Best superzoom camera 2019

If you’re shopping for a superzoom camera, you’ve come to the right place! At Camera Labs I write in-depth reviews of cameras but understand you’re busy people who sometimes just want recommendations of the most outstanding products. So here I’ll cut to the chase and list the best superzoom cameras around right now. Note like my other guides they’re also listed by review date, not in order of preference.

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Best superzoom camera

Canon SX70 HS review

The Canon PowerShot SX70 HS is a super-zoom camera with DSLR-styling, 20 Megapixel resolution and a 65x optical zoom range equivalent to 21-1365mm. Successor to the four year-old SX60 HS, the new SX70 HS inherits the zoom range, side-hinged touch-screen and much the same body as its predecessor (albeit losing the hotshoe which is frustrating if you want to mount an external flash or microphone), but upgrades the 1 /2.3in type sensor from 16 to 20 Megapixels, couples it with the latest DIGIC 8 processor to gain 10fps shooting and cropped 4k video, and upgrades the viewfinder size and resolution. In terms of the lens range, the SX70 HS lens may now be out-gunned by the 125x zoom on the Nikon P1000, but 65x still covers virtually any situation and crucially Canon’s pitching it at almost half the price which, with the updates, makes it a very tempting option. I can’t award it more than four stars, because the increase in sensor resolution is accompanied by a reduction in low light performance at high ISOs. That aside, it's still the best small sensor / big range super-zoom out there at this price point and comes Highly recommended.

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Nikon COOLPIX B600 review

The Nikon COOLPIX B600 is DSLR-styled 'bridge' super-zoom camera which upgrades the 40x range of the earlier B500 with a longer 60x 24-1440mm zoom lens - the same one as on the COOLPIX B700. The old AA batteries are replaced with a Lithium ion EN-EL12 that can be charged in the camera via USB. As well as gains, there are losses, though, and the B500's flip out screen is gone, replaced with a fixed 3 inch panel with the same 920k dot resolution. Most other things remain the same, including fully automatic point and shoot operation, 1080p video, unremarkable continuous shooting and the unequalled Snapbridge for seamless image transfer to your phone while you shoot. Other super-zooms, like the Canon PowerShot SX70 HS offer better performance and more sophistication - but with a higher price tag. The B600 fills a niche for novice shooters who want stonking super-zoom capability combined with simple hassle-free operation and great connectivity at a reasonable price. Recommended.

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Sony RX100 VII review

The Sony RX100 VII is a high-end compact designed for travel, action, video and vlogging. Successor to the RX100 VI, it shares the same 24-200mm f2.8-4.5 zoom as well as essentially the same body with a touch-screen that can angle up to face you and small but detailed viewfinder that pops up and pushes back down again in a convenient single action. New to the RX100 VII is a faster sensor, allowing it to shoot long bursts up to 20fps without blackout, coupled with Sony’s latest autofocus and eye detection tracking for both humans and animals, so while it’s technically a tad slower than the 24fps top speed of the Mark VI, it’s more usable and ideal for capturing sports as well as active kids and pets. If you feel the need for greater speed though, a new single burst mode fires seven frames at up to 90fps, but in the absence of pre-buffering, your timing will need to be perfect. The best quality movie modes remain in 4k at 24, 25 or 30p, but are now enhanced by eye-detection, more effective stabilisation and the presence of a 3.5mm microphone input - a rarity in this type of camera, although without an accessory shoe you’ll ideally need a bracket or a lav mic. As before it’s up against tough competition from Canon’s G5X II and G7X III which both sport 4k video, brighter lenses with ND filters and flip screens while also undercutting it on price; the G5X II also has a viewfinder while the G7X III sports a mic input. But the Sony zooms much longer, boasts phase-detect AF that’s more confident whether you’re shooting stills or video, not to mention much quicker bursts and higher frame rates for super slow motion. That said, much of what makes the Mark VII compelling is available in the older RX100 VI if you don’t need the mic input, improved 4k stabilisation or latest AF modes, so keep an eye on prices, while dedicated vloggers may still prefer the earlier RX100 VA which has a shorter but brighter lens with an ND filter, albeit no mic input. Ultimately though if you’re after a do-it-all pocket travel camera that’s also great for video and action, the RX100 VII is hard to beat. It’s not cheap, but there’s nothing else that offers all of this and still fits in your pocket.

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Nikon COOLPIX P1000 review

The Nikon COOLPIX P1000 is undeniably the king of super-zooms. Its awesome 125x reach, extending from a 24mm wide angle to an eye-watering 3000mm, is unmatched and deserving of a new mega-zoom classification all of its own. Beyond the zoom it has more to offer, including a big bright viewfinder, a big articulated screen, Raw shooting, 4K filming, an external mic socket, in-camera battery charging and Wifi with Bluetooth. Its continuous shooting performance is a little lacklustre, so for sports and action photography it's not the best choice. And when zoomed in to 3000mm the f8 maximum aperture means shooting at higher ISOs unless the sun is shining. Even then, you'll either need very steady hands or some other support, such as a monopod, to stabilise the camera and keep your subject centred in the frame. Despite those reservations, the COOLPIX P1000 is a lot of fun. It allows you to capture shots that would literally be beyond the scope of any other SLR-styled super-zoom on the market. If you're into wildlife or sports, or you just like taking pictures of far off, inaccessible subjects, there really is nothing to beat the COOLPIX P1000. But if you're happy with a slightly shorter, more manageable zoom range, the COOLPIX P900, Canon PowerShot SX70 HS and Panasonic Lumix FZ80 / FZ82, all have plenty to offer at a fraction of the price.

