The most significant trade-off between a bridge (superzoom) camera and DSLR is the size of the sensor. A larger sensor can hold more pixels resulting in clearer, more detailed photographs. I noted in my last post that I bought a superzoom to take photos of the moon. You can see in these surf photos that clarity and detail are sacrificed for the benefit of having a long zoom.
Comparing my Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ200 with the FZ1000 we see that the latter camera has upgraded specifications.
Sensor Size: (FZ200) 1/2.3 inch –(FZ1000) 1 inch
Megapixels: (FZ200) 12.10 mp –(FZ1000) 20.1 mp
Zoom: (FZ200) 24x –(FZ1000) 16x
While the FZ200 has a longer zoom, the FZ1000 will produce more detailed photos. This is most noticeable when you enlarge, or crop a photo. Sensor size is not an issue for prints up to 8×11, but a cropped shot will display significant distortion (noise).
If your goal is to produce quality stills, or you digitally process your photos then you won’t be satisfied with a smaller sensor.
These sample photos have all been cropped. The distortion is clearly evident, but they are perfectly adequate for posting on social media.
The following shot has been cropped twice. Cropping basically enlarges the photo, and magnifies the imperfections.
This was an incredible shot. The surfer was actually walking on water! That’s his board floating nearby. The wave tossed him 3-feet in the air, and he took a couple of steps before splashing down. How often does a photographer get a chance to capture a shot like this?
This next guy was surfing backwards. You can see in the second photo the wave is breaking behind him, or towards the beach.
This is the reason why I bought a bridge camera. The built-in 2000 mm focal length gets you right inside the craters on the moon. A DSLR can do this, but the weight and cost of an interchangeable lens was prohibitive for me.
Bridge cameras, also known as superzooms, are a bridge between compact pocket cameras and DSLR’s (digital, single-lens reflex cameras). I’m very satisfied with the results.
These photos were taken with an old Vivitar SLR. On this day I was experimenting with the sepia filter, and depth of field (bokeh*).
The camera did a good job at blurring the background. I really like this technique because it focuses your eyes, in these examples, on the foreground image. Bokeh removes distractions so that the subject just pops.
bo·keh (bōˈkā) … the out-of-focus (blurred) area of a photograph either foreground or background.