Long Zoom Point-and-Shoot Camera Roundup
One of the things we appreciate about cutting edge lens technology is that it’s now possible to squeeze insanely wide range zoom lenses into palm-sized camera bodies. The 28 cameras included in this Long Zoom Roundup sport zoom lenses ranging from 10x all the way to 36x, the widest being the equivalent of a 24mm lens on a full-frame 35mm camera and the longest being the equivalent of an 864mm lens on a full-frame 35mm camera. The remarkable part is that most of these cameras can easily fit into your pocket.
In terms of resolving power and image quality, these cameras have imaging sensors ranging in size from a more-than-ample 10MP to 16MP, and many of these sensors are of the latest backlit variety, which are especially adept at capturing high-quality imagery under murderously low lighting conditions. As one would expect, each of these cameras can also capture HD video with sound, and for those who like squeezing every bit of usable data out of their image files, a few of these “Long Rangers” even capture RAW files. Into 3D imaging? We have a few that do 3D, too.
With few exceptions, each of these cameras features a 3.0-inch LCD with 460,000 dots worth of resolving power. A few of the less expensive models only have 230,000 dots, although some have 920,000 dots or more. There’s even a touch-screen model.
To better facilitate low-light shooting, all of the cameras in this roundup have ISO sensitivity levels that, at the very least, can be rated up to 1600, and a number of cameras can be tweaked to ISO 3200 and 6400. There’s even one model with a top-end ISO of ISO 12800. Yes folks, pocket-sized cameras have come a long way. And a few are available in colors other than black.
Bridge cameras, which look like compact DSLRs but in reality are point-and-shoot cameras with hi-res electronic viewfinders (EVFs), also feature extremely long focal length zoom lenses. To learn more about bridge cameras, see our Bridge Camera Roundup.
Nikon’s long zoom CoolPix digital cameras feature 10x to 18x zoom lenses and imaging sensors ranging in size from 12.1 to 16.1 megapixels. The CoolPix S6200 has a 16MP imaging sensor and a 10x, 25 to 250mm equivalent zoom. Available in a choice of black, pink, silver, blue and red, the CoolPix S6200 features a 2.7-inch 230,000-dot LCD, captures 720p HD video and has an ISO range of 80 to 3200 (expanded range).
Nikon’s CoolPix S8200 contains a backlit 16.1MP CMOS sensor and a 14x, 25 to 350mm equivalent Nikkor ED zoom lens. The S8200 also features a 4-way VR image stabilization system; a 3.0-inch 921,000-dot LCD; 1080p full HD video capture at 15/60/120 frames per second for slow-motion effects; ISO from 100 to 3200; up to six-frame-per-second continuous still capture; advanced HDR capture and the option of USB charging. Nikon’s CoolPix S8200 is available in black, red and silver.
The widest range long zoom pocket camera from Nikon is the CoolPix S9100, which features a 12.1MP imaging sensor and an 18x 25-450mm equivalent zoom lens. Other features found on the CoolPix S9100 include high-speed, 9.5-frame-per-second image capture; a 3.0-inch 921,000-dot LCD; 1080p full HD video with stereo sound; ISO sensitivity up to ISO 3200 and low-light shooting modes including Night Landscape, Night Portrait and Backlighting HDR. The Nikon CoolPix S9100 is available in black, silver and red.
|Nikon S9100||Nikon S6200||Nikon S8200|
|Sensor||12.1 Mp||16 Mp||16.1 Mp|
|Lens||18x - 25-450 mm equiv.||10x - 25-250 mm equiv.||14x - 25-350 mm equiv.|
|LCD||3.0" - 921,000 dots||2.7" - 230,000 dots||3.0" - 921,000 dots|
|ISO||160 - 3200, Auto||80 - 3200, Auto||100 - 3200, Auto|
|Colors||black, silver, red||black, pink, silver, blue, red||black, silver, red|
Canon offers a quartet of long zoom pocket cameras starting with the AA battery-powered Canon PowerShot SX150 IS. Available in a choice of red or black, the PowerShot SX150 IS has a 14.1MP CCD sensor; a 12x 28 to 336mm equivalent zoom lens; and a 3.0-inch 230,000-dot LCD. The image-stabilized SX150 IS also captures 1080p full HD video and has a top ISO range of 3200 (expanded).
