Top 10 Best Bridge Cameras

Bridge cameras look like the perfect solution for all your photographic needs. They have all the controls and functions of suitable reflex cameras and mirrorless cameras but are equipped with fixed ultra-ultra zoom lenses that you can not get anywhere else. The Best Bridge Cameras really look like the ultimate do-it-all solution that every photographer is looking for. But there are pitfalls and compromises and the best models are not cheap.

Features Of A Bridge Camera

The first and most important thing to watch out for with the best bridge cameras is the sensor size. Cameramanians can only make zoom lenses with these colossal ranges by using a smaller sensor. Until recently, almost all bridge cameras used small 1/2.3-inch sensors of the type that you get in common point and cameras and some smartphones. You get a huge zoom range for an affordable price, but the image quality is limited. And then Sony, Panasonic, and Canon released more advanced bridge cameras with much larger 1-inch sensors.

These sensors are not as large as those in DSLR and mirrorless cameras, but they are not a million kilometers away and the quality is much better than with normal bridge cameras. But the larger sensors mean smaller zoom ranges and higher price tags, which means that the market for bridge cameras is divided into two halves. The more expensive 1-inch models at the top of our list have a smaller zoom range, but we think it’s worth the extra image quality.

The cheaper 1/2.3-inch models in the bottom half of our list have a spectacular zoom range but only average image quality. And keep in mind that bridge cameras cannot do everything as versatile as they are. For ultra-wide angle shooting, 1: 1 macro, tilt-shift lenses and extra-fast apertures, you need a DSLR with an interchangeable lens or a mirrorless camera.

But if you are interested in buying one of the best Bridge cameras, you can get one from our list of the best bridge cameras list as per your needs and budget. Let’s have a look at them in our comparison table and then we’ll discuss them one-by-one.

Best Bridge Cameras Comparison Table

Bridge Cameras
Camera NameMegapixelsMax Video Resolution
Sony Cyber-Shot RX10 IV20.1 MP4K
Sony Cyber-Shot RX10 III20.1 MP4K
Panasonic Lumix FZ100020.1 MP4K
Panasonic Lumix FZ250020.1 MP4K
Panasonic Lumix FZ30012.1 MP4K
Nikon Coolpix P90016 MP1080p
Nikon Coolpix P100016 MP4K
Panasonic Lumix FZ8018.1 MP4K
Canon PowerShot SX70 HS20.3 MP4K
Canon PowerShot G3 X20.2 MP1080p

Here are the Top 10 Best Bridge Cameras

Sony Cyber-Shot RX10 IV

It’s our top bridge camera, but its high-speed performance makes it expensive

  • Type: Superzoom compact
  • Sensor: 1in
  • Megapixels: 20.1MP
  • Lens: 24-600mm (equiv) f/2.4-4
  • Screen: 3in tilting screen, 1.44million dots
  • Viewfinder: EVF, 2.36million dots
  • Max burst speed: 24fps
  • Max video resolution: 4K
  • User level: Enthusiast/Expert

The RX10 IV is the latest version of Sony’s RX10 bridge camera series and takes a useful step forward from the RX10 III. The main highlight is the recording of a 315-point phase detect AF system, making it much better suited for tracking moving subjects, while the introduction of a touch screen is a feature that is oddly absent in the RX10 setup – and indeed, many of Sony’s other lines until recently – is also remarkable. 24 fps burst shots, which is a significant improvement over the already existing 14 fps on the Mark III, along with Bluetooth connectivity, makes it further away from the camera is updated. Because of all this, it is a much better camera for sports and action and the best bridge camera you can buy now – but this is accompanied by a considerable premium price compared to both the Mark III and competing cameras.

