But we still think the FZ1000 is a better choice unless you’re primarily interested in videography. But here’s the thing: Most people don’t really need a 60x zoom (let alone a 125x zoom), even if they think they do. If you want a lot of zoom but don’t like lugging a camera bag on vacation, consider the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX99. They are ideal for photographers who want a second, take-anywhere camera without compromising on quality. Whereas other cameras would often hunt for focus at their longest focal lengths, the FZ300—perhaps thanks in part to its shorter zoom design—consistently locked on without hesitation. 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. As camera manufacturers did with megapixels, they’ve used an ever-escalating zoom ratio as a marketing tool. Best compact cameras in 2020 By Mike Prospero 04 February 2020 Here are the best point-and-shoot cameras, super-zoom, travel, and instant cameras that kids and adults will love. Our previous pick, the Panasonic Lumix DC-FZ80, is a speedy and cost-effective superzoom that delivers good-looking shots thanks to an impressive 60x lens (20–1200mm, f/2.8–5.9). Since it swings out and rotates 180 degrees, you can use it for taking selfies, vlogging, or simply grabbing shots over a crowd. The A1000 shoots raw, has a solid EVF, and reliable stabilization, but that’s where our praise ends. They are fearsomely expensive, built to traditional designs and standards that many consider dated or irrelevant, and rarely match modern rivals for features and technologies. These are the most flexible and useful in day-to-day use, but they tend to have smaller sensors than prime compacts or other types of camera and/or lenses with a more restricted maximum aperture. The images we got from the FZ300 looked great, especially considering they came from a small-sensor superzoom. While competing cameras tend to pump up color saturation and contrast, the FZ300 produces photos that look more neutral. However, the ZS80 is bigger and heavier than the HX99, and we found its LCD EVF (while higher-res) to be far less accurate than the HX99’s OLED finder. The G5 X Mark II offers a much broader range of specs, and it's also a little cheaper. 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. In this buying guide we’ve rounded up all the current interchangeable lens cameras costing under $1000 and recommended the best. Our general opinion is that it’s better to buy a camera that gives you room to grow as a photographer rather than one that will soon restrict your progress. Best compact cameras 2020: The best point-and-shoot-cameras available to buy today. Colors look vibrant but aren’t cartoonishly over-the-top, and there’s plenty of contrast to help images pop. It’s rated for 380 shots when you use the rear display and 360 when you use the EVF, and in our experience we found those claims to be accurate (and possibly even conservative, depending on how often you power your camera on and off). Photo: Ben Keough. The FZ300’s menu system is classic Panasonic, which is to say it’s deep yet well organized, providing tons of options without being overwhelming. Unlike newer Panasonic cameras, the FZ300 (which debuted back in 2015) can’t charge via USB. The tilting rear screen flips up 180 degrees for selfies and vlogging. The 6 Best Superzoom Cameras for Birding in 2020 We all have hobbies and its obvious that we are always seeking solutions to help make our experiences much more fun. In fact, this camera is so slim you can easily slide it into a jacket pocket and it's this, as well as the relatively low price, that makes it so appealing for quality conscious photographers who don't want to speed a lot of money. Our retooled What Camera Should I Buy guide will help answer your specific questions. Photo: Ben Keough, This cute feathered friend—with ample detail in its feathers, neutral colors, and minimal fringing—shows off the FZ300’s strengths at full telephoto. If you like to tinker with your shots, you can even shoot raw—an uncommon feature in travel zooms. Even more expensive is the new Zeiss ZX1, which we first reported on back in 2018, but has only just reached the dealers' shelves. If it’s been years since you shopped for a superzoom camera, you’ll notice that zoom ranges have increased dramatically. It’s also touch-sensitive, but weirdly only for tap-to-focus and tap-to-shoot; you can’t use touch to change menu settings or swipe through images in playback. | LCD: 3in tilting touchscreen, 1.04 million dots | Viewfinder: No | Maximum continuous shooting speed: 30fps | Max video resolution: 4K | User level: Enthusiast/expert. Even if the price doesn't bother you, though, there is another hurdle – finding a retailer that has one in stock. Best Black Friday compact camera deals so far. Superzoom cameras—big, fixed-lens models that offer huge zoom ratios and DSLR-style handling—should be high on your list if you often find yourself shooting from afar. Where’s downtown Santa Fe? Packing for the vacation of a lifetime? Our pick, the Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ300, has a relatively short zoom range of 24x, but it’s a better camera than the more extreme superzooms thanks to a fantastic wide-aperture lens and ample controls that make it more customizable and arguably more versatile than the competition. It also has Sony's S-Log2 and S-Log3 video modes for high-end video recording and color grading – all in a pocket-sized camera. Settings are divided into tabs for still photography, video, custom functions, setup, and playback, and subdivided into vertically scrolling pages. We also love the array of customizable function buttons (four physical, plus five more on-screen) and dials (two), which you can set for one-touch access to dozens of different shooting settings. If shooting wildlife and other distant subjects is most of what you do, it’s probably worth the trade-offs. The contrasty, vibrant OLED EVF was a welcome relief when I found myself shooting at the dog park on a brilliantly sunny, snowbound day. Leica cameras tend to divide opinions quite strongly. Image 3 of 6. Avoid. We were expecting Fujifilm to put its latest 26.1-megapixel sensor into the new X100V, but the company has done a lot more besides. 