The 8 Best Bridge Cameras In 2021 [Under $200, $300 & $500]

David Welch
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A bridge cam is the combination of the best in point and shoot and digital SLR cameras.

A bridge camera effectively bridges the gap between the features of a budget/point and shoot digital camera and a full blown digital SLR.

The 8 best bridge cameras reviewed in this guide will suit the needs of many people looking for a compact DSLR.

Whether you are a keen amateur photographer or holiday maker, a bridge camera offers a great mix of convenience and performance.

Why Is Bridge Camera Worth Buying? Is It A Good Option?

If you are looking to get the best of both worlds, especially with the rise of taking pictures of sporting events and action shots, then a bridge camera is a great option.

I've tested all the top bridge cameras and my favorite is the Canon Powershot SX60 HS 12.1 MP.

Learn more about bridge cameras and why they should be considered when shopping for a new camera in my detailed review below.

NameCategoryProduct
PANASONIC LUMIX FZ1000 4K Point and Shoot CameraBest OverallPANASONIC LUMIX FZ1000 4K Point and Shoot Camera
Pentax X-5 silver 16 Digital CameraBudget PickPentax X-5 silver 16 Digital Camera
Sony DSC-RX10 III Cyber-shot Digital Still CameraUpgrade PickSony DSC-RX10 III Cyber-shot Digital Still Camera

1. PANASONIC LUMIX FZ1000 4K Point and Shoot Camera

Our rating: 9 / 10

PANASONIC LUMIX FZ1000 4K Point and Shoot Camera

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Pros:

  • 16x optical zoom and enhance mode
  • 4K video recording
  • Electronic viewfinder, fully articulating
  • Weatherproof

Cons:

  • No articulating screen
  • Expensive
  • APS-C sensor only

The Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ1000 4K Point and Shoot Camera is a 16x optical zoom, weatherproof camera with an electronic viewfinder, 4K video recording, and a high-sensitivity MOS sensor that allow you to capture more detail than a traditional camera, including high resolution 20-megapixel images that are suitable for enlargement.

Record Full HD or Ultra HD 4K video footage at 60p or 24p with the latest MPEG-4 AVC/H.265 compression. Additionally shoot in a High Definition 1080p resolution at up to 60p.

With a DMW-FL220 lens hood, the FZ1000 can capture dramatic, high quality images in almost any situation. The FZ1000 has the incredible precision to flex and extend its retractable lens while zooming in and out, allowing you to stay at a safe distance when taking close-ups of wild animals for example.

2. Sony DSCH300/B Digital Camera

Our rating: 8 / 10

Sony DSCH300/B Digital Camera

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Pros:

  • Waterproof
  • Easy to use
  • Comes with a remote control
  • Can be used for long time periods

3. Pentax X-5 silver 16 Digital Camera

Our rating: 8 / 10

Pentax X-5 silver 16 Digital Camera

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Pros:

  • Lightweight: It is small and easy to take anywhere
  • Has a long zoom: It possesses a 26x optical zoom, which makes it easy to click longer shots
  • Has many different modes: It possesses fully automatic, scene setting, and manual modes, providing the user with enough freedom of choice.
  • Comes with RAW and video mode: It provides additional versatility.

Cons:

  • Low light issue: When the light gets low, the images don't turn out great
  • Unreliable HDR: The HDR mode cannot be trusted.

4. PANASONIC LUMIX FZ2500 4K Point and Shoot Camera

Our rating: 7 / 10

PANASONIC LUMIX FZ2500 4K Point and Shoot Camera

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Pros:

  • The narrow field look allows you to focus on one figure
  • The touch screen LCD is a good feature that allows you to tilt the screen back if you’re shooting from a high angle.
  • The camera is lightweight and feels very solid.

Cons:

  • The camera lacks a viewfinder, which requires you to hold the camera in a particular position or have unlimited lighting.

The Panasonic Lumix FZ2500 is basically a mini version of a professional camera. Meaning, what you’re getting out of this camera gives you all the features and power of the top cameras but in a smaller size.

The camera is equipped with WiFi and NFC. Provide you have the app and the camera is capable of wifi, you can connect to it from your phone. You will be able to frame the shot on your phone before you even take the picture. The camera also possesses extra lens attachments.

An LCD screen with a touch screen monitor is also included, allowing you to look at the photos you’ve taken and change settings on the fly. This feature is more than a gimmick it is what allows you to get certain shots that you’re only able to get with a touch screen. The monitor is also tiltable over a hundred and eighty degrees if you want to shoot using a low angle.

5. Sony DSC-RX10 III Cyber-shot Digital Still Camera

Our rating: 7 / 10

Sony DSC-RX10 III Cyber-shot Digital Still Camera

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Have you ever wanted to go out with friends to take some holiday pictures but didn't want the distraction of lugging around a DSLR and all the associated equipment that goes with it? If so, the Cyber-shot RX10 might be just what you're looking for.

The thoughtful design of this camera allows you to do your photography with ease. It has a monster lens on the front with a 26x optical zoom, plus an additional 50x digital.

It's a professional bridge camera, but the price tag may make it prohibitive for some buyers.

