Compact cameras with big zooms

About The Author

CNET Editor

Lexy spent her formative years taking a lot of photos and dreaming in technicolour. Nothing much has changed now she's covering all things photography related for CNET.

Why settle for a camera with a tiny zoom? Here are our favourite compact cameras that sport long optical zooms.

(Credit: Canon)

Unless you are a fan of carrying around a bulky digital SLR with a telephoto lens, or even a superzoom camera, there are plenty of good reasons to think about a slimline compact with a healthy optical zoom.

Fortunately, you don't have to make many sacrifices on the features list in order to get a long zoom in a small body. Many of the cameras listed here come with similar features to their more expensive counterparts, like manual controls and even GPS.

Cameras that made this list have optical zooms that range from 10x all the way through to 30x. Note that the more zoom your camera has, the images at the telephoto length become more susceptible to camera shake. All of the cameras listed here have image stabilisation, but for extra peace of mind, you may also want to consider a tripod.

If you fancy just a bit more reach, several of these models have an extra layer of zoom. This is usually digital zoom, which interpolates, or "guesses" the information missing when the camera zooms in beyond the physical reach of the optical zoom. Usually, this results in photos that look a little messy, but some cameras do a better job of it by having fine-tuned algorithms to smooth out detail, such as Panasonic's intelligent zoom.

Previous Story

Panasonic Lumix DMC-SZ9

Digital Cameras
Next Story

Nikon Coolpix A

Add Your Comment 5

Post comment as

kilaw posted a comment   

I have the Lumix TZ-10...

Definitely worth the price tag (paid 400 for the camera, 16gb mem, extra battery and case), and love the zoom on it, very high quality.


Zaphod posted a comment   

So why limit big zooms to 8x by 12x and miss out on one of the best cameras with 15x, the Samsung WB660?


Panaman posted a comment   

RE ZR1: Burst speed?

Have tried the camera A) in burst (SCN) mode and/or B) with a memory card inserted?

The burst speed in this mode is VERY good for a compact camera, giving quite fast 3MP shots. And even faster when its in speed priority.


Lexy Savvides posted a reply   

Hi Panaman,

The burst speed test on all our cameras is measured on full resolution burst speed, not reduced resolution. The ZR1 (like lots of other compacts) is very fast when the 3 megapixel setting is used, but only manages 3 frames on full resolution in burst mode - this is also consistent with Panasonic's own measurements:


iandbest posted a comment   

Ricoh R8, R10, CX1 should be included in this story.

Sponsored Links

Recently Viewed Products