These all-in-one cameras are a convenient solution for travelers, creative shooters and anyone on the move!
Often referred to as bridge models, long-zoom point-and-shoot cameras are an attractive option for everyone from casual shooters to serious enthusiasts. They offer the focal length options of interchangeable-lens cameras but via a single, integrated zoom lens. They also bridge the gap for legions of consumers moving beyond smartphones without significantly compromising compactness or ease of use. That’s why they’ve held their own despite stiff competition from smartphones on the one hand and sizzling mirrorless cameras on the other.
The most sophisticated ultra-zoom cameras have impressive feature sets: Wi-Fi, NFC and/or Bluetooth connectivity; 4K UHD or Full HD 1080p video capability; advanced multi-zone AF and AE systems; and built-in multi-axis image stabilization. Most have large, high-res LCDs, tilting touch screens and high-res electronic viewfinders (EVFs). These svelte cameras are also responsive, easy to use and deliver outstanding image quality, even at relatively high ISOs. They are also capable of rapid burst rates of 5 to 10 frames per second (fps) and beyond.
Of course, the main feature of these P&S cameras is a really long zoom ratio—up to an astonishing 125x. Another distinct category of long-rangers employs lenses that cover a shorter range (16x to 25x). However, they also boast larger sensors that deliver DSLR-level image quality. Indeed, many of these top models give DSLRs and mirrorless ILCs a real run for the money in terms of performance and image quality.
Moreover, long-zoom compact P&S come in various form factors. Some look and feel like compact DSLRs; others are slim enough to slide into a pocket. Nevertheless, all the cameras here have one crucial thing in common: they deliver a fulfilling shooting experience by providing enhanced image control and elevating the user’s involvement in taking pictures. That’s why they also represent a bridge to the future.
All-in-One Long-Zoom Cameras: 50x to 125x
Nikon Coolpix P1000
Nikon’s audacious Coolpix P1000 is simply the longest-range all-in-one digital zoom camera ever! Its 24–3000mm* f/2.8-8.0 Zoom-Nikkor lens delivers a staggering 125x optical zoom range. In fact, it can literally shoot the moon; to emphasize the point it has a moon mode that captures detailed close-ups of the lunar surface! Photographers can even extend its range to 250x in dynamic fine digital zoom mode.
All this is backed up with Nikon’s Dual Direct Optical Vibration Reduction technology; it provides a 5x anti-shake-effect advantage that’s crucial when shooting handheld at long telephoto settings. The P1000 also incorporates a 16MP BSI (backside-illuminated) CMOS sensor and an advanced Expeed image processor. They enable 4K UHD video at various frame rates as well as sensitivity settings up to ISO 6400. Also notable are an ergonomic control ring plus a snapback zoom button if you lose track of the subject.
The camera also sports a big 3.2-inch, 921K-dot vari-angle LCD monitor and a 2.36M-dot OLED EVF. In addition, it features: a wide range of subject modes, including bird mode and the aforementioned moon mode; SnapBridge connectivity via Wi-Fi or Bluetooth; a built-in pop-up flash; and auto, aperture-priority, shutter-priority and manual modes. $999.95.
Kodak PixPro AZ901 Astro Zoom
Kodak PixPro offers a range of mega-zoom bridge cameras from JK Imaging, a Kodak licensee. This cool-looking model boasts a 90x, 22–1980mm f/3.1–6.8 lens, placing it a solid second in this very competitive class. The flagship of the Astro Zoom collection, it incorporates a 1/2.3-inch, 20.7MP BSI CMOS sensor. It’s coupled to a high-performance image processor to enable Full HD 1080p video capture at 30 fps. The camera also provides a 5-fps, full-resolution burst rate and sensitivity settings from ISO 100 to 3,200.
Also provided are an eye-level EVF and a 3-inch, 920K-dot, articulated LCD monitor with a forward-facing option. Optical image stabilization minimizes the effects of handheld camera shake, and built-in Wi-Fi connectivity adds to its convenience. Other key features include: 4x digital zoom; RAW and JPEG capture; various autofocus functions, such as face, smile, blink, dog and cat detection; and a 360º sweep panorama mode that lets shooters create panoramic images by simply panning the camera. $499.99.
