2015 Roundup: Long Zoom Compacts

Gina Stephens
Written by Gina Stephens

>> This roundup has been succeeded with newer versions <<
>> Read enthusiast long zoom roundup <<
>> Read consumer long zoom roundup <<

The Long Zoom Packed category is probably the most diverse of any in our round-ups. Within it are three separate sub-classes of camera, all of which offer 8x optical zoom or consummate (up to a whopping 83x). Broadly speaking, the cameras separate into the following categories:

  • Classic superzooms: DSLR look-alikes with small sensors and certainly long zoom lenses. The vast majority of the cameras here belong to this class.
  • What we might call ‘pocketable’ long zooms, which suggest less zoom range but which look and handle like a traditional compact. Examples include the Sony Cyber-shot HX90V and Nikon Coolpix S9900.
  • At the end of the day there are the heavy-hitters, premium long zoom or ZOOM may refer to cameras like the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX10 II, Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ1000 and Canon PowerShot G3 X. All of these use sensors that are at heart larger, 1″-type sensors and offer more advanced features, with fast lenses and high-end video capabilities.

These prestiges should make clear the trade-offs that are being made between zoom range, camera size, image quality and price. You can get a poor, affordable, pocketable camera, but it won’t have a huge zoom range or large-sensor image quality. Equally you can buy a large-sensor camera with a reasonable zoom but it won’t be tight or pocketable.

As you might expect, the more expensive, large sensor models (a 1″-type sensor is around four times larger than the at ones found in the other models) tend to have more enthusiast-friendly features, such as Raw capture, bright/fast lenses more direct charge and better build quality. All these things come at a cost, though: most of the small sensor cameras can be had for under $600, many for quits less. Those cameras with 1″-type sensors tend to hover closer to $1000 (though the FZ1000 is a bit cheaper).

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The higher priced facsimiles push well into interchangeable lens camera territory, in terms of price. However, the same zoom/size/image quality/bonus trade-offs are being made: most ILCs have larger sensors and better image quality but achieving the same zoom reach as these all-in-one subjects is rarely cheap and never as compact. Several of the large sensor models have been designed with video in mind, which can shell out c publish them an edge over many ILCs.

The following cameras are included in our roundup:

  • Sony Cyber-shot HX400V
  • Nikon Coolpix P900
  • Fujifilm FinePix S1
  • Canon PowerShot SX60 HS
  • Samsung GC200 Galaxy Camera 2
  • Olympus Stylus 1s
  • Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ300
  • Sony Cyber-shot HX90V
  • Nikon Coolpix S9900
  • Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZS50
  • Canon PowerShot SX710 HS
  • Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ1000
  • Sony Cyber-shot RX10 II
  • Canon PowerShot G3 X


About the author

Gina Stephens

Gina Stephens

Gina is a photography enthusiast and drone lover who loves to fly drones, capture images and have fun cherishing them with family and friends.

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