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Ultra-zoom cameras are most suited for very long distance photography. The key enabling feature is a very high optical zoom. The best ultra-zooms though combine the high zoom range with an equally effective image stabilization.

Most standard cameras max out at 4-5x optical zoom and max 10x optical zoom but ultra zoom cameras reach upto 30x optical zoom and some even as high as 50x optical zoom. These are also known as megazooms or bird zoom or superzoom.

Taking pics at such long distances can easily lead to blurred or fuzzy images with the slightest of hand shakes. Consequently the best ultra-zoom cameras come with very good image stabilization also. The image stabilization is the key when it comes to taking pictures with ultra-zooms.

Typically ultra-zooms come with an optical image stabilization, which is unlike the inbody stabilization which is found in high end DSLR's. The inbody stabilization uses the internal camera dynamics to stabilize the lens. Some of the best cameras released in 2016 have very good ultra-zooming capabilities.

Browse All Top Ultra-zoom Digital Cameras of 2016 »

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Canon PowerShot G3 X
Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX90V
Nikon Coolpix P900
Nikon Coolpix S9900
Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ1000
Canon PowerShot G3 X
Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX90V
Nikon Coolpix P900
Nikon Coolpix S9900
Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ1000
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Release Date
Jul 2015
Aug 2015
Apr 2015
Mar 2015
Jul 2014
Optical Zoom
25.0 x
30.0 x
83.3 x
30.0 x
16.0 x
Camera Type
SLR-like (bridge)
Compact
SLR-like (bridge)
Compact
SLR-like (bridge)
Resolution
20.0 Megapixel
18.0 Megapixel
16.0 Megapixel
16.0 Megapixel
20.0 Megapixel
Image Sensor Type
BSI-CMOS
BSI-CMOS
BSI-CMOS
CMOS
CMOS
LCD Screen Size
3.2 in.
3.0 in.
3.0 in.
3.0 in.
3.0 in.
Image Sensor Size
13.23 mm
2.5 mm
2.5 mm
2.5 mm
13.23 mm

impressive camera

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

I've included several samples in the slideshow below so you can see that, while subjects can look good at smaller sizes, once you start to blow things up you lose a lot of detail.

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 Panasonic FZ1000 is an extremely interesting camera, and one built with a very clear rival in mind.

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