The Sony Cyber-shot RX10 IV is the best bridge camera, if you can afford it. Built around a relatively large 1-inch sensor and a relatively long 25X zoom lens, it’s a luxury camera that comes as close as possible to bringing you the best of both worlds, sensor size and zoom.
The sensor is the same one found in Sony’s popular RX100 line, which, not surprisingly here, also ranked first in our roundup of the best point-and-shoot cameras. While the physical size of the sensor gives the RX10 plenty of low-light capability for this class, it also boasts a 20-megapixel resolution for excellent detail, even if you want to make large prints.
With a zoom range equivalent to 24-600mm, the lens covers everything from a decent wide angle to a full super telephoto. It’s a huge improvement over previous RX10 cameras that were over 200mm, and it means you can shoot everything from landscapes to sports with ease. The maximum aperture remains decently bright across the entire zoom range, going from f / 2.4 to f / 4. That means it only loses a little more than a light stop as you get closer. Combined with the larger sensor, the RX10 will easily outperform most of the other cameras on this list when it comes to taking pictures in less than perfect light.
The RX10 IV is also a faster camera than previous versions. It focuses in as little as 0.03 seconds and shoots continuously up to 24 frames per second.
Even with all its features and performance, the RX10 IV is still a costly investment. It is also a fairly large camera that weighs 2.4 pounds, putting it in the same weight class as many DSLRs. To put things in perspective, no DSLR lens offers that zoom range, and telephoto zooms that reach 600mm don’t come cheap.