ultra zoom cameras

What digital cameras have the largest zoom? Three new non-SLR cameras were announced in September, with 18x Optical Zooms, here they are along with their nearest rivals.

The optical zoom on a camera of a type that you can easily carry around most of the time, seems like the single most important feature, since all other principal features, like megapixels, seem to have maxed out.

Our task is specific. Photographing ‘architectural details on buildings in New York’. (We can’t be bothered to schlep around 15 lenses, but want to capture details, without a ladder). However, a good zoom is what you really need for most photographic tasks.

Three new non-SLR cameras with 18x Optical zoom, have been announced recently. They look like the ones to beat: The Panasonic DMC FZ18, Olympus SP-560 UZ and Fujifilm Finepix S8000fd.


Posted by David Galbraith

 
The massive 18x built in zoom lens on the DMC-FZ18 means that it has only 2 rivals: Olympus SP-560 UZ, Fujifilm Finepix S8000fd.<p /><p />The problem is that you can barely put a cigarette paper between the features on these three cameras. Since they are all new, one may end up being an obvious winner, but for the moment, it looks like a toss up.
There are three contenders for the non-slr super zoom crown: this, the Panasonic DMC FZ18 and the Olympus 560 UZ.<p /><p />Its difficult to separate these cameras on what they promise feature wise, the differences are minor, the Fujifilm seems to have no RAW support, for example. Ultimately it will be down to what people start saying about them, when they get their hands on them.
The Easyshare Z712 was announced in June 2007 and is very good value at around $250, if you want a medium sized zoom camera. It looks like a solid workhorse, in its category.
The predecessor to the 560UZ, which was announced in Aug 2007 had the same unblievable 18x Optical zoom but some technical glitches.<p /><p />Its $500, but if it truly does sort out the minor problems of the 550 then this is the puppy you want if you need the maximum zoom without going to an SLR.
The SX100 IS was announced in august 2007. It sits somewhere between the TX-1 and the S5 IS, and that sort of describes it - it seems competent, feature wise but a bit bland in terms of spec and looks.
At about the same $400 price range as the S5 IS, the TX-1 offers many of the same features such as face recognition, but in a compact form the size of the classic Digital Elph.<p /><p />Cons: The feature set isn&#039;t as impressive as some of the bulkier alternatives, but then again those cameras don&#039;t quite offer what an SLR does, if you don&#039;t care about size.
Announced in May 2007 the S5IS has a 12x Optical zoom.<p /><p />This is a new, very well spec-ed camera with innovative features such as face recognition. Its also very reasonably priced at around $400.
Released in feb 2007 the S700 has a 10x Optical zoom and costs around $200.<p /><p />Downsides: Rather large. Slowish max shutter speed. No image stabilization.

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