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11 Best Bridge Cameras for 2020 [Ultimate Review]

Aug 31, 2020• Proven solutions

If you love traveling around, the affordable and versatile bridge cameras are the best bet. It has a similar handling style as the DSLRs. The bridge cameras consist of the same types of manual controls, auto modes, and huge built-in zoom lenses for super-telephoto wide-angle photography. You get a neat, comprehensive lens package at affordable rates.

It is one camera with all kinds of features to make your travel light as well as effective.

From wildlife photography to expansive landscapes, the bridge cameras let you shoot high-quality pictures without the hassle of changing lenses or carrying heavy kits. In this article, we have spent 72 hours to pick up 11 best budget bridge cameras for beginners, wildlife, and other factors.

Part 1: Difference Between Bridge Camera and DSLRs

You can focus on two major differences when it comes to DSLRs and bridge cameras. In a few mirrorless cameras or DSLR models, the one-inch sensor is used, and the rest are bigger than that while the bridge cameras have smaller sensors. If you are looking for similar picture quality as DSLRs at affordable prices, you may choose for bridge cameras.

Secondly, you can find built-in lenses that are non-removable in bridge cameras, whereas DSLR gives you the option to change lenses. The bridge cams offer wide-ranging subjects and features, but you cannot swap to the fast prime lens or a super wide-angle lens for low-light photography or change to a macro lens for close-up pictures.

Part 2: Best Bridge Camera for Wildlife

1. PANASONIC Lumix FZ80 4K Bridge Camera

PANASONIC Lumix FZ80 4K Bridge Camera

Specification:

Item Weight - 1.36 lbs

Resolution - 18.1 megapixels

Sensor - 18.9 megapixels

Lens - Lumix DC VARIO camera lens features a super bright F2.8 5.9 aperture range with amazingly stable O.I.S. (Optical Image Stabilizer)

Video Capture Resolution - 4K UHD 2160p

Viewfinder Type - Electronic

The Panasonic LUMIX Digital Camera DC-FZ80K is the perfect bridge camera for travelers. It combines an exclusive 4K Photo with 4K video capture performance that everyone will love to enjoy.

Pros

  • Enjoy photography during your nightlife with impressive low-light performance
  • You may set your desired focus points after clicking a picture with the 4K technology 'Post Focus' feature
  • With Focus stacking feature when you select several focus points, you get greater depth of focus creative freedom
  • The 4K technology with 4K video mode captures up to 4X the resolution (3840 x 2160) of standard Full HD making the exciting scenes and fast-paced actions high quality
  • It perfectly fits in your hand with an ergonomic grip
  • The high-resolution 1,170K-dot viewfinder and rear touch-enabled 3-inch LCD display are clear even in bright sunlight
  • Long zoom camera
  • You get 20mm wide-angle compositions for breathtaking landscapes, to an amazing 60X zoom to capture far off moments
  • 4K video technology enables Ultra HD photography with the innovative 4K Photo feature
  • Capture ultra-high-resolution 4K video at super-fast 30 frames per second
  • Great for birdwatching, zooming in on a face in the crowd, wildlife shots

Cons

  • No Focus Ring, so obstructed zoom is hit or miss
  • Since the aperture only goes to F-8, there's a limit to how much depth you can get
  • Very limited options on the selection wheel
  • Low light conditions for moving subjects are not appealing

2. Nikon COOLPIX P900 Digital Camera

Nikon COOLPIX P900 bridge camera

Specification:

Item Weight - 1.98 pounds

Resolution - 83x Optical Zoom, 166x Dynamic Fine Zoom

Sensor - 16 megapixels CMOS Sensor

Lens – NIKKOR Super ED VR Lens

Video Capture Resolution - FHD 1080p

Viewfinder Type – Electronic

Are you looking for full HD great photos without any hassle? The Nikon COOLPIX P900 Digital Camera is an excellent tool for birding, wildlife, and travel. It comes with point-and-shoot ease and long battery life up to 360 shots per charge. The Nikon COOLPIX is the coolest device with spectacular quality, DSLR style gripping, spinning Vary-angle display, high-resolution Electronic Viewfinder with automatic turns when lifted to your eye, and a PSAM mode control dial.

