Top 7 Best Sony Bridge Cameras 2017

sony Bridge CamerasDepending on your needs, a bridge camera can be the perfect balance between a traditional point-and-shoot compact and a fully-fledged DSLR. They’re so named precisely because they bridge that gap. For the amateur who feels restricted by their compact, or someone looking to get to grips with the fundamentals of photography, a bridge camera could be a good choice.

The distinguishing features of a bridge camera are the often long focal length zoom, a smaller sensor than a mirrorless or DSLR, and a compromise between fully auto and fully manual shooting modes. One of their main selling points is their affordability compared to other types of camera. Bridge cameras can be a fraction of the price of mirrorless or DSLR cameras, and are still capable of producing some high-quality results, through macro to wide angle to telephoto ranges.

The main brands that produce bridge cameras are Panasonic, Sony, Canon and Fujifilm. This article will look at the best Sony bridge cameras currently available.

Top Sony Bridge Cameras


1. Sony Cyber-shot RX10 III

Why it’s great:

  • 1 megapixel sensor.
  • 24-600mm equivalent focal length range with max aperture of f/2.4-f/4.
  • 4K and Full HD video capture.

Sony pulled out all the stops for the Cyber-shot RX10 III. The 24-600mm lens is a stunning optical device, giving an effective wide angle to telephoto range and capturing some stunningly detailed images. The maximum aperture of f/2.4 to f/4 is wide enough to make this camera fairly decent in low-light settings. When it comes to video capture, the Cyber-shot RX10 III excels, being capable of recording in both 4K at a 100Mbps maximum bit rate and in 1080p. This is all thanks to the splendid 20.1 megapixel, 1-inch sensor that Sony use, which is also capable of continuous shooting up to an impressive 14fps.

The Sony Cyber-shot RX10 III is our favourite Sony bridge camera for a whole host of reasons. Image performance is excellent, as is the build-quality. It feels sturdy and secure in the hand, it’s easy to use, and it’s quick to autofocus and process images. Although it’s expensive, it’s definitely justified in its cost.

Buying considerations:

  • There’s no doubting that this is an expensive camera, almost being comparable to a mirrorless or DSLR camera. Depending on your needs and budget, this may not be the camera for you.

2. Sony Cyber-shot RX10 II

Why it’s great:

  • A cheaper alternative to the above Mark III.
  • 2 megapixel CMOS sensor.
  • 3x optical zoom Carl Zeiss with equivalent focal length range of 24-200mm.

We picked out the Cyber-shot RX10 III as our top pick of Sony bridge cameras, but the previous version, the RX10 II is still a very impressive second place. Although it doesn’t have quite as impressive a zoom length as the III, it still produces some fantastically high-quality images. The lens on the II has a maximum aperture of f/2.8 making it a strong performer in low-light situations and gives a shallow depth-of-field control. The II is also packed full of features that you’d expect to find in a DSLR, a Supersonic Wave Motor (SSM) provides fast and accurate autofocusing, 4K video capture is supported and there’s built-in Wi-Fi.

Buying considerations:

  • Even though it’s cheaper than the RX10 III, the RX10 II is still not cheap.

3. Sony Cyber-shot DSC RX10

Why it’s great:

  • A yet cheaper alternative to the above Mark II and III.
  • 2 megapixel CMOS sensor.
  • 3x optical zoom Carl Zeiss lens with equivalent focal length range of 24-200mm.

There’s definitely a trend here; the Sony Cyber-shot DSC RX10 range is fantastic and every new iteration has been a little better than the last. The original RX10 is still an impressively good bridge camera, and although it doesn’t have all the mod cons of the II or III, it still performs well. The 20.2 megapixel sensor and constant maximum aperture of f/2.8 rivals similarly priced mirrorless or DSLRs in terms of image quality and low-light photography. Although it doesn’t have the 4K video shooting of the II or III, it does have 1080p full HD capture, as well as built in Wi-Fi. Overall, if you can do without the some of the features of the II or III, you can save yourself a fair bit by choosing the more than adequate DSC RC10 bridge camera.

Buying considerations:

  • Despite being cheaper than the newer iterations, it’s still likely out of the budget of the casual user.

