Saturday, September 24, 2022

The Best Bridge Cameras In 2022

Are you in the market to buy the best bridge camera? Then you’re in the right place. This article highlights the best bridge cameras you can get in 2022. And for those unsure of what a bridge camera is, we’ll get into the details, too, so read on.

What Is A Bridge Camera?

The simple definition of a bridge camera is this: big lens, big body, small sensor. But the reality is a little more complex than that. Once upon a time, manufacturers could only make those enormous zoom ranges work in bodies if they had a small 1/2.3-inch sensor, the kind you’d find in a point-and-shoot camera.

However, this all changed when Sony, Panasonic, and Canon figured out how to make bridge cameras with 1-inch sensors much closer to those of DSLRs and mirrorless cameras. As a result, the jump in quality is just as noticeable as the jump in price.

The bigger sensor also means a smaller zoom range, so it’s up to you where your priorities lie.

Since the best bridge cameras usually pack an array of manual shooting modes, they’re a fantastic alternative to DSLRs and mirrorless cameras, especially for those watching the budget. They’re also ideal for those new to photography, those looking for something light and travel friendly, or those looking to downsize from their bulkier kit.

Thanks to such an optic’s versatility, having a long zoom lens is a big draw for many. With one, you can photograph everything from wide-angle landscapes to distant subjects like wildlife – and of course, everything in between. Because of that, bridge cameras are often favored for those heading off on a vacation when you need everything to hand.

Let’s look at the best bridge cameras available to buy in 2022.

Here Are Top Best Bridge Cameras

1. Nikon P950

Specs:

Type:Superzoom compact
Sensor:1/2.3in
Megapixels:16MP
Lens:4-2000mm (equiv.) f/2.8-6.5
LCD:3in articulating, 921k dots
Viewfinder:EVF, 2,360k dots
Maximum continuous shooting rate:7fps
Movies:4K UHD 30p
User level:Beginner

Pros:

  • Raw shooting option
  • Improved electronic viewfinder

Cons:

  • Sharpness drops at full zoom

The Nikon Coolpix P950 is a successor to the P900 and represents a continuation of that camera’s ambition to be one of the biggest and best superzooms. Accordingly, the P950 boasts an impressive 83x optical zoom with an equivalent focal length range of 24-2000mm, and if this isn’t enough for you, you can digitally extend it to 4000mm with the 166x Dynamic Fine Zoom. In addition, the P950 adds a lot of features that people felt were missing or sub-par on the P900: it improves the viewfinder, adds RAW capture, and ups the maximum video resolution to 4K. The only reason it’s not further up the list is its small sensor size – an 83x zoom range is excellent, but we reckon a larger sensor is overall more useful.

2. Sony Cyber-shot RX10 IV

Specs:

Sensor:1-inch CMOS, 20.1MP
Lens:4-600mm, f/2.4-4
Monitor:3-inch tilting touchscreen, 1.23m dots
Viewfinder:EVF
Continuous shooting:24fps
Movies:4K
User level:Intermediate/expert

Pros:

  • Excellent and fast 24-600mm lens
  • Superb stills and video quality

Cons:

  • Limited touchscreen control
  • Expensive

For those looking for a powerful all-in-one solution, you won’t find a better option than the RX10 IV. Featuring a hugely flexible 24-600mm f/2.4-4 zoom lens, the RX10 IV builds on the RX10 III with an overhauled AF system that now does justice to the rest of the camera. At the same time, the 1-inch, 20.1MP sensor can achieve excellent levels of detail. Admittedly, it’s pretty bulky for a bridge camera, and there’s no getting away from the hefty price. Still, the RX10 IV is virtually in a league of its own and perhaps deserves a better name than ‘bridge.’

Also read: 6 Most Awesome 4K Cameras You Can Buy In 2022

3. Sony RX10 III

The Best Bridge Cameras In 2021

Specs:

Type:Superzoom compact
Sensor:1in
Megapixels:20.1MP
Lens:24-600mm (equiv.) f/2.4.4
LCD:3in tilting screen, 1.23million dots
Viewfinder:EVF, 2.36million dots
Maximum continuous shooting rate:14fps
Movies:4K and Full HD
User level:Enthusiast

Sony has now released four RX10 models and has a policy of keeping older models on sale, so while the RX10 Mark III is not the newest, it still gets second place in our list. It introduced an impressive 600mm maximum zoom setting and a respectable f/2.4-4 maximum aperture range. While it isn’t a replacement for the Mark II model (still on sale), it boasts a slightly better battery life and a nine-bladed diaphragm than Mark II’s seven-bladed alternative. However, it does miss out on the ND filter that appeared in both previous models. You can find the camera for great prices now, so if you don’t need the RX10 IV’s high-speed AF and shooting, this model can save you a lot of cash.