Pros

  • An enhanced digital zoom effectively doubles that reach to a 4,000mm equivalent
  • Share your great photos on the go, even in remote locations with Nikon Snapbridge
  • Control the COOLPIX P900's aperture and shutter speed to control your shots exactly
  • Built-in GPS and Points of Interest (POI) for creating amazing photo journals
  • Close up function for tiny flowers and bugs is amazing and crystal clear

Cons

  • Long delay for the shutter trip
  • The light meter/color balance remarkably inconsistent and it does not handle extreme lighting conditions well
  • The LCD screen and zooming the lens are not up to the mark
  • The flash is not good

Part 3: Best Bridge Camera for Beginners

3. Kodak PIXPRO Astro Zoom AZ421-BK

Kodak PIXPRO Astro Zoom AZ421-BK

Specification:

Item Weight - 0.98 lb

Resolution - 42x optical zoom

Sensor - 16.1 megapixels

Lens – 24mm wide-angle lens

Video Capture Resolution - HD 720p

Viewfinder Type – fixed LCD

From auto-scenes to object tracking, and post-editing features, Kodak PIXPRO Astro Zoom AZ421-BK is a user-friendly, fun, and zero-hassle camera. If photography is your passion, then performance and passion can go hand in hand when you choose this best bridge camera of all. It comes with a 24mm wide-angle, 3-inch LCD, optical image stabilization, and Li-ion battery.

Pros

  • The plenty of pixels allows you to transform your photos by cropping, zooming, or enlarging without losing out on quality and clarity
  • The CCD sensor ensures your images are with as little noise as possible every time
  • 24mm wide-angle lens lets you capture a bigger and entire picture without snapping any part
  • The Optical Image Stabilization removes the movements and jerks while you take your shots
  • HD video with 720p resolution gives you the precise quality that you have been looking for
  • A green reusable Li-Ion battery helps you to keep using it even on the go

Cons

  • Often the advanced features of the camera can pose a problem for complete amateur users
  • Battery issues, unable to recharge

4. Sony Cyber-shot DSC-H300

Sony Cyber-shot DSC-H300 bridge camera

Specification:

Item Weight - 1.95 lbs

Resolution - 20.1 megapixel plus 35x zooms

Sensor - 20.1 megapixels

Lens – 35X Optical zoom lens built-in

Video Capture Resolution - HD 720p

Viewfinder Type – Electronic

The smart, compact, 720p Sony Cyber-shot DSC-H300 is one of the best bridge cameras to offer you high-quality pictures. If you're familiar with cameras, then this is one you can take out of the box and start using. There are more things it can do than you will initially intuit, but it's usable without knowing all the features.

Pros

  • Perfect for the beginners with little knowledge of cameras
  • Easy features make it simple to use
  • Not too heavy and awkward
  • You can zoom and take it back swiftly
  • Easily share on YouTube
  • Shoot up to 100 frames and up to approximately 0.8 frames per second

Cons

  • Poor performance with night/low light photography
  • This camera struggles to focus in the middle' of its zoom capacity

5. Canon PowerShot SX420 Digital Camera

Canon PowerShot SX420 Digital Camera

Specification

Item Weight - 0.72 lb

Resolution - 1280 x 720 video resolution

Sensor - 12 megapixels

Lens – 42x Optical Zoom lens

Video Capture Resolution - HD 720p

Viewfinder Type – fixed LCD

Whether party or vacation, the Canon PowerShot SX420 Digital Camera is a treat for all photographers. With powerful features of this tool, it is one of the best bridge cameras of all time. Canon PowerShot SX420 is compatible with iOS versions 7.1/8.4/9.0, Android smartphone, and tablet versions 4.0/4.1/4.2/4.3/4.4/5.0/5.1.

Pros

  • Built-in Wi-Fi technology allows for on-the-go convenience when you want to share your photos and videos
  • Control the destination of your uploads to share with everyone or to select groups
  • Wi-Fi capability makes posting in real time possible
  • Built-in NFC (Near Field Communication) technology provide fast connectivity with a single tap
  • Image sync function lets you transfer, view, and download images to your compatible smartphone
  • Simply connect wirelessly to your device and access the free Canon Camera Connect app for remote shooting
  • The camera's versatile 42x Optical Zoom, flash, self-timer, and shutter are all under your control
  • High-resolution provides superb image quality even when cropping or making huge prints
  • Smart AUTO is a sophisticated Canon technology that makes getting that great shot as simple as pressing the shutter button
  • 32 predefined shooting situations for still images, and 21 predefined shooting situations for videos
  • ECO Mode helps reduce power consumption for longer battery life

Cons

  • The features are all under auto-mode, and there’s very little you can do outside auto-mode
  • At times, the shutter speed is slow, and focus is lacking when fully zoomed
  • The screen is not that great