In addition to a 10x, 36 to 360mm equivalent zoom lens and a backlit 10MP CMOS sensor, Canon’s PowerShot SD4500 also features a DIGIC 4 image processor, 1080p full HD video, a 3.0-inch 230,000-dot LCD and ISO 3200 capability. The PowerShot SD4500 can also bang out up to 3.7 full-res JPEGs per second; features a Handheld Night Scene mode; a super-slow motion video function and an Advanced Smart AUTO mode that features 28 shooting modes. The Canon PowerShot SD4500 is available in bronze and silver.
Canon’s PowerShot SX230 HS shares the same 10MP backlit imaging sensor as the SD4500 but sports a wider-range, 14x, 28 to 392mm zoom lens and a higher-res (461,000-dot) 3.0-inch LCD. The pocket-friendly PowerShot SX230 HS captures 1080p full HD video including 240-frame-per-second capture for extreme slow motion video playback. Available in a choice of black, blue and red, the PowerShot SX230 HS has a top-end ISO rating of up to 3200; can capture stills at continuous burst rates of up to 3.2 frames per second; and features a number of creative filters including Toy Camera, Monochrome, Fisheye and a miniature effect for stills and video capture.
Snappier still is Canon’s PowerShot ELPH 510 HS, which in addition to a 12.1MP backlit CMOS sensor, has a 12x 28 to 336mm equivalent zoom lens; a 3.2-inch 461,000-dot touch screen LCD; features Eye-Fi memory card compatibility; Smart AUTO and Intelligent IS modes; a dedicated Movie button for instant 1080p video capture; and still capture at up to 7.8 frames per second. The Canon PowerShot ELPH 510 HS is available in a choice of black, silver and red.
|Canon SD4500||Canon ELPH 510||Canon SX230||Canon SX150 IS|
|Lens||10x - 36-360mm equiv.||12x - 28-336mm equiv.||14x - 28-392mm equiv.||12x - 28-336mm equiv.|
|LCD||3" - 230,000 dot||3.2" - 461,000 dots||3.0" - 461,000 dots||3.0" - 230,000 dots|
|ISO Range||125 - 3200, Auto||100 - 3200, Auto||100 - 3200, Auto||80 - 1600, Auto|
|Colors||brown, silver||black, silver, red||black, blue, red||black, red|
Sony offers a choice of two 10x zoom cameras and a super-long 16x pocket camera. The first of the two 10x digital cameras is the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-H70, which in addition to a 25 to 250mm equivalent zoom lens, features a 16.2MP CCD and a 3.0-inch 230,000-dot LCD. Available in black, red, blue and silver, the Cyber-shot DSC-H70 features ISO 3200 sensitivity, 720p HD video, Sony’s Sweep Panorama mode, iAuto and Easy Mode and a Soft Skin Mode for flattering portraits.
A bit juicier is the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX7V, which in addition to its 10x 25 to 250mm zoom features a 921,000-dot 3.0-inch LCD; 1080/60i HD video capture, ISO 3200 capability; a Background Defocus mode; 3D and Intelligent Sweep Panorama modes; advanced HDR image capture functionality; and a built-in GPS and compass function. Sony’s Cyber-shot DSC-HX7V is available in blue, black, white and red.
|Sony DSC-H70||Sony DSC-HX7V|
|Lens||10x - 25-250mm equiv.||10x - 25-250mm equiv.|
|LCD||3.0" - 230,000 dots||3.0" - 921,000 dots|
|ISO||80 - 3200, Auto||125 - 3200, Auto|
|Colors||black, blue, silver, red||black, blue, white|
Pentax has two long zoom offerings, the more modest of the two being the Pentax Optio RZ10 (available in Violet only). The Optio RZ10 has a 14.1MP CCD, a 10x 28 to 280mm equivalent zoom lens and a 2.7-inch 230,000-dot LCD. In addition to still capture at up to 3.7 frames per second at full resolution (or up to 5 frames per second at half resolution), the Optio RZ10 captures 720p HD video, Super-Macro close focusing down to less than a centimeter from the front of the lens and a top ISO rating of 6400.
