The Best Bridge Camera of 2014 u2013 our pick of the very best bridge cameras currently on the market

The bridge camera remains one of the most popular types of digital camera, owing to their huge zoom lenses, 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 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 2014…

Sony Cyber-shot RX10

Street price: £880

If you’re looking for the very best in bridge cameras, it’s difficult to look any further than the Sony RX10.

The camera features the same 1in sensor as that in the acclaimed RX100 II, while also featuring an impressive Carl Zeiss zoom covering an equivalent focal range of 24-200mm and with a constant f/2.8 maximum aperutre.

The result? An amazing shooting experience and one of the best bridge cameras ever made. However, at a price of nearly £1000, you’ll need deep pockets to add it to your camera bag.

Best Bridge Camera for: High-end imaging

Read our full review of the Sony Cyber-shot RX10

Find the best deals for the Sony Cyber-shot RX10

Best bridge camera 2013 - Canon PowerShot SX50HS

Canon PowerShot SX50 HS

Street price: £340

Even though it’s by no means the biggest bridge camera on the market the Canon PowerShot SX50 HS was the world’s first bridge camera to feature a 50x optical zoom, extending from 24mm to an impressive 1200mm.

Paired with Canon’s latest DIGIC 5 processor, the 12MP HS sensor is renowned for its high speed and good high ISO performance. The SX50 HS also offers a full tilt and swivel LCD screen, raw capture and a selection of 58 scene modes, while the hot-shoe allows for Canon EX Speedlite flash guns to be attached.

Best Bridge Camera for: Canon Compatibility

Read more on the Canon PowerShot SX50 HS

Find the best deals for the Canon PowerShot SX50 HS
Best bridge camera 2013 - Fujifilm HS50 EXR

Fujifilm FinePix HS50 EXR

Street price: £310

The Fujifilm HS50 EXR features the highly regarded EXR sensor technology, which can be optimised to provide High Resolution, Wide Dynamic Range or Low Noise, depending on the conditions.

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

Read our full review of the Fujifilm HS50 EXR

Find the best deals for the Fujifilm FinePix HS50 EXR

Best bridge camera 2013 - Nikon Coolpix P520

Nikon Coolpix P520

Street price: £240

The Nikon Coolpix P520 is one of the smaller bridge cameras of the group. Its 42x lens extends from 24mm to 1000mm, and uses lens-shift VR to minimize camera shake.

Image capture comes courtesy of an 18MP backlit CMOS sensor, while images are viewed on an impressive 3.2in 920k
dot vari-angle screen. The P520 also boasts a GPS function through
which images can be placed on a map using the supplied ViewNX software.

Although the P520 is a little more plasticky than some rivals this also
helps make it quite a bit cheaper.

Best Bridge Camera for: Those with a premium on size

Read our full review of the Nikon Coolpix P520

Find the best deals for the Nikon Coolpix P520

Best bridge camera 2013 - Panasonic Lumix FZ200

Panasonic Lumix FZ200

Street price: £315

The Panasonic Lumix FZ200 was the world’s first, and so far bridge camera to offer a constant f/2.8 aperture throughout its zoom range.

This is a huge benefit, enabling lower ISOs and/or faster shutter speeds to be used that other bridge cameras in the same conditions, and also affording potentially narrower depth of field. It’s a Leica lens too.

The only downside is that its zoom range is a relatively modest 24x, extending from 24mm to 600mm. The FZ200 also features Lightspeed AF for superfast focusing, 12fps burst shooting, a vari-angle LCD screen and high speed video shooting at 100fps.

Best Bridge Camera for: Wildlife and nature photography

Read our full review of the Panasonic Lumix FZ200

Find the best deals for the Panasonic Lumix FZ200

Best bridge camera 2013 - Pentax X-5

Pentax X-5

Street price: £150

Pentax was last to join the bridge sector and its 16MP X-5
undercuts its rivals quite significantly. Although it offers a much more stripped down feature set by comparison it still has everything you need, including a 26x, 22.3-580mm equivalent zoom lens, a tiltable LCD
screen and an EVF.

