Fancy a bridge camera? We run through our favourite all-in-one models on the market right now in our bridge camera buying guide
1. Sony RX10 II
In our humble opinion, the Sony RX10 II is one of the most beautiful bridge cameras ever made. Its 24-200mm lens boasts a constant aperture of f/2.8 right through the zoom range, meaning you can get maximum light transmission and strong bokeh no matter what distance you’re working at. It is just a superb optic, and an absolute joy to use.
The best part? It’s backed up by some serious imaging power. The 20.2 MP 1-inch sensor housed beneath the bonnet of the RX10 II produces exquisite images, and Sony’s ‘stacked’ design gives it a faster data readout over its predecessor.
Videographers are well catered-for too, with the RX10 II shooting 4K video and awesome 40x slow-motion. All in all, it’s a tremendous package.
2. Panasonic Lumix FZ1000
Panasonic has spent the past couple of years boosting its 4K stable with a host of powerful cameras, one of which is the rather lovely Lumix FZ1000. With a 25-400mm equivalent zoom and a 20.1MP 1-inch CMOS sensor, the FZ1000 offers a whole lot of creative freedom to the ambitious photographer.
Also packed into the body are Panasonic’s 5-axis Image Stabilisation system, the sophisticated Depth from Defocus AF system, 12fps burst shooting and a 2.36 million-dot OLED viewfinder. And of course, let’s not forget the 4K video recording, which thanks to firmware update can also be utilised for 4K Photo Mode, which extracts 8MP stills from 4K footage.
3. Canon PowerShot SX60 HS
You can extend your zoom reach rather nicely with the Canon PowerShot SX60 HS, which offers a lovely focal range of 21-1365mm equivalent. The 16.1MP high-sensitivity CMOS sensor also means you’ll get some top images out of it, and the Digic 6 Processor is a welcome addition to improve performance.
Elsewhere you’ve got 6.4fps continuous shooting, a 922k-dot electronic viewfinder, and a nice Zoom Framing Assist feature to help with that enormous focal range. It makes for a well-rounded imaging tool.
4. Panasonic Lumix FZ72
The 20-1200mm equivalent lens on the Panasonic FZ72 is not only pleasingly expansive, but also starts nice and wide to give photographers that extra bit of flexibility. It may be a couple of years old but the FZ72 has lost none of its pep. With 16 megapixels of resolution it’s got more than enough for most photographers’ needs
The best part? The fact that the FZ72 is a few years old, which means that it’s available for a very attractive price.
5. Canon PowerShot G3 X
The Canon PowerShot G3 X is a relatively stripped-down bridge camera, as you may be able to infer from its small and straightforward body design, notable for its lack of an EVF. However, its chunky 24-600mm lens attracts attention, and pairing this with a 1-inch 20.2-megapixel sensor makes for a combination that’s not to be sniffed at.
The addition of Canon’s Digic 6 processor makes the G3 X deliver strong noise reduction, and the tilting, touch-sensitive 3.2-inch screen is rather lovely, with 1,620,000 dots of resolution. Elsewhere you’ve got Wi-fi connectivity with NFC and Full HD movies, making for a solid all-around contender.
6. Nikon P900
Following its release, the Nikon P900 quickly gained a reputation as “that camera with the ridiculous zoom.” This is accurate. Its staggering 83x optic is class-leading, covering a focal range of 24-2000mm in 35mm equivalent terms. Nikon even included a digital zoom option, allowing users to effectively double the maximum focal length to 4000mm if so desired.
Nikon has included its Dual Detect Optical Vibration Reduction system in order to counteract blur effects that are common at the telephoto end of long zooms – the firm claims that this will allow photographers using the P900 to gain back five stops of shutter speed advantage.
Rapid AF, a 16MP 1/2.3-inch sensor and a fully articulating 3-inch rear screen round things out nicely. If you need a solid all-around imaging machine that also happens to let you see details on the surface of the moon, there’s nothing better.