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Pros:

  • Phase detect AF system
  • Great still/video quality
  • Excellent lens

Cons:

  • Very expensive

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Sony Cyber-Shot RX10 III

Sony’s third-generation RX10 blends good specs with a reasonable price

  • Type: Superzoom compact
  • Sensor: 1in
  • Megapixels: 20.1MP
  • Lens: 24-600mm (equiv) f/2.4-4
  • Screen: 3in tilting screen, 1.23million dots
  • Viewfinder: EVF, 2.36million dots
  • Max burst speed: 14fps
  • Max video resolution: 4K
  • User level: Enthusiast

Sony has now released four RX10 models and has the policy to keep older models on sale, so while the RX10 Mark III is not the latest, it is still in second place in our list. It introduced an impressive 600 mm maximum zoom setting and a very respectable f/2.4-4 maximum aperture range. Although it is not a replacement for the Mark II model (still for sale), it has slightly better battery life and a nine-blade aperture compared to the Mark II’s seven-bladed alternative, although it is missing on the ND filter that appeared in both previous models. The camera is also occasionally subject to the odd cashback deal, so make sure you pay attention to this because they can make a big difference. If you do not need the fast AF of the RX10 IV and photography, this is certainly one of the best bridge cameras for you.

Pros:

  • Great image and video quality
  • High quality stabilized lens
  • Cheaper than the RX10 IV

Cons:

  • The RX10 IV is better for action

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Panasonic Lumix FZ1000

Phenomenal value for money when you consider just what you’re getting

  • Type: Superzoom compact
  • Sensor: 1in type
  • Megapixels: 20.1MP
  • Lens: 25-400mm (equiv) f/2.8-4
  • Viewfinder: EVF, 2.36million dots
  • Screen: 3in vari-angle LCD, 921k dots
  • Max burst speed: 12fps (50fps in SH mode)
  • Max video resolution: 4K
  • User level: Enthusiast

The FZ1000 is now four years old, so it is reasonable to assume that many have overlooked it in favor of the series of models that have emerged since its release. But look closer and you will see that you still get a lot of the latest technology for the money. The 20.1 MP 1in sensor and the 25-400 mm (equiv.) F/2.8-4 Leica lens comes together to form a capable core, with 4K UHD video, 5-axis Power O.I.S. stabilization, an OLIF EVF of 2.36 million pixels, Wi-Fi and NFC, and a whole series of video-specific additions such as zebra patterns. As if that was not enough, occasional cashback deals make it even better value for money and one of the best bridge cameras on the market.

Pros:

  • Brilliant value for money
  • Great image quality
  • Good burst mode

Cons:

  • No in-camera Raw processing

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Panasonic Lumix FZ2500

A significant update over the FZ1000, especially for maximum video control

  • Type: Superzoom compact
  • Sensor: 1in type
  • Megapixels: 20.1MP
  • Lens: 24-480mm (equiv) f/2.8-4.5
  • Viewfinder: EVF, 2.36million dots
  • Screen: 3in vari-angle touchscreen, 1.04million dots
  • Max burst speed: 12fps (30fps at reduced resolution)
  • Max video resolution: 4K
  • User level: Enthusiast

Panasonic has already won many people with the FZ1000, with its 1-inch sensor, 25-400 mm (equiv.) F/2.8-4 zoom lens, 4K video and mass control, making it a great alternative for the DSLR. The FZ2500 delivers much more, including a slightly longer lens, operation via the touch screen and an electronic viewfinder with a slightly higher magnification than before, but it is a video in which Panasonic has made the most important improvements. So here we get DCI 4K video and a variable ND filter, although the latter can also be used for still images. The lack of sealing against the weather is a shame, but the falling price, along with the occasional cashback deal, makes it one of the best bridge cameras with an excellent price for models in Sony’s RX10 series. However, if you need more for photos than video, you can find the older FZ1000 (above) more logically – especially when you see what you get for the money.

