Photography / Buying Guide

Introduction to Super-Telephoto Lenses


Bristling along the sidelines of practically every professional sporting event, super-telephoto lenses are known for their ability to reach out and capture distant subjects with exceptional clarity and speed. They feel incredible in the hand, with top-of-the-line build quality and a heft that gives shooters confidence in their equipment. Many feature a variety of switches and buttons that allow users to set up the lens for optimal performance in any situation.

In addition to length, these lenses feature all of the latest technology, such as advanced optical construction, accurate image stabilization, and exceptionally quick autofocus motors. Super telephotos sit at the top of their respective lens lineups because of this assortment of features and capabilities, and being packed with the latest tech ensures that any investment is well worth it.

Focal Length

The most important feature of these lenses will always be their focal length. The ability to photograph and record images from an extremely long distance cannot be understated, especially when dealing with subject matter that is inaccessible, easily spooked, or both. The most common use for lenses greater than 300mm would be sports and wildlife, where photographers are prevented from getting close to their subjects.

Prime lenses tend to dominate in terms of quality and length, with Canon’s and Nikon’s current longest offerings sitting at 800mm, though each has released longer models in very limited quantities. This compares to the longest zoom lenses available from these two manufacturers with options reaching 400mm from both manufacturers and Nikon also offering a 200-500mm lens, both fairly short compared to the primes. Third-party lens manufacturers have been jumping into the super-telephoto game lately, too, with their own offerings, such as Sigma’s 150-600mm200-500mm, and 300-800mm lenses, and Tamron's 150-600mm.

800mm focal length

Going down the line, Canon and Nikon feature options at the 600mm500mm, 400mm, and 300mm focal lengths, and Sony jumps in with 500mm and 300mm A-mount lenses. Sigma also has a few lenses for a variety of different mounts at 800mm500mm, and 300mm. For more variety, some companies offer multiple options at each focal length so that users have a selection of items that are more portable or affordable.

The next thing to consider is sensor size, especially since APS-C cameras come with inherent crop factors that will extend the equivalent focal length. This crop factor makes cameras like the Canon EOS 7D Mark II or Nikon D7200 incredibly useful for sports and wildlife shooters, since they can enjoy more reach and pack somewhat more lightly.

Zooms offer the added benefit of versatility, something that can be vital to some shooters who require speed and can’t afford to keep swapping out different lenses. Lenses like the Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 80-400mm f/4.5-5.6G ED VR give you a convenient portrait to super-tele range, while the Canon EF 200-400mm f/4L IS USM provides a very usable focal length range along with the added feature of a built-in 1.4x teleconverter, which will boost the focal length to 280-560mm at the cost of one stop of light. However, zooms have generally been limited to about 600mm, with the exception being the Sigma 300-800mm lens.

The Canon EF 200-400mm f/4L IS USM has a built-in 1.4x teleconverter, which will boost the focal length to 280-560mm.



The second most important feature of any lens is the aperture. With super telephotos, you will find that extremely fast apertures aren’t as common, and that the fastest options are also significantly larger and more expensive than the more conservative models. If we look at Canon’s 400mm lenses, we will find an f/2.8, an f/4 DO, and an f/5.6. Comparing just the size and weight of these models, we can see the f/2.8 lens is more than double the weight and almost twice as wide. If quality is all that matters, then the f/2.8 would appear to be the better option; however, one must consider one’s needs and decide whether it is worth taking a hike with an 8-lb or a 3-lb lens.

The f/2.8 lens is more than double the weight and almost twice as wide as the f/5.6

Most extreme telephotos will sport an aperture closer to f/5.6, which is the limit for most modern-day autofocus systems (some do offer limited shooting at f/8). This is mostly due to size: an 800mm lens with an f/2.8 aperture would be impractical for the everyday shooter and would not be easy to transport.

Faster apertures do have a couple of key benefits that are worth mentioning. Primarily, more light will be reaching the sensor, enabling faster shutter speeds and lower ISOs for better images and overall quality. This will also improve your viewing quality, as well as AF speed and performance, as the sensor can better “see” what is happening in the scene. Next, there will be more separation between your subject and the background, due to shallower depth of field.

Zoom lenses will usually feature variable apertures, which keeps overall lens size down, though some do manage to maintain a constant maximum aperture, such as the impressive Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 200-500mm f/5.6E ED VR. These options are generally slower than their prime-lens counterparts, but can still be useful in a variety of situations, especially considering the ISO ranges possible on the latest digital cameras.

The Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 200-500mm f/5.6E ED VR features a constant maximum aperture for maintaining consistent illumination throughout the zoom range.

Image Stabilization

Elaborate image stabilization is almost necessary when attempting to handhold lenses at these focal lengths. The reasons for this are that the longer lengths show more camera shake, and the heft of these lenses makes them exponentially more difficult to handhold, which is why they are often found mounted on a monopod or tripod. Modern day advancements from Nikon, Canon, and some third-party manufacturers are rated for more than four stops of compensation, exceptionally useful when trying to shoot handheld. In-body stabilization from some manufacturers, such as Sony, does replace the need for optical stabilization and can allow the use of adapted telephoto lenses without losing this critical technology.

Elaborate image stabilization is almost necessary when attempting to handhold lenses at these focal lengths.

Another of the benefits found in super telephotos is the multiple IS modes available. Usually, there are specific settings for panning and general handheld shooting. This allows shooters, like those working on monopods at a sporting event, to track horizontal motion more easily in the scene and capture it. A side benefit to image stabilization is that it will usually stabilize your viewfinder, as well as your final image. This makes composition much easier, since the image you see won’t be jittery and shaking.


Focusing quickly and efficiently is a priority with super-telephoto lenses, especially relating to their use in action and sports photography. While much of this is reliant on the camera and user, the inclusion of a supersonic or ultrasonic motor does a lot to ensure speedy, quiet focusing. These lenses also benefit from the inclusion of multiple settings on the physical lens, such as a focus limiter that will focus on subjects within a certain range, or from a specific distance and farther. This means that the camera will not waste time hunting throughout the long focus range of the lens.

The AF function is controlled by switches on the lens.

Other features include an AF lock button that will stop focusing so that users can prepare for a certain shot or position. Also, focus presets can be available on certain lenses to automatically return the focus distance to a specific setting. Additionally, these lenses will generally have a manual override option that will assist in fine-tuning focus.

Optical Technologies

Nearly every piece of optical technology is utilized in super-telephoto lenses, from nano coatings to prevent flaring to fluorite elements that control aberrations. Most common are extra-low dispersion elements, which work with other elements, like fluorite and, to a lesser extent, aspherical, to produce the sharpest, most detailed images possible by reducing visible aberrations and correcting for distortion.

Diffractive optics, or Phase Fresnel, can be found in some of Canon and Nikon’s offerings and are able to dramatically decrease the size and weight of a lens without compromising on image quality. The Canon EF 400mm f/4 DO IS II USM and Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 300mm f/4E PF ED VR are the latest such examples and will even reduce the amount of chromatic aberration visible in the final image, due to the dispersion characteristics of the diffractive element.

The  Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 300mm f/4E PF ED VR is made with diffractive optics that reduce the amount of chromatic aberration visible in the final image.

Anti-reflective coatings are found on nearly all lenses nowadays, and super telephotos are no exception. Each manufacturer has its own version, such as Canon’s Super Spectra Coating, Nikon’s Nano Crystal Coat, and Sony’s Nano AR Coating. These coatings help eliminate flare and ghosting by reducing internal reflections. Also, many super telephotos have an additional fluorine or water- and dust-repellent coating on the front and rear elements that will allow users to clean their lenses easily when water or oil come in contact with the glass.

Filtration can be a challenge for these lenses, as most have front elements much larger than your standard screw-on options. Adding filters to the lenses is, instead, accomplished through the use of drop-in type filters that fit into dedicated holders found near the rear of the lens and keep filter size significantly smaller than would be needed with front-mounted filters.


As they stand at the top of their lens lineups, these lenses are built to the highest standards, using materials like magnesium alloy to increase strength and keep the lenses lightweight. In addition to this, they are weather–sealed to ensure that the lens will keep functioning, even when out on the field during a rainstorm, or while trekking through a rainforest on a search for an elusive creature.

Now, one common question is, “why are so many super-telephoto lenses white?” The explanation is simple: since these lenses have a larger surface area and are constantly being used in the great outdoors, a white finish on the lens barrel reflects some of the sunlight and reduces the chances that any critical elements or parts will expand due to heat and throw things out of alignment during shooting. The actual amount of heat gain varies and, with the durable build quality of these lenses, users of black lenses shouldn’t worry about it.

White super-telephoto lenses reflect some of the sunlight and reduce the chances that parts will expand and throw things out of alignment during shooting.


