As the name implies, bridge cameras 'bridges' the gap between a power-and-shoot camera and a DSLR camera. It combines features of both the cameras. If you choose to buy a bridge camera for wildlife photography, you will make a good bet.
Bridge cameras have massive built-in zoom lenses, balanced auto settings, and manual controls that let you shoot high-quality photos.
Best Bridge Cameras for Wildlife
Finding your perfect pick entails a lot of research from different websites. We have done the legwork and picked the best bridge cameras for wildlife photography or videography to ease you from this.
Sony Cyber-shot RX10 IV
Large 1.0-inch 20.1MP CMOS sensor
Optical range: 25 X
Burst rate: 24fps
Panasonic Lumix FZ2000/ FZ2500
Large 1.0-inch 20.1MP CMOS sensor
Optical range: 20 X
Built-in ND filter
Panasonic Lumix FZ1000 II
Large 1.0- Inch 20.1 MP MOS sensor
Burst rate: 7fps
Zoom compose assist
Panasonic Lumix FZ80 / FZ82
1.0/ 2.3- Inch 18.1 MP BSI-CMO sensor
Burst rate: 30fps
20-1200 mm equiv. zoom lens
Nikon Coolpix P950
Burst rate: 7fps
Dynamic Fine Zoom Digital
Zoom lens: 24-2000mm f/2.8-6.5
Nikon Coolpix P1000
Optical range: 125 X
1.0/ 2.3 – Inch 16.0 MP CMO sensor
Monitor: 3.2- Inch articulating, 921,000 dots
Panasonic FZ300 / FZ330
Zoom Lens: 24-600 mm f/2.8
Monitor: 3-inch vari-angle touchscreen, 1.04m dots
1.0/ 2.3 -inch 12.1 MP MOS sensor
Zoom lens: 26-1008 mm
Optical range: 42X
Sony Cyber-shot RX100 III
Zoom lens: 24-70mm f/1.8-2.8
Burst rate: 10fps
Optical range: 3x
Fujifilm FinePix S1
1/2.3-Inch 16 MP sensor
Burst rate: 10fps
Optical range: 50X
1. Sony Cyber-shot RX10 IV
It is the fourth edition of Sony Cyber-shot’s RX10 version and comes with totally awesome upgrades every wildlife photographer or videographer would love. First, its 1.0-inch 20.1 MP sensor includes a 315 phase-detection focus that covers almost 65% of a frame. Second, it has 24fps continuous tracking and a 24- 600 mm f/2.4-4 zoom lens.
A combination of phase-detect auto-focus with a camera reach of 600 mm is undoubtedly a treat to the photographers. Third, it gives ultra 4K still with a great AF. It has the fastest auto-focus speed of only 0.03 seconds. So, you don’t have to worry about getting a blurred picture of a cheetah running towards it prey. The camera will do the trick!
Lastly, it has a weather-proof body. It is resistant to dust or splash. So even if you are in the middle of a forest, don’t panic; your camera is safe.
All in all, Sony Cyber-shot RX10 IV is considered an all-rounder when it’s about wildlife photography.
2. Panasonic Lumix FZ2000/ FZ2500
Panasonic Lumix FZ2000/ FZ2500, with its large 1.0-inch Megapixel sensor and 20x/ 24- 480 mm zoom lens, is great to give stills with stunning quality. If you are a videographer, you might find it difficult not to be enthralled by this camera.
It is because of the 4K technology with very fast autofocus that lets you capture 4K video. Plus, the adjustable built-in ND filter (by 2, 4, or 6 stops), 10-bit HDMI output, and smooth internal zooming range is something videographers love to have in a camera.
Other equally important factors why the photographers would adore the FZ2000/ FZ2500 by Panasonic include a large electronic viewfinder and an articulated touchscreen which is great to use.
Overall, Panasonic Lumix FZ2000/ FZ2500 is excellent in delivering both picture quality and zoom range.
3. Panasonic Lumix FZ1000 II
Panasonic Lumix FZ1000 II is a super-zoom camera with a 1.0-inch MP sensor and 25- 400 mm equiv. f/2.8-4 (16 X) lens, which gives a 4K picture quality.This camera comes with a load of great features that makes it one of the top picks for wildlife photography or videography.
To begin with, it includes a 5- Axis Hybrid Optical image stabilization and activity mode which reduces camera shake. In addition, itincludes a unique feature called the Zoom Compose Assist.
