Superzoom, ultrazoom, megazoom, bridge – whatever you call them, these long-zoom, fixed lens point-and-shoot cameras have a particular appeal with a segment of consumers who want DSLR-like features but in an easy-to-use form-factor. It’s why camera companies continue to make them, putting in ever-longer focal lengths and advanced features. Case in point: Canon has a new patent for putting a 100x zoom on its PowerShot bridge cameras (SX series).
Currently the longest zoom in a bridge camera tops out at 60x, so Canon’s 100x superzoom – if it materializes, that is – would naturally supersede that record. The lens would have 13 glass elements in 10 groups, giving the user a 35mm-equivalent focal length of 20-1900mm. Before, you’d have to get a DSLR to achieve such a zoom, which shows that Canon would not only be advancing its bridge camera offerings, but also making cameras more unique than smartphones.
We don’t think cameras like these can stem off the rise of smartphones in the long run, but we do know that they are popular with certain customers, so that’s not to say there isn’t an audience. Bridge cameras, despite the long zooms, have never been the best performers due to the smaller sensors, but Sony’s recent Cyber-shot RX10 – an advanced model with a large sensor – shows this category may be where camera companies will do battle against each other next.