To decide which is the best bridge camera for 2018, and which one you should buy, you have to understand the concept of a bridge camera.
It is the digital camera that provides manual controlling to a certain extent, long-range zoom lenses, and viewfinder, and usually comes with non-interchangeable lenses.
They are a hybrid between a point-and-shoot camera and a full DSLR, hence the name: Bridge cameras.
I’ve listed the best bridge cameras in the market right now below. With an in-detailed review for each model plus an ultimate buyer’s guide.
Best Bridge Camera 2018
Camera Name Optical Zoom Megapixels Max. ISO Sony Cyber-shot RX10 IV 25x 20 MP 12800 Panasonic Lumix FZ2500 20x 20 MP 25600 Sony Cyber-shot RX10 III 25x 20 MP 12800 Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ300 24x 12 MP 6400 Panasonic Lumix FZ80 60x 18 MP 3200 Panasonic Lumix FZ1000 16x 20 MP 25600 Canon Powershot SX60 65X 16 MP 3200 Nikon CoolPix P900 83x 16 MP 12800
1. Sony Cyber-shot RX10 IV – The Best Bridge Camera 2018
It is an exceptional superzoom bridge-camera that has a DSLR-like form factor; they may have looked like DSLRs, but their performance and image quality were anything but.
This camera is best for those who wants an advanced all in one camera that does not compromise on performance nor quality, but also with an almost decent price.
All in all, this Sony Cyber-Shot camera is an excellent choice, although it may have some minor inconvenient features; the screen only tilts up or down making it not a suitable select for the Videographers as well as its large and bulky body.
2. Sony Cyber-Shot RX10 III – Runner-Up
Whether it’s a close-up or a shot taken from a far distance; with the extended zoom, blazing speed, quietness of operation, you are guaranteed to enjoy a fantastic shooting experience.
It has amazing features like the large-diameter Zeiss Vario-Sonnar T*24*600mm f2.4-4 lens to make you get more stunning images throughout a wider range, and superior corner-to-corner image sharpness across the zoom range.
It also has Optical SteadyShot to take more stable pictures with less shake and optimizes image quality.
Furthermore, a 1.0 type stacked CMOS sensor and BIONZ X image processor that gives you processing efficiency.
High-precision 4K movies with a wider range of pure quality of full pixel readout, which helps you make professional-class movies.
Finally, you have Sony’s secure cloud service, PlayMemories online, to access all your photos and videos from any device, and the Play Memories Camera Apps gives you more functions to the camera, allowing you to broaden your photographic horizons.
3. Panasonic Lumix FZ1000 – Best DSLR Alternative
The Panasonic Lumix FZ1000 lets you experience QFHD 4K video at 30p, with a motion that is vivid and realistic.
You can amplify the reality of the video with the optional Stereo / Shotgun microphone (DMW-MS2) –sold separately- which is capable of adjusting sound gathering characteristics to be suitable for any shooting situation.
You can switch to manual operation in Creative Video mode and slow the speed to give a dramatic effect in full HD 120 frames per second video.
Also, you can capture 8-megapixel hybrid photos from the 4K videos.
In-camera playback screen captures of 3840 x 2160 8-megapixel equivalent hybrid photos, so you can still keep pictures from unpredictable moments that aren’t likely to be captured in still photos.
It also improves the S/N ratio and makes it possible to capture images with clarity and minimum noise.
The Panasonic Lumix FZ1000 delivers amazing pictures with a large 1-inch 20.1-megapixel MOS sensor and an upgraded LEICA DC VARIO-ELMARIT lens to fully express the depth and beauty of nature. It has 16 times optical zoom to bring everything closer.
The Panasonic Lumix FZ1000 allows you a large degree of connectivity with the smartphone enabled remote shooting/view, using the Panasonic Image App.
You can easily share and connect by instantly uploading images to social media.
And use the Geotagging to tag location information to the image and utilize the GPS of your smartphone or tablet, sharing your site with your friends and family.
4. Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ300 – Best Bridge Camera 2018 for 4K Capturing
The Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ300 allows you to capture videos and pictures with 4K technology. It uses 30 frames per second in high-resolution 4K ultra HD video to separate them as photos.
The 4K photo function can also be used in three different modes, all of which allow you to take pictures at a 30 FPS rate.
- First is the 4K burst, burst-shooting 8 megapixel equivalent photos taken from the 4K video (you have to be pressing the shutter button).
- Second is the 4K Burst S/S (Start/Stop), where you can record as 4K video then play, pause, and take out any frame or photo as an 8 megapixel equivalent image later on.
- Third and last is the 4K pre-Burst, which starts recording one second before and after you press the shutter button, and it is the optimum choice for unplanned moments! Generally, the 4K video offers a way more intense viewing experience which is four times larger than full HD, so it allows you to capture even more intricate details.
The 25-600mm LEICA DC VARIO-ELMARIT lens features full-range F2.8 so you can shoot in low light throughout the whole range of zooming.
The Panasonic LUMIX DMC-FZ300K is splashproof and dustpoof, and the joints, dials, and buttons are sealed tightly, so its durability is extended.
The camera also has 5-axis tilt correction, with its 5-axis HYBRID O.I.S+. (optical image stabilizer plus) it reduced blur that results from one-handed shooting as it compensates for five types of movement.
The Level Shot Function singles out the horizon and maintains it, even if the camera tilts this or that way.
You can control the Panasonic LUMIX DMC-FZ300K remotely by using the Panasonic Image App on your smartphone or tablet while it’s connected to WiFi.
You can view the image, adjust focus, release the shutter from far away, and transfer images and share them on social media.