Check prices on the Nikon COOLPIX P1000 at Amazon, B&H, Adorama, or Wex. Alternatively get yourself a copy of my In Camera book or treat me to a coffee! Thanks!

Canon SX740 HS review

The Canon Powershot SX740 HS is a pocket super-zoom with a 20 Megapixel sensor and a huge 40X zoom range extending from 24 - 960mm. If it's the longest zoom in a pocketable compact you're looking for, you won't be disappointed. The SX740 HS offers PASM exposure modes, fast 10fps continuous shooting, 4k video, and has a flip up screen that's great for selfie shooting. On the downside, the 4k video involves a tight crop that may make the effective telephoto reach even longer, but makes the short-end much less wide than when filming in 1080p. To be fair the same restriction applies to the Lumix TZ90 / ZS70 and overall the SX40 HS provides a good balance between simplicity and sophistication for those who like a little bit of control, but are equally happy relying on Auto. Recommended, but also consider its main rival the Lumix TZ90 / ZS70 which may have a slightly shorter range, but offers more physical controls, a touch screen, RAW support and a built-in viewfinder, all for a roughly similar price thanks to being an older model. It's also worth remembering if you don't need 4k video or the 10fps bursts, Canon's previous SX730 HS offers much the same features at a slightly lower price while stocks last.

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Panasonic Lumix TZ200 ZS200 review

Panasonic's Lumix TZ200 / ZS200 is the new top model in its enormously popular travel-zoom series. Successor to the TZ100 / ZS100, it inherits the 1in / 20 Megapixel sensor, built-in viewfinder, non-tilting touchscreen, 4k video and Wifi, but boosts the earlier 10x zoom range to 15x, increases the viewfinder detail, adds 1080 video at 120p for slow motion, and now includes Bluetooth for seamless connectivity and location-tagging. The literally big news though remains that new 15x zoom range, equivalent to 24-360mm and easily out-gunning not just its predecessor, but all rival 1in compacts with pocket bodies. The only compromise is an aperture that's become even dimmer at f3.3-6.4 versus the f2.8-5.9 of its predecessor, which in turn was already a lot dimmer than the f1.8-2.8 of rivals with shorter zooms. But that's the compromise you have to weigh-up. If you want a 1in sensor with a big zoom that's also bright, you'll need a much bigger body like the Sony RX10 or Lumix FZ2000. Ultimately for many photographers, the TZ200 / ZS200's combination of a big zoom and decent sensor in a pocket body is all they need to know: the lens range and feature-set are unbeatable in its class and like its predecessor it comes highly recommended.

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Sony RX10 Mark IV review

The RX10 IV updates Sony's high-end Bridge Super-zoom retaining its predecessor's 24-600mm / 25x zoom, weather-proof body and OLED EVF, but inheriting the RX100 V's sensor for phase-detect AF, 24fps bursts and 4k without binning. The fact the RX10 series inherits the latest RX100 sensor and imaging pipeline is no surprise, but having phase-detect AF with the longer 24-600mm range is so much more compelling. Coupled with the great quality video, touchscreen and Bluetooth location tagging, the RX10 Mark IV could become the ultimate all-rounder; check out my hands-on review-so-far!

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Panasonic Lumix TZ90 / ZS70 review

On the face of it, Panasonic’s Lumix TZ90 / ZS70 doesn’t add a lot to the earlier TZ80 / ZS70. The touch screen flips up and over and there’s a new 20 Megapixel sensor which delivers better quality 4k UHD video. However, with a 30x optical zoom, built-in viewfinder, great continuous shooting, 4k UHD video with PASM exposure control, 4k photo modes, RAW recording, and a wealth of other features, it remains one of the most powerful pocket super-zooms around and comes Highly Recommended. But if you can live without the flip-up screen the earlier TZ80 / ZS60 is well worth keeping in mind.

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Panasonic Lumix FZ80 / FZ82 review

The Panasonic Lumix FZ80 / FZ82 is a bridge super-zoom with a 60x optical range. It updates the Lumix FZ70 / FZ72, retaining the older model's 20-1200mm lens, but with a new 18 Megapixel sensor, an upgraded 3 inch 1040k dot fixed touch screen, and a more detailed 0.2in 1.7 Million dot EVF. Also new are 4K video and 4K Photo modes, excellent Wifi for wireless shooting and image transfer, faster continuous shooting, improved AF with Panasonic's Depth from Defocus technology and USB charging. It's got just about everything you could wish for in a bridge camera at this price bar an articulated screen, so comes highly recommended.

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Panasonic Lumix FZ2000 / FZ2500 review

Panasonic's FZ2000 / FZ2500 is the company's best bridge super-zoom camera to date. Everyone benefits from the 20x / 24-480mm zoom range, larger viewfinder and articulated touchscreen, but movie shooters will adore having unlimited 4k recording, 10-bit HDMI output, smooth internal zooming and a built-in ND filter adjustable by 2, 4 or 6 stops. With so many enhancements and improvements over its predecessor, it's hard not to enthuse over the Lumix FZ2000 / FZ2500 which packs in a huge range of features at a very competitive price. As a high-end camera I do wish it had weather-sealing, but it doesn't hold it back from earning a Recommended award. Compare closely with the Sony RX10 series.

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