Best superzoom compacts 2011: our top 5
- Wed, 12 Oct 2011
Best superzoom compacts 2010
Best for broad focal range from wideangle to telephoto
1. Panasonic Lumix FZ100
Panasonic's latest superzoom is the best yet, even better than the formidable FZ38 model. The 25mm wideangle lens has an impressive 24x optical zoom, meaning at full extension the lens is capable of a 600mm telephoto equivalent. With such a long focal range it can be tricky to hold shots steady, but the lens-based Power OIS (Optical Image Stabilisation) does a great job of countering camera shake.
2. Fujifilm HS10
A 30x zoom for just over £300 - Fuji certainly gets the headline steal here. From a wideangle 24mm through to a super-telephoto 720mm equivalent, the HS10 certainly has all the angles covered. As well as the 3in, 230k-dot LCD on the rear there's a 200k-dot electronic viewfinder that can also be used to compose shots (though the latter is lacking in quality and is the camera's only real issue).
3. Canon PowerShot SX30 IS
The SX30 is the world's first 35x optical zoom camera. That translates into a 24-840mm equivalent and gives it the joint-longest top-end zoom available too. Certainly one for those looking for extreme telephoto situations, plus the ‘IS' designation in the name stands for ‘Image Stabilisation' to help counter camera shake that is so pronounced at such focal lengths.
4. Sony HX1
The Sony HX1's 20x optical zoom provides a 28-560mm equivalent zoom and the G-type glass designation makes for crisp, sharp images. Sony's much-hyped Sweep Panorama mode features that's great for capturing panoramic images in real time, or record 1080p HD movie. The 3in LCD has a 230k-dot resolution and this is the only subtle let down from this otherwise well-specced, well-priced and all-round super superzoom.
5. Nikon Coolpix L110
Looking for moderate telephoto zoom on a tighter budget? The Nikon L110 may be just what you're after. With a 15x optical zoom (28-420mm equivalent) there's still a huge scope for capture. Sensor-shift vibration reduction helps keep final capture that extra bit sharper and there's even 720p HD movie capture available. For such a low asking price there's little else you could wish for.
TIP: Optical Zoom
A lot of manufacturers will state ‘20x optical zoom', but you'll need to do a little more homework to work out what this means in real terms. Find the widest angle setting from the camera's specs and then multiply this by the stated optical zoom: i.e. 20 x 28mm for example is a 28-560mm equiavlent zoom (in traditional 35mm terms).
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