The Best Bridge Cameras
What is a bridge camera? Well, a bridge camera is one which is basically a powerful compact camera with long zoom lens akin to a DSLR along with a similar styling. These are quite popular with the photography enthusiasts who cannot afford a good DSLR camera, and for whom, compact cameras are too mediocre. Besides, these provide you with the power of the DSLR camera without you having to carry a bag full of lenses and other accessories typical of a DSLR.
What’s more is that the bridge cameras of today provides you with DSLR facilities starting from wide aperture lens and brilliant controls to Wifi and the ability to shoot pictures in Raw files.
If you are planning to get yourself a good bridge camera with all the superior techniques and controls, read on to find the best in the market:
1. Panasonic Lumix FZ1000
• Pixel count: 20.1
• Sensor size: CMOS, 1-inch
• Maximum continuous shooting rate: 12fps
• Screen type: 3-inch LCD, 921,000 dots
Panasonic’s flagship camera, the Lumix FZ1000 packs in a great lens with 16x optical zoom (similar to a 25-400mm in DSLR) and a great 1-inch sensor with 20.1 million pixels. The lens used in this camera is the superior technology enabled Leica DC Vario-Elmarit that offers a maximum aperture of f/4 at its narrowest and f/2.8 at its widest point. To prevent the camera from taking blurred pictures, it is provided with Optical Image Stabilizer with Hybrid 5-axis.
An updated version of Venus Engine forms the image processor for this camera. This provides great gradation, an improved resolution, proper noise control and brilliant colour reduction. It is also adept to capture 4k videos at MP4 format with a speed of 25 (PAL) fps. This provides you with the ability to view 8MP still photographs on a television with 4k resolution. The camera is also equipped with 49 AF points along with a customized multi-AF mode to use rows, blocks and columns of AF points.
The Panasonic model is also 2,359,000-dot electronic OLED viewfinder along with a vari-angle LCD. However, the LCD is not electronic providing many tech-friendly photographers much discomfort. The camera also provides you with the ability of shooting raw files at HDR mode. If you don’t mind a bit bulky camera around, this camera may be the perfect bridge camera for the photography enthusiasts.
2. Canon Powershot SX50 HS
• Pixel count: 12.1Mp
• Sensor size: CMOS, 1/2.3-inch
• Screen type: 2.8-inch LCD, 461,000 dots
• Maximum video resolution: 1080p
• Maximum continuous shooting rate: 13fps
Now, here’s a bridge camera for you that offers you as much as a mammoth 50x optical zoom lens that is equivalent to a 24-1200mm DSLR lens! Had you been an SLR user, you would have had to shell out quite a fortune to get hold of such a zooming lens.
While at 24mm range, you shall be able to capture vivid landscape with great detailing, at 1200mm, you shall be able to capture with full details all the distant objects and events taking place at a faraway distance. However, at aperture f/3.5 and f//6.5, this camera doesn’t allow you with the scope offered by Sony’s RX10. The ability to shoot raw files along with the beautiful manual control over the exposure makes this camera a great one for the beginners.
The only flaw with this camera is its electronic viewfinder that automatically does not open up as you raise it to your eye. You shall have to double-press the display button if you wish to turn it on. However, at its present cost and with the other features, this camera is a treasure to possess.
3. Sony Cyber-Shot RX10
• Pixel Count: 20.2MP
• Sensor Size: 1-inch, CMOS
• Screen Type: 1,290,000-dot 3-inch LCD
• Maximum Video Resolution: 1080p
• Continuous Shooting Rate: 10fps
One of the best bridge cameras in the market, the Sony RX10 offers you style and performance in a compact form. It comes with a large 1-inch sensor of 20.2million pixels along with a 8.3x optical zoom lens. The lens offers a constant f/2.8 wide aperture. This brilliant aperture range makes the camera shoot amazing pictures even in low light sensitivity.
Although the sensor is same as the beautiful RX100 II, the Sony RX10 uses the premium Bionz X image processor that is much faster than its credible predecessor. Manual controls along with an ability to shoot in raw mode make it quite a star camera. It is also equipped with a 1.40million dot EVF offering good resolution, and a screen with rear-tilting facility, too. To enable easy sharing and edit, the camera is equipped with NFC and WiFi facilities, too. If you want to add an external flash, there’s a hotshot provided for the same also.
All in all, it is a great bridge compact camera with beautiful features and techniques. Although its price has dropped considerably now, yet you may find entry-level DSLRs at this range.
4. Sony CyberShot HX400V
• Pixel count: 20.4MP
• Sensor Size: 1/2.3-inch CMOS
• Screen: 921million dots, 3-inch LCD
• Max Video Resolution: 1080p
• Max Shooting Rate: 10fps
Another great camera by Sony, the CyberShot HX400V provides you with a gigantic 50x optical zoom lens that is equivalent to 24-1200mm. This is further aided by an aperture range of f/2.8 and f/6.3 through its beautiful Carl Zeiss Vario Sonnar T* lens.
Like the A7 and A7R full frame cameras, this one, too, is backed by Bionz X Processor which reduces the start-up time and implements the AF performance by controlling noise at accelerating ISOs. The camera has a 20.4MP sensor with Exmos R CMOS backlit sensor to facilitate brilliant photography even in low light sensitivity. The EVF is bright and easy to use while the LCD screen, though not touchable, can be tilted to click better photographs.
However, the camera doesn’t allow shooting pictures in raw mode though it vouches for high quality JPEG images. So, if you are okay with a camera that doesn’t allow shooting raw files, this camera may perfectly fit in your bill.
5. Panasonic Lumix FZ200
• Pixel count: 12.1MP
• Sensor Size: 1/2.3-inch CMOS
• Screen: 4.6-million dots, 3-inch LCD
• Video Resolution: 1080p
• Continuous Shooting Range: 12fps
The Panasonic’s latest addition may not provide you with the brilliance of the Canon Powershot SX50HS but it is yet a very intriguing and appealing compact bridge camera at its price. To start with, it comes with a CMOS 12.1megapixel sensor with a 24x zoom lens. It allows for a maximum aperture f/2.8 that makes you click amazing pictures even in low light and get excellent background blur.
Having such a brilliant zoom lens makes this camera perfect for the travel photographers who hate to carry different lenses on the go. The ability to shoot RAW files and the featuring of numerous controls and specifications make this camera a dear to many experienced photographers, too. The LCD at the read is promising, too.
However, metering system is quite awkward that makes way for flat image types. There were noise, too, at lower ISOs as well.