Choosing a super-zoom camera (part 1)

3/26/2012 9:21:08 AM

Choosing a super-zoom camera (part 1)

Could your camera bring you close enough to take these perfect pictures? Let’s take 15 models of super-zoom cameras from $280 into consideration to find down the most suitable one for you.

The undeniable attraction of super-zoom cameras is long telephoto lenses. Even the 12x lenses can allow you to take the pictures where are far away from you, super-zoom cameras like typical DSLR havs a 24x lenses or more. However, if your desire to understand thoroughly about the lense view, you can’t depend on the number only.

Besides, you have to bear in mind that zoom view is meas\ured by mm, from the wide angle to telephoto lenses. They are usually quoted in equivalently 35mm for your better comparision. The smaller the starting number is, the wider the angle get. On the other side, the higher number of telephoto lenses have (such as 400mm), the bigger they appear in the pictures.

Keep remember that bigger zoom view doesn’t mean better quality. Reality shows the stark contrast to this common perception because it is quite hard – and hence expensive – to make a lense that perform well in all high zoom view. Some lenses are excellent in fully zoomed mode but not as good in more complicated settings, while some perform well in in the middle of their views. Similarly, the autofocus speeds can be different based on the current light. Let’s cast eyes on our reviews to check whether there are some problems with your lenses or not.

Sensor respect

Each and every modern superzoom cameras all are equipped with 1/2.3” or 1/2”, much smaller than any other DSLR sensors. In the smaller sensors, each pixel is received less light, which may lead to the low quality and more noise in pictures. Because the resolutions among models are different, higher resolution cameras will make more noise due to the less light in each pixel. Our review will explain the beauty of each model in the reality.

Some latest models have background light sensors. We rearrange the cable system (in traditional sensors) from front to back in order to get more light in each pixel, then result in less noise pictures in low ligh environment.


Most of digital cameras offer some kind of stabilization, but it is an essential function in cameras with big zoom because of higher magnified camera movements. There are three types: optical, CCD shift and digital. The first type makes up for this disadvantage by light lenses movements. The second one means the self movement sensoring, which usually accopmanies with small magnets. These two methods are effectively proved and hence creating more razor-sharp images than cameras with digital stabilization. The last one uses the camera processor chip to eliminate the camera shake.


Every modern superzoom cameras can record HD videos but with different film frame quality. Reading the technical specifications are certainly not enough – one camera can record excellent 720p video, meanwhile, another camera stated for 1080p HD recording can bring the result of a blurred film with horrible sound.

If you are about to record an important video, one of the most important elements should be take under consideration before buying a superzoom camera is that whether it can focus and zoom during the recording time or not because some of them can’t. Be careful of these cameras with zoom motors and noisy focus, which can destroy completely the soundtrack.

Video and audio quality is most important, the comments and sample video clips help you to understand this matter. Another important attention is video format. Models record films in AVC (MP4) are suitable much more than one with Motion JPEG, because the former has such an effective compact ability and can store more films in megabyte. Last but not least, clip length is often limited, which can be a big problem in some circumstances.

Raw potential

The ability of taking pictures in raw mode can be an advantage, because it means that you can edit the raw pictures before the sensor do; therefore, you are the one and only can decide about its white balance, noise reduction and the sharpness you want to apply. The raw images have no noise reduction, so that all details can be seen fully and clearly. In raw mode, burst shooting usually takes longer time in JPEG format. 


Don’t forget about the power supplier. If cameras go with AA zince batteries, you should buy some more in cases you run out of the original ones or buy rechargable batteries (or the charger), therefore, remember to include them into the price. Lithium-ion batteries are dedicated for models and can be quite expensive.

Lastly, although most of cameras have their inside memory, actually it is spared for some emergent cases when you forget inserting the memory card. Fortunately, the 4GB SDHC cards cost less than $8, but please notice the Class number. This number guarantees the minimum record speed by MB/s. A slower card can be cheaper but it can limit the speed which cameras can perform, especially for continuous shooting; we recommend Class 6 or later.

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