As holiday shopping kicks into high gear this week, many of you may be considering buying a camera. But not just any camera: You want one with a long zoom. Check out our newly updated digital camera Ratings, which show that cameras with long zoom lenses are continuing to evolve.
For the most part, these types of cameras fall into one of two groups:
Large cameras with lots of features. There are several new cameras included in our Ratings with long zooms that conform to the older, larger, chunkier camera-body design. For example, the Canon PowerShot SX50 HS, $450, an advanced point-and-shoot fits into this category: It's 4.5 inches thick and heavy for this type of camera, weighing in at 22 ounces. It also has the longest zoom we've seen on a digital camera, at 50x—and it has lots of other features, including a hot shoe (for attaching external flashes), a viewfinder, a swiveling display, and lots of manual settings. This larger type of long-zoom camera is generally pricey.
Slimmer, more inexpensive cameras with a long zoom. These models also feature a long zoom lens but can fit into a purse or a pocket easily. Two new models, the Canon PowerShot SX160 IS, $180, and the Fujifilm FinePix F800EXG, $350, are superzooms: The F800EXG has a 20x zoom and the SX160 IS has a 16x zoom. But while most feature-packed superzooms are 3.5 inches or thicker, these two models are each less than 2 inches thick. Each is also relatively lightweight, at less than 12 ounces. And these slimmer models tend to be cheaper.
For the details on superzooms, advanced point-and-shoots and other new cameras, check out our latest digital-camera Ratings.