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A Guide to Bridge Cameras For Beginners

Heard about bridge cameras but not completely sure what they are? Want to check out some reviews of a few good ones? This quick guide will clear up the main facts and introduce you to 3 excellent cameras from this category.

Essentially, the idea of a bridge camera is that it bridges the gap between a compact and a DSLR. So the name describes exactly what it does! It's a half-way-house; perfect for people who fancy something superior to a compact but aren't ready for a DSLR yet.

So how exactly do bridge, or 'superzoom digital cameras' as they're sometimes called, bridge that gap?


Why own a bridge camera?

So superzoom digital cameras are very popular digital cameras for beginners. They provide enough features to make it possible to explore photography a bit and take pictures of lots of subjects. But they don’t cost anything like a DSLR with a lens.

3 Short Bridge Camera Reviews

Ok, so now lets take a quick look at 3 actual bridge cameras, to give you a better idea. These are all cracking little cameras, and well worth some further research if you're in the market.


1. Sony DSC HX1

I really like the way the LCD screen tilts on the Sony DSC HX1. It's a great feature that lets you see what you're shooting even if you're holding your camera at arm’s length above your head!

What's most amazing about this little camera is that it can shoot, wait for it...10 frames/second!! That's as good as high end, professional DSLR's! So if you like your action photography, but don’t want to splash out too much, this could be a great buy.

Another cool feature of this Sony is the panorama mode. Instead of taking a sequence of shots to stitch together in Photoshop, this camera stitches them together as you take them. So you get to see the whole finished effect instantly!

Key Specs:

Sensor 9.1MP
Lens 28 - 560mm
LCD 3"
Maximum Aperture f2.8 - f8.0
Shutter Speed 30sec - 1/4000
Full Manual Controls Yes
ISO 125 - 3200
Built in Flash Yes
Movie Mode Yes
Weight 514g


2. Panasonic Lumix DMC - FZ40

The is well known for its brilliant auto-focus system. You can lock on to your subject with almost imperceptible 'searching' time. It’s quicker than just about all other superzoom digital cameras.

It also offers tremendous range in focal length, with 25 - 600mm. Landscape, portrait, documentary, sport, wildlife - all subjects are opened up to you.

I like the fact this camera has a minimum shutter speed of 60 seconds. This is really slow and let's you get creative with long exposure photography - provided you've got a tripod!

14.1 MP is another outstanding feature and certainly enables you to produce very good quality small poster prints.

Key Specs:

Sensor 14.1
Lens 25 - 600mm
LCD 3"
Maximum Aperture f2.8 - f5.2
Shutter Speed 60 sec - 1/2000
Full Manual Controls Yes
ISO 80 - 1600 (+ Hi Auto)
Built in Flash Yes
Movie Mode Yes
Weight 494g


3. Fujifilm HS10

A 24 - 720mm lens on this Fujifilm HS10 is an incredible feature. 720mm makes wildlife photography very possible. Moreover, like the Sony DSC HX1, this Fujifilm somehow is capable of 10 frames per second! So just think of the potential if you enjoy wildlife photography. 720mm zoom with 10 fps - you'll never miss a thing!

Again, this camera has a tilting LCD screen, which is definitely one of my favourite features on all cameras. This is superb value and will enable you to produce fantastic shots without having to splash out on a DSLR.

Key Specs:

Sensor 10.3
Lens 24 - 720mm
LCD 3"
Maximum Aperture f2.8 - f.5.6
Shutter Speed 4 sec - 1/4000
Full Manual Controls Yes
ISO 100 - 6400
Built in Flash Yes
Movie Mode Yes
Weight 636g

Where Next?

Compact Cameras: A Buying Guide

An Introduction To Canon's Range Of Cameras

My Lowepro Camera Bag Reviewed

Return To Photography Art Cafe Home

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