a 125x optical zoom range, the P1000 is capable of taking clear shots of long range objects. Want to shoot the Moon, go on; feel like taking a picture or video in wildlife, go ahead. This snapper makes it all easy.
If you are keen on getting a 3000mm lens that performs than most average DSLRs, then the P1000 is for you. Other features that come in the package includes 4K shooting, HDMI out and stereo sound, vibration reduction, and RAW shooting. It's definitely a great value for its price range.
9. Kodak PIXPRO Astro Zoom Digital Camera
Clear and crisp images are hard to come by when they are out of range, but the Kodak Pixpro says you shouldn't worry about it. With its 90x digital zoom and its 22mm lenses, you are sure to get only crystal clear images no matter how far out you zoom.
Enjoy seamless sharing and versatility with the WiFi connectivity packed into this camera. Additionally, you get 360 scan panorama, 5fps maximum burst shooting and an ability to shoot incredible JPEG and RAW images. Its 3 Inch LCD makes the control more intuitive.
10. Sony Cyber-Shot DSC-HX400V Wi-Fi Digital Camera
If you are out to get one of the best superzoom cameras, this is one great option you can go with. The HX400 is one of Sony's premium bridge cameras. The company gave this camera a high quality build and a top notch WiFi connectivity. However, they failed to include RAW abilities and its zoom may not be the best for some.
Be that as it may, the HX400 is still a beast when compared to its peers. At a price in the $400 range, this product allows you a maximum continuous shooting rate of 10fps, 24-2000mm lens and a 20.4MP camera. While it doesn't offer the best zoom, it does offer 4K quality stills and Motion Shot Video features.
Bridge Camera Buyer’s Guide
Due to the fact that there are many different products on the market, getting the perfect bridge camera may be a hassle for you. If you aren’t looking to go through tons of products before choosing one, then make a decision on one of the products in our review. We assure you that the products in our review will help you become better if you are a beginner, and help you fine-tune your skills if you are a pro.
However, for those who would like to get their hands dirty, we’ve arranged some in-depth guide and tips to help you out. Our guide offers some of the best tips to follow when choosing the perfect bridge snapper. Let’s dive right in so you can make a better decision in a faster way.
Are Bridge Cameras as Good as DSLRs?
Simply put, DSLRs are for professionals while bridge cameras are mainly for beginners or enthusiasts. A look at their pros and cons will make this easier to understand.
- They’ve got interchangeable lenses
- Their optical sensors are generally better
- They’ve got better macro and zoom capabilities.
- They are heavier and bulkier
- You may need to buy extra lenses
- They are more expensive
- You’ll need to be a pro to operate them
Bridge Camera Pros:
- You don’t need extra lenses
- They are quite affordable
- Thanks to their auto settings, you can operate them easily
- They are lighter, therefore easy to carry around.
- Their low light settings are usually nothing to write home about
- They have limited macro and zoom capabilities
Choosing The Best for You
This simply depends on what your photography aim is. If you don’t have a high budget, or you’re a novice, or you simply want many options without having to spend much, or all three, then choosing the best bridge snapper will do you a lot of good.
However, if you are looking to bring out the best in your photography, looking to achieve a masterpiece, then the DSLR should be one of your best options. Note that if you buy a DSLR camera, you’ll have to stick with the brand when buying lenses too. This means that if your snapper is from Canon, then any extra lens you buy must be from Canon.
Factors to Consider Before Choosing a Bridge Camera
Bridge cameras come with either of two sensors – the CMOS sensor or the CCD sensor. While the CCD is like those used in basic cameras, the CMOS is like the ones being used in DLSRs. This means that the CMOS is larger and since larger is better in this case, the CMOS is the best sensor. Its size allows it a larger area, which, in turn, provides it with more pixels to help analyze and create a better image.
As for the resolution, the megapixel is one of the major deciders. While your final image will have to go through other elements such as maximum aperture and lens quality, the higher the lens is, the better your picture will generally be.
Zoom and Lens
The lens of your camera is no doubt one of the biggest players determining how great your picture is going to turn out. Generally, more expensive cameras come with better lenses that are able to respond to low light situations in a better way than their cheaper counterparts.
Two types of zoom are usually mentioned when bridge cameras are being discussed -the optical zoom and the digital zoom. While optical zoom provides you with what you see by using the camera’s lens optics to actually zoom into what you want to shoot, the digital zoom uses a series of camera technology to digitally enhance the zoom. This can make your final image lose grain or detail.
While this difference may not be noticed in perfect lighting conditions, you are surely going to notice it in low light or other challenging situations. The optical zoom is simply the better of the two.
Viewfinder and LCD Screen
Most bridge cameras come with with a TFT or LCD screen. They are typically 3 inches in size. While some of these screens are fixed, the more expensive ones come with tilted screens and 360 degree rollable screens, which allows for more flexibility and ease of view.
Being in strong lighting or sunlight can make it hard for you to see your screens. This is why it is important to get a camera with an electronic viewfinder. With this feature, you’ll be able to capture anything, even when your screen is difficult to see. It will also make you feel like you’re using a top-notch DSLR. Viewfinders and screens are graded by resolutions, which means that the higher the resolution, the better.
Take the perfect pictures today. Enjoy the point and shoot feel while flexing on the functionality offered by DSLRs. Getting the perfect bridge camera is very easy to do now. All you have to do is either pick a product from our review or just use our buying guide to choose yours on the market.If you liked our article on bridge cameras, please share and comment below what your favorite product is.