There are two hallmarks of a bridge camera; DSLR-style handling, and a built-in extra-long zoom lens. The versatile lens effectively does the job of several DSLR or mirrorless lenses, and has you covered for everything from wide-angle landscapes to distant subjects such as wildlife.
Not only do the best bridge cameras avoid the expense and hassle of having to buy, pack and carry multiple optics in your bag, but they offer an array of automatic and manual shooting modes in a light and travel-friendly package. They're a fantastic alternative to DSLRs and mirrorless cameras.
Sound too good to be true? There is one major compromise and distinction between bridge cameras and DSLRs or mirrorless options: sensor size. Bridge cameras have a much smaller sensor, which typically has an adverse impact on image quality - particularly in certain situations, such as low light. The Sony RX10 IV is our top pick with its larger than normal 1-inch sensor and leading feature set, but it is expensive.
Buying Guide The best bridge cameras are great for wildlife photographers who don't want the hassle of interchangeable lenses.
The Nikon P950 is a superzoom bridge camera for wildlife snappers. But is it a big enough leap over its predecessor?
CES 2020 The Nikon P950 is a mild upgrade to its 83x zoom bridge camera, the P900, adding 4K video and Raw support.
Leica's new V-Lux 5 arrives with the tempting combination of a 1-inch sensor, 16x optical zoom, 4K video and a fresh EVF.
The 65x zoom range is the same as its predecessor's, but there are improvements to video, burst shooting and more.
With an effective focal range of 24-3000mm, this is the longest-range bridge camera yet.
Panasonic’s update to its excellent FZ1000 sports a beefed-up feature set to cater for videographers and telephoto fans.
If you have a Panasonic GX8, G7 or FZ330 bridge camera you can get this free update right now.
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