If you’re in the search for the best optical zoom camera, you’ve come to the right place. With massive zoom lenses and chunky, DSLR-style handling, they’re a popular choice for many – particularly for travel if you don’t want to have a weighty kit bag.
Bridge cameras are a versatile and affordable alternative to DSLRs. They offer many of the same manual controls (in addition to a sponsor of easy-to-use auto modes) plus a massive built-in zoom lens that covers everything from wide-angle to super-telephoto photography.
In essence, bridge cameras certainly are a versatile and often more affordable option to DSLRs or mirrorless cameras. They feature the same kind of manual handles (typically in addition to a web host of easy-to-use car modes), alongside a large built-in contact lens which will cover from wide-position to super-telephoto digital photography. It’s like having a bag full of lenses in one neat package.
In order to travel relatively light, you’ll have one camera that’s great for shooting expansive landscapes along with tightly framed subjects like wildlife.
Best 100x Optical Zoom Camera in 2020
1. Nikon P950
- COOLPIX P950 offers 16. 0 Megapixels of resolution
- COOLPIX P950 features an 83X optical zoom/166X Dynamic Fine Zoom
- Built-in Bird and Moon modes along with scene modes for simple shooting
- COOLPIX P950 can capture stills and 4K UHD video
The Nikon Coolpix P950 excels for its zoom range and lens quality, but its image quality is a little bit disappointing in 2020. Only if you absolutely must have this much zoom reach this camera is worth buying. Headline specs include an 83x optical zoom range – identical to the outgoing P900. This gives a 35mm-equivalent focal range of 24-2000mm, so you can shoot everything from a close-up group shot, through to craters on the moon, with a single zoom lens. Nikon’s Dynamic Fine Zoom extends the reach to a whopping 166x, though with inevitable image quality reduction from digital zoom. The lens also gets Nikon’s Dual Detect Optical Vibration Reduction, which is essential if you’re to get sharp shots when shooting at extremely long focal lengths.
The P950 packs a 16MP 1/2.3-inch sensor with a sensitivity selection of ISO 100-6400. As far as we can tell, it’s similar to the sensor inside the P1000. Like the P1000, the P950 can also shoot 4K UHD video at 30 frames per second, and 1080p Full HD at 60fps – the latter being the max video res of the outgoing P900.
2. Canon Powershot SX70
- Powerful 65x optical zoom
- 203 Megapixel* CMOS sensor and DIGIC 8 image processor
- 4K video and 4K time-lapse movie
- 039-Type Approx 236-million dot, OLED EVF
The 65x zoom is the main attraction but the 4K video capability, high-quality EVF and screen are also very attractive on a bridge camera at this level. The results are reasonable for a camera with this sensor size but we recommend staying to ISO 800 or lower, so it’s most suited to use in a good light. While we like the handling and features, the quality of the results in low light makes the SX70 HS less versatile than we’d like. It’s a good choice for days out with the family. This sensor is paired with a Digic 8 processing engine which enables a sensitivity range of ISO 100-3200 and a maximum continuous shooting rate of 10fps in One-Shot AF mode (5.7fps with continuous focusing).
Although there are just 9 selectable autofocus (AF) points, the SX70 HS’s AF system is actually pretty good. In decent lighting it gets most subjects sharp quickly. The Tracking AF system also manages to stay with slow-moving subjects well. It’s a contrast-detection system and not surprisingly, it starts to hunt when light or contrast levels drop.
Despite its extensive zoom range, the SX70 HS is very light. It’s largely constructed from polycarbonate (aka plastic) but it has a good-quality feel while the deep grip fits comfortably in your hand.
3. Nikon Coolpix P1000
- 3000 millimeter optical zoom-the most powerful zoom lens; Ever put on a Nikon Coolpix camera
- 4k ultra hd video with HDMI out, stereo sound and an accessory hot shoe
- Rock steady dual detect image stabilization and great low light capability. Vibration reduction: Lens shift VR (still...
