Which Compact Cameras Have the Best Zoom?

If you’re either an experienced camera enthusiast or a casual photographer who uses a smartphone, you might be surprised to learn that there’s a very popular middle ground: compact camera users.

This is because compact cameras create the perfect balance…they’re not heavy and cumbersome like a DSLR but they produce a higher quality image than a smartphone. And they’re normally cheaper than both.

Hence, compact cameras aren’t going anywhere anytime soon; they’re not the new floppy disk. On the contrary, modern compact cameras fit a lot of grunt into their compact body, including incredible zoom capabilities.

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Keep reading if you’re in the market for a compact camera with the best zoom:

Superzoom, Explained

The whole point of a compact camera is to provide a great quality image within the constraints of the compact body and its fixed lens.

Luckily, camera lenses can now produce amazing zoom ranges. It’s common to see compact cameras with 20x or 25x zoom. In fact, if you had the same zoom ranges on a DSLR lens, that lens would be unbelievably large.

These small lenses are capable of producing such wide zoom ranges because of high-tech digital image processers and image stabilisers.

Canon and Nikon

Much like the intense DSLR rivalry between Nikon’s D-series and Canon’s Digital Rebel series, these two powerhouse camera manufacturers also do battle in the compact camera space with their Coolpix and Powershot ranges, respectively.

Nikon Coolpix A900

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Weighing in at a cool 20 megapixels, the Nikon Coolpix A900 is particularly powerful and a great choice for travellers or photography enthusiasts. There’s also a backlit illuminated CMOS image sensor and 4k video recording.

But it’s the optical zoom that really makes this camera a winner, a feature of Nikon’s Coolpix superzoom compact cameras that make them hard to beat. Although the lens is categorised as 35x wide optical zoom, it can double to an awe-inspiring 70x thanks to Nikon’s unique Dynamic Fine magnification zoom.

Canon Powershot SX730HS

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Canon’s Powershot compact cameras have always been known for their excellent image quality and attractive design, and the Powershot SX730HS is no exception, with a 40x optical zoom and 20 megapixels for a crisp, vibrant photo every time.

It also has in-built stabilisation technology to reduce camera shake and zoom framing assist, which will track and focus your chosen subject.

While the Powershot SX730HS can’t zoom as far as the Coolpix A900’s magnification zoom, one strength Canon’s model has over its rival is an ultra-wide angle lens, perfect for those landscape shots and for your photography needs.

Panasonic and Sony

Panasonic was arguably the first major camera manufacturer to popularise superzoom cameras so we couldn’t write about superzoom cameras without including them. And Sony continues to excel with their Cybershot series.

Panasonic Lumix TZ-90

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A massive upgrade from its TZ-80 predecessor, the Lumix TZ-90 is an ideal compact camera for travellers and part of Panasonic’s range of super zoom compact cameras.

Like its Canon and Nikon equivalents, the Lumix TZ-90 comes with a cool 20 megapixels, along with 4k video recording, an improved, high-sensitivity MOS sensor and a very handy tilting screen for ease of use in all manner of situations.

Zoom-wise, the Lumix TZ-90 features a 30x optical zoom on an ultra-wide-angle 24mm lens that extends to 720mm at the telephoto end. It’s part of the built-in Leica lens which has crisp clarity and low distortion and flare.

Sony Cybershot DSC-WX500

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Get up close and personal with the ultra-compact Cybershot DSC-WX500, which manages to still pack great specs inside its compact frame, such as 18 megapixels, a high-performance CMOS image sensor and a 180 degree tiltable LCD monitor.

Sony’s Zeiss 30x optical zoom lens (which goes up to 60x with its Clear Image Zoom) extends to capture clear images within a huge 24-720mm range. The far-reaching, dynamic photos this camera, and the whole Cybershot series, captures make it a great choice for wildlife photography or capturing a majestic skyline.

Also Consider a Mirrorless Camera

All four of these camera manufacturers produce fantastic compact cameras. Of the models chosen, Nikon’s Coolpix has the greatest zoom functionality at 70x. However, other cameras may deliver a superior image quality and angle.

If you’re interested in compact cameras with plenty of power and features you might want to consider a mirrorless camera. these are often similar in size to a compact camera but with custom lenses, they will provide more of a DSLR experience. Be warned though, an added lens will increase the size to be halfway between a compact camera and a DSLR.

Go back to our blog or browse our range of superzoom compact cameras here.

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