Super Zoom Digital Cameras Explained
Super zoom digital cameras now offer what can only be described as incredible amount of zoom. The top of the range models offer up to 35x zoom. With maximum focal lengths available of over 800mm (35mm equivalent), that is more zoom power than you are likely to get with a Digital SLR without spending a substantial sum of money on a super telephoto lens.
Camera Size and Design
Super zoom digital cameras are fairly large and bulky. They are designed along the lines of a Digital SLR. What Types of Photography are Super Zoom Digital Cameras Suitable For? A super zoom digital camera is likely to appeal to you if you enjoy photographing subjects such as sports and wildlife. This type of camera can capture a wide range of more distant subjects where a more standard size lens is unable to get you in close enough to your subject.
Wide Angle Capabilities
In addition to the obvious telephoto qualities Super Zoom digital cameras offer wide angle capabilities. This gives you the flexibility to capture wide scenes as well as more distant subjects.
Lens and Picture Quality
The lenses used for this type of camera are usually of good quality. The larger physical size of the lenses can make the design and building processes that bit easier. One downside is that most lenses suffer from purple fringing. This is not usually to a degree that is noticeable with smaller prints, but may be an issue if you plan to make large prints. This issue is usually more noticeable when the lens is close to or at full extension or completely zoomed out.
Range of Features Available
If you are someone that photographs subjects such as wildlife and sports then the likelihood is that you know your way around a camera. If this sounds like you then you will be pleased to know that Super Zoom cameras nearly always come with a full set of manual exposure controls. These include features such as fully manual operation, aperture priority and shutter priority. This type of camera is also likely to offer you the ability to focus from close in for macro photography. Other advanced features can be found for metering and white balance adjustments. As ever it is best to check the specifications of individual cameras to ensure they carry the range of features you are interested in.
A camera of this size, weight and length of lens is prone to camera shake. Therefore image stabilisation is a very common feature. This helps to compensate for tiny hand movements when a picture is taken, to ensure your pictures are as sharp as possible.
Another attraction of this type of camera is that it tends to generate more power from the flash unit then smaller models. In most cases the flash unit pops up on top of the camera. This increases the distances between the lens and the flash unit and can help to reduce any problems of red eye in portrait shots taken using flash.
High Definition Movies
High Definition movies are the norm for this type of camera. More advanced models may also include a form of image stabilisation for movie recording, plus the ability to record stereo sound.
Suitable for sports and wildlife photography
No red eye
Suggested Super Zoom Digital Cameras
This is a selection of my current top rated cameras in this category.
Panasonic DMC FZ48 Rating: 87/100
Super Zoom 12 Megapixels 24x Zoom
If you are looking for lens power the Lumix DMC FZ48 has a 24x zoom lens. The lens also has wide angle capabilities and image stabilisation. If you need even more zoom you can opt to decrease the number of megapixels you are shooting at in return for extra zoom up to 46.9x. Other features include a set of manual exposure controls and manual focusing. In addition to the 3 inch LCD screen there is also a viewfinder available for composing images. There is a special mode for shooting 3D still images. You can also record Full High Definition movies with stereo sound.
Guide Price: £189.89 See latest prices: Panasonic DMC FZ48 Prices
Related Pages: Panasonic DMC FZ48 Review Panasonic DMC FZ48 Spec
Fuji Finepix HS30EXR Rating: 86/100
Super Zoom 16 Megapixels 30x Zoom
The Finepix HS30EXR is a fully featured digital camera with many of the features you would expect to find on a Digital SLR. Features include a 30x zoom lens. The lens also has wide angle capabilities. There are a set of manual exposure modes and you also have access to manual focusing. There are High Definition movies with stereo sound and manual focusing. You can add extra power by adding an external flash unit via the hot shoe.
Guide Price: £289.99 See latest prices: Fuji Finepix HS30EXR Prices
Related Pages: Fuji Finepix HS30EXR Review Fuji Finepix HS30EXR Spec
Canon Powershot SX40 HS Rating: 85/100
Super Zoom 12 Megapixels 35x Zoom
The Powershot SX40 HS is a serious piece of kit. It offers extreme zoom power as well as the ability to photograph wide scenes such as landscapes and groups of people. It has an impressive set of manual controls too. The movie mode is one of the most advanced you are likely to find. Other features include a 2.7 inch LCD screen that pulls away from the body and can be twisted round at an angle to provide you with a comfortable shooting position.
Guide Price: £249.95 See latest prices: Canon Powershot SX40 HS Prices
Related Pages: Canon Powershot SX40 HS Review Canon Powershot SX40 HS Spec
Digital Camera Types
Straightforward, simple cameras. These are also the cheapest you will find.
The most common type. Most are simple and straightforward.
On similar lines to the pocket camera, but a little larger.
Extra zoom over and above more basic cameras, but retaining a fairly compact size.
Extreme zoom lens. Normally with plenty of manual features.
Contain features normally associated with a Digital SLR, but in a smaller body.
As well as being waterproof many cameras are also drop proof and freezeproof.
Compact System Cameras are a cross between a typical compact camera and a Digital SLR. They offer you excellent picture quality, a wide array features and are a small size.
Entry level Digital SLRs for enthusiasts.
Top of the range for the most demanding professional photographers.