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What is a Bridge Camera and is it Right for Me?

Posted by Jacob Hawthorne on

What is a Bridge Camera and is it Right for Me?

If you are looking to add a camera to your collection, you may consider purchasing a bridge camera. 

A bridge camera features a fixed lens. It combines the body style and capabilities of the DSLR camera with the usability of a point-and-shoot camera. Its hybrid style is complemented by several unique features. 

While many bridge cameras are referred to as mega zoom, super zoom, and ultra-zoom, not all of them have long zoom lenses. Some have moderate or short zoom lenses. 

Bridge Camera vs. DSLR

Like DSLRs, bridge cameras have easy to handle bodies. And while they look similar, they have several differences including the following:

Lenses: The biggest difference between a zoom camera and a bridge camera is the lenses. DSLR’s have interchangeable lenses that can be switched out. A bridge camera has a fixed lens that can not be changed out. 

However, this isn’t necessarily a disadvantage as the lens offers a variety of capacities including wide-angle, zoom, and more. It also tends to have a stronger zoom than a DSLR. 

DSLRs Offer More Control: DSLRs have automatic controls as well as a wide range of manual control. This gives you the ability to adjust shutter speed, aperture, focus, and more. 

Bridge camera offer some control including the ability to switch between scene modes and lens capabilities. However, the control offered is limited and closer to what’s provided with a point-and-shoot camera. 

Limitations

In addition to limited control, bridge cameras also come with other limitations. For instance, the long zoom lens makes the camera unstable. When the lens is fully extended it can cause the picture to get blurry or have more noise. Adding a tripod will be helpful but it won’t completely correct the issue. 

Most bridge cameras also do not use a RAW format which works best in editing programs.  

Other Capabilities

While a bridge camera comes with some limitations, it also provides several capabilities. These include HD video features with dual stereo microphones that are great for capturing sound. They also have an LCD format that clearly displays the image as well as a screen that tilts and swivels to get a variety of angles. 

Image stabilization also allows for a higher quality image than a point and shoot can achieve. 

Cost

Most bridge cameras have a price point similar to a DSLR. However, because they only use one lens, they can end up being more cost-effective.

Should I Get a Bridge Camera

Professional photographers may find bridge cameras limiting as they are difficult to control manually and cannot use a RAW format. Casual photographers, on the other hand, will find that they offer a nice transition from point and shoot varieties. They are good for offering photographers control as well as the ability to customize focal lengths without having to guess at the other settings necessary for capturing a great photo. 

 If you are looking to add a camera to your collection or are hoping to upgrade from point and shoot, a bridge camera maybe your best option. It offers a variety of hybrid features that could be perfect for your needs. Will you be considering purchasing one in the future? 

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