The Best Superzoom Camera

The Best Superzoom Camera

Our pick

Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ300

Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ300

Superior image quality with just enough zoom

This powerful point-and-shoot doesn’t have the most zoom or megapixels, but it does provide the best balance of reach, image quality, and features of all the superzooms we tested.

Buying Options

$398 from Amazon

The Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ300’s 24x zoom lens (25–600mm) is shorter than those of other superzooms but still provides ample reach for wildlife and travel photography. Its image quality is superior to what you can get from similar superzooms thanks to its f/2.8 constant-aperture lens, and its blazing-quick autofocus and burst shooting make it a great candidate for sports and action photography. We love its big, high-resolution electronic viewfinder and touch-enabled display, which can swing out and around to help you shoot selfies or capture shots at odd angles. And its weather-sealed, DSLR-like body is both comfortable to hold and stuffed with customizable controls that give amateur photographers room to grow into the hobby.

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Also great

Canon PowerShot SX70 HS

Canon PowerShot SX70 HS

More zoom, fewer features

Canon’s user-friendly superzoom is short on customizability but big on telephoto reach. Buy it if you’re sure you need more zoom, but keep in mind that you may grow out of it soon.

Buying Options

$550* from Amazon
$550 from Canon

*At the time of publishing, the price was $500.

If you need more zoom than the Panasonic FZ300 provides, the Canon PowerShot SX70 HS has a 65x lens that goes both wider (21mm) and longer (1365mm). It can give you good-looking photos and decent video, and its simplified menus and button layout may make it more approachable than our top pick for less experienced photographers. Overall, though, we don’t think its photos look as good as what you can get out of the Panasonic, so don’t bite unless you’re certain you need more zoom.

Also great

Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX99

Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX99

Big reach, little camera

This model gives you image quality on a par with that of a high-end smartphone, but with a 30x zoom lens in a body that you can slip into a jeans pocket.

Buying Options

$473 from Amazon

If portability is paramount—on a quick business trip, say, or a backcountry hike where you need to travel light—we think the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX99 is your best bet. Despite its 30x zoom lens and truly tiny body (just a little bigger and thicker than a pack of playing cards), it includes features many bigger cameras leave out, such as a nifty pop-up electronic viewfinder, customizable controls, and a flip-up selfie screen. The photo and video quality is great, if not quite a match for that of the Panasonic FZ300.

Upgrade pick

Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ1000

Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ1000

Premium image quality, premium price

The FZ1000’s comparably huge sensor provides excellent overall image quality, and its relatively short lens is very sharp and provides beautiful bokeh.

Buying Options

$498* from Amazon

*At the time of publishing, the price was $598.

If you want even better image quality than the FZ300 provides—and are willing to sacrifice a little more zoom to get it—the Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ1000 delivers. Its 1-inch sensor captures far more detail than the tiny 1/2.3-inch sensors found in our other picks; that means images from this camera will still look great at 100 percent magnification on a monitor and will make beautiful prints. Sure, the FZ1000 has only a 16x zoom lens (25–400mm), but its f/2.8–4 aperture range creates beautifully blurred backgrounds that make the subject pop, and it lets you use lower ISO settings for cleaner, more natural-looking images in dim light.

Everything we recommend

Our pick

Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ300

Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ300

Superior image quality with just enough zoom

This powerful point-and-shoot doesn’t have the most zoom or megapixels, but it does provide the best balance of reach, image quality, and features of all the superzooms we tested.

Buying Options

$398 from Amazon

Also great

Canon PowerShot SX70 HS

Canon PowerShot SX70 HS

More zoom, fewer features

Canon’s user-friendly superzoom is short on customizability but big on telephoto reach. Buy it if you’re sure you need more zoom, but keep in mind that you may grow out of it soon.

Buying Options

$550* from Amazon
$550 from Canon

*At the time of publishing, the price was $500.

Also great

Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX99

Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX99

Big reach, little camera

This model gives you image quality on a par with that of a high-end smartphone, but with a 30x zoom lens in a body that you can slip into a jeans pocket.

Buying Options

$473 from Amazon

Upgrade pick

Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ1000

Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ1000

Premium image quality, premium price

The FZ1000’s comparably huge sensor provides excellent overall image quality, and its relatively short lens is very sharp and provides beautiful bokeh.

Buying Options

$498* from Amazon

*At the time of publishing, the price was $598.

Source: NY Times – Wirecutter

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