Canon has long been one, if not the, top name in the digital camera industry. The depth of their ranges, as well as its quality, has given them their stellar reputation. Their bridge cameras, filling the space between point-and-shoot compacts and DSLRs, are equally impressive. Bridge cameras tend to give users more manual control than a point-and-shoot without the large sensor and interchangeable lenses (and subsequent price tag) of a DSLR. Although they’ve long had a reputation as cameras only for beginners or enthusiastic amateurs, more recent models have staked their claim as versatile alternatives to mirrorless or DSLR cameras. We’ve compiled a list of the best Canon bridge cameras and what it is we like about them, as well as provided some details to help you make the right choice of camera for your needs and budget.
Bridge Camera Buying Guide
If you’re still undecided about which bridge camera is good for you, we’ve outlined some of the important buying considerations that should help you figure out the right choice.
Canon bridge cameras can range from the low hundreds to the low thousands in terms of price. Your budget will no doubt be one of the biggest considerations in your purchase, so it’s a good idea to decide roughly how much you want to spend before you seriously start looking at cameras. It’s important to be firm on which features are most important to you and your photography needs, and be prepared to miss out on some of the more ‘luxury’ features if you’re budget is tight.
Lenses can vary on bridge cameras. One of the plus points of owning one is that you don’t have to worry about purchasing additional interchangeable lenses. You still need to decide on what kind of focal length range you need though. Would you rather have a long, ‘super-zoom’ lens (around 35x to 65x) or are you happier with a more modest range (4x to 18x)? Both have their benefits, but if you’re going to be travelling and taking a wide variety of shots, the longer zoom may be beneficial.
In terms of image quality, a larger sensor and a greater number of megapixels on that sensor are what you need to look for. The higher these numbers are, the greater the quality of the images. Bridge cameras usually suffer compared to mirrorless or DSLR due to their smaller image sensors, but that’s not to say a four-thirds or 1-inch sensor isn’t capable of capturing some highly detailed pictures. This may not matter so much to an amateur or beginner, but the more serious you become the more important it will be. As a rule of thumb, the bigger and better the image sensor, the more you’re likely to have to pay.
The Best Canon Bridge Cameras
Why it’s great:
- 1-megapixel 1/2.3-inch CMOS sensor.
- 65x optical zoom, with equivalent 21-1365mm, f/3.4-6.5 range.
- RAW image capture.
Our favourite Canon bridge camera is the PowerShot SX60 HS, a camera that is right on the edge of being a fully-fledged DSLR, without the price tag. Despite only having a small 1/2.3-inch sensor, image capture is still of a fantastically good quality. The real selling point though is the huge 65x optical zoom that’s equivalent to 21-1365mm on a 35mm sensor. This wide-angle to telephoto range makes it incredibly versatile, and it performs well throughout that focal length range. The optical image stabilization performs well, and is particularly beneficial at the telephoto end of the zoom. The only drawback is the slightly slow maximum aperture range of f/3.4-6.5 which makes shooting in low-light less than optimal. For the price though, there are few that can beat the SX60 HS at this level.
- Maximum aperture range is a little slow compared to rivals and image noise is noticeable in low-light.