- Raw (NRW), time lapse and super lapse shooting plus great creative modes
The P1000 is a loveable beast and an optical marvel, but it’s difficult to recommend. Max zoom is rarely required in real-world shooting, and the optic necessitates a small sensor with underwhelming image quality. Even so, if you’re going on safari and can’t carry – or stretch to – a super-telephoto DSLR set-up, the P1000 may just be worth the money. The P1000 is all about its lens. The 24-3000mm-equivalent optic has a variable f/2.8-8 aperture, as well as lens-shift Vibration Reduction – essential when exploiting the far reaches of the zoom range. Behind the lens is a 16MP sensor, but despite the big DSLR-like appearance of the P1000, the sensor is about the size of that inside a camera phone. Therefore don’t expect the P1000 to be setting any picture quality records. Its limited ISO 100-6,400 sensitivity range is indicative of the sensor’s tiny dimensions, though you can shoot stills in raw.
4K video is also available, albeit at a maximum of 30 frames per second. There’s a selection of twenty image effect filters, plus dedicated capturing modes for photographing distant subjects like the moon and birds.
4. Panasonic Lumix FZ2500
- The ideal hybrid camera choice for the advanced 4K video enthusiast and photography enthusiast alike.
- Large 1-inch 20.1 Megapixel sensor and bright 20X LEICA VARIO-ELMART F2.8-4.5 lens.
- 4K Ultra HD video recording plus exclusive LUMIX 4K PHOTO and 4K Post Focus and internal Focus Stacking modes.Operating...
- “CINELIKE D” and “CINELIKE V” for cinema-like gradation, time code, live HDMI output (4:2:2/8 bit or 4:2:2/10...
The Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ2500 (FZ2000 in some markets) is the company’s video-centric superzoom camera. It features a 20MP 1″-type CMOS sensor, 24-480mm equiv. F2.8-4.5 lens, a 3″ fully articulating LCD and large electronic viewfinder. The camera can shoot continuously at 7 fps with live view and continuous AF and uses Panasonic’s impressive Depth from Defocus autofocus system. While the FZ2500 has a ton of features related to stills shooting, including a clever new Focus Stacking option, the ‘focus’ is on video. The digital camera can capture both DCI and UHD 4K movie at both 30p and 24p. There’s a full suite of catch tools available, ranging from zebra patterns to SMPTE colour bars.
5. Panasonic Lumix FZ80
- Point and Shoot Long Zoom Camera: 18.1 megapixel MOS sensor plus 60X zooms DC Vario lens (20 1220 millimeter and Power...
- High Resolution View Finder & LCD Display: High resolution 1,170K dot view finder and rear touch enabled 3 inch LCD...
- 4K video Capture: 4K QFHD video recording (3840 x 2160) with three unique 4K ultra HD video pause and save 4K photo...
- Low Light Performance: Low light capture lets you enjoy photography during your nightlife again with impressive results;...
The Panasonic Lumix FZ80 brings 4K video and 4K Photo capabilities to the budget superzoom segment, combining the high-resolution video modes with its 20-1200mm equivalent (60X) zoom and 18.1MP 1/2.3″-type BSI-CMOS sensor. It also features a 1,040K-dot touch screen on the back, and a 0.2-inch 1,170K-dot (equivalent) EVF.
6. Sony Cyber‑Shot RX10 IV
- World’s Fastest AF acquisition speed of 0.03 sec. Optical image stabilization technology developed by Sony is valuable...
- 315 phase-detection AF points covering Approx. 65% of the frame. Light etering mode- Multi pattern, centre weighted,...
- ZEISS Vario-Sonnar T 24-600mm3 F2.4-F4 ultra-zoom Lens
- 20.1 MP 1" back Illuminated Exmor RS stacked CMOS sensor w/ DRAM. Dimensions (W x H x D) (CIPA) -5 1/4 x 3 3/4 x 5 3/4...
