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The best ultra-zoom cameras sport zoom lenses capable of 12x and over. This means that the user gets close to the action, but at the cost of speed and image quality. These megazooms need about 0.5 seconds for a picture. The more the zoom, the greater the shutter lag, the heavier the camera and the more the chance for camera shake when zoomed out. There is also the possibility of extra vibration pick up resulting in a noisy image. Look for ultra-zoom compacts with offsets like back-illuminated CMOS sensor that offers more speed and less noise, or check whether the extended zoom compact you are researching includes digital image stabilization, or better still, optic image stabilization.

This list of the best megazoom compact cameras is narrowed down to the compact cameras which have optical zoom 12X and over.

Browse All Top Ultra-zoom Compact Digital Cameras »

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Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX90V
Nikon Coolpix S9900
Sony Cyber-shot DSC-WX500
Olympus SH-2
Canon PowerShot SX610 HS
Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX90V
Nikon Coolpix S9900
Sony Cyber-shot DSC-WX500
Olympus SH-2
Canon PowerShot SX610 HS
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Release Date
Aug 2015
Mar 2015
Sep 2015
May 2015
Apr 2015
Camera Type
Compact
Compact
Compact
Compact
Compact
Optical Zoom
30.0 x
30.0 x
30.0 x
24.0 x
18.0 x
Resolution
18.0 Megapixel
16.0 Megapixel
18.0 Megapixel
16.0 Megapixel
20.0 Megapixel
Image Sensor Type
BSI-CMOS
CMOS
BSI-CMOS
BSI-CMOS
BSI-CMOS
LCD Screen Size
3.0 in.
3.0 in.
3.0 in.
3.0 in.
3.0 in.
Image Sensor Size
2.5 mm
2.5 mm
2.5 mm
2.5 mm
2.5 mm

The Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX90V is a solid entry in the world of compact superzooms.

If you're on a tight budget and are prepared to sacrifice a built-in electronic viewfinder, the COOLPIX S9900 represents great value for money - especially considering it sports a fully-articulated screen and built-in GPS.

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The ordering of some settings is slightly odd though, with key options like ISO sensitivity, metering and white balance relegated to the third page of the camera settings tab.

fantastic travel camera

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If you're in the market for a compact superzoom and you're on a budget, the SX600 HS is our recommendation.

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