Supposeyou are taking stills of a tiger, and it suddenly leaves your frame when you zoom in. What this mode does is that it will automatically zoom out so that you can recompose the subject and zoom in again. It also has an Auto Marking feature by which you can highlight a still frame from a video recording.
Other features include- an articulated touch screen, 2.36M-dot OLED viewfinder, 12fps shooting, and built-in Bluetooth and Wi-Fi connectivity.
4. Panasonic Lumix FZ80 / FZ82
The super-zoom bridge camera - Panasonic Lumix FZ80/ FZ82 gives 4K video recording and 4K photo capture at super-fast 30fps, which means you wouldn't miss any split-second moment. The best part is you can take high-resolution pictures at different light intensities, be that bright light or low light. Even in bright sunlight, its high-resolution 1.17K dot viewfinder and rear touch-enabled 3" LCD are clear, so it lets you take a picture with impressive results. Similarly, the low light capture feature makes sure you get the best quality image even at midnight.
5. Nikon Coolpix P950
The Nikon Coolpix P950 is a mega-zoom bridge camera with a staggering 83X zoom lens of 24- 2000 mm focal length, with an optical image stabilizer that can reduce camera shake by 5.5 stops. Furthermore, the zoom range can be further stretched using a 166 X Dynamic Fine Zoom, which reaches a focal length of 4000 mm. So, if you are fond of taking pictures of distant subjects, then you have it!
The camera gives a superior 4K video. It has a built-in mic that allows users to capture high-quality sound in a video. Other than that, it has a 2360K – dot OLED electronic viewfinder, Bluetooth and Wi-Fi connectivity, and an app called SnapBridge that allows you to transfer images from your camera to you device.
Overall, the huge zoom can be overkill for most photographers, but it is suitable for your use if you are a wildlife photographer.
6. Nikon Coolpix P1000
If you want a zoom lens larger than Nikon Coolpix 950’s 83 X zoom, then Nikon Coolpix P1000 is right here to save you. Nikon Coolpix P1000 is regarded as the ‘king of zoom lenses’ because it gives the highest zoom of 125 X reach.
7. Panasonic FZ300 / FZ330
FZ300/ FZ330 by Panasonic with its Constant f/2.8 aperture throughout all range and 25X zoom lens is a great buy for the ones interested in wildlife. It uses the latest autofocus system and can shot continuously with a burst rate of 12fps to give a 4K/UHD video. Additionally, it has weather sealing body that protects your camera from dust and moisture.
8. Canon PowerShot SX420 Digital Camera
Canon PowerShot SX420 features a powerful 42 X zoom lens and an optical image stabilizer to give outstanding performance. The 20.0 MP sensor with DIGIC 4+ image processor generates a satisfactory image quality. Moreover, the camera features few unique modes like Smart AUTO mode, Scene mode, and Eco mode, making it an ideal camera for wildlife.
The Smart Auto automatically selects the camera settings on its own according to the environment. Different Scene modes such as Monochrome, fisheye effect, and Toy camera effect helps the users to capture creative photos. Lastly, the Eco mode provides longer battery life by reducing power consumption. So, you don't have to worry about charging your camera frequently.
9. Sony RX100 III
Sony RX100 III is the most popular camera in Sony’s ‘compact-with-a-big-sensor’ series. Although the zoom range isn’t quite that large, this camera can be used for shorter distances because it gives stunning picture quality. Even in low-light, you can get very sharp images.
10. Fujifilm FinePix S1
Fujifilm FinePix S1, with its weather-resistant body, is excellent for wildlife where you have to travel to different locations with harsh conditions. The cameras high-resolution and Vari- Angled 3-inch LCD (920Kdots) and a sharp EVF allow you to take stills from any angle.
Things to consider before buying the Best Bridge Cameras for Wildlife Photography
Autofocus: Before getting a camera, make sure the AF tracking is excellent, especially in low-light. Or else you will find yourself in a situation where you are trying to fix your camera focus and the subject already left from your frame.
Image stabilization: Optical image stabilization is an important factor because it minimizes hand-shake from ruining your perfect photo and gives you a perfect blur-free shot.
Burst rate: A camera with a faster burst rate is usually recommended for wildlife so that you don't miss the split-second moment of capturing the perfect winning shot.
Our pick for the Best Bridge Camera for Wildlife would be Sony Cyber-shot RX10 IV among all these cameras. It is a super versatile camera that gives 4k photos and video with the fastest auto-focus. Though it is a quite expensive, but it’s worth the money.
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