The Best Bridge Camera 2016 - We select some of the best bridge cameras currently on the market
The bridge camera remains one of the most popular types of digital camera, owing to its huge zoom lens, DSLR-esque handling and relatively compact proportions.
There are several factors to consider before buying a bridge camera, including whether in fact a bridge is right choice for your needs. If you’re uncertain we highly recommend you read our in-depth Guide to Bridge Cameras first, just to be sure.
But if you’ve done that, or you’re already confident that a bridge camera is for you, then read our round up of the best bridge cameras of 2016…
Sony Cyber-shot RX10 II
Street price: £1088
If you’re looking for the very best in bridge cameras, it’s difficult to look any further than the Sony RX10 II, launched as the successor to the well-reviewed Sony RX10.
The camera features the same 1in sensor as that in the acclaimed RX100 IV, while also featuring an impressive Carl Zeiss zoom covering an equivalent focal range of 24-200mm and with a constant f/2.8 maximum aperture.
The result? An amazing shooting experience and one of the best bridge cameras ever made. However, at its current price it does represent a serious investment, although if you can afford it you won’t be disappointed.
Best Bridge Camera for: High-end imaging
Street price: £350
With a 65x optical zoom, there are few bridge cameras on the market which can compete with the SX60 HS when it comes to zoom functionality.
The model also benefits from Canon’s DIGIC 6 processing chip, an EVF and full HD video capture, as well as both Wi-fi and NFC connectivity. It also retains the hot-shoe seen on its predecessor which is great if you’ve already got a Canon flash in your kitbag.
Best Bridge Camera for: Value for money
Street price: £280
Despite being relatively old now, the Fujifilm HS50 EXR remains highly regarded thanks to its DSLR styling and good sensor technology.
In this case it’s a 16MP chip that also incorporates an array of phase detect pixels to provide what Fujifilm claims was the fastest AF of any bridge camera in the world at time of release.
The manually operated 42x zoom lens goes from 24mm to 1000mm with a twist of the lens barrel. Additional features include a high resolution articulated LCD screen, a 1.44 million dot EVF, an impressive 11fps burst rate, full 1080p HD video, raw capture and a range of creative filters and film simulation modes.
Best Bridge Camera for: DSLR styling and operation
Street price: £719
Canon’s latest enthusiast compact offers a compelling combination of a long zoom range and a relatively large 24-600mm equivalent 1in sensor. The G3 X uses a 20.2MP, 1in BSI CMOS sensor, and has an ISO range of 125-12,800.
It also has an excellent touchscreen interface. However it has no electronic viewfinder and is quite slow to use.
Best Bridge Camera for: Long zoom with slow moving/static images
Street price: £549
Nikon’s P900 represents the longest focal length available on the market – for the moment at least. The 83x optical zoom offers 24-2000mm in 35mm terms so you should pretty much every base covered.
It also has a 1/2.3 inch 16 million pixel sensor. However it has no raw format shooting, which considering the price and intended audience is a little disappointing.
Best Bridge Camera for: Ultimate reach
Street price: £589
This Panasonic bridge offering has a whole host of enticing specs for a bridge camera.
First of all, and perhaps most importantly, is a one-inch type sensor offering 20.1 million pixels. That makes it a close competitor to the excellent Sony RX10, but at a cheaper price.
There’s also a longer zoom lens, at 25-400mm (equivalent), 4K video shooting, a 2359k-dot electronic viewfinder and inbuilt Wi-Fi and NFC.
Best Bridge Camera for: All-round package