The Best Bridge Cameras in 2018

Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX100

We have all heard of Expensive DSLR cameras that are capable of capturing stunning images, but since they are quite complicated, not many people can use them to their full extent. At the other end of the spectrum we have point and shoot cameras that offer decent performance, but can be very limited in use. Bridge cameras are a third type of cameras, as their name suggests; these cameras “bridge” the gap between complicated professional shooting devices and simplistic cameras for amateurs. Bridge cameras sacrifice certain features that are common in DSLR cameras, such as swappable lenses, powerful sensors, processors and more, this makes them sacrifice a bit of performance as well, but they still manage to be vastly superior to lower level cameras.

The best thing about bridge cameras is the fact that not only are they more compact and easier to use, but they also cost less, making them an excellent option for people who are mid-level or beginner photographers.

We have taken some of the best bridge cameras and after making them go through rigorous tests, we have come to the conclusion that the Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX100 is the best compact bridge camera out there, not only does it have a sensor as large as the kind found on DSLRs, it can also record 4K video and is quite easy to carry around. For people who want a camera that can capture images up close, the Canon PowerShot SX60 HS is a superb choice with its incredible 65x optical zoom.

Bridge cameras mostly sit in the backseat when compared to DSLRs, but there are always exceptions such as the Soy Cyber-Shot DSC-RX10 Mark 2; a bridge camera that packs enough power to actually beat most SLRs that are equipped with their kit-lenses. This camera provides one with the ability to shoot great pictures and videos without any complicated controls, but it also costs a crazy amount, an amount in which one can easily buy a decent DSLR or mirrorless camera.

There are several bridge camera options out there that are bound to appeal to budget buyers, one such option being Nikon’s Coolpix L340, a camera that comes with a 20.2 MP image sensor, a wide-angle capturing capability, 28x optical zoom and a 3 inch LCD display.

Now let’s take a better look at some of the most desirable bridge cameras that one can buy this year.

Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX100

Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX100The DMC-LX100 has a really retro feel to it thanks to the shape and design of its compact body, the camera is quite compact and has a number of knobs on it that make it look like a relic of the past, but do not let its looks deceive you. This bridge camera is packed with advanced features that make it a great bargain at its price, it has a 16.8 MP sensor and a shooting speed of up to 11 frames per second. The camera has a pretty decent camera zoom as well, making it a good option for taking depth of field shots, but what makes the DMC-LX100 the best camera at its price range is the fact that it offers 4K video shooting with a responsive autofocus. For people who want a good overall camera and want to avoid complicated features, this camera is a pretty great choice. Buy it now.

Canon PowerShot SX60 HS

best bridge cameraCanon is a pretty big brand in the DSLR world, with cameras that are highly praised for their video capturing capabilities, the company’s SX60 HS is a decently priced bridge camera with a number of superb features. Its 65x optical zoom lens allows one to take incredibly up close pictures, coupled with a swivelling LCD that makes taking shots at odd angles much easier. Its video recording is smooth and satisfactory, the camera also has an external mic jack and is capable of shooting in RAW; a feature that is not common in ultra-zoom cameras. The SX60 HS’s great features, ergonomic design and great price make it one of the best ultra-zoom options out there. Buy it now.

Canon PowerShot G7 X

If you are looking for a quality camera that you can carry around with you without much trouble then the PowerShot G7 X is a good option, its compact body holds enough features to make it appeal to advanced photographers and even professionals who like travelling light. This camera’s 20.1 MP sensor enables it to capture colour rich photos with a vast amount of detail. There is also a newer version of this camera; the PowerShot G7 X Mark 2 which has been updated with a handful of new features such as swivelling LCD, a 4.2x optical zoom and RAW shooting capability. Buy it now.

Nikon Coolpix L340

If budget constraints are an issue for you then the Coolpix L340 is a great camera to go for, it offers features that are comparable to entry-level DSLRs and does not require you to burn a hole in your pocket. Nikon has equipped this camera with a 20 MP sensor, a decent 28x optical zoom lens, a tilting 3 inch LCD and built-in Wi-Fi. The camera also has a digital zoom feature that can let you zoom up to 56x but at the cost of lowering your resolution. Buy it now.

Sony Cyber-Shot DSC-RX10 Mark 2

The DSC-RX10 Mark 2 is by far the most expensive bridge camera that you can go for, but it is definitely worth the price, the camera’s body is loaded with a number of great features that make it a pretty versatile device. It has a large 8.3x optical zoom lens, a powerful back-lit 20.2 MP sensor and a great depth of field capturing capability. It is capable of capturing 4K footage, a feature that has yet to come to entry to mid-level DSLR and mirrorless cameras, the camera also offers a High Frame Rate movie recording mode and 40x slow motion video recording. It is a pricey device, but 4K recording capability at this price range makes the DSC-RX10 Mark 2 definitely worth considering if you are into videography. But it now.

