The Best Zoom Cameras of 2024

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The Best Zoom Cameras of 2024

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Capture great photos from a distance

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Optical zoom cameras are ideal for all sorts of shots, including travel, landscape photography, sporting events, wildlife, or any situation where you'd like to get closer to your subject without sacrificing image quality.

Easy-to-use controls and LCD touchscreen

Telephoto video can be wobbly without a tripod

No eye sensor for EVF

There's a lot to love about the Panasonic Lumix DC-FZ80. This camera offers fantastic value and an impressive 60x (20-1200mm) long zoom, ideal for capturing all the detail in your photos, even from far away, along with a LUMIX DC VARIO lens. It also offers both 4K photos and video, so your resulting images will be of a high standard.

The 18.1MP MOS sensor also performs well in low light, and built-in body stabilization helps you capture crisp, clear photos. However, you'll get the best results for telephoto video if you pair your camera with a tripod. 

After shooting, transfer your images to your devices using the camera's built-in Wi-Fi. The FZ80 also includes Panasonic's "Post Focus" technology, which lets you set your focal points in post-production, capturing a scene without pausing and perfectly composing the picture.

Even if you're new to photography, the camera's controls can be quickly learned. You have a 3-inch LCD touchscreen display to choose your settings and create your shot. The FZ80 is a top choice if you need a camera that can shoot quickly and accurately and capture impressive zoom shots, whether on vacation or in your backyard.

Resolution: 18.1MP | Sensor Type: 1/2.3" MOS | Max ISO: 3,200 | Optical Zoom: 60x | Connectivity: NFC, Wi-Fi

The detail captured by the 125x zoom is amazing

Ability to shoot in RAW

Large size might be too bulky for some

If you’re willing to spend a bit more, it would be impossible not to be impressed by the 125x (24-3000mm) zoom on the Nikon COOLPIX P1000. With such a detailed zoom, you can not only shoot striking images of wildlife, flowers, or concerts, but you can also shoot into space.

The P1000 provides so much zoom that you can easily use it for astrophotography, capturing the moon, stars, and even other planets as they pass by. Users also can enjoy a 16MP CMOS sensor, 7FPS burst shooting, and 4K Ultra HD video.

You can shoot in RAW on the P1000, which avid photographers will appreciate. Plus, you can get creative with some of the valuable features in the camera, such as time-lapse, Superlapse, and built-in filters for editing. 

When shooting for long periods, the camera’s size is comfortable and easy to grip, although it could be too large for those who prefer something more compact. Thanks to the addition of a control ring, you can adjust the camera’s focus or exposure without needing to look away from the viewfinder.

Resolution: 16.7MP | Sensor Type: 1/2.3-inch BSI-CMOS Sensor | Max ISO: 6,400 | Optical Zoom: 125x | Connectivity: NFC, Wi-Fi

Fast, accurate shooting and processing

Photos can easily blur if not used with a tripod

4K video records slightly cropped

The Canon PowerShot SX70 is a reliable, high-quality camera that takes excellent photos but is easy for everyone in the household to use. The 65x optical zoom (21mm-1,365mm) takes gorgeous images, and the Dual Sensing, an image stabilization feature, means you'll capture all the details just as you intended. We also love the fast autofocus, long battery life, and accurate color—just what you need for the next family vacation.

Users can shoot in JPEG or RAW, which opens up more post-production editing possibilities. You can also upload your shots to your phone or social media since Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity are included in the SX70.

Photographers have access to a 20.3MP High-Sensitivity CMOS, which is excellent for low light and super-fast focus and shooting from the camera's DIGIC 8 Image Processor. Or, shoot video with 4K UHD at up to 30FPS, but be aware that 4K video tends to record slightly cropped. Other than that, it's a great all-rounder your family can use for years.

Resolution: 20.3MP | Sensor Type: 1/2.3-inch BSI-CMOS Sensor | Max ISO: 3,200 | Optical Zoom: 65x | Connectivity: NFC, Wi-Fi

Many photographers like Nikon, Canon, or Sony are loyal to a specific camera brand. The reason is most DSLR lenses are not interchangeable between brands. If you already have a collection of lenses at home, buy a camera that can put them to use.

Most people spring for the camera with the highest resolution, measured in megapixels. A 20-megapixel camera theoretically takes better pictures than a 16-megapixel one, but this isn’t always the most telling spec for performance. Instead, look at the sensor size. A larger sensor will capture more light and produce images with less noise.

If you’re dropping a couple of hundred bucks on a camera, it should feel good in your hands. While the design is more a matter of personal preference, try holding a couple of different models and go with what feels comfortable.

Many non-DSLR cameras are either optical or digital zoom. On an optical zoom camera, users have a physical zoom lens. On digital zoom cameras, in-camera processing can sometimes distort the view or crop away the edges of the image. While you can get great results from either type of camera, some photographers prefer optical zoom.

It depends on what you want to do with your photos. RAW files occupy more space because they capture all the data your camera sees. In comparison, JPEG files compress the image for you automatically, so these files are much smaller. Professionals will generally shoot in RAW, as the format gives them more control in the editing process. It’s also great for high-resolution photos if you want to have your work printed and framed. However, for most casual users, the JPEG quality is good enough to get beautiful results.

It depends on what you’re planning to photograph. If you photograph sports or wildlife, the higher the zoom, the better your resulting images will be. However, for daily use or vacation snaps, you can get away with far less since you’ll generally be closer to your subjects.

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The Best Zoom Cameras of 2024

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