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Enough with all this smartphone talk of late. We know, we know, it’s “the camera you always have with you” and there’s all these insanely innovative apps and accessories available to help take your smartphoneography endeavors to new heights. We get it.

However, there is one thing smartphones really can’t do …and that’s ZOOM. (Yes, we know, rumor has it a DynaOptics may be bringing this tech to smartphones soon, but for now please read on.)

Thus, we ask you, have you seen some of the new superzoom digital cameras on the market of late? Incredible stuff from the big name players and a feature you just won’t find on your smartphone – for now. Not to mention we’re typically talking about much higher quality optics, more robust pixel counts and many other ‘digicam-only’ feature sets.

Here’s a quick look at seven of the latest superzooms that have caught our eye over the last few months. We chose to focus on the more affordable models, staying between $300-$500. And their compact design specs coupled with their mega-zoooms may soon make these models “the camera you always have with you.”

Nikon’s Cool New Superzooms

Nikon has released a pair of new mega-zooms – the updated Coolpix P610 features a 60x optical zoom and the Coolpix S9900 features a 30x optical zoom.

The P610 adds a16-megapixel, 1/2.3-inch type CMOS sensor and HD video at 1080/60p. The camera also features Dynamic Fine Zoom (for an additional 2x zoom multiplier) as well as 4x standard digital zoom enhancement for a 5760mm-equivalent zoom – $499.

The S9990 also offers 16-megapixel, back-side-illuminated CMOS sensor and a nifty Time Lapse Movie Mode as well as NFC connectivity for easy pairing and sharing with compatible smart devices – $349.
Nikon P610

Powershot Offers Power-zoom: Canon’s new Powershot SX260 HS

The Powershot features a 20x optical zoom as well as a 12MP backside-illuminated CMOS sensor. Add Canon’s new Digic 5 image processor, which helps it shoot in bursts up to 10 frames per second, and very compact design and for $349 you’ve got a very solid and easy to use Superzoom from Canon.

Canon Cam

Olympus Returns to Superzoom Category

Olympus seemed to have essentially lost interest in the superzoom category for a while but last year’s release of the Stylus SP-100 suggests they are back. The camera’s 50x optical zoom f2.9-6.5 24-1,200mm lens with optical image stabilization certainly made a statement in the category. Add a 16MP BSI CMOS sensor and an updated Olympus image processor, the TruePic VII, and Olympus is clearly back making high quality Superzooms – $349.

Olympus cam


Fuji’s Take Anywhere Zoom

Fuji’s FinePix S1 also features a 50x optical zoom but we really like about this one is its all-weather exterior design, a nice touch. Additional features include 16MP CMOS sensor, built-in Wi-Fi and the camera can burst shoot up to nine photos at 10 frames per second at full resolution – $350.



Sony 30x Cyber-shot Zoom

Sony’s Cyber-shot DSC-HX50V may just be the smallest and lightest superzoom camera we’ve ever seen …certainly in the 30x optical zoom range. The camera also features 20MP res, HD video at 1080/60p and a 10 shots per second at full resolution burst mode that rounds out a nice features set. Toss in Wi-Fi connectivity and built-in GPS tracking, along with the ability to shoot 3D Sweep Panoramas and 3D Still Images, you’ll wonder just how Sony packed this much punch into such a compact design (4 3/8” x 2 5/8” x 1 9/16”) – $329.



Low Light Specialist

While the 24x optical zoom on Panasonic’s Lumix DMC-FZ200 is the reason this little beauty is in our round-up, truth be told the most attractive feature the camera boasts is it’s incredible chops in low light shooting situations. Featuring a lens with an F2.8 maximum aperture across its entire zoom range, in combo with it’s newly-developed 12MP MOS sensor, the FZ200 provides that extra brightness that truly makes a real difference at long focal lengths and/or in those tricky lighting situations, allowing for shooting at lower, less noisy ISO settings. That Leica lens doesn’t hurt either – $399.


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