Ogden, UT -- (ReleaseWire) -- 06/21/2013 --Bridge cameras capture that niche between point-and-shoot pocket cameras and professional DSLR cameras. These combo cameras have many of the same features as a top-notch SLR camera, but consumers don't have to spend $500 or more to obtain one. TopTenREVIEWS just released a comparison of the best bridge cameras available. They compare design, image quality and several features that make these devices stand out from other cameras.
"If you don’t want to spend hundreds of dollars on an SLR camera but want more power than traditional pocket cameras, bridge cameras perfectly fill that niche," said Lecia Monsen, Editorial Director of TopTenREVIEWS. "These cameras are a near match when it comes to professional-looking photographs."
The Top 3:
1. Sony CyberShot HX200V: TTR's Gold Award winner doesn't just work as a photography camera, but it records high-definition video as well. Consumers can get beautiful 1080p video that also records stereo sound simultaneously. This camera also lets people take 3D panoramic images and edit pictures directly on the camera, such as adding a tilt-shift effect or editing blemishes from a subject's face.
2. Fujifilm FinePix HS30: What's great about the Silver Award winning bridge camera is its ability to take macro images. This camera lets photographers get as close as 1cm to the subject and take pristine, high-quality images that are rich with color. Plus, the HS30 has the ability to take 3D and panoramic photos.
3. Nikon Coolpix P520: The Bronze winning P520 is a great example of image quality and high-zoom capabilities. The P520 has a 42x optical zoom, which compares to a 1,000mm lens. The 1/4,000 second maximum shutter speeds creates a simple way to capture high-action sequences.
[Complete Bridge Cameras Review]
What Makes a Top-Notch Bridge Camera?
With all this talk of bridge cameras being almost as good as SLR's but not as compact as pocket cameras, what exactly is the benefit of owning one? To answer that question, TTR didn't just look at the quality of the pictures each camera can capture, but also the extra features that give consumers more of the SLR experience.
Image Quality: This is the most crucial aspect of any camera. Bridge cameras focus a lot on zoom capabilities, so TTR looked for cameras that had an optical zoom of at least 24x. Many of these high-zoom cameras can also get as close as 1cm to the subject and are comparable to 24mm to 1,000mm lenses. Plus, many of the cameras on the lineup record 1080p video and stereo sound at up to 60 frames per second.
Features: With the breakthroughs in technology, many bridge cameras now offer Wi-Fi connectivity and have built-in GPS. Because many people don't have access to expensive photo editing software, TopTenREVIEWS looked for cameras that have in-camera editing that let people add effects to their photos, correct the color or brightness, and even fix blemishes or alter the shine on a subject's face.
Design: TTR reviewers tested the cameras' battery lives, which is measured in shots per charge. The best prosumer camera can take more than 500 shots before it needs to be recharged. Foldout screens make it easier than ever to take shots that require weird angles, but looking into the eyepiece isn't an option.
Help & Support: Support goes beyond the traditional email and phone support. Manufacturers now offer classes or tutorials on photography. There are blog posts and articles on how cameras work and which settings are the best for sunset or sunrise photographs. Downloadable manuals, forums and FAQs are all necessary for solid customer support.
Technological improvements to cameras make it easier than ever to get the best shot while on a budget. The bridge cameras reviewed by TopTenREVIEWS are the perfect fusion between the high-zoom capability of SLR lenses and the simplicity of point-and-shoot cameras.
More product reviews can be found at TopTenREVIEWS.