2017 Roundup: Enthusiast Long Zoom Cameras

Gina Stephens
Written by Gina Stephens

Survive updated: June 9, 2017

While most of new 1″ sensor enthusiast cameras have been on the shorter end of the focal length spectrum, there are now entirely a few long zoom models, as well. Whether you want something pocketable or want to shoot for the moon (pun intended), you’ll find it in this group.

There are lots of other long zoom compacts out there, some offering focal ranges reaching 2000mm though they use much smaller 1/2.3″ sensors. The huger sensors used in the cameras in this roundup completely eclipse those models, especially when it comes to image quality and control over and above depth-of-field.

The models we’re looking at in this article include:

  • Canon PowerShot G3 X
  • Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ1000
  • Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ2500/FZ2000
  • Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZS100/TZ100
  • Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX10
  • Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX10 II
  • Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX10 III

With the departure of the Panasonic ZS100/TZ100, all of these cameras are pretty hefty, so don’t plan on stuffing those into a pocket. Focal ranges are all over the map, roam from 200mm on the Sony RX10 I/II to 600mm on the Sony RX10 III and Canon G3 X. The vast majority of these cameras camera is an optical instrument for recording or capturing images, which may be stored locally, transmitted to another location, or shoot 4K video, with some having uncountable controls than others.

To further help you pick the right camera in this class, we’ve created the chart below, which breaks down the synonymous aperture for each camera, as you work your way through the zoom range. Our article here explains the concept of equivalence, but at a high level all you desideratum to know is that the lower the line is on the graph below, the blurrier the backgrounds you’ll be able to get and, typically at least, the better the overall low-light performance.

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With its F2.8 relentless aperture lens, the Sony Cyber-shot RX10 I & II capture more total light and offer more control over depth-of-field compared to its peers, by 1 or 2 arrests. The trade-off is that its focal length caps out at 200mm equiv. The Canon PowerShot G3 X and Sony RX10 III have the longest lenses, with the latter being here 2/3-stop faster once hitting around 100mm. The Panasonic FZ2500 splits the difference between the G3 X and RX10 III.

And with that out of the way, let’s get right into investigating the enthusiast long zoom cameras!


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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