Panasonic Lumix DC-FZ80
Unveiled in 2017, this cleanly styled all-in-one Panasonic camera is still a top runner in the bridge camera category. It combines a 60x ultra-long-range optical zoom lens with impressive multimedia capabilities. The integral lens is the Lumix DC Vario 20–1200mm f/2.8–5.9. The camera’s performance specs include 4K UHD video recording at 30 fps; a 10-fps full-res still framing rate; 8MP still image capture at up to 30 fps in 4K photo mode; and sensitivity settings to ISO 6400.
At the core of the FZ80 is an 1/2.3-inch, 18.1MP High Sensitivity MOS image sensor. It also provides a 1.17M-dot eye-level EVF; a 3-inch, 1.04M-dot touch LCD monitor; and a Depth from Defocus (DFD) AF system. The latter enhances continuous AF and tracking performance, as well as provides post focus and focus stacking to shift focus points for enhanced control over depth of field. In addition, Panasonic’s Power OIS optical image stabilization minimizes the effects of camera shake. Moreover, the FZ80 provides built-in Wi-Fi connectivity; a pop-up flash; and a hot shoe. $399.99.
Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX400V
This stylish, Sony compact long-ranger sports a 50x Zeiss Vario-Sonnar T* zoom lens that provides a 24–1200mm focal length range and a maximum aperture of f/2.8. Add to that a 100x clear image zoom function and Optical SteadyShot image stabilization with intelligent active mode for minimizing blur when moving while shooting video. The camera also incorporates a 1/2.3-inch, 20.4MP Exmor R CMOS sensor that works with a Bionz X image processor for excellent responsiveness and image detail.
It employs both a tilting 3-inch, 921K-dot LCD and an eye-level EVF with 8.1x and 16.2x magnification capabilities. Other key features include: Full HD 1080p AVCHD video capture at 60 and 24 fps; a full-res burst rate up to 10 fps; lock-on AF; 360º intelligent sweep panorama mode; built-in Wi-Fi, NFC and GPS for geotagging; 4K still image capture; a full range of exposure modes, including manual; and a hot shoe. $449.99.
Nikon Coolpix B600
This sleek long-zoom Nikon entry employs a 1/2.3-inch, 16MP CMOS image sensor that is coupled to an advanced Expeed image processor. As a result, the B600 delivers sharp, detailed images and sensitivity settings from ISO 125 to 6400. Its impressive Zoom-Nikkor ED 24–1440mm f/3.3–6.5 lens covers a 60x optical zoom range that extends to a dramatic 120x super-telephoto with Dynamic Fine Zoom technology. In addition, the lens employs Nikon’s Lens Shift Vibration Reduction (VR) tech.
The camera achieves a full-res burst of up to 7 fps; it also records Full HD 1080p video at 30p and 60i, using a 4-axis hybrid lens-shift VR system that effectively minimizes the effects of handheld camera shake. Other features include: a rear-mounted 3-inch, 921K-dot LCD monitor; Nikon SnapBridge with built-in Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity; a contrast-detection AF system with target-finding auto subject identification; and a wide variety of creative and scene modes. $329.99.
Kodak PixPro AZ528 Astro Zoom
JK Imaging Ltd. added to the Kodak PixPro line of mega-zoom bridge cameras with the Kodak PixPro AZ528 Astro Zoom. The midnight blue point-and-shoot compact bridges the gap between the 40x and 65x optical zoom Astro Zoom models already available. The AZ528 features a 52x optical zoom, wide-angle 24–1248mm f/2.8–5.6 lens and a 16-megapixel CMOS image sensor. Moreover, the camera employs a 3-inch LCD and optical image stabilization. It is also capable of recording 1080p Full HD video and 360° panorama capture.
