Bridge Cameras Review

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Benefits of Digital Bridge Cameras

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.

Bridge Cameras: What to Look For

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.

Image Quality
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.

Design
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.

Features
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.

 
 
Electronics » Digital Cameras » Bridge Cameras Review
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Rank #1#2#3#4#5#6#7#8#9#10
10-9  Excellent
8-6    Good
5-4    Average
3-2    Poor
1-0    Bad
Sony Cybershot HX200V Fujifilm FinePix HS30 Nikon Coolpix P520 Panasonic Lumix FZ60 Nikon Coolpix P510 Fujifilm FinePix S8400W Olympus SP-820UZ Canon Powershot SX500 Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ200 Pentax X-5
Sony Cybershot HX200V Fujifilm FinePix HS30 Nikon Coolpix P520 Panasonic Lumix FZ60 Nikon Coolpix P510 Fujifilm FinePix S8400W Olympus SP-820UZ Canon Powershot SX500 Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ200 Pentax X-5
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Lowest Price
Visit Sony Cybershot HX200V
$407.09
Visit Fujifilm FinePix HS30 EXR
$409.00
Visit Nikon Coolpix P520
$329.99
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$435.89
Visit Nikon Coolpix P510
$329.00
Visit Fujifilm FinePix S8400W
$231.99
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$209.99
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$251.00
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$549.13
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$179.95
Ratings
9.80
9.38
8.90
8.50
8.48
7.65
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7.50
7.48
7.18
10
9
8
7
6
5
4
3
2
1
10.00
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10.00
8.75
9.38
9.38
9.38
9.38
9.38
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10.00
8.75
8.75
7.50
8.75
8.13
8.75
7.50
10.00
7.50
7.50
6.88
9.38
8.13
7.50
6.88
7.50
8.13
7.50
6.88
6.88
6.88
7.50
7.50
8.75
7.50
6.25
6.88
8.75
 
Image Quality
STILL PHOTOS           
Resolution (Megapixels) 18.2 16 18.1 16.1 16.1 16.2 14 16 12.1 16
Optical Zoom 30x 30x 42x 24x 42x 44x 40x 30x 24x 26x
Digital Zoom 52x 60x 2x 4x 2x 2x 4x 4x 4x 7.2x
Minimum Focal Length 29mm 24mm 24mm 25mm 24mm 24mm 22.4mm 24mm 25mm 22.3mm
Maximum Focal Length 870mm 720mm 1000mm 672mm 1000mm 1056mm 896mm 720mm 600mm 580mm
ISO Range 100 - 12800 100 - 12800 80 - 6400 100 - 6400 100 - 3200 100 - 3200 80 - 6400 100 - 1600 101 - 6400 100 - 6400
Maximum Shutter Speed (Seconds) 1/4000 1/4000 1/4000 1/2000 1/2000 1/1700 1/2000 1/1600 1/4000 1/1500
VIDEO IMAGERY           
Recording Frames per Second 60 30 30 25 30 60 60 25 60 30
Video Recording 1080p 1080p 1080p 1080p 1080p 1080p 1080p 720p 1080p 1080p
Features
Image Stabilization
Noise Reduction
Burst Shooting
Face Detection
 
Blink Detection
  
 
Panorama Mode
 
In-Camera Editing
Histogram
 
Time-lapse Recording
 
      
Microphone
Global Positioning Satellites (GPS)
 
     
3D Mode
  
   
 
3D Panorama
         
Photo Capture from Movie
         
Design
Design Rating 100 100 90 85 90 75 75 75 80 80
Screen Size (Inches) 3 3 3.2 3 3 3 3 3 3 3
Width (Inches) 4.75 5.1 5 4.74 4.8 4.93 4.09 4.8 4.6 4.7
Height (Inches) 3.5 3.8 3.4 3.18 3.3 3.41 2.75 3.4 3.1 3.4
Depth (Inches) 3.75 4.9 4 3.62 4.1 3.34 3.16 4.5 3.7 4.2
Weight (ounces) 20.32 22.42 19.4 15.84 19.6 18 12 23.6 17.11 17.9
Battery Life (shots per charge) 450 600 250 480 240 540 195 300 200 200
Internal Memory
   
  
Foldout Screen
 
    
Help & Support
Phone Support
Email Support
Forums
Manual
FAQs
 
  
Photography Lessons  
  
 
Tutorials