Ultrazoom Buyers Guide

Ultrazoom digital cameras typically boast an extremely large zoom range. Compact ultrazoom cameras will reach anywhere from 7x to 14x, and larger ultrazooms reach up to 30x in optical zoom power. They are also very flexible, generally providing both automatic and manual modes of operation – all in a very compact package that is much smaller and lighter than standard digital SLRs (DSLRs).

Most ultrazooms also feature sophisticated image stabilization technologies, which can easily eliminate some of the blurriness that results from camera shake.

You can spend hundreds of dollars on an ultrazoom digital camera that includes such features as a high-definition movie mode and the ability to store raw editable content. However, you can also get a pretty decent model for $200 or less if you are willing to give up a little on the optical zoom capabilities – maybe settling for 10x instead of a whopping 20x, and sacrificing a bit on speed between shots.

The best way to select the perfect ultrazoom is to take stock of exactly what type of pictures you want most to capture. If you take a lot of scenery and distant pictures, then go for the larger optical zoom range. If you take a lot of sports and action shots, then choose a camera with good image stabilization and an ability to take rapid fire pictures – with some models capable of capturing 40 still frames per second and 1,000 frames per second or more in video capture mode.

When searching for the right model, be aware of the weight (since ultrazooms are usually heavier than point-and-shoots), the size, and the image stabilization technology. The price you pay for extreme focal length flexibility is camera shake and picture blur, so it is important to have technology on your side when you are framing that perfect shot.

Recent Ultrazoom Reviews

Canon Review

Canon PowerShot SX400 IS Review

It's the zoom, specifically, the optical zoom. Thin smartphones just don't have the build for moving glass, and Canon is banking on that with its new PowerShot SX400 IS. Read full article

Nikon Review

Nikon Coolpix P600 Review

Nikon's Coolpix P600 takes the foundation built by last year's P520 and adds a mammoth 60x zoom to it. Some barrel distortion and video capture lag hinder what is an[...] Read full article


Nikon Coolpix P600

Nikon’s Coolpix P600 is, at heart, a Nikon Coolpix P520 with a new 60X zoom. Read full article


Sony Cyber-Shot DSC-HX300

The new 20 megapixel Cyber-shot DSC HX300 replaces the HX200 in Sony’s ultra-zoom line-up.The HX300 features a newly designed Carl Zeiss Vario-Sonnar f2.8-f6.3/24mm-1200mm (equivalent) zoom with improved autofocus (AF) for[...] Read full article

Sony Review

Sony Cyber-Shot DSC-HX300 Review

The Sony HX300 has proven itself a worthy ultrazoom camera. In fact, it has made a great impression on us with image quality and color representation. Read full article


Samsung WB800F

One of the most interesting recent developments in the ongoing digital imaging revolution is the introduction of the travel zoom point and shoot digital camera. Travel zooms look and handle[...] Read full article

Samsung Review

Samsung WB800F Review

The Samsung WB800F reviewed well, sitting comfortably between the Samsung EX2F and the Canon SX280 HS--a great choice for a compact travel zoom camera. Read full article


Canon PowerShot SX50 HS

The SX50 HS, like the previous model, seeks to be to be that most elusive of imaging tools: an all-in-one camera that can do almost anything photographic, nearly anytime, virtually[...] Read full article


Fujifilm FinePix F800 EXR

The F800 EXR is a prime example of a relatively new digital camera genre; the compact ultrazoom. Cameras in this class are designed primarily for travelers who want a compact[...] Read full article

Canon Review

Canon PowerShot SX50 HS Review: Goldilocks Dream Camera

Looking for a camera that's not too big, not too small, but just right? The Canon SX50 HS has a 50x zoom, 12.1 MP and is easy to carry. Read full article