Uniquely the X-5 is powered by AA batteries which could be handy for those travelling to remote places, though they’re less efficient than Lithium-Ions. Full manual control is possible but there’s no raw option.

Best Bridge Camera for: Those on a tight budget

Read our full review of the Pentax X-5

Find the best deals for the Pentax X-5

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  • Jeff Hardwick

    I have been using the Panasonic FZ 200 for 4 months now and would recommend this camera to anyone who like me was fed up of lugging heavy DSLR everywhere. This camera can do almost everything a keen enthusiast would ever want to do. It is an excellent all round camera, the f2.8 through the entire zoom range is just amazing.

  • John Towers

    I bought a Fuji Finepix SL240 a couple of years ago, which I am very pleased with. The only problem is that the charger stopped working, so I had to buy an independent one.

  • Magellanica99

    They’re all gimmicky rubbish. Get an SLR.

  • Dave Govier

    I still think the Fuji XS1 beats them all on IQ, thanks to the larger sensor

  • John

    Cant say i totally agree. The Panasonic Lumix fz70 is comin out Sept. 1. It has a 60x zoom, venus engine image processor, and I personally think it will be the best bridge camera.

  • UKcamerastore

    Which should I buy: the Canon SX50 or the Fujifilm HS50? They are similar prices but apparantley the cheeper fuji’s freze up…

  • John Hancocks

    SONY HX300? Lemon of the year in my view, those 20 megapixels do absolutely nothing for image quality. Lots of fancy gadgetry but – FORGET IT!

  • guptil

    Oh wow, that’s the least self-aware quote I’ve ever read. I wouldn’t be surprised if there were a quote from that very same day advocating the opposite for a cop.
    Fuck man, these assholes think this party’ll never end, but the longer it goes the worse it’s gonna be.

  • Dave

    I just got the Nikon P510 after outgrowing a Nikon point and shoot and I couldn’t be happier. The more I learn about it, the more I realize how much it’s capable of. It’s going to be a long time before I outgrow this one, if ever. It takes fantastic pictures and the zoom capability is amazing for what I paid for it. I wouldn’t have been able to afford all the lenses and equipment needed in order to have a similarly equipped DSLR.

  • god

    Seriously? if I wanted to spend £300+ on a bridge camera I may as well buy a SLR…

  • Daniel

    I am going for the Sony. From all the reviews at Cnet and whatdigitalcamera.com, Sony seems the one to me that stands out, in terms of quality. Sure it doesn’t have the high speed movie but really has many other features on the photography side which, in the end it what it’s for. Also the user tests on youtube are more than convincing!

  • Ney Oliveira

    Where´s the Panasonic FZ200?

  • Sport

    You said they sport viewfinders. Look up the word ‘sport’ in a dictionary and you’ll find that makes no sense at all.

  • Jimmy

    I have a hs 30 exr=brilliant but which is trhe best bridge camera?

  • Glow Worm

    I bought the Fuji HS20 EXR earlier this year(2012) but what a crap camera. It is incapapble of taking a decent photo with 99% of the photos blurred, over-exposed or full of noise.

    My old Panasonic compact takes better photos and the Fuji was supposed to be a step.

    Says it all really…..

  • d

    You forgot panasonic fz150 fx200… if your going to do this then… DO IT RIGHT!! stupid WebSite

  • Mrs Needs a New Camera

    What about the Panasonic Lumix FZ200?

  • Clive Mott

    I have had three Canon bridge cameras and ll three suffered failures of the zoom motor drive mechanism. Never again Canon as I was once a Canon fan.

  • Rauno Koskinen

    the best is panasonic fz 200
    18-600 f2.8

  • looking for a camera

    What happened to Panasonic! The inventor of long zoom compact cameras. The new DMC FZ 200 is the best!

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  • spydo

    30X optical…

  • Me,Myself and I

    Ive seen a lot of extremely impressive photos from the HS20 using a raynox Macro lens, also the Raynox lenses are fairly cheap in the way of price, there are two I could see a use for one 2.5 macro, and a 2.2X telephoto.. you can pick both up for about 400.00 that with the HS20, is a awesome package for under 700.00 Can’t get that from a true DSLR, plus the standard zoom capibilities are impressive!

