Updated September 2014. The ultra zoom - or bridge style camera is a popular format of camera, offering SLR styled looks, manual controls and huge optical zoom. This style of camera lets you get wide-angle shots and then zoom into distant subjects, with the latest cameras offering up to 60x optical zoom! Here is our list of the best ultra zoom / bridge cameras reviewed on ePHOTOzine, click the name to read the full review:
Number 1 - Panasonic Lumix FZ1000
Panasonic Lumix FZ1000 - The Panasonic Lumix FZ1000 features a large 20 megapixel 1inch sensor for improved image quality along with a Leica f/2.8 - f/4.0 16x optical zoom lens equivalent to 24-400mm in 35mm terms. The camera also features 4K video recording, raw shooting, manual controls and built in Wi-Fi. The Panasonic Lumix FZ1000 is available for £749.
2nd - Panasonic Lumix FZ72
Panasonic Lumix FZ72 / FZ70 - The Panasonic Lumix FZ72 features a massive 60x optical zoom lens, manual controls, raw shooting, 9fps continuous shooting, full HD video recording, stereo sound, as well as accessories that will take the zoom to 102x optical zoom! The Panasonic Lumix FZ72 is available for £249.
Joint 2nd: Canon Powershot SX50 HS
Canon Powershot SX50 HS - The Canon Powershot SX50 has a 50x optical zoom lens, giving the equivalent of 24 - 1200mm. This combined with clever zoom subject tracking features makes it an impressive camera, with 13fps continuous shooting and a vari-angle screen. The Canon Powershot SX50 HS is available for £319.
Joint 2nd: Panasonic Lumix FZ200
Panasonic Lumix FZ200 - The Panasonic Lumix FZ200 may "only" have a 24x optical zoom lens, equivalent to 25mm to 600mm at the telephoto end, but it features a bright f/2.8 aperture at all lens positions, making it great for low-light photography. It also features 12fps continuous shooting and a vari-angle screen. The Panasonic Lumix FZ200 is available for £349.
Joint 2nd: Nikon Coolpix P600
Nikon Coolpix P600 - The Nikon Coolpix P600 features a 60x optical zoom lens, full HD video recording, a tilting vari-angle 3inch screen, built in Wi-Fi, manual controls and a large rubber grip making it easy to hold the camera steady when using lots of optical zoom. The Nikon Coolpix P600 is available for £299 in black or red.
3rd: Canon Powershot SX510 HS
Canon Powershot SX510 HS - The Canon Powershot SX510 HS is one of the smallest ultra zoom bridge camera available and features a 30x optical zoom lens, full HD video recording, built in Wi-Fi, 0cm macro mode, and manual controls. The Canon Powershot SX510 HS is available for £149.
Joint 4th: Olympus Stylus SP-100EE
Olympus Stylus SP-100EE - The Olympus Stylus SP-100EE has a clever targeting system designed to let you track a moving subject when using the 50x optical zoom lens, along with an electronic viewfinder and a 3inch screen. The Olympus Stylus SP100EE is available for £299.
Joint 4th: Fujifilm FinePix S-1
Fujifilm FinePix S-1 - The Fujifilm FinePix S1 bridge camera features a weather-sealed body, making it ideal for inclement weather - the camera features a 50x optical zoom lens, as well as a 3inch tilting vari-angle screen. The Fujifilm FinePix S1 is available for £367.
Joint 4th: Fujifilm FinePix SL1000
Fujifilm FinePix SL1000 - The Fujifilm FinePix SL1000 is a 50x optical zoom camera, with a flash hot-shoe, 10fps continuous shooting, a tilting screen, full HD video, manual controls and SLR styling. The Fujifilm FinePix SL1000 is available for £185. An alternative to the Fujifilm FinePix SL1000, is the Fujifilm FinePix HS50EXR.
5th: Sony Cyber-shot HX400
Sony Cyber-shot HX400 - The Sony Cyber-shot HX400 features a 50x optical zoom lens, built in Wi-Fi / NFC connectivity, manual controls and optical image stabilisation. The Sony Cyber-shot HX400 is available for £339.
For more options have a look at our latest digital camera reviews, or have a look at our Top 10 Best Pocket Zoom cameras.
Found your perfect camera? Don't forget to pick up a bag for it to protect it - have a look at our complete guide to bags. If you want a memory card for your camera, have a look at our complete guide to memory cards.