All manufacturers are now focused on the development of hybrids with the exception of Pentax, which still designs SLRs like the K3 III.
The bridge market is still present, but less and less dynamic and we hardly see any new compacts anymore, mainly because of smartphones which dominate the market for small cameras.
For 5 years now, it is very rare to differentiate them by their image quality, in fact, the dynamics of the cameras hardly evolves any more, except at Canon which has caught up with the competition with the release of the 1Dx Mark III, R5 and R6. We also note that the rise in ISO hardly improves any more.
However, the number of megapixels of the sensors continues to climb, making it possible to create increasingly detailed photographs. There are also developments in autofocus systems, burst speed and image quality in video mode.
When it comes to getting the best digital camera, there are many factors to consider when buying a camera. We all have different budgets and needs so I can't tell you exactly what you should buy. Nevertheless, we will still try to help you in your choice in the rest of this article.
1. Which smartphone?
Actually, many people use smartphone a lot to take photos, but they are always souvenir photos or images used to record information (like a photo of a store's opening hours, for example). That's why we consider simplicity and speed to be among the most important features of this type of device.
The majority of modern smartphones perform well enough at this level and even if you opt for a model that is a few years old (like a Galaxy S9 for example), it should do the trick.
However, in recent years, we have seen more and more phones that are equipped with several cameras, with lenses with different focal lengths; we can thus vary the framing which can be practical.
This is the case with the latest iPhone 13 Pro and 13 Pro Ma , for example, but also the Galaxy S21 . Nowadays, you will also have several cameras on mid-range models such as the Galaxy A22 for example. The quality of the shots will be a little less good, nevertheless should be enough to take souvenir photos.
Buying a camera in 2022: which bridge?
If you want to buy a camera that will produce better photos than your smartphone, it is generally better to go for a hybrid or an SLR rather than a bridge, since they have large sensors and you can change their Goals. However, if you want a relatively compact body with a huge zoom, the bridge may be what you need. These devices can be put into two categories:
1. Bridges with a 1/2.3 inch sensor:
The 1/2.3 inch sensors are also fitted to many smartphones and the quality of the shots of the bridges that use them will therefore be very similar to that of the telephones. However, they have the advantage of having very large zooms and being inexpensive. In this category, we discover that the Panasonic FZ82 and FZ300 are among the most interesting devices.
The Panasonic FZ82
The FZ82 costs €339, supports 4K video and has a 60x zoom. Its sensor has a definition of 18.1 megapixels and the lens used is a 3.58 – 215 mm with stabilization, the equivalent of a 20 – 1200 mm on a full format and its aperture goes from f/2.8 to f/5.9. In short, it is a versatile and inexpensive device!
2. The Panasonic FZ300
The FZ300 costs €411 and additionally supports 4K video and has a 24x zoom. Its sensor has a definition of 12 megapixels and its stabilized lens is a 4.5 – 108 mm, the equivalent of a 25 – 600 mm on a full format. However, unlike the FZ82, the aperture is constant and remains at f/2.8, which explains the difference in price and focal length. It is also tropicalized and has an adjustable touch screen.
It's a good little bridge, a little more upscale than the FZ82. Be careful, its zoom is not as important and the definition of its sensor is lower. It will therefore be necessary to choose between the constant aperture at f/2.8 of the FZ300 or the enormous zoom of the FZ82…
2. Bridges with a 1 inch sensor:
The 1 inch sensors are much larger than the 1/2.3 inch versions, but are still much smaller than a micro 4/3 hybrid sensor for example.
The bridges that use them produce much higher quality images than the 1/2.3 inch models, but this reduces the zoom they have and the price is also higher.
a) The Panasonic FZ1000
The FZ1000 costs €596, supports 4K video and features a 16x zoom. Its sensor has a definition of 20.1 megapixels and its lens is a 9.12 – 146 mm, the equivalent of a 25 – 400 mm on a full format and its aperture goes from f/2.8 to f/4.