Other features include: a burst rate of 6 frames per sec at full resolution; High Dynamic Range (HDR) shooting; a variety of scene modes; and built-in Wi-Fi connectivity. $249.99. http://kodakpixpro.com
Large-Sensor, Medium-Long-Zoom Cameras
Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX10 IV
Arguably the ultimate all-in-one zoom camera, Sony’s DSLR-styled RX10 IV has a high-end array that delivers impressive performance. It offers a compact solution for multimedia image makers. Its excellent 25x Zeiss Vario-Sonnar T* 24–600mm f/2.4–4.0 zoom lens is complemented by Optical SteadyShot image stabilization. IS achieves a 4.5-stop anti-shake advantage. Moreover, the lens focuses down to 1.2 inches for a maximum magnification ratio of 0.42x.
It also uses a super ED glass element and ED aspherical lenses to minimize aberrations. In addition, the Zeiss T* coating combats flare and ghosting. Plus, triple lens rings for aperture, zoom and focus are provided, with a quiet, smooth option for the aperture ring that’s geared for video.
The weather-sealed, magnesium alloy camera also integrates an upgraded 1-inch, 20.1MP Exmor BSI CMOS sensor and a Bionz X processor. Performance features include 24-fps shooting; ISO settings up to 25,600; 4K UHD video recording at 30p; and Full HD 1080p recording at up to 120 fps for slow-motion effects. Its hybrid, 315-point focal plane phase- and contrast-detection AF system can achieve focus in as little as 0.03 sec.
Other features include: picture profiles, including S-Log2 and S-Log3 Gammas for expanded dynamic range; a 2.35M-dot Tru-Finder EVF; a 3-inch, 1.44M-dot tilting touch LCD; wireless connectivity; step zoom; a silent shooting mode via its electronic shutter function; and the ability to capture 8MP screen grabs when shooting 4K video. $1,699.99.
Canon PowerShot G3 X
This robust, ruggedly handsome member of Canon’s acclaimed high-performance G series has traditional ring, wheel and dial controls. Its 25x, 24–600mm f/2.8–5.6 optical zoom lens works with built-in optical image stabilization to minimize the effects of camera shake. The G3 X also incorporates a 1-inch, 20.2MP High-Sensitivity CMOS sensor that pairs with a Digic 6 image processor. The high-performance combo delivers sensitivity settings to ISO 12,800; a maximum, continuous full-res burst rate of 5.9 fps; high speed 31-point autofocus; and Full HD 1080p video capture at 60 fps.
Other features include: a 3.2-inch, 1.62M-dot tilting, touch-screen LCD; an HDMI output port; and built-in Wi-Fi connectivity with NFC. $899.99. Canon also offers the G3 X bundled with the shoe-mount EVF-DC1 high-eye-point EVF. The 2.36MP EVF displays all shooting information, has a dioptric adjustment range of -3.0 to +1.0 and 90° upward tilt capability. $1,198.
Panasonic Lumix DC-FZ1000 II
Panasonic’s svelte 16x long-range compact boasts a 25–400mm f/2.8–4.0 Leica DC Vario-Elmarit lens with five aspheric surfaces. It works with built-in 5-axis hybrid OIS image stabilization to minimize the effects of camera shake. The camera also packs a 1-inch, 20.1MP High Sensitivity MOS image sensor and a Venus Engine image processor. The result is impressive image quality and sensitivities from ISO 125 to ISO 12,800. Also provided are a top full-res framing rate of 12 fps with single shot AF; 7 fps with continuous AF; and 30 fps at 8MP in 4K photo modes. In addition, the camera records 4K UHD video at 30 fps.
Other features include: a unique post-focus mode that allows users to choose a specific point of focus after taking the shot; focus stacking; a 3-inch, 1.24M-dot, free-angle touch-screen monitor; and an ingenious 2.36M-dot, 0.39-inch integrated eye-level live viewfinder that covers 100% of the image field at 0.74x. The Lumix DC-FZ1000 II also offers a host of customizable manual control features and built-in Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity. $899.99.
*All zoom ranges are in 35mm equivalents, unless otherwise noted.