The Sony RX10 IV is the ultimate 1″ bridge camera. Its optically stabilized 24-600mm equiv. lens and 20MP sensor combine for outstanding image quality. And it is the first and only camera in its class with phase-detect autofocus, which, when coupled with its lightning-quick 24 fps maximum burst rate, makes it a formidable all-in-one for sports and activities. But that’s not all, its oversampled 4K video is top quality, and the digital camera offers a laundry list of video-making tools and features. Plus a touchscreen, redesigned menus and Bluetooth connectivity all contribute to a highly-spec’d, well-balanced camera. The RX captures UHD 4K video without pixel binning to ensure the best possible quality. It offers numerous capture equipment, including S-Log2/3 support, gamma display assists, zebra and proxy recording. High frame rate movie at up to 960 fps can also be recorded. Both mic and headphone jacks are built-in.
7. Sony DSC-RX10 II
- World's first1 20.2 MP 1" Exmor RS stacked back illuminated CMOS, High resolution 4K movie recording with direct pixel...
- Super-speed Anti-Distortion Shutter at max. 1/32000 sec. up to 14fps, Bright constant F2.8 ZEISS Vario Sonar T* lens...
- Professional dust/moisture resistant magnesium-alloy body, Bright XGA OLED Tru-Finer viewfinder and Sharp 3" multi-angle...
- Digital Zoom (Still Image) 20 M Approx. 33x / 10 M Approx. 46x / 5 M Approx. 66x / VGA Approx. 126x. Digital Zoom...
The Sony RX10 II continues the tradition established by the original RX10. It can easily split its time between being an excellent stills camera and an outstanding video machine. Ergonomics, handling and build quality are all top-notch. And the camera’s sharp, fast 24-200mm F2.8 equiv. the lens should offer plenty of versatility for most shooters. Autofocus is good in most situations, though it does struggle when photographing quick action, using AF-C. Its subject tracking capabilities also lag behind the competition. The Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX10 II offers a similar build and lens specification as its predecessor but introduces some notable new technology under the hood. Like the Cyber-shot DSC-RX100 IV, it uses a 1” type 20MP stacked CMOS Exmor RS sensor. Its stacked design frees up more space for high-speed circuitry allowing for more sophisticated functions and is a next generation of the familiar backside-illuminated (BSI) design.
8. Canon Powershot SX60
- Built-in Wi-Fi connectivity with NFC allows wireless transferring of images and video ; Power Source :Battery Pack...
- 16.1 megapixel 1/2.3-inch high-sensitivity CMOS sensor combined with DIGIC 6 image processor (Canon HS SYSTEM)
- 65x optical zoom, 4x digital zoom and 260x combined zoom with Optical Image Stabilizer.Video Clip Length Up to 29 Min...
- Bright 3-inch vari-angle LCD plus an electronic viewfinder. Operating temperature: 32-104°F/0-40°C
The Canon PowerShot SX60 HS is the ‘safe bet’ in the superzoom category. It offers good image quality, a fully articulating LCD, more than enough zoom power, and a solid feature set that includes Raw support, advanced video functionality, and a hot-shoe. Downsides include a not-so-great electronic viewfinder, a slow maximum aperture range, and limited camera control from a smartphone. The PowerShot SX60 HS has a gigantic 65X optical zoom lens. equivalent to 21-1365mm (naturally, it has image stabilization). It features as 16.1 CMOS sensor as well as Canon’s latest DIGIC 6 picture processor, allowing for 6.4 fps continuous shooting, 1080/60p video, and a max ISO of 3200 (at full resolution). It has a fully articulating 3″ LCD and also an electronic viewfinder. The Zoom Framing Assist feature lets photographers ‘back out’ and locate their subject before zooming back in. This feature also allows one to lock onto the full-body, upper body, or face, and automatically move the lens back again (toward wide-angle) as the subject moves closer or further from the digital camera. As with most recent PowerShots, Wi-Fi is built-in, with photo sharing via Canon’s Image Gateway service.
9. Panasonic Lumix FZ300
- 4K video & 4K photo: Panasonic’s exclusive 4K photo technology uses 30 frames per second in high resolution 4K ultra...
- Leica DC Vario Elmarit lens: 24x zoom (25 600 millimeter with Full zoom range F2; 8 aperture for enhanced low light...
- High image Quality: The 12.1 Megapixel high sensitivity MOS sensor with the venus engine excels in diffraction...
