Best Zoom Cameras You Can Buy In 2021 – Buyer’s Guide

Every photographer knows the need for an ultra-zoom feature in cameras. It is perfect to capture distant objects without any shake or blur. Cameras that offer ultra-zoom features are more likely similar to digital SLR types. Zoom cameras or bridge cameras usually have a larger image sensor which also promotes low light photography.

The optical film lenses provide wide-angle shots with clear and detailed zoom. The latest bridge cameras that provide larger zoom features are more affordable than the SLR types.

To know more about the features and characteristics of various zoom cameras available in the market, do check the buying guide later in the article. If you are planning to buy a zoom camera but are confused with the variety of models present, then consider looking at some of the options mentioned below.

1) Canon Powershot SX540 HS

Canon PowerShot SX540HS 20.3MP Digital Camera with 50x...

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The beautifully designed Canon Powershot SX 540 is a bridge camera that offers better image quality than a compact camera and is smaller than a regular digital SLR. SX 540 makes a few small improvements compared to its predecessor.

One great feature that might make you fall in love with this camera is its 50 times optical zoom lenses, which gives your camera the ability to zoom closer to your subject with the zoom range that extends to 1080 mm and a 35 mm equivalent. It is also supported by a longer lens which is greater for all-round photography. This camera is the best for beginners who wants to experiment with shots.

Pros:

  • Value for money
  • Higher optical zoom
  • Best for low light photography
  • Higher image quality
  • Greater image stabilization

Cons:

  • No viewfinder

2) Sony Cybershot DSC RX -100 M3

Sony DSC-RX100 Cybershot 20.2MP Point & Shoot Digital Camera...

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The Sony Cybershot RX 100 cut down on the use of advanced AF features as well as other performance features. The camera still gives you the lens specification of 24-70 mm which has a good zooming quality and also a good sensor. Although it’s expensive, but it’s worth buying. It will do well for intermediate and experts.

If you want one of the best bridge/zoom cameras for photography then you should check this one out and see if it’s the one you are looking for. The lens gives your shot with fierce sharpness and contrast. The higher image provides reflection and glare-free images.

Pros:

  • 24 fps that ensures continuous accurate shooting.
  • Easy to carry
  • Performance that matches DSLR
  • Good for both videography and photography
  • Higher quality of the image

Cons:

  • No touchscreen
  • Slightly expensive.

3) Kodax pix pro-Astro zoom AZ 421

Kodak PIXPRO Astro Zoom AZ421 16 MP Digital Camera with 42X...

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From auto zooms to object tracking and post-editing features, Kodax pix pro Astro zoom is a user friendly, fun, and zero hassle camera. If photography is your passion then performance and passion can go hand in hand when you choose this amazing bridge camera. It comes with a 24 mm wide-angle three-inch LCD, optical image stabilization, and a lithium-ion battery.

Pros:

  • Best for beginners
  • Good for a low- light photograph
  • Easy to handle

Cons:

  • Wi-Fi connection not stable
  • Average image quality.

4) Nikon Coolpix P950 25x Optical Zoom Camera

Nikon COOLPIX P950 Digital Camera

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If you are looking for full HD great photos without any hassle, then this camera is the best option. Nikon Coolpix P 950 camera is an excellent tool for birding, wildlife, and nature. It comes with point and shoots feature that shoots smaller objects.

The battery life is greater with up to 350 shots in a single charge. The Nikon Coolpix is the coolest device with a spectacular image quality that matches the DSLR style. Spinning, gripping, varied angular display, a high-resolution electronic viewfinder with automatic turns are some of the mind-blowing features you would find on this camera.

Pros:

  • Good picture quality
  • High zoom feature
  • Good image stabilization
  • Easy to operate

Cons:

  • Little heavy
  • Expensive

5) Panasonic Lumix DC-FZ10002

Panasonic Lumix DC-FZ10002 20MP 4K Point and Shoot Digital...

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The Panasonic Lumix DC -FZ is a superzoom bridge camera for photographers on a budget. It features a 2.3-inch sensor with a resolution of 20.1 megapixels. The massive lens system in Panasonic FZ 10002 provides a focal range between 20 and 1200 millimeters.

The 16 times zoom makes the camera worth buying. The camera’s built-in stabilize is a hybrid system based on optical stabilization. It works well with photo and video recording. This camera is widely used by most of the YouTubers.

Pros:

  • Higher image quality
  • Self-timer
  • Greater image stabilization
  • Value for money
  • Low light photography

Cons:

  • No touchscreen
  • Heavy

6) Canon Powershot SX 740 Digital Camera

Canon PowerShot SX740 Digital Camera w/40x Optical Zoom and...

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A great camera with 4K image quality in a budget. This is an ideal option for travel photography. Beginners can easily get started with this model. The LCD screen can be tilted up to 180 degrees to ensure capturing a side angle shot. The portrait mode helps to beautifully edit and add filters to your picture.

With 40 times optical zoom lenses you can capture every detail of a distant object. The optical sensor resolution of 24 Megapixels provides your pictures with a professional look. The higher battery life captures a large several pictures in a single charge.

Pros:

  • High image quality
  • Lightweight
  • Easy to operate
  • High optical sensor resolution
  • Best for travel photography

Cons:

  • Not suitable for videography
  • Lesser frame per second performance.

7) Sony Cybershot DSC- HX 400V

Sony Cybershot DSC-HX400V 20.4MP Digital Camera (Black) with...

