Best Bridge Cameras Today for Every Budget

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A bridge camera is a special breed among mirrorless models. It was originally designed to bridge the gap between point and shoot models and full-feature DSLRs. It combined the small sensor from compact cameras as well as some limited manual features from DSLRs. The idea was to help enthusiasts transition—or bridge the gap—from fully automatic shooting to more advanced techniques.

But, with the advances in sensor technologies and the development of the mirrorless market, bridge cameras are something entirely different and have taken on a life of their own.

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Today, bridge cameras still employ smaller sensors compared to full frame models. But, the latest generation of small sensors adds a professional level of image quality. In terms of features, most bridge cameras not only offer a variety of professional level features but, in some areas, even surpass the best DSLRs and mirrorless models. This is possible because it is much easier to build an advanced camera around a small sensor, making bridge cameras more compact and more affordable.

BEST ALL AROUND
Sony RX10 IV
Megapixels: 21MP, Sensor Size: 1″ (13.2 x 8.8 mm), Weight: 1095g (2.4lb), Weather-sealed
BEST ENTRY LEVEL
Canon G3X
Megapixels: 21MP, Sensor Size: 1″ (13.2 x 8.8 mm), Weight: 734g (26oz)

Best All Around Bridge Camera

The Sony RX10 line of bridge cameras has been around for some time. But, the latest RX10 IV model has exceeded all expectations. When you read the specifications for the RX10 IV, it is hard to believe everything the camera offers. Here is an example. It has a 24-600mm equivalent F2.4-4 stabilized lens. It shoots at 24fps in burst mode in JPEG+RAW with full and continuous autofocus. It is mind-blowing. If you purchase a DSLR or a mirrorless full frame camera with similar specifications, it will cost you a small fortune.

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Now, those looking to explore the expensive realm of wildlife photography or those wanting to capture their kids playing action sports have an affordable entry-level option!

Best Entry Level Bridge Camera

If you are looking for an even more compact bridge camera option, the Canon G3X is one of the best bridge cameras on the market. It does not have as many impressive features as the Sony RX10 IV, but it comes in a smaller package with a more affordable price tag.

BEST ALL AROUND BRIDGE CAMERA

Sony Cyber‑Shot RX10 IV with 0.03 Second Auto-Focus & 25x Optical Zoom (DSC-RX10M4)

01. Sony RX10 IV

Megapixels: 21MP
Sensor Size: 1″ (13.2 x 8.8 mm)
Lens: 24-600mm (35mm Equivalent)
Weight: 1095g (2.4lb)
Size: 132 x 94 x 145mm (5.2 x 3.7 x 5.7″)
Price: Check the latest price here

The Sony RX10 Mark IV is the super zoom camera-to-beat. It is packed with features of a professional interchangeable camera including a new tenacious AF tracking system with face detection, 20 Megapixel CMOS sensor and a fixed 24-600mm f/2.4-4 zoom lens. What makes this camera unique is the 25x zoom lens, the weather-sealed body and the ability to shoot at 24fps. It is suitable for those who want an all-in-one camera without the hustle of changing lenses all the time. This versatile camera is capable of fast focusing, tracking moving subjects and producing excellent images.

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The Zeiss Vario-Sonnar T* 24-600mm lens is of high quality with excellent contrast and sharpness while its zoom range can be used for a variety of shooting purposes such as landscapes, travel, action or wildlife. The RX10 Mark IV is also an excellent choice for an African safari, a road trip to a national park or other places that mix beautiful scenery with awesome animal encounters. Moreover, the camera has a tilting touchscreen and can record 4K video at 30p. There is no battery charger included in the box. You can charge the camera via a USB cable or battery pack which is very useful when you’re traveling.

What I like:

  • Super-zoom lens
  • The new AF system works great
  • You can shoot action at 24fps in RAW
  • Dynamic range is impressive for a 1” size sensor

What I don’t like:

  • Zooming in and out takes too long
  • Unimpressive battery life

Check Latest Price & Reviews


BEST ENTRY LEVEL BRIDGE CAMERA

Canon PowerShot G3 X Digital Point & Shoot Camera with Electronic View Finder

02. Canon G3X

Megapixels: 21MP
Sensor Size: 1″ (13.2 x 8.8 mm)
Lens: 24-600mm (35mm Equivalent)
Weight: 734g (26oz)
Size: 124 x 76 x 104mm (5 x 3 x 4″)
Price: Check the latest price here

The Canon G3X is a 20 Megapixel compact-like camera with a 24-600mm super zoom lens. Compared to other bridge cameras, the G3X is smaller, easier to carry around and user friendly.