- Rugged Camera Design: Splash Proof/dustproof rugged camera design with tight seals on every Joint, dial and button, so...
The Lumix DMC-FZ300 from Panasonic is a multi-faceted point-and-shoot optimized for the multimedia image-maker. Featuring a 12.1MP High-Sensitivity MOS sensor and Venus Engine image processor, the FZ300 is capable of recording up to 60 fps with an electronic shutter, 12 fps with a mechanical shutter, or 30 fps using the unique 4K Photo Modes. Working in low-light is benefitted by a top sensitivity of ISO 6400 along with 5-axis HYBRID O.I.S.+ image stabilization to minimize camera shake during HD video recording. The 24x Leica DC Vario-Elmarit lens covers a 25-600mm equivalent focal length range and has a constant f/2.8 maximum aperture for consistent performance from wide-angle to super-telephoto.
10. Panasonic lumix FZ1000 II
- Large sensor 1 inch 20. 1MP MOS sensor provides excellent low light and color depth performance, making it perfect for...
- Leica DC VARIO ELMARIT 16x optical zoom Leica DC VARIO ELMARIT F2. 8 F4. 0 lenses (35mm camera equivalent: 25 400mm)....
- 5 Axis Hybrid O. I. S. Optical image Stabilizer. I. S.) plus active mode effectively compensate for hand shake to...
- 4K video & 4K PHOTO QFHD 4K video in 3840x2160 30P or 24P in MP4. 4K PHOTO 30 fps in 8MP
The Panasonic is an enthusiast superzoom camera with a 1″ sensor and 25-400mm equivalent F2.8-4 lens. The camera has a fully articulating 3″ touchscreen display and a 2.36M-dot OLED viewfinder which is larger than on the original FZ1000. Around the lens is a ring which can handle zoom or focus, and the new Zoom Compose Assist will automatically zoom out so you can locate your subject and recompose. The FZ1000 II can take bursts of up to 20 shots with AF-C at 7 fps. Video can be captured at UHD 4K/30p. Connectivity options include Wi-Fi and Bluetooth.
11. Leica V-Lux 5
- 20 megapixel 1-inch sensor
- DC Vario-Elmarit ASPH. 16x Zoom Lens 9.1-146 mm (25-400 mm equiv.) f/2.8-4 ASPH. lens
- 25-400mm f/2.8-4 (35mm Equivalent) 4K video recording and 4K photo modes
- Wi-Fi + Bluetooth connectivity with Leica FOTOS
The Leica V-Lux 5 is a versatile camera characterized by its ergonomic design and travel-friendly feature-set. Revolving around a large 20.1MP 1″ CMOS sensor, high-resolution stills shooting and UHD 4K video recording is possible with a wide sensitivity range to suit working in a variety of lighting conditions. The sensor and processing technologies also enable fast autofocus performance along with continuous full-quality shooting at 12 fps and 4K Photo shooting at 30 fps.
Balancing the photo and video capabilities, the V-Lux 5 is also distinguished by its impressive DC Vario-Elmarit ASPH. zoom lens, which covers a wide-angle to super-telephoto 25-400mm equivalent focal length range. Also notable is the camera’s ergonomic style, which resembles an SLR camera, and incorporates both a 2.36m-dot OLED electronic viewfinder and 3.0″ 1.24m-dot articulating touchscreen LCD. Additionally, built-in Wi-Fi and Bluetooth allow you to wirelessly share imagery or remotely control the camera from a linked smartphone or tablet via the Leica FOTOS app.
12. Nikon Coolpix P610
- 60x optical zoom super telephoto lens and a low-light 16.0 MP CMOS image sensor
- Swiveling Vari-angle display and high-resolution eye-level viewfinder
- Artistic shooting modes, effects and filters
- Built-in Wi-Fi and near field communication technology for instant sharing
The COOLPIX P610 boasts a remarkable 60x optical zoom NIKKOR ED glass lens and 120x Dynamic Fine Zoom capable of reaching awe-inspiring distances. Ready to shoot amazing wide-angle shots or sports from afar, this powerful super-zoom camera combines a 16-megapixel CMOS sensor and a high-performance Autofocus (AF) system to help capture detailed images and sharp Full HD video.
