These Are Our 7 Favorite Superzoom Cameras for Getting Close to the Action

Superzoom point-and-shoot cameras are an attractive option for everyone from casual shooters to serious enthusiasts because they provide unmatched versatility and value, typically in compact, portable packages.

The most sophisticated all-in-one superzoom cameras – sometimes referred to as bridge cameras – have full feature sets including Wi-Fi, NFC, and/or Bluetooth connectivity, UHD 4K or Full HD 1080p video capability, advanced multi-zone AF and AE systems, large, hi-res LCDs, built-in multi-axis image stabilization systems, tilting touchscreens, hi-res electronic viewfinders (EVFs), and sophisticated options for seamless connectivity. Most are responsive, easy to use, and deliver impressive image quality, even at relatively high ISOs.

Many of the latest all-in-one superzoom cameras provide extremely long zoom ratios—up to an astonishing 83x—and rapid burst rates of 5-10 frames per second (fps), and beyond. Others with 10-25x-range zoom lenses have large sensors that deliver DSLR-level image quality. Indeed, many of the all-in-one zoom cameras on our list of seven favorites can give DSLRs and mirrorless models a real run for the money. Some look and feel like compact DSLRs while others are slim and svelte enough to slide into a pocket or pocketbook.

All seven superzoom cameras we picked below as our favorites deliver a fulfilling shooting experience along with impressive real-world imaging performance. Or in other words, they’re the best compact cameras with built-in superzooming lenses for getting close-in shots from far away.

Superzoom Camera Trends
While the number of manufacturers competing in the superzoom point-and-shoot space has dwindled a bit over the past few years, it’s noteworthy that four out of the seven cameras that we picked as our favorites have 1-inch image sensors in lieu of the once nearly universal 1/2.3-inch sensors. And, furthermore, four out of seven of the superzoom cameras on our list provide UHD 4K video capture at 30 fps or higher.

These are clear signs that the target audience for superzooms is becoming more sophisticated, and that manufacturers are responding with cameras offering higher image quality, especially in low light, greater creative control over depth of field, and enhanced connectivity. That’s why any of the cool contemporary new models detailed below can provide an excellent backup to an enthusiast’s DSLR or mirrorless system. Those are just some of the reasons why savvy shooters are putting these flexible long-rangers near the top of their wish lists for 2018.


A Trio of Large-Sensor Medium-Long-Range Zoom Cameras

Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX10 IV

Arguably the ultimate all-in-one zoom camera in current production, Sony’s sleek new DSLR-styled RX10 IV has a high-end feature array that delivers impressive performance and offers a compact solution for multimedia image-makers. It incorporates an upgraded 20.1MP, 1-inch Exmor BSI CMOS sensor integrated with an advanced BIONZ X image processor enabling 24 fps shooting at ISO 12800, UHD 4K video recording at 30p and Full HD 1080p video at up to 120 fps for slow-motion effects. Its Hybrid 315-point focal plane phase-and-contrast detection AF system provides 65% frame coverage and can achieve focus in as little as 0.03 sec. Its excellent Zeiss Vario-Sonnar T* 25x f/2.4-4 zoom lens provides a 24-600mm equivalent focal length range, and it’s complemented by Optical SteadyShot image stabilization that gives a 4.5-stop anti-shake advantage and focuses down to 1.2 inches for a maximum magnification ratio of 0.42x. Other features: Built-in picture profiles including S-Log2 and S-Log3 gammas for expanded dynamic range, an XGA 2.36m-dot OLED Tru-Finder EVF, a 3.0-inch 1.44 m-dot Xtra Fine TFT Tilting Touchscreen LCD, full wireless connectivity, step zoom, Silent Shooting mode via its electronic shutter function, Clear Image “lossless” digital zoom, and the ability to capture 8MP screen grabs when shooting 4Kvideo. It’s all built into a robust weather-sealed magnesium alloy body.

Price: $1,698


Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ2500

Assertively styled in the “downsized DSLR” mode, the Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ2500 long-range compact features a 1-inch 20.1MP CMOS sensor, a 20X Leica DC Vario-Elmarit f/2.8-4.5, 24-480mm-equivalent zoom lens, and built-in ND filters that let you set four levels of ND. Seamless iris control is achieved with a nine-blade diaphragm and a new galvanometer-type actuator. The Panasonic Lumix FZ2500 can also capture DCI 4K video at 24 fps, UHD 4K at 29.97, 23.98 and a true 24, as well as 25 fps with a high bit rate of 100 Mbps, and download while recording via an optional micro HDMI cable. Its contrast-based AF System features DFD (Depth From Defocus) technology, enabling AF in as little as 0.09 sec, and it can capture bursts at up to 12 fps (in AFS mode), for a maximum of 100 JPEGs or 30 RAW images.  Its hi-res OLED LVF (Live View Finder) displays images at 2360K-dot resolution, and it also has a free-angle 3.0-inch, 1040K-dot touch-control monitor, and built-in Wi-Fi connectivity.