1. Do most people need that kind of reach? Photo: Ben Keough, At full wide-angle, the Canon SX70 HS goes quite a bit wider than the Panasonic FZ300—21mm, compared with the FZ300’s 25mm. But in the world of multi-lens camera phones the wider appeal of this fixed lens compact will probably be limited. Image 1 of 6. The X100V has a new, sharper lens than previous X100 models, in order to do full justice to the latest sensor, and the tilting touchscreen on the back makes this camera much easier to use at awkward angles, without compromising its slimline design. In testing, its continuous autofocus mode with subject tracking was able to keep my dog’s face in perfect focus as she ran at full speed toward the camera; other cameras in this price range missed at least 25 percent of their shots in the same situation. 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. But its 21–1365mm lens is noticeably wider and has more than twice the telephoto reach. These cameras aren’t as full-featured as the FZ300, and the pictures they turn out don’t look as good, but they’ll give you shots no other camera can. That shouldn’t come as a surprise, since Panasonic has long been known for making still-photo cameras with excellent video modes, but it’s nice to see the capability trickle down even to inexpensive models like this. Its 30x zoom matches the HX99’s millimeter for millimeter, and in our tests the sensor cranked out generally high-quality images with pleasingly neutral color and contrast—perfect if you’re into editing photos to suit your taste. Way back in 2012, Canon made news by launching the first 50x zoom. The best advanced compact camera for travel: Sony Cyber-shot RX100 VI Daven Mathies/Digital Trends Why should you buy this: Great stills and video, good zoom, impressive speed. It is equipped with 83x optical zoom that enables you to capture distant objects effortlessly. Superzoom cameras, often called bridge cameras, feature the best of both compact cameras and mirrorless cameras.They’re lightweight and ergonomic but feature the best optical zooms of any compact camera.. They’re easy to use with smart automatic modes but still produce high-quality … The Canon PowerShot SX740 HS has a few things going for it: We found it simple to use, it has a long 40x zoom, and it handled continuous tracking focus better than the other travel zooms we tested. The Nikon Coolpix P1000 isn’t exactly a good camera: It’s extremely expensive yet missing a lot of features we’d consider no-brainers in 2020, such as a quick menu, customizable controls, and a self-timer that doesn’t reset itself after every use. GR fans, or GRists as Ricoh call them, will love this update of an iconic camera. This type of sensor is four times larger than those typically used in superzooms, so it captures much more detail in both the bright and dark areas of a scene. Learn more. Shares It makes the camera blessedly easy to use on bright days, and when you don’t need to use the EVF, it retracts into the camera body so it doesn’t take up space. © Mike Lowe, ... a superzoom – sometimes called bridge camera … Its lens is very slightly wider and a bit longer than the FZ1000 twins’ at 20x (24–480mm, f/2.8–4.5). If your camera (or smartphone) doesn’t have the reach to capture the subjects you like to shoot—think nesting birds, airplanes, or the moon’s craters—a superzoom might be the solution. Post Focus leverages the 4K Photo technique to capture a one-second burst of 30 shots at different focus points, then lets you tap on the screen to choose what to focus on. The trouble with big sensors is that you need big lenses to go with them, so there goes any kind of pocketability. But you do get a top-quality 24.2-megapixel sensor, a very good 28mm f/2.8 fixed focal length lens and a very attractively-designed little camera. When it wasn’t outmatched by the sun, the big, bright, high-res rear screen was also a joy to use. Canon PowerShot G1 X Mark III. If all you need is a small, affordable pocket camera for casual snapping, check out our guide to the best point and shoot cameras instead. In our testing, image quality from the 35x zoom was clearly worse than what we saw from competing models such as the Sony HX99 and Panasonic ZS80, with watercolor-like noise reduction smearing away detail even at the lowest ISO settings. Thanks to its wide, constant maximum aperture (f/2.8), the FZ300 can capture nice portraits at virtually any focal length. This camera has a super-high-tech 357-point phase-detection autofocus system, a 20fps continuous shooting speed (up to 90fps in Single Burst mode), and 0.02sec AF response with Real-Time AF