Aug 5, 2022
What To Consider When Choosing Between a Compact Digital Camera or a Bridge Camera

Over recent years there has been an explosion in the range of digital cameras. Although there has been a move away from ‘traditional’ type of compact cameras and Digital Single Lens Reflex (Digital SLR) with the industry appearing to focusing a lot of development ‘compact system cameras’ (bridge camera). This has made it even harder to decide which digital camera is the best for the average consumer.

The principle behind most compact system cameras is the same as that of a Digital SLR, with the benefits of relatively large sensors and interchangeable lenses, but coupled with the portable nature of the advanced compact cameras. These cameras are designed to deliver a high standard of functionality and image quality in a relatively small and inexpensive camera body.

This opens the market for manufactures, to first-time users demanding a reasonably priced way of attaining high-quality images, through to the enthusiast who may not wish to carry around a heavy Digital SLR body and collection of lenses for a day’s shooting or for whom the price of a pro Digital SLR would be prohibitive.

Although, for myself I would opt for the functionality and image quality of compact system cameras, are these really the best option for everyone?

Compact cameras

Compact cameras are designed for the less demanding and occasional users and are good for family and holiday snaps. Supplied with ‘smart’ and ‘intelligent’ technology, compact cameras are ideal for those happy to leave all the decision-making to the camera rather than themselves, but also allowing some degree of control when needed. Ironically these cameras can often be the most difficult to choose between due to the vast array of models from a huge number of manufacturers.


Many of today’s digital cameras contain a larger sensors than in the past, incorporating between 8-16 million pixels (Mp). This comfortably meets and surpasses the requirements of most digital camera users today for taking family photographs and holiday snaps.

While a greater number of pixels can be beneficial in good light, this can also have a negative effect on image quality when you use camera’s light sensitivity or ISO settings to the maximum when photographing in low light conditions.

This doesn’t mean you should digital camera for sale avoid digital cameras with the a high number of mega-pixels, but that your decision regarding the digital camera that would most suit your needs should take into account both quality of the image sensor, number of mega-pixels, ease of use and the quality of the lens. Lens quality and sensor quality are two guiding factors that should always be at the forefront of any decision when considering the type of digital camera, model and manufacturer, you wish to purchase.

If you do plan on buying a simple compact camera, and you’re likely to be using it in a range of lighting conditions, lookout for those which use a ‘backlit’ sensor, as these tend to capture images with less noise (noise is the colour distortion caused by low light conditions where your digital camera is trying to compensate, this grainy and spotted appearance may spoil what would otherwise be a nice photograph) and with a greater dynamic range. As the technology improves manufacturers are incorporating this feature in to a greater range of models. Nevertheless it is worth enquiring prior to purchasing your new camera.

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