Superzoom cameras used to be big and bulky, although now they come in all shapes and sizes. We pick some of the best superzoom cameras on the market to help you find the best for your needs
When listing the key features that consumers look for when purchasing a digital camera, more often than not a substantial zoom is towards the top of the list.
The superzoom market is awash with cameras which satisfy this brief. Where the best superzoom cameras used to be necessarily bulky to accomodate the substantial optical technology involved in delivering extensive these extensive focal ranges.
However, recent technological advancements mean that this is no longer the case, and the very best superzoom cameras come in all shapes and sizes.
We’ve picked out some of the best available to help you decide which might be the best superzoom camera for you.
Street price: £295
The Sony Cyber-shot HX50 is one of a new breed superzoom cameras that manages to somehow cram a 30x optical zoom in to a body which comfortably fits in to a coat pocket.
The impressive specification doesn’t stop with the large optical zoom, as the HX50 features a host of other eye-catching elements. These include a Sony Exmor R CMOS sensor, Wi-fi connectivity and a multi-accessory shoe for extended functionality
Best superzoom camera for: Those with a premium on compact size
Street price: £150
Although older than the Sony HX50, the Canon PowerShot SX500 IS offers a similar set of features, including a substantial 30x optical zoom.
The SX500 IS is also a slightly different proposition in terms of design. Although it’s not as compact as the HX50, it features a design more akin to a bridge camera and as such handles better when the long zoom is fully extended. The fact that it’s an older model also means it’s available for a much more affordable price.
Best superzoom camera for: A compact superzoom on a budget
Street price: £390
The Panasonic Lumix FZ200 may not have the longest zoom out of the group – being only a 24x optical zoom – but the zoom itself does boast one unique characteristic.
Throughout the 24x optical zoom, or 25-600mm focal range in equivalent terms, the FZ200 maintains a maximum aperture of f/2.8. As a result, it enables capture at f/2.8 at 600mm, a combination you’d need some serious optics to accomplish on a DSLR and one that is absolutely perfect for nature and wildlife photography.
Best superzoom camera for: Wildlife and Sports photography
Street price: £160
The Pentax X-5 is another of our superzoom cameras which is on the more compact side. Even though it does feature traditional bridge camera looks, even appearing more like a mini-DSLR, the X-5 is one of the smallest of its type on the market.
The model features a 26x optical zoom, pronounced rubber hand grip for a firm hold as well as a large EVF. Furthermore, the X-5 runs off of AA batteries, meaning if you run out of power in the field you’ll never be too far from being able to get your hands on some replacement units.
Best superzoom camera for: Those with a preference for AA battery power
Street price: £280
With a 42x optical zoom, offering a maximum zoom of an eye-watering 1000mm in 35mm equivalent terms, the Nikon P520 is one of the most super of this collection of superzooms.
The zoom is backed up by Nikon’s lens-shift VR system, while an 18MP sensor takes care of the imaging side of things. The P520 features traditional bridge camera design, including an EVF, while a vari-angle LCD offers an alternative composition and image review tool.
Best superzoom camera for: Those needing an even more substantial zoom