Bridge cameras are a perfect middle point between DSLR cameras and point-and-shoot cameras. They are similar in size and weight to DSLR devices and won't fit in your pocket, but these cameras offer an alternative to purchasing a DSLR camera and spending hundreds of dollars on a new lens. Bridge cameras have some, but not all, of the manual settings of an entry-level DSLR but retain the accessibility of snapshot cameras. The lenses are attached so you won't be able to switch them like you could on a DSLR, but these lenses offer more than 18 times the zoom capabilities offered by compact cameras. And these cameras still give you the ability to adjust the aperture, f-stop and ISO settings.
Many of the quality features of a DSLR camera are also on bridge cameras. Cameras like the Sony Cybershot HX200V, Fujifilm FinePix HS30 and Nikon Coolpix P520 have full-range apertures and high-powered lenses with up to a 48x optical zoom. The cameras also have high-sensitivity CMOS and CCD sensors, which allow for noise-free shooting. You will even find that many cameras on our lineup are perfect for shooting the night sky, creating beautiful time lapses and perfectly framing your kids' sporting events. For more information regarding digital cameras, and even tips on photography, check out our articles on bridge cameras.
From extra features to manual shooting settings, bridge cameras don’t just stop at point and shoot. We broke down the important features of what to look for with these high-zoom cameras.
This is the core of any digital camera and makes all the difference if you are printing pictures. The best cameras shoot at a resolution of at least 16 megapixels, because with more megapixels comes the ability to print clearer and larger photos, which is useful if you want to frame or scrapbook your photos. Look for features like a broad ISO range, at least 100 to 3200, so you can adjust your camera settings to fit the lighting of the environment. These cameras let you get close to your subjects by offering an optical zoom of at least 24x.
We looked for cameras that featured intelligent noise-reduction processing, which is great for shooting in low-light situations. The best bridge cameras also offer a wide range of shutter speeds and aperture settings. And you should find a camera that shoots HD video at a minimum resolution of 1280 x 720.
Bridge cameras take many of the specifications you may find on point-and-shoot cameras, but design is not one of them. These cameras are bulky and can be heavy, but many feature large LCD displays of at least 3 inches. Some of these screens tilt and flip around making it easy to see what you're shooting from any position. The camera should also have an ergonomic design for added comfort. Plus, this makes it easier to access the buttons on the camera.
Digital cameras are loaded with tools to help your photography skills. The best cameras have burst mode, which lets you take multiple pictures with the touch of the button. Also, many cameras now come with panoramic mode. In this mode, you push the button and you can pan the camera, allowing the camera to automatically stitch all these photos together. And if you are into creating videos, get a camera that has OIS mode to reduce shakiness and blur.
Help & Support
Support with digital cameras goes beyond an email and telephone number. If you are new to the game, find a manufacturer that offers operation guides, lessons on how to use your camera and even professional shooting tips. Many of the manufacturers also have FAQs and support forums where photographers can come together and have discussions.
Bridge cameras give you a great alternative to expensive DSLR cameras. These cameras have exceptional zooming capabilities mixed with amazing quality, fast shutter speeds and are fully customizable. You can benefit from one of these cameras no matter what style of photography you love.