The camera features both a built-in electronic viewfinder and a 3-inch Vari-angle LCD, both boasting 921k dot resolution display to greatly help users easily compose the perfect image from any angle. Users can shoot above a crowd at a concert or get low to capture breathtaking video from a different perspective. For those looking to inspire and enhance their creativity even further, the P610 sports user-friendly and fun features like filter effects, special effects, picture controls and a macro mode.
13. Canon PowerShot G3 X
- 20.2 MP 1 inch CMOS sensor
- 25x, f/2.8-5.6 optical zoom lens, 24-600mm equivalent
- ISO 125-12800
- DIGIC 6 Image Processor
The PowerShot G3 X is a premium superzoom with a 1″-type, 20MP BSI-CMOS sensor. This sensor, along with Canon’s DIGIC 6 processor, permits an ISO range of 125-12800. The G3 X sports an F2.8-5.6, 24-600mm equivalent lens with ‘Intelligent’ image stabilization and its rugged body is sealed against dust and moisture. The autofocus system has 31 points and Canon claims a burst shooting speed of 5.9 fps.
The G3 X features a full suite of manual controls, including Raw support and a hot shoe, and there are numerous customizable controls, including the focus ring around the lens. The back of the camera includes a tilting 3.2″ LCD with 1.62M dots and touch functionality (an electronic viewfinder is optional). Video is recorded at 1080/60p with manual exposure control and mic and headphone jacks. As with most cameras these days, the G3 X also has built-in Wi-Fi with NFC.
14. Nikon Coolpix B600
- 60x optical zoom, 120x Dynamic Fine Zoom
- 16 Megapixel low-light sensor
- Full HD 1080/60i (50i) videos with 4-Axis Hybrid VR and stereo audio
- 19 scene modes and 36 Creative effects
Nikon COOLPIX B600 is a flexible point-and-shoot suitable for photographing in a wide variety of conditions. A 16MP CMOS sensor and EXPEED image processing yield high-resolution, well-defined imagery with a broad ISO 125-6400 sensitivity range and a quick 7-fps shooting rate for photographing moving subjects. Full HD video recording is also supported, at 30p and 60i, and 4-axis Hybrid VR helps to steady video footage for smoother recording. Complementing the imaging assets is the impressive 60x Zoom-NIKKOR ED lens, which covers a 24-1440mm equivalent focal length variety to suit shooting in nearly any situation. Lens-shift VR benefits still shooting at long focal lengths and with slower shutter speeds and compensate for the effects of camera shake for up to three stops. Rounding out the B600’s feature-set, the digital camera has a rear 3.0″ 921k-dot LCD monitor, built-in Wi-Fi and Bluetooth for wireless sharing and control, and a slew of Scene and Creative modes to further enhance the look of your imagery.
15. Panasonic Lumix FZ1000
- Big sensor quality: Large 1-inch 20.1MP MOS sensor for improved low light capture and large sensor background defocus...
- 4K video & Photo: 4K 30P video with hybrid photography 8MP video frame grabs as photos.
- Leica DC lens: A bright and ultra-sharp Leica DC lens 25-400 millimeter (16x) F2.8-4.0 and macro photography down to 3...
- Lens stabilizer: Hybrid O.I.S. (Optical image Stabilizer) + with 5-axis correction provides blur-less, one-handed video...
The Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ1000 is a superzoom camera that features a 1″-type, 20.1 megapixel CMOS sensor along with an F2.8-4.0 25-400mm lens. The lens uses Depth from Defocus technology, which allows extremely fast autofocus speeds, according to Panasonic. The FZ1000 is powered by the same quad-core Venus Engine processor used by the DMC-GH4, which not only allows for fast performance but also 4K video recording at 30fps. Photos can be composed on a 3″ fully articulating 921k dot or an OLED electronic viewfinder with 2.4 million dots. The FZ1000 also has built-in Wi-Fi with NFC for easy photo sharing via your smartphone.