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Top five bridge camera brands for 2017

By Ryan Shaw

Want a bridge camera that will stand the test of time? We unveil the best bridge camera brands, according to our annual survey of owners.

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Whether you're buying a superzoom bridge camera for taking photos of distant subjects or something a little more advanced and compact in size, you should be able to rely on your camera for years.

However, even a simple bridge camera can suffer from problems like a stuck shutter, producing black photos or very bright and over-exposed shots. So it's imperative that you can find a bridge camera brand you can trust.

Every year, we test and rate the latest bridge cameras from Canon, Nikon, Panasonic and Sony to identify which brands make the best. We also survey thousands of Which? members to find out which cameras are the most - and least - reliable. Our unique survey helps us to identify the brands that people trust and would recommend to a friend, and feeds into our in-depth bridge camera reviews.

Below we’ve collated all our bridge camera test results plus our unique reliability ratings and customer service scores so you can see how bridge cameras from all the major brands compare.

Only logged-in Which? members can view our exclusive ratings and verdicts in the table below. If you're not yet a member, sign up for a £1 trial to get instant access.

Brand Average review score Reliability rating Customer score
M 65% ***** 83%
One of the largest camera manufacturers in the world, this camera brand tops our reliability ratings for bridge cameras. It produces cameras that are very reliable and perform well in our tests, securing five Best Buys.
M 67% ***** 82%
One of the largest electronics producers in the world, this bridge camera brand scores highly for reliability and has an average price of £554 per model.
M 60% ***** 77%
One of the most recognisable camera brands, it is likely to have something to offer no matter what kind of camera you're after. From high-end compact models with a built-in viewfinder and manual controls, to more advanced superzoom models with 40x optical zoom.
M 56% ***** 76%
A high street brand that previously enjoyed a large market share in cameras. At the time of writing, this manufacturer has the lowest average price (£250) of all bridge camera brands.
M 69% ***** 75%
One of the pioneers of digital photography, this brand has been making digital cameras since 1996. It currently has eight Best Buy models, the most of all bridge camera brands.
Table notes
Sample size 811 (reliability), 934 (customer score). Based on a survey of 10,893 Which? members in July 2016. Test lab data correct as of 17 March, 2017.

Choosing the best brand of bridge camera

The table above gives an overview of the real-life experiences people have had with their bridge cameras. Cameras with a higher reliability are more likely to stand the test of time.

95%The highest bridge camera reliability score

From all of the bridge cameras surveyed, the very best received a superb 95% reliability rating and a 83% customer score. At the other end of the scale, the worst brand received a customer score of  75%.

How we calculate the best and worst brands

Which? has a wealth of information on Britain's favourite tech brands. Every year we ask Which? members to tell us about the technology products they own - from whether they would recommend a brand, to how reliable the products are once they start using them. This year nearly 11,000 Which? members told us about more than 30,000 devices.

We calculate a brand's reliability and its customer score based on the results of our annual survey. This year we had enough respondents to report on popular high street bridge camera brands, such as Canon and Nikon, as well as other well-known brands, including Fujifilm, Olympus, Panasonic and Sony. The most-recommended brand has a customer score of 83%, compared to 75% for the least recommended brand.

Our reliability surveys also help Which? to uncover common bridge camera problems that can affect owners over time. Combined with our extensive lab tests, our survey results help us recommend the best cameras for you to buy.

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