Jack of all trades, but master of none- this is what comes into many people’s minds when they think about the Bridge camera. To some extent, you can say it’s a trade-off, but there are some perks that you simply can’t get in other cameras. From our experience, we’ve noted some key points that can be deciding factors for you to get one or not. So, let’s try to debunk whether bridge cameras are still valuable in 2023 or not?
What is a Bridge Camera?
To understand the Bridge Camera first you have to know what the term “Bridge” means. It’s a bridge that fills up the gap between a DSLR and a “point-&-shoot” camera. DSLRs are flexible in their ability to pair up with the vast collection of lenses and attachments. Whereas, point-and-shoot is a very easy-go camera, that you’ll pick up and shoot whenever you like, without any hustle and bustle.
But DSLRs are bulky and point-and-shoots don’t have many features that are necessary for semi-professional photography. This is where the bridge camera comes into place. It’ll give you much better range and zoom compared to a point-&-shoot and won’t have the weight or complex settings of a DSLR.
Now, in a bridge camera, the lens is permanently attached to the camera, there’s no way to detach the lens from the body. So, you don’t need to spend tons of money on buying different lenses. This is very helpful if you’ve just started shooting and trying to spend less on gear during your learning period. It is a great way to start learning a bit more about photography before jumping into a normal interchangeable lens. And no swappable lens means you’ll never have to think about the sensor getting exposed to dust or particles. But you’ll have to stick with the lens for the lifetime of that camera. However, it limits the types of shots you can take.
Also, when the light drops, the bridge camera struggles, due to its smaller sensor and limited capabilities of the camera. But, when there’s a lot of light, a bridge camera with one of the super zooms that are built into the body, can get you some super close-ups. For travel and convenience use, a bridge camera is more suitable than a smartphone or point-& shoot.
Considering all these, for an experienced photographer, a good DSLR is preferable to a decent bridge camera. The bridge camera’s sensor is relatively small and noisier. Although this fixed smaller sensor is capable of a really high zoom ratio-often greater than 10:1, 20:1, and sometimes almost 30:1! The DSLR, in comparison, will have a larger sensor that is typically 10 times or much bigger than the Bridge camera’s sensor. DSLRs have interchangeable lenses, which allow you to shoot super-telephoto, macro, fisheye, and fast lenses. Though these lenses cost much more, quality-wise they are simply superior. Zoom lenses typically have a 10:1 maximum magnification.
The bridge camera might be a better option if you don’t have to worry about top-notch image quality and don’t require the flexibility of switching lenses. Because the big zoom range of the bridge camera is sufficient, and certainly more practical for casual photographers. There are some bridge cameras that still hold up to the standards, like Nikon Coolpix P900, Canon Powershot G3X, and Panasonic Lumix FZ 2500 to name a few.
Are Bridge Cameras Still Worth It?
Bridge cameras are a fantastic option for beginners, because of their portability, easy-to-use functions, and much more affordable than professional cameras. They’ll let you experiment and help in identifying your craft and working style. Bridge cameras also have some nifty manual control features that enable you to get used to operating a camera in manual mode. By using a bridge camera earlier in your career, you’ll learn what camera and lens you need for your professional photography. Overall, it is an all-rounder if you know how and what you want to capture. So, do you own one, or ever used any bridge camera? What are your opinions?