The Best Zoom Digital Camera For 2009

Posted by Photo Man

Author : By Chris Campbell

Somewhere, someone decided that there was a gap between the fairly inexpensive point and shoot automatic digital cameras, and the somewhat more sophisticated digital SLR cameras used by many professional photographers. That biggest feature separating the two cameras was lens zoom. Hence, was born the ultra zoom, or extended zoom digital cameras. They're a little bigger to carry around, but usually sport significantly improved lenses over the compact and ultra compact point and shoots. In addition, they don't require lugging around a case of supporting gear around, like many of the SLR cameras do.

Featuring upwards of 20X optical zoom, these are impressive cameras, and can be the perfect camera for certain situations. Like when you show up late for the wedding, and get stuck in the back pews. With these cameras you'll be able to still get great shots of the bride and grooms big kiss, without being mistaken for the official wedding photographer. As a general note for all these cameras, image stabilization is a gotta-have, unless you happen to have the rock steady hands of a surgeon.

Panasonic Lumix FZ28

This Panasonic model features an 18X zoom lens, and goes for around $350 or less. the IA (intelligent auto) setting works quite well. The auto settings are important for many photographers this camera targets as manual tweaking is generally not something a lot of casual photographers do. Of course, for those who like to make adjustments, the option is there. The LCD is a nice sized 2.7 inches. The zoom control seems to be opposite of what I would have expected, but after spending a little time with it, I'm sure most people get used to it.

Canon Powershot SX10 IS

Canon is one of my personal favorite brands, and this camera is one of the reasons why. This Canon is comparable in price (around $350) to the previously reviewed Panasonic Lumix, but with 20X zoom, instead of just 18. Even a few die hard SLR owners I've hear from, swear from this camera. A lens range of 28-560mm is nothing to sneeze at. Especially with the clarity, and noise free pictures produced by this camera, even at higher ISO settings. You can of course, get better clarity and image sharpness with a good SLR, but your also going to spend at least double the price to get there. Not to mention haul a lot more gear around for a SLR. The other nice thing about this camera, is the ability to capture video files, even if they are in the somewhat more obscure .mov Apple format.

Olympus SP-565 UZ

You should be able to find this Olympus for under $300 these days. Which is pretty good, when you consider the quality of the 20X zoom lens that comes with it. Some would argue, that is the successor to the somewhat botched Olympus SP565UZ. It's a much better camera, a little bit lighter, and includes both an auto zoom and auto focus feature. The zoom is a joy to work with, and the somewhat advance features of face recognition, and shadow adjustments work as advertised. It's got a cool feature call pre-capture, that I suppose, is the poor mans answer to burst mode offered by many high priced SLRs. It basically allows you to capture up to 10 photos in rapid succession, and then choose the ones you want to keep.

Source : The Best Zoom Digital Camera For 2009

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