We take six pocketable hi-zoom compacts on a sightseeing tour of London to see which is best. In the test: the Panasonic TZ20, Canon SX230 HS, Nikon S9100, Fujifilm F550 EXR, Sony HX7V and Samsung WB650

‘Travel Compacts’ or ‘Hi-zoom compacts’ is the name usually give to describe compacts that are small enough to fit in a pocket but feature full retractable zoom lenses of longer than average focal length – generally at least 10x zooms and as much as 18x. They differ from bridge cameras (aka superzooms) in that the latter are bigger, DSLR-style cameras with electronic viewfinders and even longer (up to 30x) but non retractable zooms. They’re ideal for holidays because the’re quite portable, considering the features offered. 

We’ve tested six of the best selling models around – the Panasonic TZ20, Canon SX230 HS, Nikon S9100, Fujifilm F550 EXR, Sony HX7V and Samsung WB650 – by taking them around London to shoot the tourist spots. Just the sort of thing that buyers of these cameras may want to do with them. As well as good zooms all of these cameras offer HD movie modes, and most have GPS too.

  • Andrew Cattell

    Wow, what a mixed bag. Effectively recommending them all for something at the end except for the Samsung. Interestingly only the Nikon currently has its own review on the site so far. I was originally plumping for the Nikon, but some some poor reviews on other sites about build quality and the washed out colours shown here. Looks like i might go for the Canon now, but its lack of flash power in the dark was worrying.

  • Andrew Cattell

    Desperate to see this review,. i’ve already been researching a new compact and had got my choice down to 3 of these the tz18 (ok not the 20), the s9100 and hx7v, although the latter was pricing itself out at £260 ish when the others were £220. I want to see the review to help make my mind up!

  • Andrew Cattell

    Can’t be viewed correctly in either firefox 5 or IE9 at the mo