Part 4: Best Bridge Camera for Birding

6. Nikon COOLPIX P1000

Nikon COOLPIX P1000 bridge camera

Specification:

Item Weight - 3.12 pounds

Resolution - 3840 x 2160 at 30p / 4k UHD

Sensor - 16.7 megapixels

Lens – 3000mm equivalent NIKKOR ED glass lens

Video Capture Resolution - 4K UHD 2160p

Viewfinder Type – Electronic

This is one of the best bridge cameras for birding. With 3000mm zoom and 4k HD quality video, the Nikon COOLPIX P1000 lets you capture not just the Moon, but the craters, peaks, and valleys of its surface. It is the ultimate and by far the most extreme zoom Nikon till now. It is a game-changer for birders, travel photographers, wildlife, and sports enthusiasts.

Pros

  • Mind-blowing 3000mm zoom, 4k ultra HD video, raw (nrw), macro, time-lapse, and more
  • Dual Detect Optical Vibration Reduction system to stabilize both horizontal and vertical jerks
  • Manual mode allows you to adjust focus, exposure and more during recording
  • HDMI port for recording and playback to an external monitor
  • A microphone jack for optimal sound capture, and a hot-shoe for mounting filmmaking accessories
  • Compact bridge zoom camera design along with convenient external control features
  • Vari-angle functionality lets you frame shots from tricky high or low angles with ease
  • Advanced bird-watching mode optimizes the camera’s settings for capturing elusive creatures

Cons

  • Not durable like a DSLR
  • Lacks precision in buffer for shooting Jpegs

7. Nikon COOLPIX P610 Digital Camera

Nikon COOLPIX P610

Specification

Item Weight - 1.25 pounds

Resolution – 4K HD quality 60x optical zoom

Sensor - 16.0 MP CMOS image sensor

Lens – 60x Optical Zoom lens

Video Capture Resolution - FHD 1080p

Viewfinder Type – Electronic viewfinder, 0.5 cm (0.2-in.) approx. 921k-dot equivalent LCD with the diopter adjustment function (-3 to +3 m-1)

The high-end grip-style design with built-in wifi, GPS, and Near Field Communication technology plus full HD video capabilities makes Nikon COOLPIX P610 Digital Camera one of the best bridge cameras opening a whole new world for shooting. This high-end camera comes in with a 60x optical zoom and NIKKOR ED glass super-telephoto lens for capturing close-ups of distant subjects easily.

Pros

  • Full HD video capabilities
  • Full manual control and advanced shooting modes
  • Built-in GPS record the coordinates of each shot you take
  • Dynamic Fine Zoom, an enhanced digital zoom function that effectively doubles your reach to a whopping 120x zoom
  • Dual Detect Optical VR improves VR performance using enhanced detection accuracy for steady and sharp photos
  • Share your photos on the go, even in remote locations with Wi-Fi & NFC enabled COOLPIX P610
  • Built-in GPS and Points of Interest (POI) for creating amazing photo journals
  • Artistic shooting modes, effects, and filters

Cons

  • Does not have an external charger
  • Focus issue while recording

Part 5: Best Budget Bridge Camera

8. Canon SX530 HS Powershot

Canon SX530 HS Powershot bridge camera

Specification:

Item Weight -     0.97 lb

Resolution – Full HD video at 30p

Sensor - 16.0 Megapixel High Sensitivity CMOS sensor

Lens – 50x Optical Zoom

Video Capture Resolution - FHD 1080p

Viewfinder Type – None

The Canon SX530 HS Powershot comes with 50x zoom, beautifully and seamlessly capturing the out of reach subjects easily. The comfortable ergonomic grip and advanced systems like Intelligent IS, and Zoom Framing Assist helps you to capture the subject easily and quickly.

Pros

  • The powerful 50x Optical Zoom lets you capture the details that make your photography stand out
  • Secure ergonomic grip makes handheld shooting easy and comfortable
  • Intelligent IS analyzes camera movement and applies the best shake correction method for the shooting situation for steady images
  • Built-in Wi-Fi technology and the Canon Camera Connect app2 help transfer photos and videos to and from compatible devices
  • The PowerShot SX530 HS camera is compatible with Canon's photo and video storage device
  • 1 TB of hard drive space and simple menus make them makes it easy to store, manage and sort files
  • Brilliant image quality even in low light with Canon DIGIC 4+ Image Processor’s advanced functions
  • Canon HS SYSTEM provides excellent tracking performance
  • Hybrid Auto records up to four seconds of video every time you shoot
  • Apply any of 46 filter options
  • Full HD video at 30p (selectable fo.r resolution), for notably smooth, lifelike quality