5. Panasonic Lumix FZ80 – Combines 60x Zoom and 4K Video
It has 20mm wide-angle to capture landscapes, and 60 times zoom to shoot things from afar, the FZ80’s lens is versatile.
You can also capture 4K videos which is four times the resolution of standard Full HD.
You can also use the 4K PHOTO mode to lock fleeting moments and save them as high-resolution photos. You can record the scene at 30 frames per second then save the moments you prefer.
The Panasonic Lumix FZ80 allows you to take pictures in low light with high performance.
Moreover, it has a “Post Focus” feature that allows you to set desired focus areas after you’ve already captured the photo.
Mixed with the Focus Stacking feature, you can get greater depth of focus and edit the pictures creatively.
Fit the camera perfectly in your hand with comfort ergonomic grip, and the viewfinder keeps its clarity intact even in bright sunlight.
6. Canon Powershot SX60 HS – Best Bridge Camera in Its Class
The most important of which are: the ultra-zooming power, the 65x Optical Zoom (21-1365 mm) wide-angle lens with O.I.S (optical image stabilizer) for brilliant optical performance, whether it’s a close-up or wide shot.
Moreover, with the 16.1 megapixel CMOS sensor, it provides high sensitivity for improved high ISO capture with noise reduction.
Faster autofocus and continuous shooting are facilitated by the high-speed design. It is also equipped with DIGIC 6 image processor, which enhances quality for both videos and still pictures.
It also comes with Dynamic IS to detect and compensate for tilt and movement, so that your video is free of distortion or spastic movement.
The Canon HS system allows you to experience brilliant tracking performance even in low light, as well as use higher shutter speeds to capture images with more clarity and less blurring.
With the Canon Powershot SX60, you can capture 1080p full HD videos at 60 frames per second. And for the first time on a PowerShot model, you can attach an optional microphone for clearer audio recording to match the quality of the video you’ll be shooting.
The Ultrasonic Motor (USM) and Voice Control Motor (VCM) which are engineered with precision for very fast and quiet zooming.
With the CameraWindow app on your mobile device, you can share your media right away with just a simple press of the NFC (near field communication) button on the camera.
7. Panasonic Lumix FZ2500 – A Great Bridge Camera for Macro Photography
There is the Cinema 4K: 4096 x 2160 / 24 frames per second. The QFHD 4K: 3840 x 2160 / up to 30 frames per second video recording in MOV or MP4.
The Ultra-high bit rate Full HD video recording at 200 Mbps (All-intra) / 100 Mbps (IPB) without recording duration limit.
It comes with a quick stability grip to minimize hand fatigue while front and rear dual dials allow you to control the shutter speed easily.
The OLED live viewfinder provides brilliant visibility for perfect framing in direct sunlight conditions.
0.74x magnification (35mm camera equivalent) and a wide-viewing angle together enhance the overall visibility.
There is a large 1-inch 20.1 megapixel 4K MOS sensor with high sensitivity to provide impressive details at high ISOs and also Defocus with a shallow depth of field.
The LEICA DC VARIO-ELMARIT lens (F/2.8-4.5) is blur-resistant, and its viewing angle extends from 24mm to 20X optical zoom.
With Ultra high-speed DFD focusing you can lock even at seven frames per second burst shooting with AFC or 12 frames per second burst shooting.
You can enjoy macro photography by focusing distance up to 3cm! You can extract photos from the 4K video, or focus particular areas after having already captured the pictures with Focus Stacking.
8. Nikon CoolPix P900 – Best Super Zoom Bridge Camera 2018
The zoom power of the Nikon CoolPix P900 is its most redeeming quality; it reaches up to 83x (equivalent to 2000mm) optical zoom, which is more than any Nikon CoolPix so far.
Photographers with advanced experience will appreciate the amazing image quality and DSLR styling, and sure grip.
It also offers a Vari-angle display, a high-resolution Electronic Viewfinder that works automatically when the camera is lifted to your eye-level.
There’s also a PSAM mode control dial. People who want great photos and full HD videos without any hassle will appreciate the point-and-shoot ease and the battery that lasts to up to 360 shots with a single charge.
The built-in WiFi and Near Field Communication technology (NFC) connectivity that connects the CoolPix P900 wirelessly to any compatible smartphone or tablet to share your captures immediately and remotely control the camera.
The viewfinder is eye-level and of high resolution, mixed with the swiveling Vari-angle display you have two ways to frame your shots. You can capture subjects from creative perspectives, overhead, down low or just in front of you.
There is a specific option for shooting the moon, called “Moon Mode”, made specifically for you to capture hypnotizing pictures of the moon.
You can highlight a single color in a black and white photo, as well as create portraits that represent a painting.
You can take absolute control of your shots with its full manual exposure of controls, a PSAM mode dial is available right on top of the camera, like a DSLR. Also, you can control the shutter speed to suit your shots exactly, or overcome difficult shooting situations.
You don’t even have to be capable of exposure controls as the CoolPix P900 takes care of them for you.
Finally, Buyer’s Guide
When coming to a decision upon which bridge camera best suits your wants and needs, there are a couple of things that you have to refer to first, including:
The lens: The magnification power is a prominent difference between a Bridge Camera and a DSLR. The average bridge camera offers 20x zoom range, and some go up to 50x. This is a preferable option if you’re into nature and landscape photography. So if you’re set on buying a bridge camera, its magnification power should exceed the DSLR’s 10x zoom range.
The EVF: The viewfinder is some photographers’ best friend. The LCD screen can be difficult to see in some bright lights, due to the glossy screen.
Low light performance: Bridge cameras always have the high-end technology to facilitate photography in dim lights, as this accentuates wildlife photography and landscapes.