  • thenbman

    What about the Fuji S3400? 28x zoom, It’s stylish, you get lens adapters to make it even better, I think it’s a great camera.

  • Nick

    Fuji HS20EXR I also bought and was freezing up from day one and sent it back and got a full refund. I really liked the camera reviews ect and the feel, but dont think I want to take a risk again. Never had any problems with Canon or Panasonic, even after years of use and abuse.

  • GillH

    @Sukik9 – There’s a comment on Amazon re. Finepix cameras that they freeze in the way you describe if you let the batteries get too low. Only removal will enable the camera to be closed.

  • Truth

    Fujifilm owns

    FINEPIX 4 lyfe biatch!!

  • cath

    what can you say about ge power pro x500? is it worth buying if you are just taking casual photos?

  • Roy Wood

    What about the Fuji Finepix S4000 with 30x zoom?

  • HurricaneCharlie

    @Sukik9 – you’re having no luck with the Fuji, so change brand – Nikon P500 and Panasonic DMCFZ48 are both excellent cameras for £300 – I think you’ll see the difference…

  • Rameez

    Canon SX40HS is the best in image quality…

  • Sukik9

    I started off buying the Fujifilm FinePix S2550, after a very short time it began to freeze up and I was unable to turn it off without removing the batteries, so I took it back to Argos who set it to Fuji for repair. 6 weeks later its back but no better so I go get my money back and instead bought the fuji HS 10. Again within a short time the same problem occurred so once again I took the camera back and thought ok I’ll try the fuji HS 20….can you guess what’s coming next? yip you guessed it, the exact same problem! I’m at my wits end now especially as each time I wasn’t actually given my money back in cash by Argos, but a gift card. So I’ve now got a £300 camera I can’t use and I’ve no idea what to do next. I could continue upgrading but with the luck I’ve had so far I’ll probs end up with a £1000 ruddy gift card and still no camera. Help!

  • VICENTE CARDONE

    Why no one of the superzoom/bridge cameras try really a BETTER-TRUE LARGER sensor? I think Fujis 1/2 is not the final answer but is the rigth way to go a step near a 4/3. All the rest nice features are OK.

  • James B. Aidoo

    Which of these do anyone consider good for serious photography. want to spend around US$400. Panasonic FZ100, FZ150,GF3,LumixGH3, Samsung NX11, Canon Powershot SX40HS or Fuji HS20EXR.

  • n. watson

    i agree with rajeesh – we still dont know which is best. Just which 5 are best… Why no final choice….

  • KW

    could someone please tell me what is best bridge camera for image quality.

  • Rajesh P

    Which is the best Bridge camera 2011?

  • #gnnitrck[llTGXG]
  • Mal Longmore

    FZ100 is the worst camera I have ever owned. Don’t believe me?. Try a few indoor shots on automatic (ia). Total disaster, ruin your reputation in an instant.

  • Jim W

    Tina seems to want to be heard!!!

  • Roger Driver

    What about the Panasonic FZ100 ?

  • Brian lever

    i have the panasonic fz 30 . the pictures from that are far superior to the fz 38

  • Carol Bleasdale

    I have a Canon Powershot SX20 and love it! The picture quality is fantastic, even at full zoom. A real winner with me!!

  • Tina Edwards

    I’d like to point out that the Panasonic Lumix FZ38 does not have a 24x optical zoom as stated in your article. I own one and it has an 18x optical zoom.

    I suppose anyone who’s interested in the FZ38 will follow the link to the review and will realize the error.

    However, the details are incorrect and potentially misleading so should be changed.

  • Tina Edwards

    Have tried to post this comment a couple of times but it doesn’t seem to be getting through – the details given for the Panasonic Lumix FZ38 are incorrect. I own one and it has an 18x optical zoom not a 24x op. zoom as stated. The new FZ45 has a 24x optical zoom.

  • Tina Edwards

    The Panasonic FZ38 has an 18x optical zoom.The new FZ45 has a 24x zoom.

  • Tina Edwards

    The Panasonic FZ38 has an 18x optical zoom not 24x.