If a longer zoom range is preferable and you want a Pentax pocket camera, check out the Pentax Optio RZ18, which along with an 18x, 25 to 450mm equivalent zoom lens, features a 3.0-inch 460,000-dot LCD; 720p HD video capture; a 4cm Super Macro mode; an AUTO Picture mode and Pentax Shake Reduction image stabilization technology. The Pentax Optio RZ18 is available in black, a rather fetching shade of orange, and white.
|Pentax Optio RZ10||Pentax Optio RZ18|
|Lens||10x - 2 -280mm equiv.||18x - 25-450mm equiv.|
|LCD||2.7" - 230,000-dots||3.0" - 460,000-dots|
|ISO Range||80 - 6400, Auto||80 - 6400, Auto|
|Colors||violet||black, orange, white|
Olympus offers a choice of four extended zoom range pocket cameras: 12.5x, 18x, 24x and a heady 36x. The 12.5x, 24 to 300mm equivalent zoom lens belongs to the Olympus VR-320, which is available in blue, black and red. Featuring a 14MP CCD and all-metal construction, the VR-320 captures 720p HD video, has dual image stabilization systems, a 3.0-inch 460,000-dot LCD and an Intelligent AUTO mode.
Weighing in with an 18x, 28 to 504mm equivalent zoom is the Olympus SZ-10, which in addition to a 14MP imaging sensor, features a 3.0-inch 460,000-dot LCD; 720p HD video capture; Magic Filters for stills and video; macro focusing down to 3.9" from the lens; an ISO range of 80 to 3200; and Eye-Fi memory card compatibility. The Olympus SZ-10 is available in black and silver.
DSLR-like in design, the Olympus SZ-30MR features a 16MP CMOS sensor, a 3.0-inch 460,000-dot LCD and a 24x 25 to 600mm equivalent zoom lens. Other worthy features found in and around the Olympus SZ-30MR include ISO 3200 sensitivity; up to seven full-res frames per second; 1080p full-HD video capture; dual image stabilization; 3D still capture; and Wi-Fi compatibility. The Olympus SZ-30MR is available in silver only.
The greatest zoom range in the Olympus lineup can be found in the Olympus SP-810UZ, which along with a 14MP CCD imaging sensor and a 3.0-inch 230,000-dot LCD, has a 36x, 24 to 864mm equivalent zoom lens. Other features include 720p HD video capture, 3D capture, in-camera panoramas and a dual image stabilization system. The Olympus SP-810UZ is available in black only.
|Olympus SZ-30MR||Olympus SZ-10||Olympus VR-320||Olympus SP-810UZ|
|Lens||24x - 25-600mm equiv.||18x - 28-504mm equiv.||12.5x - 24-300mm equiv.||36x - 24-864mm equiv.|
|LCD||3.0" - 460,000-dots||3.0" - 460,000-dots||3.0" - 460,000-dots||3.0" - 230,000-dots|
|ISO Range||80 - 3200, Auto||80 - 3200, Auto||100 - 1600, Auto||64 - 1600, Auto|
|Colors||black/gray||black/gray||black, blue, red, silver||black|
Panasonic’s long-zoom lineup has two card-carrying members. The Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZS8 (black or silver) has a 14MP CCD and a high performance, Leica-designed 16x, 24 to 384mm equivalent zoom lens. Other features found on the DMC-ZS8 include a 3.0-inch 230,000-dot LCD; 720p HD video capture; an Intelligent Scene Selector mode; an Intelligent Resolution Function; ISO as fast as 1600; and for the purists out there (and you know who you are), a full Manual Exposure mode.
The Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZS10 features a backlit 14.1MP CMOS sensor and the same 16x, 24 to 384mm equivalent zoom lens found on the Lumix DMC-ZS8. It also features a higher-res (460,000-dot) 3.0-inch LCD with touch-screen controls for AF, zoom and shutter functionality; continuous burst rates of up to 10 full-res frames per second; full HD 1080p video capture with Dolby stereo sound and a wind cut feature to reduce wind noise outdoors; a built-in GPS; and full manual exposure controls. The Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZS10 is available in black, blue, red and silver.
|Panasonic DMC-ZS8||Panasonic DMC-ZS10|
|Lens||16x - 24-384mm equiv.||16x - 24-384mm equiv.|
|LCD||3.0" - 230,000-dots||3.0" - 460,000-dot|
|ISO Range||100 - 6400, Auto||100 - 6400, Auto|
|Colors||silver, black||black, red, blue, silver|
We have two long zoom pocket cameras from Fujifilm, which can capture RAW stills and should peak the brows of serious enthusiasts. The Fujifilm FinePix T300 features a 10x, 28 to 280mm equivalent zoom lens, a 14MP CCD with shift image stabilization and a 3.0-inch 230,000-dot LCD. Other features found on the Fujifilm FinePix T300 include an ISO range of 100 to 3200; 720p video; a Motion Panorama mode; a Smile & Shoot mode; and a 6-Scene SR AUTO mode for dead-on-accurate shooting without having to strain your faculties.
Equally able is the Fujifilm FinePix F600EXR, which also features a 16MP backlit CMOS sensor, a 3.0-inch 460,000-dot LCD, RAW still capture, and a 15x, 24 to 360mm equivalent zoom lens. Other noteworthy features found on the FinePix F600EXR include a top ISO rating of 12800; EXR Auto shooting patterns that optimize every aspect of the exposure settings for 54 scene types; film simulation modes; dual CPUs; burst rates of up to 8 frames per second; aspheric lens surfaces; and ED glass elements in the camera’s 15x zoom lens.
Each of the above-mentioned Fujifilm long zoom digital cameras is available in black only.
|Fujifilm T300||Fujifilm F600EXR|
|Lens||10x - 28-280mm equiv.||15x - 24-360mm equiv.|
|LCD||3.0" - 230,000-dots||3.0" - 460,000-dots|
|ISO Range||100 - 3200, Auto||100 - 12,800, Auto|
Casio also offers two long zoom pocket digital cameras, starting with the Casio Exilim HI-Zoom EX-H20G. Marketed as a picture-taking travel companion, the Exilim HI-Zoom H20G contains a hybrid GPS system that can even track your location when shooting indoors. It goes as far as taking automatic location readings every 10 minutes even when the camera is turned off. To make sense of this trove of data, the EX-H20G contains an atlas with detailed maps of 140 cities worldwide, a digital compass and more than 10,000 photos of points of interest—all of which can be displayed on the camera’s 3.0-inch 460,800-dot LCD. On the technical front the Casio EX-H20G features a 14.1MP CCD imaging sensor; ISO sensitivity up to 3200; 720p video capture; and a 10x, 24 to 240mm equivalent zoom lens.
If the idea of 40 JPEG-per-second still and advanced HDR capture, full HD 1080p video with stereo sound, ISO sensitivity up to 3200 and a Slide Panorama function for capturing wide-field images up to 360° across is appealing to you, but you want or need a longer zoom range, you should check out the Casio Exilim EX-ZR100. The Casio EX-ZR100 features a 12.5x, 24 to 300mm equivalent zoom as well as dual image processors, slow-motion movies at capture speeds of up to 1,000 frames per second and advanced HDR capture modes.
|Casio EX-ZR100||Casio EX-H20G|
|Lens||12.5x 2 -300mm equiv.||10x 24-240mm equiv.|
|LCD||3.0" 460,800-dots||3.0" 460,800-dots|
|ISO Range||100 - 3200, Auto||80 - 3200, Auto|
Though derived from a co-existing camera from Panasonic, Leica’s V-LUX 30 stands technically and elegantly on its own merits. The Leica V-LUX 30 is designed around a 14.1MP CMOS sensor and has a 16x, Leica DC Vario-Elmar 24 to 384mm equivalent zoom lens and a 3.0-inch 460,800-dot touch control LCD.
