Bridge cameras are back – Panasonic revives travel-friendly superzooms with surprise successor to our favorite cheap Lumix

Panasonic Lumix FZ80D bridge camera reflected on a gray background
(Image credit: Panasonic)

Well, we didn't expect this: after years of dormancy, a new bridge camera is hitting the shelves – the Panasonic Lumix FZ80D / FZ82D. It replaces the Lumix FZ80 / FZ82, which is the top cheap option in our guide to the best bridge cameras, with the new model delivering 2024-friendly features. 

Despite the years between cameras, most of the key specifications for the travel-friendly superzoom are the same, including the 20-1200mm f/2.8-5.9 lens – that's a mega 60x zoom that'll cover you for anything from wide vistas to closeups of distant wildlife in a flash.

Like before, the 60x optical zoom is equipped with an optical image stabilizer to steady your shots at the telephoto end, and the zoom can be further doubled to 120x using an Intelligent Zoom mode, or by another 4x using a lesser-quality digital zoom.

There's also the same 1/2.3-inch 18MP sensor – that sensor size is around the same as a regular smartphone but smaller than 2024's flagship handsets: bridge cameras offer unrivaled versatility over outright image quality. 

You can shoot 18MP single-shot stills, 10fps at full quality, 30fps bursts at 8MP, plus 4K video up to 30fps. The body and handling of the Lumix FZ80D / FZ82D is largely the same as the Lumix FZ80 / FZ82 too, with macro focusing down to 1cm being another handy feature. 

So if all those key features are the same, what exactly is new?

A modest refresh, despite the years

It's been over seven years since the FZ80 / FZ82 first came to market in January 2017. By the end of 2024, new EU regulations demand a common USB-C charging port for all mobile devices and cameras. The FZ80D / FZ82D does indeed feature a USB-C socket.

Both electronic viewfinder (EVF) and LCD displays have been upgraded, too. The 3-inch LCD touchscreen receives a boost in resolution, up from 1.04m-dots to 1.84m-dots for crisper detail. Sadly, the display is still fixed – we would have liked to see a flip-out screen.

Panasonic Lumix FZ80D bridge camera reflected on a gray background

(Image credit: Panasonic)

The EVF is an updated unit with 2.36m-dot resolution and 0.74x magnification – that's both larger and more detailed than before.

That mega 60x zoom is now equipped with a new Zoom Compose Assist function. At the push of a button, the FZ80D / FZ82D will quickly zoom out, enabling you to locate your subject once more and recompose your shot: losing your subject is a common issue at such telephoto zoom settings.

Otherwise there's not a lot else that's new in the FZ80D / FZ82D, besides the fact that presumably it will be readily available once it hits the shelves later this month, which is more than can be said for the aging Lumix bridge cameras like the FZ80 / FZ82 that are now hard to find.

It'll also be the cheapest bridge camera once it replaces the FZ80 / FZ82 in our guide to the best bridge cameras after review, with a list price of $479 / £429 / AU$849.

It's shame that the Lumix FZ80D / FZ82D is just a modest refresh of its seven-year-old predecessor, but the move by Panasonic shows that there is still a place for these superzooms in 2024.

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Timothy Coleman
Cameras editor

Tim is the Cameras editor at TechRadar. He has enjoyed more than 15 years in the photo video industry with most of those in the world of tech journalism. During his time as Deputy Technical Editor with Amateur Photographer, as a freelancer and consequently editor at Tech Radar, Tim has developed a deeply technical knowledge and practical experience with cameras, educating others through news, reviews and features. He’s also worked in video production for Studio 44 with clients including Canon, and volunteers his spare time to consult a non-profit, diverse stories team based in Nairobi. Tim is curious, a keen creative, avid footballer and runner, and moderate flat white drinker who has lived in Kenya and believes we have much to enjoy and learn from each other.