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