It is one of the cheapest 1 inch bridges on the market, it is also versatile thanks to its zoom and its relatively large aperture. If the image quality of bridges with 1/2.3 inch sensors is not enough for you, this may be a relevant option. You should also know that there is an FZ1000 II, but at 778 € the latter costs almost as much as the FZ2000, which is a bit too expensive in my opinion.
b) The Panasonic FZ2000
The FZ2000 is the big brother of the FZ1000 and costs €819. It supports 4K video and incorporates a 20x zoom. Its sensor has a definition of 20.1 megapixels and its lens is an 8.8 – 176 mm, the equivalent of a 24 – 480 mm on a full format and its aperture ranges from f/2.8 to F4.5.
It is similar to the FZ1000, but overall better and with a larger zoom.
c) The Sony RX10 IV
We can't talk about a 1-inch bridge without mentioning the Sony RX10 IV . Like the other models, it supports 4K video, but also has an impressive 25x zoom. Its sensor has a definition of 20.1 megapixels and its lens is an 8.8 – 220 mm, the equivalent of a 24 – 600 mm on a full frame, with an aperture of f/2.4 to f/4.
Note also that it has a touch screen, that it is tropicalized and that it can burst at 25 frames per second. All in all, it's the best 1-inch bridge on the market, but it has one drawback: the price. Indeed, the Sony RX10 IV costs €1,689 as I write this article, which is very expensive for a bridge.
It is a very complete and powerful device, however keep in mind that its sensor is only one inch which limits the quality of the images it can produce. It will therefore be necessary to choose between the versatility of a bridge and the image quality of a hybrid or an SLR.
For several years, the majority of APN manufacturers no longer develop new compacts since this type of device has been replaced almost entirely by smartphones.
However, there are two models that I want to tell you about because they are equipped with large APS-C sensors!
a) The Fujifilm X100V
The X100V costs €1,399, its APS-C sensor has a definition of 26.1 megapixels and its lens is a 23mm, the equivalent of a 35mm on a full frame. It has a large f/2 aperture and can also shoot in 4K.
This device is the opposite of a bridge, it sacrifices versatility for the benefit of image quality. The Fujifilm X100V is an amazing and atypical camera that will appeal to 35mm lovers.
b) The Canon PowerShot G1 X Mark III
Sold at €1,149, the G1 X Mark III costs less than the X100V, but does not allow you to film in 4K. Its APS-C sensor has a definition of 24.2 megapixels and its lens is a 15 – 45 mm, the equivalent of a 24 – 72 mm on a full frame. Its aperture ranges from f/2.8 to f/5.6 and it also has an adjustable touch screen.
Thanks to its zoom, it is a little more versatile than the X100V, but its aperture is unfortunately smaller.
These two compacts are interesting, while keeping in mind that you can buy SLRs or hybrids in this same price range.
Buying a camera in 2022: Which hybrid?
The mirrorless market is by far the most dynamic in photography today and many models are released every year. In order to avoid this article being too much, I focused on a single model per brand.
In my opinion, one of the most striking hybrids from Canon today is the EOS R6. It is sold at €2,499 and supports 4K video. Its large full-frame sensor with 20 megapixel definition and an extremely fast and advanced autofocus system. It can burst at 20 frames per second (IPS) and has a large buffer.
It is a very versatile device and particularly well suited to wildlife or sports photography.
Other devices are also remarkable at Canon, such as the EOS R5 for example. It's very comparable to the R6 and differs mainly in the use of a 45-megapixel sensor, but it costs €4,499.
The Z7 II is the successor to Nikon's legendary SLR: the D850. Equipped with a 45.7 megapixel full-frame sensor and sold at €3,299, it competes with hybrids like the Canon EOS R5 or the Sony A7r IV. Its autofocus system is a little less effective than those of its competitors, yet it is an excellent camera for landscape, portrait and architectural photography. It also allows you to film in 4K.
If the price is too high for you, you can opt for the Z6 II sold at €2049, but keep in mind that its full-frame sensor is less defined with "only" 24.5 megapixels.
