What if you want to upgrade from your little point and shoot camera to something more serious, but can’t afford or don’t want to get yourself a DSLR (perhaps due to their size, weight, lenses and “complex” look). That’s why we have bridge cameras, with better zoom range than any DSLR lens, at a much lower price.
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If you’re looking for that one camera that everyone wants, this is it! Lumix DMC FZ-200 is the most expensive on this list, but that’s nothing compared to what all you will be able to do with it. 12 megapixels is more than enough for large prints, cropping, or sharing your pictures online in large resolutions.
The lens is always at f/2.8, even when you are fully zoomed in! Zoom extends from 25- 600mm, and 600mm is what professional sports and wildlife photographers use. It also features a 12fps burst mode, maximum shutter speed of 1/4000 and Full HD video at 60fps (HD at 120fps!)
- You can buy the Panasonic Lumix FZ200 at Amazon
Not only does the Fuji S8200 come with excellent features, it’s also the most affordable on the list! For less than $190, you get a 16.2MP BSI-CMOS sensor and a Fujinon lens with 40x optical zoom!
Typical for its line, it uses a 1/2.3″ sensor, meaning the focal length needs to be multiplied with 5.2x to properly see how far the lens gets you. In Fuji’s case, it’s a staggering 24 – 960mm reach, more than any DSLR lens! On top of all that, it records Full HD videos at 60fps!
- You can buy the Fujifilm Finepix S8200 at Amazon
The SX510 is a fairly new model (late 2013 release), featuring a 12.1MP sensor and 30x optical zoom. Previewing your pictures is easy with the fixed 3.0″ LCD monitor on the back (460k dots). ISO range goes from 80 – 3,200, and it also uses Canon’s Image Stabilization for clearer shots at night (check out our ISO tutorial here)
The price is similar to Fujifilm’s S8200, and it can also record Full HD videos, but “only” at 24fps. HD resolution allows you to capture videos at 30fps.
- You can buy the Canon PowerShot SX510HS at Amazon
It’s sort of like the Canon above, but with 4 more megapixels and other minor differences. The Coolpix L820 has a reach of 23 – 675mm (30x optical zoom), SD/SDHC storage slot and weighs 470g, similar as entry level DSLR cameras. Most importantly, it will allow you to take professional shots regardless of your skills!
Nothing interesting in the video section either, it’s another camera with Full HD with stereo sound recording and a 3.0″ LCD screen.
- You can buy the Nikon Coolpix L820 at Amazon
And we’re almost at $400… For a good reason though, as the Fujifilm HS50EXR truly shines in all aspects. 16 megapixels and high quality images? Check. 42x optical and 84x when combined with digital zoom? No problem. The aperture at the widest focal length is at f/2.8 which is great for low light, and closes down to f/11 when fully zoomed in.
Video wise, you can shoot Full HD (60fps) with stereo sound. Just imagine what all you can record with so much zoom!
- You can buy the Fujifilm Finepix HS50EXR at Amazon