4. Panasonic Lumix FZ2000 / FZ2500

Specs:

Sensor:1in
Megapixels:20.1MP
Lens:24-480mm, f/2.8-4.5
LCD:3.0-inch articulating display, 1,040,000 dots
Viewfinder:EVF
Maximum continuous shooting rate:12fps
Movies:4K
User level:Intermediate/expert

If your budget doesn’t quite stretch to RX10 IV levels, but you still want top-quality, flexible, and excellent image quality, the Panasonic Lumix FZ2000 (known as the FZ2500 in the US) is a perfect choice. It uses a 1-inch sensor, and while the zoom tops out at 480mm equivalent, which is relatively short for a bridge camera, that’s still plenty for all but the most extreme everyday use. We’d certainly sacrifice a little zoom range for better and faster optics, and we love the FZ2000 because it delivers both image quality and zoom range.

5. Panasonic FZ1000 II

The Best Bridge Cameras In 2021

Specs:

Type:Superzoom compact
Sensor:1in
Megapixels:20MP
Lens:25-400mm (equiv.) f/2.8-4
LCD:3in vari-angle LCD, 921k dots
Viewfinder:EVF, 2.36million dots
Maximum continuous shooting rate:12fps (50fps in SH mode)
Movies:4K and full HD
User level:Enthusiast

The FZ1000 II is a welcome update to the original Panasonic FZ1000 bridge camera. Look closely, and you’ll see that you’re still getting a lot of current tech for the money. The 20.1MP 1in sensor and 25-400mm (equiv.) f/2.8-4 Leica-branded lens come together to form a capable core, with 4K UHD video, 5-axis Power O.I.S. stabilization, a 2.36million-dot OLED EVF, Wi-Fi and NFC, and a raft of video-specific additions such as zebra patterning on top of it. Panasonic FZ1000 II is the bridge camera one to snap up if you don’t need the fancy tricks of the more recent FZ2000 / FZ2500.

6. Canon PowerShot SX70 HS

(Image Credit) LifeWire

Specs:

Sensor:1/2.3-inch CMOS
Megapixels:20.3MP
Lens:21-1365mm-equivalent, f/3.4-6.5
LCD:3-inch articulating, 922,000 dots
Viewfinder:EVF
Maximum continuous shooting rate:10fps
Movies:4K
User level:Beginner/Enthusiast

Canon’s PowerShot SX70 HS is what we’d consider a more conventional bridge camera than those found in the top four. That’s because it uses a smaller 1/2.3-inch sensor which gives you the advantage of a ginormous 65x optical zoom range. You still get complete manual control and other great features such as a fully articulated screen (it lacks touch sensitivity, though), a decent electronic viewfinder, and the ability to shoot in raw format. In and NFC is another bonus. This is a classic all-rounder which would suit those looking for something relatively small and light for trips such as safaris, where that big zoom comes into its own. A bugbear has to activate the viewfinder manually since there’s no sensor, but otherwise, it’s a solid performer. Image quality is outstanding, with the image stabilization system doing an excellent job of keeping captures even at the extreme end of the telephoto lens sharp. Shooting at the wide-angle and low-light are not this camera’s forte, but there’s good autofocus performance and speedy operation to compensate.

7. Panasonic FZ330

The Best Bridge Cameras In 2021

Specs:

Type:Superzoom compact
Sensor:1/2.3in
Megapixels:12.1MP
Lens:25-600mm (equiv) f/2.8
LCD:3in vari-angle touchscreen, 1.04million dots
Viewfinder:EVF, 1.44million dots
Maximum continuous shooting rate:12fps (60fps in SH mode)
Movies:4K and full HD
User level:Enthusiast

Panasonic has always been generous with features from its junior models right through to its various flagships. This has allowed its models to remain appealing in the face of newer competitors, and 2015’s FZ330 exemplifies this perfectly: a sub-£500/$500 camera with 4K video recording, a splash-resistant body, and a 25-600mm (equiv) lens with a constant f/2.8 aperture. You simply don’t get that anywhere else right now! On top of that, there’s a tilting touchscreen, a 1.44million-dot EVF, Wi-Fi, and image stabilization, which round off the specs to deliver a mighty fine proposition for the advanced novice or enthusiast on a budget.