The Two Kinds of Bridge Cameras

Bridge cameras can be categorised into two groups, the first consisting of advance model bridge cameras that offer large image sensors, powerful image processors, high-end lenses and other features that make using them quite enjoyable. These cameras also tend to be more pocket-friendly, and some of the more advanced models such as the DSC-RX10 Mark 2 by Sony are equipped with really high-end features. Bridge cameras like these cost around $450 to more than $1000 and are suited for people who want good performance and versatile devices.

The second type of bridge cameras are ultra-zoom cameras, these come equipped with fixed long-zoom lenses that can easily outperform DSLR lenses in terms of zooming. Ultra-zoom cameras are bulkier than advanced bridge cameras but are still light enough to be carried around easily. These usually cost around $300 to $600, making them viable options for photographers on a budget.

Things to Look For When Buying a Bridge Camera

Since cameras do not come cheap, it is important to make sure that you make a purchase that you can be happy with, there are a number of things that you need to focus on when buying a bridge camera, the very first being to look for a large image sensor, make sure that the camera that you go for has an image sensor of 1 inch or bigger, the larger the sensor, the better the camera will be at capturing in low light and at capturing fine details.

Another important thing to look for is the lens’ aperture, an aperture around 1.8/f or a minimum of 2.2/f is recommended, keep in mind that smaller numbers mean larger apertures. Having a “faster” lens would mean that your camera will perform better in low light since its aperture will allow more light to enter the lens.

Features such as metallic bodies, tilting touchscreens and electronic viewfinders might seem excessive, but they do make your camera more practical, a metal body makes your camera more robust, something that you should consider if you plan on carrying your camera around a lot. Touch screens make interacting with your camera easier, and a movable screen means that you can capture shots from difficult angles without much trouble. A decent electronic viewfinder will allow you to capture images with better accuracy and get your framing right as well.

Any bridge camera out there is significantly smaller than even the most compact DSLR, making these cameras really portable and a lot lighter as well, the biggest disadvantages that these cameras have is that their lens are not swappable, making them unsuitable for people who are looking for upgradability in their device. Remember, if you plan on sticking to your camera for a while, then make sure that you do not settle for less, buy a camera that you know you will be happy with.

Bridge cameras are primarily designed to be used in well-lit areas, their performance in medium to low light ranges from acceptable to decent depending on the size of the image sensor on a camera and its aperture. While most of these cameras are point and shoot based, you can tweak their settings a bit to get better results, meaning that they offer enough manual controls for one to learn the basics of photography and then maybe move on to a DSLR in the future.

2017-2018’s Best Cameras For Beginners on a Budget

best cameras for beginners

Photography is an activity with a high skill ceiling, but once you get the hang of it you are in for a world of satisfaction, if you are planning on trying your hand at photography then the best way to start out is by finding the best camera for beginners. There are a number of reasons behind getting a beginner camera rather than splurging on a high-end device at the very start; the two most major being that beginner cameras are easy to handle and give one the breathing space needed to learn the basics. You also should not spend all your money on an expensive camera as this can limit your budget for future upgrades.

Now let’s take a look at some of the most promising entry-level cameras that are currently popular in the market.

DSLRs

DSLRs are by far some of the best choices for high-quality photography, these cameras are perfect for videography as well and allow users a lot of flexibility due to their manual mode, and their automatic modes help people hone their photography skills. Their sensors are capable of capturing a lot of light, resulting in color rich and highly detailed images. Another great thing about DSLRs is future proofing, you can buy a DSLR body and then upgrade its lens after a while, one can even carry multiple lenses at a time so that their image capturing capabilities increase. Basically, with a DSLR, one cannot go wrong, which is why these cameras are perfect for a beginner photographer looking to grow as they use their camera.

Canon 1300D

best cameras for beginnersCanon is one of the most popular brands in the camera industry, they have a broad range of beginner cameras, but the Canon 1300D is by far the best option you have if you are on a budget. This camera has a superb build quality, comes equipped with an 18 MP sensor and even has built-in Wi-Fi for easy data transfer, its button layout is pretty easy to get the hang of and the camera provides one with a variety of shooting modes to choose from. A great combination of features and affordability makes the 1300D an attractive choice.

Nikon D3300

Nikon’s cameras are praised for their color rich photography and their beefy image sensors, the D3300 is an entry-level camera that provides users with a good taste of both of these elements. Its lightweight body boasts a 24.2 MP sensor and a processor that Nikon uses in some of its higher-end cameras as well, the camera comes with a guide mode to help users explore the capabilities of their camera. Its UI is quite easy to maneuverer through as well and to top it all off; this camera comes with a 2-year warranty.