6. Nikon COOLPIX P900 Digital Camera

Our rating: 6 / 10

Nikon COOLPIX P900 Digital Camera

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Pros:

  • Notable zoom
  • Very good image quality during the day
  • Remarkable zoom
  • Easy to change settings

Cons:

  • Battery life could be a lot better
  • Lack of any manual focus
  • Zoom lens could be better
  • Simple image processing

The P900 is a long zoom camera that comes with a 20x optical zoom lens that covers a good focal range of 18mm to 180mm. If you want a little more telephoto maxed out at 840mm equivalent.

It comes with a total of 61 different shooting modes to suit many different shooting conditions. It also has auto scene modes that work great for an easy to use camera like this. This camera takes great photos that are very sharp and rich in detail with amazing color reproduction.

This camera also has a number of other features that you will be glad to have. For example, it can be controlled by a smart phone or tablet. It also has a built-in wireless transmitter that allows you to go wireless with your tablet or even your smart phone. It comes with a very powerful processor that allows it to generate large raw files at a remarkable resolution.

7. Canon PowerShot SX530 HS 16.0 MP CMOS Digital Camera

Our rating: 6 / 10

Canon PowerShot SX530 HS 16.0 MP CMOS Digital Camera

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Pros:

  • The camera uses a new anti smear coating on each of the lens which helps to reduce glare
  • A new face detection system is included which helps to find, track, and capture distant and/or moving objects
  • The 50x optical zoom is amongst the best and so is the 24mm ultra wide-angle lens
  • Built-in WiFi so you can share your images with family and friends easily
  • Now record high-definition videos in full 1080p resolution
  • Using Canon’s HD Movie mode you’ll be able to capture memorable moments with ease
  • Using Canon’s Hybrid Auto technology you’ll be able to optimize the photos and videos automatically ….such as face detection, one-touch HD, red-eye reduction, and blink detection.
  • The screen has been upgraded to a new, high-resolution 3-inch screen so sharing photos and videos is easier
  • You’ll have the ability to playback the audio and video as well
  • Improving the connectivity, it offers a variety of connectivity features like a built-in Wi-Fi connection so you can easily share images and videos using social media

8. Fujifilm FinePix HS50EXR 16MP Digital Camera

Our rating: 5 / 10

Fujifilm FinePix HS50EXR 16MP Digital Camera

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Pros:

  • Takes good quality pictures
  • Can use it underwater up to 10 feet with a waterproof case
  • Manual settings allow you to change the exposure time, ISO and white balance to achieve the right effect you need.
  • You can view the pictures you just took without having to wait through a lengthy download time thanks to the ex-high speed shooting capability of the HS50EXR.
  • Smaller than the hundreds of mega pixels digital cameras can fit in your pocket unlike the DSLR cameras.
  • Digital filters allow you to capture the photo exactly as you have imagined.
  • Can last for up to 350 pictures before the battery needs recharging.

Cons:

  • Needs a longer focal length than other bridge cameras that are currently on the market.
  • It is a streamlined camera that can be used in any weather conditions or temperature.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What is the best budget bridge camera?

The overall best bridge camera in its price is the Canon Powershot SX720 HS. Its combination of large sensor size, 20x zoom range, excellent optical image stabilization, live view, WiFi, and great image quality make it a premium choice for people who want a high level of flexibility in camera features.

What is the best camera for under $200?

Very compact and lightweight, the Fujifilm XP140 is one of the smallest, lightest, and most affordable bridge cameras you can find. But it’s also a very good one. Unlike most entry-level cameras, it features a large 1/2-inch CMOS sensor, a Fujinon f/2.8-5.9 lens with 4x optical zoom, 10-megapixel Venus Engine, and a 3-inch rear LCD screen. It also has 32 scene presets, adjustable shutter speeds, ISO sensitivity that goes as high at 12800, in-camera HDR, and a very handy macro photography setting that averages 3cm of distance. It’s also water-resistant (not water-proof, though).

What bridge camera should I buy?

There are countless models of bridge cameras for sale today, often in many different price ranges. If you’re just entering the world of bridge cameras and are looking for a high-quality model to take to parties, family outings, or even to your kid’s soccer match, you can consider cameras from more affordable brands, like Kodak, Sony, and Fujifilm.

If you’re looking for something a little more professional, you might consider a pricier model from a brand like Canon or Nikon.

What is the best camera under 500 dollars?

Conclusion

There is a lot to consider for a camera that will be used for security purposes. In this buying guide we look at the most important factors to consider when buying a home/business security camera. All the cameras on our list are based on actual consumer reports, in which they are tested in different areas including night vision quality, built in microphone, and digital zoom.

Our Recommendation

NameCategoryProduct
PANASONIC LUMIX FZ1000 4K Point and Shoot CameraBest OverallPANASONIC LUMIX FZ1000 4K Point and Shoot Camera
Pentax X-5 silver 16 Digital CameraBudget PickPentax X-5 silver 16 Digital Camera
Sony DSC-RX10 III Cyber-shot Digital Still CameraUpgrade PickSony DSC-RX10 III Cyber-shot Digital Still Camera