Many super-telephoto lenses are compatible with teleconverters to further extend their reach. These will magnify the image by 1.4, 1.7, or 2x without sacrificing important features like autofocus or image stabilization. This additional reach does cost one to two stops, depending on the magnification of the teleconverter. Compatibility can also be an issue for some lenses and cameras, as teleconverters have a glass element that can come into contact with the rear element of some lenses. Also, with a loss of light, some cameras’ AF systems may not be able to function.

 Teleconverters can magnify an image by 1.4, 1.7, or 2x without sacrificing important features.

Alternative Lens Options

Many photographers will find that these lenses fall well outside their personal budgets and needs, but this doesn’t mean that they should be left out of the super-telephoto world. Many budget options are available, though without the plethora of features and abilities of their more famous big brothers.

Catadioptric lenses, also known as mirror or reflex lenses, are one of these options. They utilize mirrors in their optical design and are much shorter and lighter in weight than standard optics. However, because of this design they have a fixed aperture setting, are almost exclusively manual focus, and the central obstruction produces a distinct doughnut-shaped bokeh.

There are some standard super telephotos and zooms available without the corrective optics and fancy optical designs that make lenses sharper and more compact. These lenses tend to be a bit slower and have all-manual controls but, if you can’t afford the latest and greatest or are simply looking for an entryway to super telephotos, any lens is better than no lens at all!

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I,m anxiously waiting for the Olympus 300 mm f4 pro. I'm sure that the future, even for pros, is compact size. Sony and Oly are leading the way to the future. Think than Nikon and Canon should reconsider the speed of their tranformation or they will be overpassed.

I may be too late to ask, but my Camera is a Nikon D-5100 with an18-55 and a 55-300 MM zoom lenses.  I love the camera & lneses and am still learning how to use them.  I would love a longer zoom lens, 400-800 MM but can't ever see affording one (I like night/moon & landscape as well as up close).  Suggestions on something that would keep auto focus and not totally blure or darken the images would be welcomed.

Doesn't HAVE to be a Nikon lens, compatible is fine with me.

Thanks in advance.

Try the Tamron 150-600mm lens. I use iut on one of my two Nikon D7100's, and I am very satisfied. At about $1000, it is a bargain compared to the Nikon and Canon offerings, and in my opinion, the Image Quality is comparable enough to produce very satisfying results.

Gregg, I'd suggest renting the new Nikon 200-500mm lens. At $1399 it's close enough to the cost of the Tamrons or Sigma's new 'standard' long lens. Remember- for anything taking a photo worth keeping you'll be spending $1,000 or more for a good telephoto-telephoto zoom. I wasn't as happy with the Tamron as the Canon 100-400mm after trying each by renting but have friends that LOVE their Tamron 150-600mm lenses. Yes, the Canon is double the money but you have to think of it as a long term investment- and whether it suits your needs or not. 

Finally- I think you'll be surprised at the quality of the images compared to your 'kit' lenses- fine for just starting out but the better Canon/Nikon and even the better 'after market' glass will amaze you in crops- large prints.

The Sigma 150-500 sport is a super, but heavy lens--and it works well with the Sigma apo 1.4x teleconverter  

As mentioned above, the Tamron 150-600mm and Sigma 150-600mm Contemporary lens for Nikon would both be relatively inexpensive options for the D5100, and both would retain autofocus on your camera.  That being said, you might also see if you could find a used Sigma 150-500mm lens for Nikon.  A used version of the lens shouldn’t run too much, and would be fully compatible with the D5100.  It was a very popular lens for wildlife and bird photographers before being replaced by the 150-600mm models by Sigma. 

I have a Nikon D600 and a D7100 and my compromise long lens was the Nikon 200–400 f/4. Because both cameras are about 24 megapixels the D7100's crop sensor gives me more reach (mind you with slightly smaller pixels). I can handhold it for a while as it has VR but usually prefer to use a monopod. 

Good article - with one glaring exception in this sentence: "The next thing to consider is sensor size, especially since APS-C cameras come with inherent crop factors that will extend the equivalent focal length. " What a crop sensor does is change the field of view, not the focal length. An 800mm lens is an 800mm lens whether it's on a full frame camera, a crop sensor, or a 4 X 5.