Pros:

  • Excellent control over video
  • Great overall image quality
  • Good burst mode

Cons:

  • Sony RX10 lens is better

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Panasonic Lumix FZ300

It’s four years old but a constant f/2.8 aperture and 4K video make it shine

  • Type: Superzoom compact
  • Sensor: 1/2.3in
  • Megapixels: 12.1MP
  • Lens: 25-600mm (equiv) f/2.8
  • Screen: 3in vari-angle touchscreen, 1.04million dots
  • Viewfinder: EVF, 1.44million dots
  • Max burst speed: 12fps (60fps in SH mode)
  • Max video resolution: 4K
  • User level: Enthusiast

From the junior models to the various flagships, Panasonic has always been generous with functions. This allowed its models to remain attractive in the light of newer competitors, and the Lumix FZ3o0 is a perfect example of this: a sub $500 camera with 4K video recording, a splash-proof housing and a 25-600 mm (equiv) – lens with a constant f/2.8 aperture. You do not understand that now! On top of that, there is a tilting touch screen, an EFF of 1.44 million pixels, Wi-Fi and image stabilization, which complete the specifications and provide a great good proposal for the novice beginner or enthusiast with a limited budget.

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Pros:

  • Amazing features for the price
  • Constant f/2.8 aperture
  • Good zoom range

Cons:

  • No in-camera raw processing

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Nikon Coolpix P900

Upstaged by the newer P1000, but a whole lot cheaper as a result

  • Type: Superzoom compact
  • Sensor: 1/2.3in
  • Megapixels: 16MP
  • Lens: 24-2000mm (equiv.) f/2.8-6.5
  • Screen: 3in articulating, 921k dots
  • Viewfinder: EVF, 921k dots
  • Max burst speed: 7fps
  • Max video resolution: Full HD
  • User level: Beginner

With its 24-2000 mm (equiv) zoom lens, the Coolpix P900 is certainly an ambitious camera. With this kind of focal length you zoom in so much further than with the average DSLR/lens kit, which explains why it is such a huge hit among amateur astrophotographers. Fortunately, the lens is equipped with Nikon’s five-stop vibration reduction system and you get in addition to manual control over exposure settings, in addition to WiFi, NFC and even a GPS system. Of course, it will not be for everyone; there is no raw shot, the screen does not respond to touch and maybe the sensor is much more sensitive than that of premium bridge cameras. Yet it makes the cut because it really offers something unique on this level – and for some, it is one of the best bridge cameras on the market.

Pros:

  • 5-stop VR system
  • Mammoth zoom range

Cons:

  • Sharpness drops at full zoom
  • No raw shooting option

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Nikon Coolpix P1000

You thought the P900 (above) was amazing? Then get this!

  • Type: Superzoom compact
  • Sensor: 1/2.3in
  • Megapixels: 16MP
  • Lens: 24-3000mm (equiv.) f/2.8-8
  • Screen: 3in articulating, 921k dots
  • Viewfinder: EVF, 2,359k dots
  • Max burst speed: 7fps
  • Max video resolution: 4K
  • User level: Beginner

With its 24-2000 mm (equiv) zoom lens, the Coolpix P900 made the headlines, but the new P1000 runs over it with an astounding 125x zoom range and offers the equivalent of a full-length 3,000 mm telephoto lens. However, it is a pleasure, because with this setting the maximum aperture of the lens loses a full three stops from its f/2.8 maximum to a pretty miserable f/8. You’ll be happy with Nikon’s built-in VR system (vibration reduction) to camera shake to reduce, although it can not restore the general softness of the lens that creeps at longer focal lengths. In some important areas, the P900 does improve, with recordings in raw format, an electronic viewfinder with higher resolution and 4K video. However, the asking prices are almost as astronomical as the zoom possibilities – it is a lot to pay for a bridge camera with a small 1/2.3-inch sensor. But if you want the longest zoom range the camera world has ever seen, you can not expect it to be cheap.

