The 5 Best Zoom Cameras

Superzoom cameras, often called bridge cameras, feature the best of both compact cameras and mirrorless cameras. They’re lightweight and ergonomic but feature the best optical zooms of any compact camera.

They’re easy to use with smart automatic modes but still produce high-quality shots that will impress your family and friends. 

There’s an impressive array of superzoom cameras with the versatility to capture everything from a wide shot of a city vista to the up-close antics of wildlife from afar.

Here is our condensed list of the best zoom cameras, scroll down to read the full article and specs for each camera:

  1. Nikon COOLPIX P1000
  2. Panasonic Lumix FZ2500
  3. Canon PowerShot SX70 HS
  4. Panasonic Lumix FZ80
  5. Nikon COOLPIX P950

Superzoom explained

The whole point of a compact camera is to provide a great quality image within the constraints of the compact body and its fixed lens.

Luckily, fixed camera lenses can now produce amazing zoom ranges. It’s common to see compact cameras with 20x or 25x optical zoom. It’s only when you compare this optical zoom with a 35mm film equivalent, as is used in DSLR lenses that you can appreciate their capabilities. 

But it’s a delicate balancing act. High zoom capabilities don’t always translate into the best image quality. You need the perfect combination of a powerful zoom lens and an equally powerful sensor to capture razor-sharp images every time. 

Below, we’ve listed some of the best superzoom cameras (that aren’t DSLRs or mirrorless cameras).  

1. Nikon COOLPIX P1000

No digital compact camera has yet surpassed the Nikon P1000 with its whopping 125x optical zoom (the 35mm camera equivalent of 24-3000mm). 

Such a powerful zoom means you could capture the most distant objects, from faraway wildlife to the surface of the moon. 

nikon coolpix p1000 with 125x optical zoom

A handy feature is the ‘Snapback’ function that allows you to quickly zoom out to locate your subject. 

This incredible lens complements a range of other features, including a 16MP sensor, RAW support, 4K video capture, a fully articulating LCD, and a compact, weatherproof design perfect for photographers on the go. 

Check out the Nikon P1000 today.

2. Panasonic Lumix FZ2500

This Panasonic model can’t compete with the Nikon P1000 for zoom, with a 20x optical zoom lens (equivalent to 24-480mm). 

But what it does have is a beautiful, high-quality lens with a variable ND filter that boasts three settings, along with an aperture range of f/2.8-4.5. It also has a superior 20MP sensor. 

Panasonic Lumix FZ2500

Where this superzoom camera excels is in its video recording capabilities. It boasts unlimited 4K recording, a fully articulating 3-inch touchscreen, and jacks for a microphone and headphones. It also comes with controls for luminance levels, zebra pattern, and colour bar. 

Take a look at the Panasonic Lumix FZ2500 today.

3. Canon PowerShot SX70 HS

Canon’s best zoom camera is the Powershot SX70, with its 65x optical zoom (a 35mm equivalent focal length of 21-1365mm). 

The camera captures crisp image quality, thanks to its 20MP sensor, fast autofocus, and impressive Dual Sensing image stabilisation system, which keeps images sharp even when zoomed right in.

Canon PowerShot SX70 HS

The SX70 is styled like a DSLR, right down to the electronic viewfinder. Yet it’s incredibly compact for a bridge camera, making it a great, lightweight choice for safaris or birdwatching adventures. 

Other features include 4K video recording and RAW capture to help you edit those shots in post-processing.

The SX70 provides arguably the best combination of a small sensor and a superzoom lens on the market. 

Check out the Canon PowerShot SX70 today. 

4. Panasonic Lumix FZ80

The Panasonic FZ80 ups the ante with an impressive superzoom lens that can take you from ultra-wide-angle to tight zooms with an impressive 20-1200mm equivalent lens (that’s 60x optical zoom). 

The f/2.8-5.9 lens works wonderfully with the 18MP sensor. Combined with a powerful image stabilisation system, this camera performs brilliantly in low light. 

Panasonic Lumix FZ80

We especially love the ‘Post Focus’ function that enables you to set desired focal points after the image is captured. That means you can spend more time shooting and less time worrying about getting the perfect composition. 

This camera is a beautiful all-rounder, providing manual controls and RAW shooting for greater creativity during shooting and afterwards. 

Learn more about the Panasonic Lumix FZ80 today.

5. Nikon COOLPIX P950

The Nikon P950 boasts an 83x optical zoom (equivalent to 24-2000mm), beaten on this list only by the Nikon P1000. A further Dynamic Fine Zoom enables zoom to 166x (equivalent to about 4000m). 

The P950 contains a 16MP back-illumination sensor that helps you capture clear shots with excellent contrast, even in low light conditions. 

nikon coolpix p950 camera with high optical zoom

Many telephoto lens cameras struggle to keep their images sharp at the extreme end of the zoom. But Nikon’s Dual Detect Optical Vibration Reduction (VR) feature counters this by stabilising your shots. 

Other great features include the inclusion of an electronic viewfinder, 4K video recording, and RAW shooting. 

Find out more about the Nikon P950 today.

Have you considered a mirrorless camera?

Bridge cameras are a great step up from the basic digital compact camera. Their greatest advantage is that they combine an impressive zoom in a lightweight, portable body that makes them perfect for travel. 

But if image quality is your biggest priority, you might want to consider investing in a mirrorless camera

Mirrorless cameras are often similar in size to a compact camera but feature powerful, high-grade sensors and interchangeable lenses. This means you can invest in a dedicated telephoto lens that will deliver the very best quality even at the tightest zoom.

Check out our favourite mirrorless cameras today.

Shop Camera House for the best superzoom cameras

At Camera House, we stock a quality range of superzoom cameras to suit every need and budget. 

Shop our selection online today or visit us in-store to get more advice from the experts!

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