Hello Bill,

Thanks for reading, but please understand that these articles are written in a manner that simplifies some topics in order to allow both beginners and veterans to understand. Crop factor is an interesting, hotly debated topic that we have addressed most recently in this article. And while you are correct, that it does not change the focal length, the use of an "equivalent" focal length has become a common way to explain the "cropping" of the image circle by a smaller image sensor and for many is the the best method for equating the cropped field of view into a more relatable focal length measurement.

It is extremely difficult to get good photos with prime long lenses. Whether shooting fast moving birds, animals or hockey players, it is virtually impossible to successfully track the unpredictable action without using a zoom lens, finding the subject at the wide end of the lens, then crashing in and getting the shot at the long end.

Further, most extreme long primes are too slow (5.6 or slower) for fast-moving wildlife, and too bulky for wilderness shooting. A big heavy lens means you need a big heavy tripod to put it on. As Robert Capa famously said, if your pictures aren't any good, then you aren't close enough. You'll have a lot more luck getting closer to wildlife if you aren't dragging a lot of heavy equipment with you. I've shot mountain gorillas in Rwanda, polar bears in northern Canada, and monkeys in Bangladesh. My experience always suggests that taking the time to get as close as possible to subjects like these is much more productive than trying to shoot with super long lenses from a distance.

Unless your goal is just to show off on photo safaris by having the longest lens of the group (something I've witnessed many times), you are much better off using a moderately long, fast  zoom lens, then blowing up the image with your photo-editing software, when you'll have the luxury of framing the shot exactly as you want it.

Hi, Peter , my name is Daisy, l love shooing wildlife animals especially birds. I have Nikon d7100 with lens 55-300mm . I do not satisfy the photos that I took and keep thinking change a better lens, more close to the subject , more clearly of the subject . I read all the comments and I felt yours make more sense . Can you give me some suggestion of which is the better lens that I should buy to maintain my goal with my Nikon D7100. Thank you, I will be appreciated .

Thelens I most often use for wildlife is the higher end Nikon 70-300mm zoom which costs around $500-600. Some of the best wildlife photos I've ever  made were shot with this lens and for the price it is hard to beat! I use it with a Nikon D7000.

Having photographed wildlife, not as a profession, for over thirty years I've experienced a number of long lenses like, Questar 700mm, Leitz Telyt 400mm, both with doublers and finally settled on a Zeiss Diascope 85 T FL, which provides 1000mm and can be doubled, but difficult at 2000mm. Wondering why that approach hasn't been mentioned?

The use of teleconverter was touched upon in the article and praised their ability to provide 1.4, 1.7 or 2x magnification, while in many cases, also be able to provide autofocus and stabilization. Use of use of Catadioptric lenses like that Questar 700mm were also noted, but are not ideal for many popular uses of Super Telephoto lenses such as sports, or wildlife in motion. Using a scope like the Zeiss Diascope 85 T FL is another method that could be used, (we delved into this a bit further in this article here) but for our purposes here we were attempting to keep focus on lenses directly compatible with todays DSLRs.

There are also a lot of bird and wildlife photographers that would die for a Questar Field Model. I would agree you can forget about moving objects.

Where is Olympus micro 4/3 300 mm prime??   waiting !!!

I have it and have never gotten very good results with it, especially at 300 mm. I think I have some sort of palsy.

I mean a PRIME 300mm, not a zoom.  Suposed to be available in 2015 and no wod yet.

I have an OMD-M5 and waiting anxiously for their "Pro" series 300mm. I was told it woud be out by the "Holidays". Whatever that means. Also I hope their new 1.4X teleconverter will work with this lens. An awsome combination, in my opinion. I got tired of carrying monster Nikon bodies and lenses and love these small cameras.

My thought exactly.  Also wondering abut the price tag....Could be out of sight for me.   Regards.   Silently Waiting Ed

Unfortunately, we do not have a price from Olympus at this time for their M.Zuiko Digital ED 300mm f/4 PRO Lens.  If you haven’t already, you could choose the Notify Me When In Stock option on the lens’s page on our site.  We would then send you an email when we received more information about the lens.

Unfortunately, I’m not finding an ETA in our system for the Olympus 300mm f/4 PRO Lens.  If you haven’t already, you could choose the Notify Me When In Stock option on the lens’s page on our site.  We would then send you an email when we received more information about the lens, such as when it is in stock. 

Can't find that option when I went to site.  ??????