Price: $1,197.99


Canon PowerShot G3 X

The Canon G3 X, a robust and ruggedly handsome member of Canon’s acclaimed high-performance G-series, has traditional ring, wheel and dial controls, and incorporates a 1-inch 20.2MP high-sensitivity CMOS sensor coupled to an advanced DIGIC 6 image processor. This high-performance combo delivers sensitivity settings to ISO 12800, a maximum continuous full-res burst rate of 5.9 fps, High Speed 31-point AF, and Full HD 1080p video capture at 60 fps. The 25X f/2.8-5.6 Optical Zoom IS lens provides an equivalent focal-length range of 24-600mm and has built-on optical image stabilization to minimize the effects of camera shake. Other features: a 3.3-inch 1.62m-dot tilting touchscreen LCD, a HDMI output port, and built-in Wi-Fi connectivity with NFC.

Price: $799.00; $899.00 with shoe-mount EVF-DC1 high-eye-point, 2.36MP resolution ,electronic viewfinder that displays all shooting information, has a dioptric adjustment range of -3.0 to +1.0, and 90° upward tilt capability.


Ultra-Long-Range All-In-One Zoom Cameras: 60x and Up!

Nikon Coolpix P900

The crisply styled, all-in-one Nikon P900 stands at the pinnacle of its class, providing an astonishing 83X zoom ratio thanks to its 24-2000mm-equivalent f/2.8-6.5 Zoom Nikkor Super ED VR lens that has built-in Dual Detect Optical VR that provides a 5-stop advantage in minimizing the effects of camera shake. If that’s not enough, the Nikon P900 also offers 166X Dynamic Fine Zoom, and 332X digital zoom, effectively quadrupling the optical zoom range. The Nikon P900 has a 3.0-inch, 921k-dot Vari-Angle TFT LCD screen as well as an eyelevel electronic viewfinder (EVF), employs a 1/2.3-inch 16MP CMOS image sensor, and can capture Full HD 1080p video at 60 fps, and up to 7 full-res still images at a 7 fps burst rate. Other features: built-in Wi-Fi, NFC, and GPS, full auto and manual exposure control, and sensitivity settings up to ISO 12800 in extended mode.

Price: $579.95


Panasonic Lumix DC-FZ80

Unveiled in 2017, this cleanly styled all-in-one camera combines a 60x ultra-long-range zoom lens with impressive multimedia capabilities that include 4K UHD video recording at 30 fps, a10 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. Key features of the Panasonic FZ80 include an 18.1MP 1/2.3-inch MOS Sensor, a 20-1200mm-equivalent f/2.8-5.9 Lumix DC Vario lens, a 1.116m-dot eyelevel EVF, 3.0-inch 1.04M-dot Touchscreen LCD monitor, a Depth–From-Defocus (DFD) AF system to enhance continuous AF and tracking performance, Post Focus and Focus Stacking to shift focus points for enhanced control over depth of field, and Power O.I.S optical image stabilization to minimize the effects of camera shake. The Panasonic FZ80 also provides built-in Wi-Fi connectivity, a built-in pop-up flash, and a hot shoe.

Price: $347.99


Nikon Coolpix B700

This sleek new high-spec DSLR-styled entry features a 20.2MP, 1/2.3-inch BSI CMOS sensor and a 60x, 24-1440mm-equivalent f/3.3-6.5 ED Nikkor lens with five ED glass elements for enhanced definition. Its advanced sensor and image processor deliver a continuous full-res Raw burst rate up to 5 fps, UHD 4K video capture at 30 fps, and sensitivities up to ISO 3200 in extended mode to facilitate low-light work. A combined Dual Detect 5-axis optical and digital image stabilization system minimizes the effects of camera shake, and built-in Wi-Fi with NFC plus Bluetooth BLE assure seamless connectivity and intuitive image storing and sharing. The Nikon B700 incorporates a 921k-dot electronic eyelevel viewfinder plus a hi-res 3.0-inch 921-dot variable-angle LCD, and an HDMI port. It also provides a full range if Creative Mode options, and its ergonomic form factor is enhanced with a large grip for optimum shooting stability.

Price: $424.95


One Cool 10x Large Sensor All-in-One Compact

Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZS100

This svelte, stylish 10x long-ranger packs an 20.1MP, 1-inch High Sensitivity MOS sensor coupled to a Venus Engine image processor to deliver impressive image quality and expanded sensitivities to ISO 25600, plus a top framing rate of 50 fps using its electronic shutter function, 10 fps with its mechanical shutter, and 6 fps with continuous AF. The Panasonic ZS100 can also capture UHD 3840 x 2160 4K video at 30 and 24 fps, and includes a Photo Mode that can generate 8MP stills. Other features: a high-performance 25-250mm-equivalent f/2.8-5.9 Leica DC Vario-Elmarit lens, built-in 5-axis O.I.S. image stabilization to minimize the effects of camera shake, a unique Post Focus mode that allows you to choose a specific point of focus after taking the shot, a 3.0-inch 1.04m-dot Touchscreen LCD Monitor, and an ingenious 1.66 k-dot pop-up Live View Finder (LVF) that covers 100% of the image field.  The DMC-ZS100 also offers a host of manual control features and built-in Wi-Fi connectivity.

Price: $597.99, in black or silver

SteveJohnson9491's picture

You mention these cameras' multimedia capabilities, but I don't see any info on audio. A zoom lens will let you take closeup images without being close, but your camera microphone will still be far away. Do they have external microphone inputs? Is there also a headphone jack so you can monitor your audio levels while recording?