Don’t miss: The Best Nikon Camera In 2022

8. Panasonic Lumix FZ80 / FZ82

Specs:

Sensor:1/2.3-inch CMOS
Megapixels:18.1MP
Lens:20-1200mm, f/2.8-5.9
LCD:3-inch touchscreen, 1,040,000 dots
Viewfinder:EVF
Maximum continuous shooting rate:16fps
Movies:4K
User level:Beginner/Enthusiast

The Lumix FZ80 (known as the Lumix FZ82 outside the US) might be one of the most affordable bridge cameras here, but it still packs quite a punch. The zoom range is awe-inspiring, going from an ultra-wide 20mm to a staggering 1200mm, and benefits from an effective image stabilization system. There’s also a 4K recording with Panasonic’s 4K Photo, which can shoot 8MP images at 30fps, meaning you should never miss that split-second moment. It’s also very easy to use, with an intuitive touchscreen. However, the viewfinder could be better (and there’s no eye sensor to switch between the viewfinder and rear screen automatically). At the same time, high-ISO performance can’t match that of larger-sensor (and more expensive) rivals. That said, this is one of the best budget bridge cameras around.

9. Nikon P1000

The Best Bridge Cameras In 2021

Specs:

Type:Superzoom compact
Sensor:1/2.3in
Megapixels:16MP
Lens:24-2000mm (equiv.) f/2.8-8
LCD:3in articulating, 921k dots
Viewfinder:EVF, 2,359k dots
Maximum continuous shooting rate:7fps
Movies:4K UHD
User level:Beginner

With its 24-2000mm (equiv) zoom lens, the Coolpix P900 made headlines, but the new P1000 walks all over it with an astonishing 125x zoom range, offering a 3,000mm telephoto lens at full stretch. It is a stretch, though, because, at this setting, the lens’s maximum aperture loses a full three stops from its f/2.8 maximum to a pretty miserable f/8. You’ll be glad that Nikon’s in-built VR (Vibration Reduction) system cuts camera shake, though it can’t fix the general lens softness that creeps in at longer focal lengths. It improves the P900 in some key areas, offering raw format shooting, a higher-resolution electronic viewfinder, and a 4K video. However, its asking price is almost as astronomical as its zoom capabilities – it’s a lot to pay for a bridge camera with a small 1/2.3-inch sensor. But if you want the most extended zoom range the camera world has ever seen, you can’t expect it to be cheap.

10. Sony Cyber-shot HX400V

(Image Credit: Sony)

Specs:

Sensor:1/2.3in CMOS
Megapixels:20.4MP
Lens:24-1200mm (equiv.) f/2.8-6.5
LCD:3-inch tilting, 922,000 dots
Viewfinder:Yes
Maximum continuous shooting rate:10fps
Movies:1080p
User level:Beginner/Enthusiast

Sony’s superzoom bridge camera is closely matched with the Panasonic FZ82 and is available at a great price owing to its age. The downsides when compared to the FZ82 include JPEG-only image capture and a lesser zoom range, but if you can live with both, it’s a great budget option. The HX400V claws back some ground by offering Wi-Fi, while it’s also a pleasure to use thanks to its ergonomic design, and the tilting screen is a nice touch, although it isn’t fully articulating. More disappointing is the relatively low-resolution electronic viewfinder. Although there’s no raw support, JPEG images have great colors and detail. Some image smoothing is visible when images are viewed at 100%, but that’s a common trait amongst small-sensor bridge cameras.

11. Nikon Coolpix B500

The Best Bridge Cameras In 2021

Specs:

Type:Superzoom compact
Sensor:1/2.3in
Megapixels:16MP
Lens:22.5-900mm (equiv.) f/3 – f/6.5
LCD:3in tiltable, 921k dots
Viewfinder:None
Maximum continuous shooting rate:7.4fps
Movies:1080p
User level:Beginner

The Nikon Coolpix B500 is a top-rated bridge camera – due to how much bang you get for your buck. Despite a lower price than many bridge cameras, it offers a 40x zoom range and a lot of advanced controls – making it an excellent choice for those wanting telephoto reach for shooting birds and other distant subjects without paying a fortune. Drawbacks include having to make do with the LCD screen – as there is no eye-level viewfinder – and that could be hard work if trying to track a fast-moving subject or shooting in bright sunlight.

Editor’s recommendations:

Diekola Yusuf
Diekola Yusufhttps://www.novabach.com
Founder & CEO of Novabach - Yusuf is a Tech enthusiast. Fascinated by Computers and all sorts of Technology. He writes news, updates, walkthroughs, guides, troubleshooting tips, and how-to tutorials on gadgets and consumer electronics.

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