If you look on the Right Hand side of the screen, where the Add to Cart button is typically located, there will be a button that says Notify Me When in Stock.  If you click on that button , you will be able to enter in your email address. 

i suspect I already did it   

high crop factor will not give you the same effect that a longer lense does on a full frame body, in some cases there will be a noticeable deterioration of IQ (image quality).

Nikon, what happen to Nikon, oops! Test any Nikon lens and you'll see why Mr. Steiner failed to mention them in this article. Nikon is a class of their own, powerful lenses- tested perfection! If you feel they cost too much buy another brand or become a professional and play with the big boys...

For me the Sigma wins becaus  the price  factor also caunt.

Me interesa tener informacion.

Si necesita mas informacion, Sugerimos envie un mensaje de correo electronico con las preguntas especificas que desee evacuar.

This was a nice talk on these telephoto and super telephoto lenses. My problem though, is how you leaned heavily on Canon lenses, photos and all, while not showing even one Nikon product, other than what looked like A Nikon 400MM lense at the top of the page and the small photo of an 800 MM at the bottom of the page.

Hey guys, let's get some eveness on these products, OK?

This is a reasonably good article but, "This crop factor makes cameras like the 7D Mark II incredibly useful for sports and wildlife shooters, since they can enjoy more reach, yet pack somewhat more lightly." Part of this comment is inaccurate and missleading and is a common missunderstanding. A crop factor body does NOT give more reach, it it just gives you the equivelent angle of view of a longer lens.

Thank you for this piece of information, it was indeed helpful and good to share as well with beginers 

Es posible encontrar este artículo sobre lentes en español?

very nice article


Interesting article, but no surprises. Henry's comment on the telescope as a prime lens has some merit, as I own a few of my own. Telescopes are designed for finite focal length meaning their limited in their ability to focus on close objects. Often the light gathering design washes out the highlights at f8 or f9 with large prime apertures such as 200-300mm . The glass is coated for aberration but not for reflective bounce between lenses as astronomers are night dwellers and have very little light available.

I own a Canon 6D which has great sensitivity for low light, better than the 5DmkIII which my partner owns. Unlike the 7DII it is a full frame sensor the same as the 5D. The Cannon EF 100-400 f4.5-5.6 IS II USM is a really nice lens for its price. I use this lens for birds and wildlife and it copes well at low light. I recently purchased a Sigma 150-500mm f5-6.3 APO DG OS HSM telephoto zoom and it is the best value for money lens on the market under $1,000.00. It is comparable with my canon 100-400mm and I might even say its auto focus is quicker and more defined, I highly recommend having a look. If you want a versitile lens for travelling, Sigma 50-500mm f4.5-6.3 APO DG OS HSM is a great companion with a wider zoom in the kit or a Tamron 28-300 f/3.5-6.3 Di VC PZD lightwieght high power zoom might be the all in one lens for the next trip again less than $1000.00 (not for macro uses sorry).

There are other lenses on the market that are lower in price than the Canon and Nikon that will provide you good clean pictures, maybe not as fast, but that is the compromise. I would love a 600mm prime, but unless I win the lottery, it will always be a dream.

Just my two cents. I am a Canon 5D MK III user, and have a main lens 24-70mm zoom f 2.8 L series lens. It is a great lens, but not close to my prime lenses, 80mm f2.8 L series and a 200mm f 2.8 L series, nice lenses but not a super telephoto.  I use these lenses often.

After reading extensivly about lenses that produce the most chromatic distortions, it is obvious that the more lens surfaces within a lens the more distortion. This is not an argument point, but fact. If you really want to get up close and clear, get away from high lens counts and IS.  

Having a super telephoto lens is nice but won't get used much unless you are a wildlife or sports photographer.

If you want an inexpensive but high quality super telephoto lens, and I have photos to back up my claim, is a small telescope, with a field flattener and a "T" adapter. There are pros, and cons, but the images are astounding! The CONS are 1/ no aperature adjustment, fixed. 2/ awkard, 3/ need a tripod, 4/ hard to focus, 5/ don't "connect" to camera's auto mode, 5/ 8 foot min focus distance. The PROS are 1/ very flat image, 2/ no DOF, nice pop to what is in focus, 3/ super tack sharp images, with fine detail. I have a very small William Optics Zenithstar SD 60mm f 5.9 APO Doublet (380mm focal length) with a field flattener, and a "T" adapter. There is a ROUGH and a FINE focus. The overall length without the camera is 15".

