7 Best Bridge Cameras in 2023: New Models & Current Prices

By Tati Taylor 22 days ago, Cameras & Lenses

Top-rated bridge cameras for far off subjects.

top 3 bridge cameras

Bridge cameras are a combination of DSLRs and point-and-shoot cameras, offering more image quality, dynamic range, and low-light capabilities than compact cameras. They are ideal for beginners who want to try different photographic genres and settings without spending a lot of money on new lenses.

Top 7 Bridge Cameras to Buy

  1. Nikon P1000 - The best bridge camera
  2. Sony RX10 IV - With Wi-Fi
  3. Panasonic Lumix DC-FZ1000 II - 4K video
  4. Leica V-Lux 5 - High continuous shooting rate
  5. Canon PowerShot SX70 - Versatile and portable
  6. Nikon Coolpix B500 - Affordable
  7. Panasonic LUMIX FZ80 - Optical stabilization

All ultra-zoom cameras from this list have excellent zoom capabilities, making them ideal for travel photographers and wildlife enthusiasts. They can zoom up to 40x, allowing you to capture far-off subjects.

If you're looking for a camera for photography that offers high-quality images and videos, good zoom capabilities, and a compact design, then a bridge camera might just be the perfect choice for you.

1. Nikon P1000 – Our Choice

The best bridge camera
nikon p1000 bridge camera

Sensor: 16MP CMOS | Lens: 24–3000 mm f/2.8-8 | Zoom: 125x | Video: 4K Ultra HD

  • ✚ Huge 125x zoom
  • ✚ Swiveling 3.2-inch LCD display
  • ✚ Compatibility with SnapBridge app
  • ✚ Good image quality and build quality
  • Heavy and bulky design
  • Poor contrast-based autofocus

Firstly, I have to say that this bridge camera is an excellent choice if you're looking for a device that can capture far-off subjects. Its huge 125x telephoto lens is perfect for photographing distant objects, and the maximum aperture of f2.8-8 at the telephoto end makes it ideal for taking close-ups of small objects.

nikon p1000 bridge camera photo sample

One of the most impressive features of the Nikon P1000 is its swiveling 3.2-inch LCD display, which can accommodate spectacle wearers with a diopter correction of -3 to 1.

Additionally, it has optical and electronic image stabilization that helps keep the camera steady, and a sensitivity range that allows you to use it in a variety of lighting conditions.

However, the camera's contrast-based autofocus can struggle to track moving subjects, but it does a decent job of tracking static ones, even when shooting at very long focal lengths.

2. Sony RX10 IV

With Wi-Fi
sony rx 10 iv bridge camera

Sensor: 20MP CMOS | Lens: 24–600 mm f/2.4-4 | Zoom: 25x | Video: 4K

  • ✚ 24fps continuous shooting
  • ✚ Fast electronic shutter
  • ✚ Excellent dynamic range
  • ✚ Accurate autofocus system
  • Detail loss noticeable above ISO 3,200
  • Too expensive
  • Slightly bulky and heavy

Sony RX10 IV delivers excellent image quality and performance. The camera is perfect for a range of uses, including wildlife and portrait photography. It has a lot of interesting design details that can help you take great pictures, and it offers many features for photographers, video shooters, and those who like to be creative with their images.

sony rx 10 iv bridge camera photo sample

Moreover, the RX10 IV has a very good dynamic range, and it can capture images with minimal noise suppression up to ISO 12,800. As one of the best bridge cameras, it also has a very wide and shallow depth of field, which is useful for achieving smooth movement and action shots when capturing moving objects.

One of the main problems of usage is the price. The Sony RX10 IV is quite expensive, and it might not be affordable for everyone. Additionally, the camera is quite heavy, which might be an issue for photographers who need a lightweight camera for long shooting sessions.

3. Panasonic Lumix DC-FZ1000 II

4K video
panasonic lumix dc fz1000 ii bridge camera

Sensor: 18MP CMOS | Lens: 25–400 mm f/2.4-4 | Zoom: 16x | Video: 4K

  • ✚ Good image quality
  • ✚ Articulating touch-sensitive screen
  • ✚ Great grip and easy-to-use buttons
  • ✚ Built-in electronic viewfinder
  • Can't track eye and face detection
  • Autofocus can sometimes wobble in and out of focus
  • Automatic white balance system issues

First off, let me say that this long-distance camera is a great choice for anyone who wants a versatile tool for traveling and sports, with a good photo and video quality at an affordable price. It boasts a long built-in zoom lens, an improved touchscreen, and an electronic viewfinder, along with more customization options, Bluetooth, and more robust battery life.

panasonic lumix dc fz1000 ii bridge camera photo sample

The image quality is also very good, with little visual noise at lower ISO levels and no reduction in sharpness as you raise the sensitivity. The metering system is fairly accurate, and the automatic white balance system works well.

