Bridge Camera: Good Alternative To DSLRs With A Huge Zoom
Bridge cameras are sometimes called DSLR-shape or DSLR-like, because they resemble DSLRs. These cameras provide similar features but, like compacts, they use a small sensor and a fixed lens. Most of these cameras use live preview to frame the image. Big physical size and small sensor allow super zoom and wide aperture
Their usual auto-focus is by the same contrast-detect mechanism as compacts, but many bridge cameras have a manual focus mode and some have a separate focus ring for greater control.
Bridgecams typically include an image stabilization system to enable longer handheld exposures, sometimes better than DSLR for low light condition.
Bridge cameras are generally fitted with fixed lenses. Some have a lens thread to attach an accessory wide-angle or telephoto converters, but almost all bridge cameras can take photos at 24mm, 22mm or even 20mm, in 35mm equivalent terms, so practically lens thread is little used except for UV or Circular Polarizing filter and lens-hood.
The scene is composed by viewing the display or the electronic viewfinder. Most bridge cameras have a slightly longer shutter lag than a DSLR. Many can store images in a raw image format, or processed and JPEG compressed, or both. The majority have a built-in flash, but only a few have hotshot.
In bright sun, the quality difference between a good compact camera and a digital SLR is minimal but bridge cameras are more portable, cost less and have similar zoom ability. Thus a bridge camera may better suit outdoor daytime activities, except when seeking professional-quality photos.
A 3D photo mode can be used in bridge cameras, whereby the camera automatically takes a second image from a slightly different perspective and provides a standard MPO file for stereo display.
Note than another type of camera is called mirror less interchangeable-lens camera (MILC), which uses various sensors and offers lens interchangeability. These are simpler and more compact than DSLRs due to not having a lens reflex system. MILC camera models are available with various sensor sizes including a 1/2.3 inch sensor, as is commonly used in bridge cameras such as the original Pentax Q; a 1 inch sensor; a Micro Four Thirds sensor; an APS-C sensor such as the Sony NEX series, Pentax K-01, and Canon EOS M; and some, such as the Sony Alpha 7, use a full frame (35 mm) sensor. MILC cameras are available which appeal to both amateurs and professionals.
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