It is the equivelant of a spotting scope with a minimum of lens surfaces. It doesn't matter what sort of camera you mount this gem to, with some practice it will produce some stunning images.

A lot about Canon, some about Nikon, a little about Sigma but nothing at all about Tamron?

Great article that helped me to better understand all the subtleties of the various telephoto lenses. It would have been nice to include prices or price ranges within the article. I know that they can be looked up but it would be nice to have them all in one place.  Nevertheless, well done.

  With continued advances in sensor sensitivity and in camera processing ability, is the future of super telephotos smaller, slower but optimally corrected lenses. Will autofocusing ability also progress to higher f stop numbers also?  I would love to see Canon make a short, small, light weight with 4 stop high end image stabilization such as a 500 f5.6 LL (Light L).  There will always be a place for the big fast lense, but for a slightly lower level, we advanced amatures would love the portability which equates with rapid deployability of the hand held lense. I would welcome even the addition of IS to the present 400 f5.6L EF lense.  I almost jumped for the new 400mm EF diffraction lense but have concerns regarding its sharpness and contrast capabilities.  Insight and comments appreciated.

I have used Canon for the past 45 years. I have taught photography at colleges, and recommended the choice of whether to choose Canon or Nikon should be made by whether you automatically focus clockwise or counterclockwise when reaching from closelup to a distant object  (which autofocus made irrelevant). Neither Canon nor Nikon would produce the diffraction type lenses if they were not as sharp as your sensor can record. They are deisgned for use where weight or size are factors.

Good one

What's the difference between the above supposedly professional super-telphoto lenses and the lens of my Canon SX50, 24-1200mm (35mm Equivalent) 50x Zoom?

We'd do easier to answer what is the same. What is the same is that both have pieces of glass in a cylinder that focuses an image on a sensor. That's about it.

What is different is (1) the quality of said glass, (2) the number of pieces of said glass, (3) finish of said glass, (4) autofocusing mechanism, (5) ability to work with lower light, (6) quality of the image stabilization. This all results in a much higher image quality.

Short answer: About $8000-$20,000 and about 10lbs.

Hello - I have the 2010 600mm f4 ... 13 pounds, it does take great images from a long way away.    Ralph   

The major difference is the size of the sensor in the cameras each lens is utilized on.  These lenses discussed in the article are for use on DSLRs and Mirrorless cameras of which have very large sensors, some as large as a 35mm film negative frame.  In order to get super telephoto focal lengths on them, the lenses/glass design and construction must be proportionally large...also due to the larger amount of light passing through them, better quality optical coatings must be utilized.  Smaller bridge/superzoom camerwas have very small sensors, some the size of an average person's pinky fingernail.  The lenses utilized on those models are made in proportion to the sensors in the camera which is why they can accomplish strong telephoto focals yet be compact compared to the lenses discussed here.  Its the same proportional difference in an engine used in a Smart Car vs an engine used in a School bus.

Your question brought a laugh, but then I realized there are probably lots of novices who might seriously ask that. They are not 'so-called' professional lenses. They carry that label because they are used by professionals who know that you need the best equipment for the best results/images. A camera costing a few hundred $ just cannot produce images, taken at a telephoto distance, that will compare well to the best telephoto lenses used on a good DSLR. Fast autofocus and low-light capabilities are other issues which set them apart from a cheap camera/lens. Do a search for information on the capabilities and construction of these lenses to learn more about why, or just search for some reviews of some of the popular ones.

Especially for 'birds in flight' or any action photography. It's nearly impossible to follow a subject on a rear screen versus the 'through the lens' SLR. Some of the super zooms are getting very good for 'still shots' and average sized prints but blow them up very much and the thousands of dollars of difference shows up very clearly. Photo sites like Flickr have user groups dedicated to various cameras and lenses that let you visually see the difference- and if the user allows the full EXIF file to show, the complete details of the shot- focal length (in the case of zooms) aperture, ISO, camera model, etc. 

Yossi O makes an interesting point, though. I wonder if any camera/lens company would ever consider one super zoom/prime exclusively for thier APS-C sensor cameras? It could be lighter, faster and less expensive unless they consider that project in and of itself too expensive. But a 'birders' package of a Canon 7d MkII or Nikon D7100/D7200 and a special 400-500mm prime sized down for APS-C could be an attractive package.

The Canon SX50 has a smallor sensor..Than the SLR cameras..The slr cameras have mainly two sizes of sensor..Full frame and crop sensor..Study up on sensor size..

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