Call them bridge cameras, longzooms, superzooms, or megazooms (as we do), they're all pretty much the same thing: a large lens slapped on the front of a point-and-shoot camera. And, like their compact counterparts, there are a lot of them available for 2011. The models in this roundup are the full-size megazooms with the longest lenses from each of the manufacturers.
Despite most of them being rated 3.5 stars, they're all good and bad for different reasons, so be sure to check the individual reviews. For example, the Canon PowerShot SX30 IS has better photo quality than the Nikon Coolpix P500, but loses to the P500 in shooting performance. And, really, depending on how you use your photos, the photo quality difference might not matter.
Right now, our two top choices are the Panasonic FZ100 and Sony HX100V. For those wanting the best shooting performance and extras like raw image capture and a hot shoe for adding a flash unit or external mic, go with the Panasonic FZ100. Note, though, that its replacement, the FZ150, was recently announced. It won't be available till the end of September, but it promises better photo quality thanks to a new image sensor. (The lower-end Panasonic FZ40 was recently refreshed with an improved imaging sensor, too, as the FZ47.)
The Sony doesn't have as many bells and whistles as the Panasonic, but it's definitely feature-packed and does have a longer lens. It also produces excellent HD video for a compact camera.