In addition to being able to capture up to ten neutral-toned JPEGs per second (in keeping with Leica’s preference for neutral color and tone), the Leica V-LUX 30 can also capture 1080/60i full-HD video with sound, 3D image capture, manual control overrides and advanced GPS functionality. The Leica V-LUX 30 is available only in black.
|Leica V-LUX 30|
|Lens||16x - 24-384mm equiv.|
|LCD||3.0" - 460,000-dot Touch Screen|
|ISO Range||100 - 1600, Auto|
Ricoh’s CX4 and CX5 are, color options aside, one and the same. Both cameras feature 10MP backlit CMOS sensors powered by Ricoh Smooth Imaging Engine IV; a 10.7x, 28 to 300mm equivalent zoom lens with step-zoom functionality; a Ricoh-designed high-speed AF system with subject tracking; a Scene Auto Mode (S-Auto) for easy picture taking; and five-frame-per-second continuous still capture at full resolution.
The Ricoh CX4 is available in a choice of black, champagne silver and purple pink, while the Ricoh CX5 is available in a choice of black, silver green and rose pink.
|Ricoh CX4||Ricoh CX5|
|Lens||10.7x - 28-300mm equiv.||10.7x - 28-300mm equiv.|
|LCD||3.0" - 920,000-dots||3.0" - 920,000-dots|
|ISO Range||100 - 3200, Auto||100 - 3200, Auto|
|Colors||black, Champaigne Silver, Purple pink||black, green silver, rose pink|
Kodak’s EasyShare Z5010 (black only) is Kodak’s entry into the long-zoom club. Though bridge camera-like in design, it lacks an EVF, but retains the ergonomic advantages of a DSLR-like profile. Technically speaking, the EasyShare Z5010 sports a 21x, 25 to 525mm equivalent Schneider-Kreuznach Variogon zoom lens; a 14MP imaging sensor; a 3.0-inch 230,000-dot LCD; 720p video capture; an ISO range of 64 to 1600; and easy uploading to popular social-media websites.
|Lens||21x - 25-525mm equiv.|
|LCD||3.0" - 230,000-dots|
|ISO Range||64 - 1600, Auto|
Lastly, we have Samsung, which offers long zoom digital cameras in a choice of 10x, 12x and 18x. The Samsung PL210 features a 14.2MP imaging sensor and a 10x, 27 to 270mm equivalent zoom lens. It also features a 3.0-inch 230,000-dot LCD, 720p video capture and an ISO range of 80 to 3200. The Samsung PL210 is available in silver and indigo blue.
Samsung’s WB210, which is available in a choice of black or burgundy, features a 14MP imaging sensor, a 12x, 24 to 288mm equivalent Schneider-Kreuznach Varioplan zoom lens, and a 3.5", truly high res (1,152,000-dot) touch-screen LCD. For wider-field shooting, the WB210 also has a 21mm ultra wide capture mode. Other features include 720p HD video capture, an ISO range of 80 to 3200, a beauty-enhancing mode for flattering portraits and Smart Filters 2.0 Special Effects filters.
Our last long zoom pocket camera is Samsung’s WB750, a smart-looking number that sports a 12.5MP backlit imaging sensor and an 18x, 24 to 432mm equivalent Schneider-Kreuznach Varioplan zoom lens. Other features found on the Samsung WB750 include full HD 1080p video capture with on demand, full-res still capture; a Creative movie Maker mode; advanced HDR capture; full manual control overrides; and 3D and a wide-field panorama mode. The WB750 sports a three-inch LCD sccreen with 460,000 dots, and has a top ISO of 3200.
|Samsung PL210||Samsung WB210||Samsung WB750|
|Lens||10x - 27-270mm equiv.||12x - 24-288mm equiv.||18x - 24-432mm equiv.|
|LCD||3.0" - 230,000-dot||3.5" - 1,152,000-dot Touchscreen||3.0"|
|ISO Range||80 - 3200, Auto||80 - 3200, Auto||100 - 3200, Auto|
|Colors||silver, indigo blue||black, red||black|
Don’t forget to check out our Bridge Camera Roundup for information on additional long zoom camera options. If you have any questions about long zoom point-and-shoot cameras, please feel free to post in the Comments section below.