Bridge Camera…that’s something quite new a
phrase in the world of photography. And what exactly does it mean? Why are they
named so? Has it anything to do with its features? Speaking of features, how is
the reception? Are they doing good in the market? Best received bridge cameras
in the recent times?
These and many more in the pages that follow…
Bridge camera are cameras which fill the
niche between the single-lens reflex cameras (SLRs) and the Point-and –shoot
camera. And hence the name… “bridge”, as they ‘bridge’ the gap between DSLRs
and compact cameras in some respects, offering a longer zoom range than
traditional compact cameras. They are also often referred to as superzooms.
Bridge camera is the perfect answer to
those aspiring photographers who are stuck between choosing a DSLR and a
compact carmera. A stalwart of the digital photography industry for the past
decade, the bridge camera forms a bridge between a compact oint-and-shoot camera
and a full-blown DSLR.
camera, the perfect answer to those aspiring photographers stuck between
choosing a DSLR and a compact carmera
It typically features some, but not all, of
the manual settings and even physical controls that one would expect to find on
an entry-level DSLR, including occasional command dials and chunky shooting
mode wheels. But it retains some of the accessibility and user friendliness of
a snap-shot camera, plus then lens can’t be removed or swapped.
Unsurprisingly, its design has aspects of
the two types of camera, although the overall look and handling of a bridge
camera tends to suggest what we’d term a DSLR ‘lite’.
Nearly every traditional camera
manufacturer and electronics giant has a bridge model in its current range.
Features that makes it a bridge camera..
Like other cameras, most current bridge
cameras are digital. These cameras typically feature full manual controls over
shutter speed, aperture, ISO, white balance and metering. Generally, their
feature sets are similar to consumer DSLRs, except for a smaller range of ISO
sensitivity because of their typically smaller image sensor (a DSLR has a 36mm,
APS, or 4/3 size CCD or CMOS). Many bridge cameras have long zoom lenses, so
the term “bridge camera” is often used interchangeably with “megazoom”,
“superzoom”, or “ultrazoom”. Since bridge models slot inbetween digital
compacts and DSLRs by offering the finer points of both genres, this makes them
ideal for photographers who like the simplicity of a compact camera, although
accasionally find it rather restrictive in terms of lens range and picture
taking features, but don’t want to make the leap to a full-blown DSLR. The
models in this category, then, offer a ‘bridge’ between the two camps. Clever,
In most cases, a bridge camera also
represents the middle ground in terms of physical size and handling ergonomics.
Whereas a compact is largely about sleekness and pocketability, a bridge camera
is typically a more sculptured affair with a chunky handgrip, sizeable rear LCD
and large buttons that make function setting easier. While you could never
describe a bridge camera as large, you’ll certainly need to trade up a size or
two in bags if you’re currently a compact user.
on bridge cameras are fixed, but offer a whopping zoom range
Lenses on bridge cameras are fixed, but
offer a whopping zoom range, so its unlikely that you’ll be left wanting when
it comes to taking pictures. A typical zoom range will enable you to tackle
everything from landscapes at the wide-angle end through to tame wildlife and
sporting action at the telephoto end. They also focus reasonably close, so
you’ll be able to tackle some macro shot too. While having a fixed lens may be
seen by some as a disadvantage (if you do, a DSLR is more your bag), it does
mean that you’ll never have any problems with dust getting on to the sensor and
spoiling your shots. When it comes to features, you’ll find that most bridge
camera have a foot firmly in the DSLR camp. While they offer the
point-and-shoot simplicity of compacts, should you require it, they also have a
DSLR – style set of exposure modes, metering patterns and file formats. Buying
a bridge camera certainly won’t prevent you from shooting using manual
exposure, spot metering and the Raw file format should you so desire, such
functions just maybe a little more hidden than they would be on a standard
DSLR. Similarly, megapixel counts are also more likely to be in double figures,
although they’re not directly comparable to a DSLR as the sensors are smaller
and so won’t necessarily deliver the same results.
In most cases, then, a bridge camera can
really be viewed as a DSLR with a lens that you can’t change and, as such, are
a very applealing proposition. Be warned, though, if you really enjoy using
your bridge camera and get more involved in your picture taking there will be a
time when you’ll want to make the leap to a DSLR- this photography lark can be