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Saturday, December 18, 2010

Best megazoom digital cameras

Large zoom ranges confer clear, tangible benefits. Though many pro photographers eschew the long focal-length lens and zoom instead with their feet, we don't all have the luxury or comfort level for in-your-face photography. A large range of focal lengths dramatically increases framing options as well as makes it possible to get recognizable people shots when trapped in the crowd, high in the bleacher seats, or at the back of the auditorium. These models all offer zooms of 10x or more, for the ultimate reach.

Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX5V

The Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX5V has shooting options for solving common snapshot camera issues, but some users still won't be thrilled with the results.

Overall score: 8.0 (4.0 stars)

Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZS7 (black) 

A very good, fully loaded compact megazoom, the Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZS7 offers a lot of shooting flexibility and a built-in GPS.
Very good
Overall score: 7.8 (3.5 stars)

The Fujifilm FinePix F80EXR is an overall very good compact megazoom for its street price and size, though it's not without compromises.
Very good

Overall score: 7.6 (3.5 stars)

There's a lot to like about the Nikon Coolpix P100, but you'll need to keep your photo quality expectations in check to really enjoy it.
Very good

Overall score: 7.6 (3.5 stars)

The pocket megazoom Kodak EasyShare Z915 is a good camera for those looking to step up from a fully automatic compact camera to something with more manual controls and a longer lens.
Very good
Overall score: 7.6 (3.5 stars)

If you just want a decent compact megazoom, the Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZS5 is one of the better options thanks to a well-rounded feature set and very good photo quality at lower ISOs.
Very good

Overall score: 7.5 (3.5 stars)

The Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZR3 has a flexible lens in a compact body and produces reliably good automatic-shooting results.
Very good
Overall score: 7.4 (3.5 stars)

A better-than-average megazoom choice, the Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ35 delivers standout video capabilities and an excellent manual feature set. Still, it suffers from a lot of the same drawbacks as its competitors, including weak photo quality.
Very good

Overall score: 7.3 (3.5 stars)

Trade-offs abound in Sony's Cyber-shot DSC-HX1 megazoom. Though it's fast and has some really novel, useful features, it just doesn't deliver the photo quality expected for its class.
Very good

The budget-friendly Canon PowerShot SX130 IS is a solid, compact megazoom for those who prize creative control and photo quality more than fast shooting performance or a small, lightweight design.
Very good
Overall score: 7.2 (3.5 stars)

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