Pentax K-S2

Nikon and Canon are the big names in the camera industry, and most people feel safer when buying a product made by them, but that does not mean that there are not any other options out there to choose from. Pentax is a pretty decent company that often provides features in their beginner level cameras that other companies reserve for more expensive devices, the K-S2 has a flip-out screen, allowing for a greater range of shooting angles, and features a 20.2 MP sensor.

The best thing about this camera is the fact that its ergonomic body is weatherproof, this feature is quite rare in cheaper cameras. The only downside to buying from Pentax is that you will have a very limited collection of lenses to choose from in the future.

CSC/Mirrorless Cameras

DSLRs are not the only choice that one has if they want to buy a quality camera, mirrorless cameras are slowly gaining popularity as they provide more or less the same amount of manual control and upgradability as DSLRs, but by eliminating the internal mirror design, they become a lot slimmer and more portable. Let’s take a look at some great mirrorless cameras that one can buy without breaking their bank.

Canon EOS M10

Canon EOS M10One of the smallest and least costly mirrorless cameras out there, the EOS M10 packs an 18 MP sensor and comes with a tilting touchscreen which makes interacting with the camera feel incredibly natural. The camera also comes with Wi-Fi capabilities and has all the elements that a beginner photographer could want in their first camera.

Panasonic Lumix GF7

This mirrorless camera has a slightly less powerful image sensor of 16 MP, but it makes up for its lack of pixels by providing users with features such as filter effects, panorama shooting and a 180-degree tilting screen which makes the camera a decent selfie device too. The GF7 can also record videos in 1080p with stereo sound.

Ultra-Zoom/Bridge Cameras

If the idea of having to swap lenses seems like too much of a bother for you then you can consider going for Bridge camera instead; these devices provide a great deal of manual control and come with some decent sensors, the only difference is that they have fixed lenses. Bridge cameras are often considered as a great transitional choice for people moving from point and shoot cameras to manual cameras.

Panasonic Lumix FZ72

This camera boasts a massive optical zoom of up to 60x, the zoom can be extended even further up to 102x but only digitally; digital zoom enlarges pixels, meaning that the greater the digital zoom, the lesser resolution you get. The FZ72 has an acceptable 16.1 MP sensor and also comes with optical image stabilization which makes it easy to get jitter-free shots on the move. The camera’s large battery coupled with its great features makes it a great entry-level bridge camera to keep with you throughout the day.

Nikon Coolpix P90C

With image capturing capabilities that one would expect from any Nikon camera, the Coolpix P90C offers a number of features that make it a superb camera to have, it comes with an 83x optical zoom and is capable of capturing pictures of subjects that are less than 1 cm away from the lens, meaning that it is a pretty decent camera to practice your macro skills with. The P90C can also capture videos in 1080p and even has an automatic HDR mode, all of this coupled with Wi-Fi compatibility makes the Coolpix P90C a fantastic Bridge camera.

Canon Powershot SX510 HS

Bridge cameras are perfect for taking macro shots, the Powershot SX510 HS is another great option for beginner photographers, and unlike what Nikon has to offer, this camera is incredibly compact. Its wide lens and small body make it highly practical, and just because it is small does not mean that it does not pack a punch, Canon offers a 30x optical zoom lens, a tilting screen along with full manual controls. The SX510 HS is capable of capturing great pictures, but its most lucrative factor is its size, making it a versatile camera.

Compact Cameras

If all of the above cameras seem too big for you or appear to offer more features than you want then you can try going for a compact camera, these pocket-sized cameras are perfect for hobbyists and for people who simply want better image capturing capabilities than what a smartphone has to offer. The best part about compact cameras is that they are incredibly affordable and offer the most inexpensive way of figuring out whether photography is your thing or not.

Canon Powershot SX610 HS

This point and shoot camera has an 18x optical zoom and comes with built-in Wi-Fi, it also has an NFC chip and an image sensor of 20 MP, you can get this camera for around a hundred pounds, making it a superbly affordable option.

Keep in mind that compact cameras have no manual options, they only offer a set number of automatic modes to choose from. Therefore they are not the best choice for people who want to explore and expand their photography skills.

Sony Cyber-Shot DSC-WX220

A sleek and stylish camera, the Cyber-shot DSC-WX220 has a zoom of up to 10x and an 18.2 MP sensor, it also offers HDR functionality and has a sweep panorama mode which goes great with its image stabilization. Perhaps the most impressive thing about this camera is the fact that it can capture 10 frames per second in its continuous shooting mode.

Panasonic Lumix DMC-SZ10

A compact camera that can be used to get some superb selfies thanks to its tilting screen, the DMC-SZ10 is easy to hold and easy to use, making it an ideal camera for people who are new to photography. The camera has a 12x optical zoom, a 16 MP image sensor and optical image stabilization features, overall, a great camera for the casual photographer.