DigitalCameraReview.com
Top Five Compact Ultrazooms: Sony, Nikon Lead the Pack
by Allison Johnson -  8/7/2012

Zoom. These cameras have it. Compact cameras are still way ahead of smartphones in the zoom department, take a look at five of the top big-zoom compacts on the market.

1. Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX200V
The HX200V is a pretty big deal with a 30x Carl Zeiss lens, on-board GPS tracking and an 18 megapixel EXMOR R CMOS sensor. The good? It?s packed to the brim with features that will impress even the jaded tech enthusiast. The bad? It seems that 18 megapixels on a teeny tiny sensor may have caused some less-than-stellar performance at high ISO settings. All around, it's still a fabulous camera.

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2. Nikon Coolpix P510Nikon Coolpix P510
Which ultrazoom packs the biggest zoom punch? That's a clown question, bro! It's easily the P510 with a ridiculously big 42x optical zoom range - that's a 35mm equivalent of 24-1000mm. It also boasts a 16 megapixel backside-illuminated CMOS sensor, a technology that?s quickly becoming the standard in advanced point-and-shoots. We loved its articulated LCD and excellent image quality.

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3. Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ200
We recently previewed the forthcoming FZ200 on a dusty speedway in Sonoma. The FZ200 brings a wide f/2.8 maximum aperture to the entire 24x zoom range, an impressive feat that can?t be found in any of the competition. Take a look at our first sample images and look for a review in the not-too-distant future.

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4. Canon PowerShot SX40 HSCanon PowerShot SX40
Scan the spec sheet for the SX40 and it looks to be a pretty average contender - 1080p HD video, 2.7-inch flip-out LCD, 35x optical zoom lens. Look a little harder and you'll realize that it has bears a sensor mercifully capped at 12 megapixels, a top-notch DIGIC 5 processor and one of the best image stabilization systems we've seen in a long zoom compact.

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5. Fujifilm FinePix HS20
The Fuji HS20 incorporates a 16 megapixel BSI CMOS sensor. It is capable of 11 fps burst shooting at a slightly reduced 8 megapixels, and offers full-res burst shooting at 8 fps. It was a great all-around performer in our testing, and unlike some of the competition, the HS20 allows for RAW shooting.

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