BUYER'S GUIDE / The Best Bridge Cameras
It's all about the zoom
The 5 best digital cameras of the moment: the best all-rounder, the best-value digital camera, the best budget option, the best choice if money is no object.
With a 1" 20-Megapixel sensor, a 16x zoom lens with decent aperture (25-400 mm f/2.8-4), speedy performances, a swivel screen, a sharp, detailed and pleasant-to-use EVF, and a 4K video mode, the Panasonic Lumix FZ1000 is a versatile and sharp-shooting bridge that's an ideal companion for travel or day-to-say shooting. It's even good enough to replace an entry-level SLR! Who said that the bridge camera was dead?
As the third addition to Sony's RX range, the RX10 bridge is an excellent camera. It sports the largest sized sensor in the bridge market (the same 1" 12-Megapixel BSI CMOS as the RX100 II), a new Bionz X imaging engine, a 24-200 mm zoom lens with constant f/2.8 aperture and a handy aperture control ring. It also boasts advanced video functions. It's a serious rival for bridges and SLRs, and is a good option for anyone looking for a versatile camera without compromising on picture quality.
The Olympus Stylus 1 packs the EVF, processor, general layout and retro looks of the excellent OM-D E-M5 into an extremely compact and weatherproof camera. Plus, it gets a brand new 28-300 mm f/2.8 lens to accompany its 1/1.7" 12-Megapixel BSI CMOS sensor. This quality bridge could be a tempting choice for expert users who aren't looking for a superzoom model.
The Panasonic Lumix FZ72 is a pleasant-to-use bridge that's highly versatile and simple to figure out. Its 60x zoom lens is easy to use with no need for particular skills or experience, making the FZ72 great for travel or as a handy second camera for users looking to experience the thrill of shooting at very long focal lengths. Enjoying this monster zoom does mean you'll have to compromise a little on image quality but, at the end of the day, that's not what this camera is about.
Once our long-standing "Editor's Choice", the Panasonic Lumix FZ200 is still, despite its age, one of our top picks. With its extra-bright 24x zoom lens, it's a unique camera, a sure buy that we'll continue to recommend either until Panasonic decides to update it, or until its rivals come up with a viable alternative.