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With a 50 times powerful optical zoom feature, the distance of the object will never matter. It has great image stabilization for still and hand shots. The zooming features suit mostly for videographers and wildlife photography. In-built flashes and electric viewfinder are present to aid with low light photographs. It can shoot up to 1080x720p with 60fps. You can control the camera with your smartphone by using the built-in Wi-Fi.

Pros:

  • Best for low light photography
  • High optical zoom features
  • Greater frames per second
  • Built-in Wi-Fi and hot spot

Cons:

  • Heavy
  • Average image quality
  • The LCD screen is not rotatable

8) Nikon Coolpix B 600

Nikon Coolpix B600 (Black)

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This is a medium-size bridge camera and is truly high quality in terms of image sharpness. The camera is a pack of full notch features and components. The package contains the camera, a 16 GB SD card, four batteries, a lens cap, a carrying case, and a USB cable. Wi-Fi connectivity is a good feature but it is compatible only with the snap bridge phone application.

Pros:

  • The image quality
  • High optical sensor stabilization
  • Value for money.
  • Low light photography
  • Weightless

Cons: 

  • Lower frame per second performance.

9) Canon PowerShot SX620HS Digital Camera

Canon PowerShot SX620HS 20.2MP Digital Camera with 25x...

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If you are an amateur photographer, then this is the best option to consider. The battery life is quite impressive with about 300-400 pictures in a single charge. The ultrazoom feature which is 25 times powerful provides great clarity to your pictures.

The 20.2-megapixel C-MOS sensor provides a clear picture with brightness and manual filters. Wi-Fi capability makes posting your shots in real-time easier to keep yourself and the people around you updated.

Pros:

  • Greater zoom feature
  • Higher image stabilization
  • Easy to operate
  • Great battery life
  • Affordable

Cons:

  • Not suitable for low light photography
  • Heavy

Buying guide for Best Zoom Cameras

selective focus photography of Canon DSLR Camera

If you are a beginner and have decided to buy a new camera or a professional and want to upgrade your existing camera with advanced features, then here are some factors that you should consider.

1- Sensor size

The size of the sensor determines the quality of the image you capture. The size of the sensor is equally significant as the autofocus feature. Especially in Wildlife and travel photography, the dimensions are more carefully considered to capture the desired subject from distance.

Make sure you consider checking the dimensions of the sensor before you start looking for other features.

2- Image quality

All the bells and whistles of new technology may be able to enhance and digitally magnify your images before, during, and even after the shot. But it will not match the detail of a higher resolution initial picture. So what makes the difference? There are two types of sensors currently used in bridge cameras, CCD and CMOS.

CMOS sensors are usually used in SLR cameras and larger CCD sensors are mainly used in basic bridge cameras that give the sensor a larger area and more pixels to analyze the picture to be captured. Make sure your camera has good pixels and look for cameras where you can adjust the image quality manually depending on the space in your files occupy.

The larger image sensor also determines to manually adjust the space occupied by your files in the database.

3- Lenses 

The quality of the camera lenses is reflective of the image quality achievable from any camera. We’d expect more expensive cameras to experience a better quality of lens which is more responsive to low light situations.

As the optical zoom magnification on zoom cameras increases almost after each new launch, it brings new challenges to keep image quality at a maximum. More refined lenses should be used to get a satisfying image quality.

A typical bridge camera will have an optical zoom of 300-400 mm, but some advanced cameras will reach up to 2000mm.

woman holding DSLR camera

4- Autofocus

For nature photography, the preciseness of the image is very crucial to consider. If you want your camera to be able to focus precisely with extremely fast rates, you should look for a camera that has high autofocus points. Higher AF points will contribute to the quality of the image. However, Cameras with more AF points are mostly expensive.

The more costly the camera, the more autofocus points they have. The basic cameras have about 10-11 points whereas the advanced and professional ones have up to 800 points. Make sure you buy a camera with AF points somewhere 200-300 to get a perfect shot.

5- Frames per second

flat lay photography of black Sony DSLR camera on black surface

Besides having higher autofocus points, the shutter speed of the lenses also matters while shooting fast-moving objects.

The higher number of frames your camera can shoot in a second will allow you to capture the movements which can’t be expected to stay still for a longer period.

There are primarily two types of formats of your image getting stored. Some cameras only support RAW files and some do support JPEG files too. The basic difference between both is that the JPEG format occupies your storage space much slower than the RAW files. JPEG format will make sure that the memory card lasts longer and it also lets you capture continuous uninterrupted shots.

6- Budget

If you are on a budget, then you should try brands like Canon and Nikon. Besides being affordable, they offer high-quality features that suit very well for beginners.

If you don’t mind spending a bit more, then you should consider purchasing cameras from brands like Panasonic and Sony. Make sure that you don’t spend a huge amount of money on a camera that has features beyond your usage.

Conclusion

With a variety of models and variants of bridge or zoom cameras available in the market, it becomes difficult sometimes to pick the right one that suits your requirements.

If you have already set your mind to purchase a zoom camera, then your objective must probably be wildlife or travel photography. If you already own a camera and are thinking of upgrading it, then you must have a definite reason to look at a new camera.

Bridge camera as the name suggests fills the gap between the compact camera and the DSLR cameras. In a nutshell, look for cameras that are higher in optical zoom features and don’t feel heavy on the pocket.

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