However, there are a few downsides to this Panasonic camera. It can't track eye and face detection, and it can sometimes wobble in and out of focus. The focus peaking and variable focus magnifier functions are helpful, but the camera can struggle in low-light conditions.

4. Leica V-Lux 5

High continuous shooting rate
leica v lux5 bridge camera

Sensor: 20MP CMOS | Lens: 9.1–146 mm f/2.8-4 | Zoom: 2x | Video: 4K

  • ✚ Flexible LCD screen
  • ✚ Ability to shoot RAW files
  • ✚ Variety of shooting modes
  • ✚ Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity with Leica FOTOS
  • Higher price point due to Leica branding
  • Only 2x zoom
  • Minimum shutter speed of 1/16000th sec

The first thing that stands out is the high-resolution sensor, which produces excellent and detailed images. The wide-angle lens is also a big plus, allowing you to capture more of the scene in your shots. The fast autofocus system is another advantage, making it easy to capture fast-moving subjects with ease.

leica v lux5 bridge camera photo sample

Being one of the best bridge cameras, Leica V-Lux 5 also offers fully manual controls and the ability to shoot RAW files, which is ideal for those who prefer to have more control over their images. The built-in microphone for recording stereo sound is also a big plus, as is the ability to shoot 4K video.

However, there are also some disadvantages to this Leica camera. The first thing that comes to mind is the price. It is a premium camera, and not everyone can afford it.

The minimum shutter speed of 1/16000thsec may also be limiting for some photographers, especially if you're shooting in low light.

5. Canon PowerShot SX70

Versatile and portable
canon powershot sx70 bridge camera

Sensor: 20MP CMOS | Lens: 3.8–247 mm f/3.4-6.5 | Zoom: 65x | Video: 4K

  • ✚ Budget-friendly
  • ✚ Impressive image stabilization
  • ✚ RAW image capture
  • ✚ 4K video recording
  • Limited manual control compared to DSLRs
  • Small sensor size
  • Limited depth-of-field capabilities

Canon PowerShot SX70 is a great example of a camera for long distance, offering a 65x optical zoom which is perfect for anything from landscape photography to close-up family photos. It comes with an automatic mode and a user-friendly interface, making them a good choice for beginners.

canon powershot sx70 bridge camera photo sample

The Canon PowerShot SX70 offers a relatively high megapixel count compared to other digital compacts, allowing for more precision and control in your shots. It also has image stabilization, which is incredibly helpful for low-light and nighttime photos.

However, one of the downsides of using this Canon camera is that it doesn't usually have very good depth-of-field capabilities, making it difficult to achieve the 'bokeh' effect. This is particularly true when taking pictures at the very long end of the zoom range.

6. Nikon Coolpix B500

nikon coolpix b500 bridge camera

Sensor: 16MP CMOS | Lens: 4.0 - 160 mm f/3-6.5 | Zoom: 40x | Video: 1080p Full HD

  • ✚ High-quality images
  • ✚ Easy to use
  • ✚ Сompact design
  • ✚ Creative modes and filters for artistic effects
  • Slow autofocus when zoomed in
  • Limited sensitivity range of ISO 6400
  • Poor battery life

Nikon Coolpix B500 is a great option for anyone who wants a bridge camera that's easy to use and produces high-quality images. It has a 40x optical zoom, which is impressive for a camera of this size and price range. It also has Full HD video recording, which is a bonus for those who want to capture video footage.

nikon coolpix b500 bridge camera photo sample

Another advantage is the SnapBridge connectivity, which makes it easy to share photos on a connected device without any hassle. The camera is also compatible with the Nikon app, which allows you to control it remotely.

However, there are some disadvantages to the B500. The autofocus can be quite slow, especially when zoomed in, which can be frustrating when trying to capture a moment. This camera for sports also has limited manual control options, which can be a downside for more advanced photographers.

