The best bridge cameras are everything at once! You get a DSLR’s ergonomics, a superzoom lens’s power, and a compact camera‘s convenience. Hard to say fairer than that, and what’s even better is that many bridge cameras can be picked up for an absolute bargain price.
Given all this, you might wonder why all photographers don’t just use bridge cameras for everything. It’s a fair question, but bridge digital cameras do have a few drawbacks it’s worth being familiar with. Their fixed lenses do limit you to the focal range that’s printed on the box: what you see is very much what you get, and there’s no cheeky boosting it with a teleconverter or anything like that. The former typically have lenses that are too short, while the latter requires a multi-pound piece of glass to reach above 200mm. If you’re willing to sacrifice image quality and depth-of-field control, you can buy a camera with a big lens that coverage focal ranges which are either impossible on interchangeable lens cameras, or very expensive.
Best Optical Zoom Camera in 2021
1. Nikon CoolPix P1000
Nikon’s new Coolpix P1000 has moved the zoom needle to ‘ludicrous,’ with an equivalent focal length of 24-3000mm. That’s right, 3000mm. This is a lens so long that we were able to fill the frame with a 1 meter (3.3 foot) tall monkey that’s 70 meters (230 feet) away.
- 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
2. 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 huge electronic viewfinder. The camera can shoot continually at 7 fps with live look at and continuous AF and uses Panasonic’s impressive Depth from Defocus autofocus system.
3. Canon PowerShot SX70 HS
- 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 Canon PowerShot SX70 HS is a super-zoom point-and-shoot camera with a 65x, 21-1365mm equivalent F3.4-6.5 lens and 20MP BSI-CMOS sensor. The camera is powered by Canon’s latest Digic 8 processor which allows for fast bursts and 4K video capture. As you’d expect, its long lens is stabilized, with up to five stops of shake reduction. Photos can be composed on a fully articulating 3″ display or a high-res OLED electronic viewfinder. The SX70 is Canon’s first point & shoot camera to support its new CR3 Raw format.
4. 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.
5. Sony 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 Cyber-shot DSC-RX10 IV is an enthusiast long-zoom camera that improves upon its predecessor by adding a new image processor (the Bionz X from the a9), a hybrid AF system with 325 phase-detect points and 24 fps continuous shooting. It continues to use a 20MP 1″-type stacked CMOS sensor and 24-600mm Equiv. F2.4-4 lens. Images can be composed on a fresh 3″ tilting touchscreen LCD or the same OLED electronic viewfinder found on the RX10 III.
6. Nikon COOLPIX 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 is a mega-zoom camera with a lens equivalent to 24-2000mm, with an image stabilizer capable of reducing shake by up to 5.5 stops. The minimum focus distance of the lens is just 1cm (0.4″). The P950 uses a 16MP 1/2.3″ sensor and supports Raw capture. Video can be captured at 4K/30p, and a mic input lets users capture higher-quality audio.
7. Sony RX10M 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 Cyber-shot DSC-RX10M 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. Panasonic 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.
9. 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 Help will immediately zoom out so you can locate your issue and recompose. The FZ1000 II can take bursts of up to 20 pictures with AF-C at 7 fps. Video can be captured at UHD 4K/30p. Connectivity options include Wi-Fi and Bluetooth.
10. Panasonic 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 Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ300 is the update to the very popular FZ200. It maintains the same 12MP sensor and fast 25-600mm equivalent F2.8 lens but adds a new image processor, weather-sealing and 4K video support. Photos can be composed on either a 3″ tilting OLED display or a high resolution (2.36M dot) OLED EVF. The FZ300 uses Panasonic’s latest autofocus system and can shoot continuously at up to 12 fps. It can shoot constantly at 12 fps with single AF and 6 fps in continuous AF. In addition to capturing 4K/UHD video at 30p, the FZ300 can also grab high-quality 8MP stills using its special 4K Photo mode. Wi-Fi is also built-in.
11. 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.
12. Canon PowerShot SX60 HS
- 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 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.
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.
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
The Nikon Coolpix B600 is a superzoom camera with an optically stabilized 60x lens that is equivalent to 24-1440mm. It uses a 16MP BSI-CMOS sensor (1/2.3″) and has a 3″ fixed LCD (but no electronic viewfinder). Video can be captured at 1080/30p. Wi-Fi and Bluetooth are built-in.
15. 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 super-zoom camera based on the Panasonic Lumix FZ1000 II. It features an F2.8-4, 25-400mm equivalent image-stabilized lens and a 20MP 1″-type sensor. Photos can be composed on a fully articulating 3″ LCD or a large OLED viewfinder. It uses the same Depth-from-Defocus AF system as the Panasonic camera and can shoot bursts at 7 fps with AF. The V-Lux 5 can capture UHD 4K/30p video. It functions both Wi-Fi and Bluetooth for sharing photos and remote control of the digital camera.