The dynamic range, color science and overall image quality is very good particularly in RAW files.

It is packed in a magnesium alloy body, it has a multi-angle LCD touchscreen and it’s very comfortable to hold. Although there’s no EVF (electronic viewfinder) attached to the body, you can buy optionally the Canon’s EVF-DC1 viewfinder but that would raise the cost significantly.

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Users who like point-and-shoot cameras will love the Canon G3X. It is an advanced digital camera system with superb zoom range. The autofocusing system works well and it is reliable. On the other hand, if you want to use manual focus, focus peaking mode can help you focus accurately on your subject. At 25x times optical zoom and in-camera stabilization, it’s pretty easy to get an in-focus shot even if your hands are shaky. Finally, the G3X can record standard video at 1080p featuring an external microphone and headphone jack. You can also take snapshots while filming.

What I like:

  • Great optical performance from the super-zoom lens
  • Superb image quality
  • Very good dynamic range
  • Focus peaking

What I don’t like:

  • No EVF
  • No 4K video

Check Latest Price & Reviews


Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ2500 4K Wi-Fi Digital Camera with 64GB Card + Battery & Charger + Case + Flash + Tripod + Filter + Strap + Kit

03. Panasonic Lumix FZ2500

Megapixels: 21MP
Sensor Size: 1″ (13.2 x 8.8 mm)
Lens: 24-480mm (35mm Equivalent)
Weight: 966g (34oz)
Size: 137.6 x 102 x 135mm (5.4 x 4 x 5.3″)
Price: Check the latest price here

The Lumix FZ2500 is Panasonic’s premium super-zoom camera. The fixed Leica lens has a zoom range of 24-480mm (35mm equivalent) and aperture f/2.8-4.5 which makes it great for shooting a variety of topics. It has a 20 Megapixel sensor, fully articulated touch-sensitive LCD screen and improved image stabilization. That means you can track a subject from distance or shoot in low light without the use of a tripod. Additionally, the quality options for video is huge. You get 4K video recording at 24p and 30p (1.5x cropped) and 1080p at 60p with 200Mbit/s frame rate.

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Another cool useful Panasonic has included in this model is the built-in ND filters. The neutral-density filters can help you take long exposure shots in bright sunlight. Still, photographers can create that smoothness in the water, waterfalls or the clouds in the sky. Furthermore, videographers can enjoy new color and style options like Cinelike D and V profiles. The additional audio jack output can help you monitor your audio. The Lumix FZ2500 is super light, great for travel, event photography or as a backup camera.

What I like:

  • I really like the super zoom telephoto lens
  • Good image quality coming straight our of the camera, especially in RAW files
  • Impressive video features including 4K at 10bit 4:2:2 HDMI output
  • Built-in ND filters can save you tons of money

What I don’t like:

  • I don’t like the 1.5x crop factor when recording 4K video
  • There’s no support for USB charging

Check Latest Price & Reviews


Nikon COOLPIX P1000 16.7 Digital Camera with 3.2' LCD, Black

04. Nikon Coolpix P1000

Megapixels: 16MP
Sensor Size: 1/2.3″ CMOS
Lens: 24-3000mm (35mm Equivalent)
Weight: 915g (2lb)
Size: 146 x 124 x 78.5mm (5.7 x 4.9 x 3.1″)
Price: Check the latest price here

The Nikon Coolpix P1000 is a bridge camera which has a huge 24-3000mm zoom lens, one of the best telephoto lenses in the market. Along with the impressive 125x Nikkor ED zoom lens, the camera has a 16 Megapixel low light sensor, a fully articulated 3.2” screen and shoots respectable Ultra HD video at 30fps. The camera has outstanding ergonomics and handling. It is bigger and bulkier than other bridge cameras, considering the enormous glass that can bring objects from kilometers away right in front of your face.

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The telescope-like zoom lens, combined with Nikon’s latest dual detect optical vibration reduction, can stabilize and reduce camera shake even at 3000mm. In addition, Dynamic Fine Zoom can increase range to 6000mm! The moon and bird modes can automatically adjust the camera so it is easier to capture the moon craters or the elusive creatures. Nevertheless the built-in filters and Nikon’s picture controls, you can turn instantly your photos to black and white or give them special color effects. Overall the Coolpix P1000 is capable of taking incredible images of any kind and record high quality 4K video.

What I like:

  • Telescope-like 24-3000mm zoom power
  • Macro capability (1cm minimum focus distance)
  • Great 4K video with no crop
  • High image quality

What I don’t like:

  • Huge and bulky body
  • Expensive

Check Latest Price & Reviews


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