Sony is now one of the market leaders and the new A7 IV is perhaps their most interesting device. Selling at €2,799, it has a 33-megapixel full-frame sensor, a very responsive autofocus system and a burst of 10 IPS. It also allows you to film in 4K and has an adjustable touch screen.
In my opinion, the definition of the sensor is a good compromise between the level of detail and the size of the files.
Overall, this is a very versatile and capable device.
However, if it exceeds your budget, know that the A7 III, sold at €2,049 remains an excellent device.
The camera I selected at Fujifilm will probably surprise you. This is the GFX 100s sold at €5,999! This atypical camera has no real competition in this price range because it is equipped with a huge medium format sensor (44 x 33 mm) of 100 megapixels! Thanks to the latter, it can produce images of better quality than all the full formats on the market. To do even better, you would have to spend between 30 and 50 thousand euros to acquire a 54 x 40 mm medium format.
To be honest, the Fujifilm GFX 100s is the best medium format camera on the market thanks to its quality/price ratio, its excellent stabilized sensor, but also thanks to its small size and its autofocus system superior to that of other cameras of this type. .
However, be aware that it is not well suited for wildlife or sports photography. The GFX 100s is one of the best cameras on the market for landscape, portrait and architectural photography.
That being said, I know full well that not everyone needs or wants such a behemoth and if you're looking for a more standard, otherwise efficient and versatile camera, I'd recommend looking at the Fujifilm X-T4, a versatile APS-C hybrid and sold at €1,499.
Today Panasonic is mainly known for its cameras dedicated to video, in addition, they produce photo-oriented boxes like the Lumix DC-S5. Sold at €1,699, it is equipped with a 24.2 megapixel full-frame sensor and supports 4K video. Its autofocus system is efficient, but slightly worse than that of the best hybrids on the market, with a burst speed of only 5 IPS.
Overall, this camera has an excellent price-performance ratio and will appeal to those looking to acquire a full-frame mirrorless for a reasonable price.
If you are looking for a less expensive hybrid equipped with a micro 4/3 sensor, the Panasonic G9, sold at €899, is undoubtedly the digital camera for you.
At Olympus, we think the OM-DE-M5 Mark III is a good digital camera. For a price of just €1,010 it has a 20-megapixel micro 4/3 sensor and it supports 4K video and 10 IPS bursts. This mid-range device is also tropicalized and equipped with an adjustable touch screen.
In short, it's a versatile little device that will appeal to lovers of micro 4/3 pickups.
Buy a camera in 2022
Finally on the hybrids, you may be disappointed, because we did not mention the very high end, dedicated to wildlife and sports photography, such as the Canon EOS R3, the Nikon Z9 or the Sony A1. These are indeed very powerful, but they are designed for professional photographers with specific needs. For most users, less premium hybrids like the excellent EOS R6 will be more suitable.
Little by little, SLRs are disappearing and being replaced by hybrids. However, buying one of these devices can be a good choice if you want a budget APS-C sensor. For example, a Canon 4000D costs only €279.
DSLRs priced under $1,000 are always attractive, especially those from Canon which people find very neat in terms of ergonomics and functionality. However, if you want to buy a high-end digital camera, you are strongly advised to go for a hybrid instead.
a) The Canon 4000D
The 4000D is a very basic entry-level SLR and retails for just €279.
It is equipped with an APS-C sensor of 18 megapixels and allows filming in Full HD, but not in 4K. Although it's clearly not a high-end camera, it's a good choice for a beginner photographer who doesn't want to pay too much.
b) The Canon 250D
The 250D is much better than the 4000D and costs €535. It has a 24-megapixel APS-C sensor and supports 4K video.
It is also equipped with an adjustable touch screen and a good autofocus system in Liveview mode. It is a compact and modern SLR which has an excellent quality/price ratio.
We are at the end of this long article on choosing a camera and hope it helps you in your decision. Keep in mind that we all have different needs and a camera may be perfect for one person's use, but not suitable for another.
In this post, we have highlighted devices that have a good price/quality ratio or particularly high performance. There are a good number of cameras, particularly on the mirrorless market, which is why we couldn't name all the models available.