Bridge cameras were named on the basis of bridging the gap between DSLRs and compact cameras, through offering the same kind of user experience and level of manual control. Bridge cameras have been there for a long period of time, and despite the fact that the modern day compact System Cameras (CSCs) deserving the title, the name has stuck on the Bridge cameras. Sometimes the Bridge cameras are referred to as super zooms, or in some cases ultrazooms.
Bridge Camera vs DSLR
The Bridge camera resembles the DSLR in appearance, and if not observed keenly, one might think that they are one. Some of the features that are similar include the raised hump above the lens, same prominent handgrip, as well as a large protruding lens on the front. Bridge cameras are also comparable in most cases, with the same arrangement of dials as well as buttons for manual control. The cost of the better ones is also almost the same as that of entry level DSLRs. However there are some differences; to start with, the lens on the Bridge camera cannot be removed. In the event that it has a viewfinder, then it is one, and it will be electronic and not optical. This is mainly because there is no reflex mirror, or prism assembly inside the camera like the one that the DSLR has. The focusing system also differs, and it s not as fast. Lastly, the quality of the photo is not as good as that of DSLR.
Sensors of a Bridge Camera
A Bridge camera is basically a compact camera in a bigger body, and also with a high magnification zoom. The sensor is similar to that of a compact camera, meaning that the image quality will be the same. However the small sensor is the basis of the secret weapon that Bridge cameras have.
Bridge Camera Lenses
Bridge cameras defining feature is the lens which exceeds anything that you can buy on a DSLR. Even the most modest provide something in the range of 20x zoom range to 50x. At a maximum zoom, a typical Bridge camera magnification is equivalent to at least 500mm on a DSLR, and the e longest extends to over 1000mm. for example the lens on the Canon PowerShot SX50 HS can extend from 24mm to 1200mm (equivalent). This is a lens that does not exist on a DSLR, and if it did, it would have to be very big and heavy, and might even require wheels.
Bridge Camera Features
Most of the Bridge cameras offer the same kind of control as that of entry level DSLRs. Many of them have direct buttons for important shooting parameters like the ISO and White Balance, and control mode dial. Majority of them also shoot raw. When it comes to HD video, this might be the standard despite the fact that the bit rates, frame rates and file formats could vary. Only a couple of them feature an external microphone input for better audio. Some of the most modern Bridge cameras offer the Wi-Fi feature, and others also have a GPS, which is advantageous for a travelling photographer.
Despite the fact that all cameras of this type have long zooms, most models the zoom is controlled using a toggle switch that is located on the body on the camera. Some of them are controlled by rotating the collar on the lens itself. Neither the bridge camera nor the DSLR is better than the other, but the defining factor is preference.