7. Panasonic LUMIX FZ80

Optical stabilization
panasonic lumix fz80 bridge camera

Sensor: 18MP CMOS | Lens: 3.58 - 215 mm f/2.8-5.9 | Zoom: 60x | Video: 4K Ultra HD

  • ✚ 4K video recording and 4K photo modes
  • ✚ Electronic viewfinder
  • ✚ Wi-Fi connectivity
  • ✚ Lightweight design
  • Image quality is not exceptional
  • Dynamic range issues
  • Autofocus can be slow

Being one of the best cameras for long distance, Panasonic LUMIX FZ80 has a 60x zoom lens, which is pretty impressive for a camera in this price range. It's perfect for capturing distant subjects, and the optical stabilization helps to avoid blurry pictures when taking photographs in bright or noisy conditions.

panasonic lumix fz80 bridge camera photo sample

Another advantage is the camera's ability to shoot 4K video at 24-30fps, which is pretty impressive for a travel camera in this category. The FZ80 also supports Panasonic's clever '4K Photo' modes that capture 8 Megapixel stills from 30 frames per second videos, allowing you to capture every moment in detail.

However, there are some disadvantages to the FZ80 as well. Firstly, the image quality isn't spectacular, although it does produce very good results for a superzoom. Also, the camera's autofocus can be a bit slow and inaccurate at times, especially in low light conditions.

nikon p1000
Nikon P1000
  • 16MP CMOS
  • 24–3000 mm f/2.8-8
  • 125x zoom
  • 4K Ultra HD video
sony rx10 iv
Sony RX10 IV
  • 20MP CMOS
  • 24–600 mm f/2.4-4
  • 25x zoom
  • 4K video
panasonic lumix dc fz1000 ii
Panasonic Lumix DC-FZ1000 II
  • 18MP CMOS
  • 25–400 mm f/2.4-4
  • 16x zoom
  • 4K video

How to Choose the Best Bridge Camera?

Lenses. Zooming features make a bridge camera truly the best zoom camera, since extra lenses are not required. Being equipped with wide-angle lenses (24 mm or 28 mm), it extends to nearly 1200 mm when zooming the lens to the maximum limit.

Moreover, the focal length is equivalent to 500 mm and 1000 mm. I can’t agree more that you won’t find such an impressive lens among entry-level DSLRs at cheap prices.

how to choose the best bridge camera

Viewfinder. Owners of superzoom bridge cameras for wildlife photography take pictures with the assistance of the LCD screen or the electronic viewfinder since the optical viewfinder is not available. Sometimes, the most compact bridge cameras lack the EVF as well.

In other words, you should use the optical viewfinder, if anything, and count on the LCD screen to settle the bridge camera lens. Users snap the picture based on the image preview seen on the screen.

Nonetheless, the EVF can’t compete with the optical viewfinder, as snapping pictures with ultra-zoom cameras is rather slow. Moreover, image distortion may appear when we make a fast move.

Sensor size. Bridge cameras are usually equipped with a sensor almost identical in size to the ones in the highest megapixel cameras. 15 mm or less is a common diagonal for a conventional bridge camera. Accordingly, if you print your photographs in A3 format, images may be slightly distorted.

Size and weight. In spite of the fact that cameras for long distance are rather lightweight and small, they are improved with the best mirrorless and DSLR features. In fact, cheap models are made of plastic, which decreases their weight. On the other side, such bridge cameras are not durable and may be easily disrupted.

choosing the best bridge camera

Accessories. As a rule, modern bridge cameras are equipped with an external ‘hot shoe’ flash, suitable for the attachment of extra flash units and EVFs, if they are not available in a standard kit. You may also fit filters or close-up lenses with the help of a bayonet fitting for lenses present in many bridge cameras. Moreover, remote shutter release may be added to some cameras.

Image stabilization. Similar to the best cameras for macro photography, bridge cameras are modernized with an optical or sensor-shift stabilizer. In such a manner, it keeps the camera steady and reduces blurring.

4K support. Although most vloggers record videos in Full HD format, if you are filming a clip to further upload, it to YouTube and want to surprise your audience with a high-quality picture, 4K 60fps support should be your priority. 4K offers more options for editing and trimming your video later, but this feature is suitable for advanced bloggers, not beginners.