4. Sony Cyber-shot HX400V

Why it’s great:

  • 50x optical zoom with equivalent of 24-1200mm focal length.
  • 4-million-pixel 1/2.3 inch CMOS sensor.
  • Far more affordable than the DSC RX10 range.

The main selling point of the Sony Cyber-shot HX400V is the huge 50x optical zoom lens that it has. It gives a 35mm sensor equivalent of a 24-1200mm focal length range, meaning it spans from wide angle to telephoto zoom. The image stabilization does a great job of keeping shake under control, particularly at longer focal lengths. Mod cons such as Wi-Fi and an adjustable LCD screen are nice additions, and the build quality is sturdy enough. Although images aren’t as good as on some of the other Sony bridge cameras, they’re passable given the price.

Buying considerations:

  • Image quality really suffers in low-light settings and at higher ISO sensitivities.

5. Sony Cyber-Shot HX350

Why it’s great:

  • Another very affordable bridge camera.
  • 50x optical zoom with equivalent of 24-1200mm focal length.
  • 4-million-pixel 1/2.3 inch CMOS sensor.

The price point of the Cyber-shot HX350 is the main attraction here. It’s definitely a camera that’s affordable for the casual user or beginner. Despite its low price, there are enough features to deliver some good results. The 50x optical zoom, for example, gives a huge range of focal lengths which is ideal for all kinds of situations. If you’re travelling and looking for a cheap bridge camera, this is a good choice.

Buying considerations:

  • Performance is fairly decent if the light is good, in darker settings and at more sensitive ISOs, performance drops off considerably.

6. Sony Cyber-shot HX300

Why it’s great:

  • A cheaper alternative to the HX400.
  • 50x optical zoom with equivalent of 24-1200mm focal length.
  • Optical SteadyShot image stabilization.

A step down from the HX400 is the HX300, which has many of the same optical features (lens, sensor, image stabilization, and HD video capture). There are a few features it doesn’t have, such as Wi-Fi, GPS tagging, and a few others, but if you can forego these you can certainly save a fair amount and still get the same good quality image and video capture.

Buying considerations:

  • The lack of the aforementioned mod cons may be frustrating for some users.

7. Sony Cyber-shot DSC H400

Why it’s great:

  • An entry level bridge camera that performs acceptable well.
  • 63x optical zoom lens, equivalent to 24.5-1550mm.
  • 1 megapixel sensor.

This is very much an entry-level bridge camera, but with this in mind it performs pretty well. The 63x optical zoom gives a fantastic focal length range equivalent to 24.5-1550mm on a 35mm sensor. This range is ideal for holidaying and gives a great deal of flexibility with the types of photography you can try out. There’s image stabilization, as well as both auto and manual shooting modes so you can really get to grips with some of the principles of photography.

Buying considerations:

  • The entry level price definitely reflects the quality of images you can expect. This is one for the beginners only.

How to Choose the Best Sony Bridge Camera for Your Needs


By now you should have a good understanding of the Sony bridge camera range and what it can offer you. All you need to do now is choose the one best suited to your needs.

What Makes a Good Bridge Camera?

As we’ve seen, there are some really handy features that Sony bridge cameras have. If you’re looking to take lots of video, then 4K video capture is fantastic, and 1080p full HD is a good second choice. Having built in Wi-Fi and GPS tagging is very convenient if you’re travelling a lot and need to offload pictures regularly. Some photographers will love the long focal length range that a bridge camera can offer, like the 50x and 63x optical zooms we’ve seen in the list so far. Image quality should be your main consideration though, and in this respect you often get what you pay for.

How Much Should I Spend on a Bridge Camera?

Depending on your needs and experience, your budget will vary considerably. Entry level Sony bridge cameras can start in the low hundreds whilst the top end ones will can reach to just over the thousand mark. How much you spend will depend on your needs and the features you want included.

What Type of Bridge Camera Should I Buy?

Again, depending on your needs the answer to this will be different. If you’re a beginner looking for a portable camera to take on holiday, then the bridge cameras with the long focal length ranges will be ideal. They’re fairly straight forward to use and can produce some pleasing results. Overall though, their image quality is not quite at the level the serious amateur or professional would need. For those, a more compact and specialist bridge camera would be a better choice. The cost will be far greater, but so will the results.

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