Cons

  • Does not have the ability to shoot panoramas natively
  • It cannot shoot in RAW format, or use any external devices
  • Auto-focus not reliable

9. Fujifilm FinePix S1 16 MP Digital Camera

Fujifilm FinePix S1 16 MP

Specification:

Item Weight -     1.5 pounds

Resolution – Full HD movie capture (1920 x 1080, 60i)

Sensor - 16.2MP 1/2.3-inch backlit CMOS sensor

Lens – 50x zoom camera (24x1200mm)

Video Capture Resolution - FHD 1080p

Viewfinder Type – LCD

The world's first weather-resistant bridge cameras, the Fujifilm FinePix S1 16 MP Digital Camera comes with 3.0-inch, approx. 920K-dot, Vari-angle LCD monitor with 920k EVF and WI-FI connectivity. It is overloaded with new technologies that help to improve picture-taking and advance creativity.

Pros

  • Vast zoom range from 24mm wide-angle to 1200mm super-telephoto offers the advanced features
  • Gives you the flexibility of the DSLR
  • Light and easy to carry around
  • No hassle of interchanging lenses
  • Comes with a water-resistant and dust-resistant feature

Cons

  • A rare occasional problem with auto-focus

Part 6: Best Large Sensor Bridge Camera

10. PANASONIC Lumix FZ300 Long Zoom

PANASONIC Lumix FZ300 Long Zoom

Specification:

Item Weight - 1.52 pounds

Resolution – 4k imaging resolution

Sensor - 12.1 megapixels

Lens – 24x zoom

Video Capture Resolution - 4K UHD 2160p

Viewfinder Type – Electronic

After FZ200 in 2012, Panasonic has come up with the Lumix FZ300. There are similar features in FZ300 carried forward from its last version. It includes the 24x zoom lens with a constant f/2.8 aperture and the 12.1-megapixel sensor. The Panasonic FZ300 has many more advanced features apart from the older features from its older version. It is an appealing choice for photographers looking for a long-zoom best bridge camera.

Pros-

  • Constant f/2.8 max aperture
  • Fast, wide-angle 24x zoom provides good overall optical performance for its type
  • Generally good image quality for such a small sensor
  • Very close macro mode
  • Very low prefocused shutter lag
  • RAW and RAW+JPEG file support

Cons-

  • Limited dynamic range and poor high ISO performance compared to cameras with larger sensors
  • Soft corners at some focal lengths even stopped-down
  • Strong distortion correction at wide-angle (typical)
  • Default noise reduction is a little heavy-handed (though NR can be adjusted)
  • Area-specific noise reduction can lead to rough edges and other artifacts
  • JPEG colors could be better
  • Clunky menu system

Part 7: Best Bridge Camera with Viewfinder

11. Sony RX100 III 20.1 MP Digital Camera with viewfinder

Sony RX100 III 20.1 bridge camera

Specification:

Item Weight - 0.88 oz

Resolution – 20.1 MP

Sensor - 209 MP 1"-type Exmor R CMOS sensor

Lens – 2.9x optical zoom

Video Capture Resolution - FHD 1080p

Viewfinder Type – Electronic

The RX100 III is the third generation of Sony's flagship compact camera. With stunning picture quality, DSC-RX100 III can now enjoy soft background defocused effect even when zoomed in with the improved f1.8-2.8 24-70mm Zeiss lens. It sports a 20.1-megapixel 1-inch sensor, 3x optical zoom, and a pop-up OLED viewfinder.

Pros-

  • Image quality is unparalleled in a compact
  • EVF is a great addition
  • Large sensor
  • Pocketable size
  • High-quality viewfinder and integrated EVF
  • Built-in ND filter helps both video and stills shooting in bright light

Cons-

  • Slightly bigger than earlier versions
  • Clickless, slightly laggy control dial can make shooting experience feel disconnected
  • Lacks hot shoe and 4K
  • Lacking ability to manually select AF points on the rear screen

Conclusion

There are some pros and cons to every best bridge camera. You need to decide the right one suitable for your needs and budget. Despite the drawbacks, the above 11 are the best bridge cameras that can give a tough fight to any DSLR. Make your pictures and videos perfect and flawless with less hassling bridge cameras.

Max Wales
Max Wales is a writer and a lover of all things video.