It’s 2020 and smaller camera sizes have flooded the market. DSLRs are becoming less popular with the rise of the mirrorless, the compact, the superzoom. Even the dreaded smartphone.
No matter the level of photographer, sometimes the easiest way to snag a quick shot is with your phone camera, but what if you’re looking for something with a little better quality? Photographers looking for a pocket camera that can cover all the bases, from street photography to candid shots for social media, should look for a compact zoom camera.
When searching for a compact zoom camera, you must pay close attention to the size of the device as well as the zoom capacity. Most cameras cannot zoom too far, and if they do, the quality becomes awfully poor. However, a specialized camera will offer you up to 60x zoom, or more, without spoiling the end result.
To make things easier for you, here is a list of the best compact zoom cameras on the market:
1. Panasonic LUMIX DC-FZ80 (Overall Winner)
The Panasonic LUMIX DC-FZ80 is a point-and-shoot compact zoom camera with an 18.1MP resolution and MOS sensor. It offers a 60x zoom using its DC Vario lens, which contains 14 elements in 12 groups. This device sports Power OIS (Optical Image Stabilization) and can capture even the farthest spectacles with ease. The FZ80 has a high-resolution viewfinder and an LCD that spans three inches.
This camera has a 4K video capture feature alongside QFHD video recording with a pixel resolution of 3840 x 2160. It also has an excellent performance capacity in low-light conditions. This device sports USB charging and has a handy Wi-Fi connectivity feature that makes it easier to transfer photos and videos from your camera to other devices.
2. Panasonic LUMIX DMC-ZS50
Panasonic’s LUMIX ZS50 is a powerful compact zoom camera that offers a 30x zoom ability and flaunts a 12.1MP sensor that helps it deliver high-resolution photos without noise. It contains a 24mm Leica DC lens that can accommodate low-light shooting as well as daytime photography.
The ZS50 has enhanced low-light sensitivity for improved sharpness and clarity at night regardless of flash. Its built-in eye viewfinder eliminates the chance of any glare when taking pictures on a sunny day.
This device has a remarkable auto-focus speed and has a 10 fps high-speed burst shooting feature as well as a manual mode. With the LUMIX DMC-ZS50, you can record high-speed videos and capture any kind of motion with remarkable accuracy. The recording option comes with 100 fps in HD resolution and 200 fps in VGA. You can also record in RAW format to capture greater detail.
3. Panasonic LUMIX DC-ZS70
The Panasonic LUMIX DC-ZS70 has a 20.3MP MOS sensor with a 30x zoom Leica DC Vario Elmar lens. It also has a five-axis Hybrid OIS system. The ZS70K contains a Control Ring around the lens, which provides smooth manual aperture control. You can also adjust the shutter speed, zoom, and focus through the Control Ring.
This Panasonic camera sports an electronic viewfinder with an eye sensor feature for easy viewing in harsh sunlight conditions. In terms of video recording, the LUMIX DC-ZS70 offers 4K HD recording plus an exclusive LUMIX 4K post focus feature with internal focus stacking. This device is Wi-Fi enabled and has a 180-degree front flip-up touch screen.
4. Sony Cyber-shot HX80
Sony has put out many powerful cameras over the years, making it a household name in the world of photography. Sony’s Cyber-shot HX80 is a force to be reckoned with; this compact zoom camera offers a 30x optical and 60x clear image zoom with its powerful Zeiss Vario-Sonar T* lens.
The HX80 has an 18.2MP Exmor R CMOS sensor that supports low-light photography and gives impressive results. This device also has a built-in retractable OLED Tru-Finder viewfinder to help isolate the subject and snap wonderful shots.
The Cyber-shot HX80 has a selfie-ready LCD that spans three inches. It is an extra-fine multi-angle display that can tilt and shift readily, allowing for photography from a variety of interesting angles.
This camera has a versatile video recording option thanks to its high-quality XAVC S, AVCHD, and MP4 formats. It also supports Wi-Fi with NFC and Bluetooth.
5. Sony DSC-WX220
The Sony DSC-WX220 offers a 10x optical and 20x clear image zoom from its excellent G lens. It has an 18.2MP Exmor R CMOS sensor that supports low-light photography and yields excellent results. This device also contains a BIONZ X engine for impeccable detail and background noise reduction.
The Sony DSC-WX220 supports 4K HD video recording in 1080/60 pixels with Sony’s signature Motion Shot video feature. It also connects to smart devices and computers with the help of its built-in Wi-Fi with NFC feature. Additionally, this camera has multiple fun picture effects to yield more dramatic photos; partial color and watercolor modes are a few interesting options offered by this device.
6. Canon PowerShot SX740 HS
Canon’s SX740 offers a 40x optical zoom feature with optical image stabilizing and zoom framing assist. It also flaunts a 4K video recording option and a 4K time-lapse movie feature.
The Canon PowerShot SX740 HS has a 20.3MP CMOS sensor and a DIGIC 8 Image Processor for high-quality photography. Its three-inch tilting LCD allows for photography and video recording from all angles. Finally, this device has both Wi-Fi and Bluetooth technology to help share photos and videos to your smartphone, tablet, or PC.
7. Panasonic LUMIX DC-ZS200
The Panasonic LUMIX DC-ZS200 can zoom up to 15x thanks to its brilliant Leica lens. It comes with a 20.1MP sensor with a maximum ISO of 12800 and a five-axis hybrid O.I.S. As for videos, you can record in 4K mode at 30p. It has an electronic viewfinder and a handy touchscreen LCD for greater control and easier image viewing.
This device performs exceptionally well in low-light conditions as well as in broad daylight. It is a versatile camera with Wi-Fi connectivity and Bluetooth pairing.
8. Canon PowerShot SX730 HS (Budget Winner)
The Canon PowerShot SX730 is not your average camera; it sports a 40x optical zoom feature with zoom framing assistance. This device’s resolution is 20.3 MP, and it contains a CMOS sensor as well as a Digi 6 image processor. The SX730 HS features a 180-degree tilt screen.
The SX730 HS features a 180-degree tilt screen as well as a built-in Wi-Fi2 system with NFC3 technology for instant data sharing to connected devices. This camera is compact and can fit into your pocket; regardless of the size, it still manages to provide you with a powerful resolution and stunning image quality. Its slip-resistant shape and textured surface help make sure the camera never falls out of your grip.
Final Words on Compact Zoom Cameras
All the compact zoom cameras mentioned above are excellent and remarkably powerful. They all make for great investments and will become your photography partners for ages to come.
When choosing a compact zoom camera, make sure to find one that is small and easy to carry, as well as one that offers excellent zoom, allowing for a great photography experience no matter how far away you are.