tracking. Thanks to the wide-aperture lens and its relatively conservative zoom range, the FZ300’s JPEGs appeared sharper, showed more detail, and exhibited less image noise than those from cameras with longer zooms such as the Canon SX70 HS. It’s a strange decision, especially since Sony added eye-tracking AF to this camera. • The best APS-C compact cameras Please refresh the page and try again. These photos will look great on Facebook or in an email, but view them at 100 percent screen magnification, and you’ll see excessive image noise, artifacts, and blurred details due to the cameras’ noise-reduction algorithms—even at the lowest ISO settings. But Panasonic has really hit the sweet spot with the Panasonic LX100 II. • The best bridge cameras We tested the Panasonic Lumix DC-ZS80 against the Sony DSC-HX99 and other travel zooms and found that it stacked up well against the competition. *At the time of publishing, the price was $598. It's a bit pricey, but this is still the best travel zoom compact camera available right now. A cheaper alternative to the Panasonic LX100 Mark II, Type: Compact | Sensor: 1in | Megapixels: 20.1MP | Lens: 24-72mm f/1.4-2.8 | LCD: 3in tilting, 1,040k dots | Maximum continuous shooting speed: 10fps | Max video resolution: 4K | User level: Intermediate/expert. If you've never done without a zoom before, it's not nearly as difficult as you think and can actually be incredibly productive for your photography, teaching you to think on your feet and move to get the best shots. | LCD: 3in fixed, 1,24 million dots | Viewfinder: EVF | Continuous shooting: 11fps | Max video resolution: 4K | User level: Enthusiast/expert. Bridge cameras are universal camera bodies with DSLR manual controls and a huge built-in zoom lens that takes amazing wide-angle to telephoto images. Last but not least, especially for photographers who like to get outdoors, the FZ300 is fully weather-sealed. It's true that the maximum aperture does drop off considerably as you zoom in, from f/2.8 right down to f/5.6, but you get this with compact DSLR and mirrorless kit lenses anyway. So what is a 'compact camera'. Usually. Most of these cameras mimic the design and control layout of DSLRs but are smaller, lighter, and usually less expensive. Compact cameras are a great solution for vloggers – as a self-contained, simple-to-use package that's light and easily portable. That may sound counterintuitive: Why get a superzoom at all if it’s … less super? The list of missing features is surprisingly long: Common stuff like an articulating screen, an electronic viewfinder, raw recording, and control dials (let alone custom controls) are nowhere to be found. In general, we think that’s plenty of resolution for most photographers, and even some camera manufacturers agree. While the SX70 HS’s autofocus isn’t as quick or as decisive as the FZ300’s, the camera can still catch some fun action shots if you work at it. The best cameras for under $1000 should have good ergonomics and controls, great image quality and be capture high-quality video. 4K Photo mode augments the camera’s already impressive 12 fps burst capabilities, shooting 4K video clips at 30 fps and then letting you extract the best frames as 8-megapixel still photos. Get the best camera deals, reviews, product advice, competitions, unmissable photography news and more! To shoot a sport like surfing, you’ll need a camera with a long zoom and large imaging sensor. Leica V-LUX 5 - https://amzn.to/2Hcnnm8 3. We also have new picks for people looking for an extreme zoom, a travel zoom, or a large-sensor superzoom. The X100V is in our second section for cameras with a fixed focal length prime lens. Smaller prints will still look okay, though. • The best point and shoot cameras | LCD: 3in vari-angle touchscreen, 1.04 million dots | Viewfinder: EVF | Maximum continuous shooting speed: 7fps | Max video resolution: Full HD | User level: Enthusiast/expert. Budgetary considerations are almost always important when deciding on a camera purchase, and the best travel zoom compact might be the one that is available at the lowest price.The following table displays the least expensive travel zoom compacts that have been released since 2015 in ascending order of their launch prices. Although its zoom isn’t as long as those of some rivals, it strikes a just-right balance of telephoto capability, user-friendly design, and excellent image quality. Digital Camera World is part of Future US Inc, an international media group and leading digital publisher. Due to its compact dimensions, the HX99’s buttons are small and finicky to hit, but we think that’s an acceptable trade-off for people who want a small yet powerful camera. The smaller sensor and lack of a built-in EVF might put some people off, and the smooth finish to the body doesn't make for the firmest handgrip, but the responsive touchscreen is terrific, the  dual control rings provide a very pleasing user experience, and the 24-72mm has one of the fastest zoom lenses around, courtesy of its f/1.4 to f/2.8 aperture range. This can be a zoom lens or a prime lens, and we've split our guide up into two sections to reflect these two types. It's small enough for your pocket but powerful enough for some serious photography. It's a little more expensive than the Lumix LX100 II, though, and has a smaller 1-inch sensor. 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). 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