I actually had a bridge camera; it was a Nikon L830, and I used it from the time I was about 14 until I was 16 and my mom fully entrusted trusted me with her DSLR (a Canon 60D with an 18-200).
Biggest pros for the bridge camera:
My L830 was roughly $300.
34x zoom. This meant I could zoom in and read billboards that were roughly three-quarters of a mile away.
Yes, I still use my L830 for video alongside my DSLR and it gets pretty decent quality.
—Whet the appetite without breaking the bank
This camera really was what got me started in photography. It didn’t shoot RAW, it wasn’t full-frame, it didn’t even have manual controls. But that wasn’t really important at the time. As I learned more about photography, I found the limitations… and then it was time to move up. Often, understanding and creatively working with the limitations of the current equipment you currently own is better than—and this is the constant temptation, for me too—just jumping and saying “oh I need a Canon 1DX with a 50mm 1.2 to really get this shot… and then not taking the shot at all because your current camera just “can’t”. Start small, take the picture anyway, work your way up, and then you’ll appreciate better equipment when it falls into your hands.
Cons of my bridge camera
—No manual controls! (honestly this was the first thing I noticed). Canon is generally better than Nikon at providing manual controls on entry level cameras, but both competitors do offer them on select models. Just make sure.
—Not super great in low-light.
and… uh… that’s about it.
I know this was late but I just thought I would throw in my two cents 🙂