Pros:

  • Five-stop VR system
  • Interplanetary zoom range
  • 4K video

Cons:

  • Loses sharpness at full zoom

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Panasonic Lumix FZ80

Check out what you get against what you pay – the Lumix FZ80 is a bargain

  • Type: Superzoom compact
  • Sensor: 1/2.3in
  • Megapixels: 18.1MP
  • Lens: 20-1200mm (equiv.) f/2.8-5.9
  • Screen: 3in articulating, 1,040k dots
  • Viewfinder: EVF, 1,166k dots
  • Max burst speed: 10fps
  • Max video resolution: 4K
  • User level: Beginner

After the excesses of the Nikon P900 and P1000, the Panasonic Lumix FZ80 looks pretty tame. For comparison: its 60x optical zoom range is quite common, the maximum aperture range of f/2.8-5.9 is not very inspiring and it uses a small 1/2.3-inch sensor, which limits the picture quality you can expect. But three things raise the FZ82 above the ordinary. First, the price: this camera easily undermines all its rivals in this list and gives them a real run for their money in functions. Secondly, he makes 4K videos and he has the neat 4K photo modes from Panasonic for fast image capture. Third, the 60x zoom lens offers a wider width setting of 20mm than that of one of its rivals, so it’s a lot more convenient to shoot in tight spaces – a big advantage in travel photography. Overall, this is one of the best bridge cameras to buy right now.

Pros:

  • 4K video/4K Photo modes
  • Extra-wide angle zoom
  • Value for money

Cons:

  • Middle of the road specs

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Canon PowerShot SX70 HS

It’s a big name brand, but its price and performance put it in the midfield

  • Type: Superzoom compact
  • Sensor: 1/2.3in
  • Megapixels: 20.3MP
  • Lens: 21-1365mm (equiv.) f/3.4-6.5
  • Screen: 3in articulating, 922k dots
  • Viewfinder: EVF, 2,360k dots
  • Max burst speed: 10/5.7fps
  • Max video resolution: 4K
  • User level: Beginner

On paper, the Powershot SX70 HS appears to be a good competitor to the Panasonic FZ82 (above), which offers a slightly longer maximum zoom lens and almost matches Panasonic’s wide angle setting. But the maximum aperture of f/3.4-6.5 is on the low side and the resolution of 20 megapixels cannot overcome the limitations of the small 1/2.3-inch sensor. The SX70 is doing well and it is not that big for a bridge camera, but the resistance has continued, with larger zoom ranges, larger sensors or lower prices. The SX70 HS offers decent specifications, but at a price that makes its rivals seem more attractive and is one of the best bridges cameras on the market.

Pros:

  • A very good zoom range
  • Relatively compact for its type
  • Vari-angle screen

Cons:

  • Only 5.7fps with servo AF

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Canon PowerShot G3 X

With a 1-inch sensor and a 25x zoom, the G3 X is missing only one thing

  • Type: Superzoom compact
  • Sensor: 1in
  • Megapixels: 20.2MP
  • Lens: 24-600mm (equiv.) f/2.8-5.6
  • Screen: 3.2in tilting, 1,620k dots
  • Viewfinder: Optional
  • Max burst speed: 5.9/3.2fps
  • Max video resolution: Full HD
  • User level: Intermediate

So what is a bridge camera with a 1-inch sensor and a 25x zoom range at the bottom of our list of best bridge cameras? The G3 X is indeed a very versatile camera with a good zoom range and capable of very good picture quality, but it does not have a built-in electronic viewfinder – this is an optional extra. The rear screen has a tilting mechanism but is not fully articulated, and the G3 X appeared for the first time in 2015, so it’s no big surprise that it does not have 4K video and the burst recording speed drops to just 3.2 fps with continuous autofocus. The G3 X can produce first-class results, but it is disappointing that despite the poorly dated specifications, it has kept a high price.

Pros:

  • Good-sized 1-inch sensor
  • Handy 25x zoom range

Cons:

  • EVF an optional extra
  • Weak burst shooting

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Conclusion

The Best Bridge Cameras is a versatile and affordable alternative to digital SLR (DSLR) cameras. They offer many of the same manual controls (as well as a host of easy-to-use automatic modes) plus a huge built-in zoom lens that covers everything from wide-angle to super-telephoto photography. This makes bridge cameras a great all-in-one solution, especially if you want to travel relatively light because you have a camera that is great for shooting vast landscapes and tightly framed subjects such as wildlife.

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