Super-zoom cameras

Another Thread put me in mind of asking if anyone has any experience with these cameras.

I have a Fuji Finepix HS50 which has a x42 zoom and manual control of the zoom. Generally I am very pleased with it but it is 4 years old and the plastic covering is starting to get sticky and grubby so I have been wondering is there anything better on the market.

I have no interest in cameras with interchangeable lenses - they are too inconvenient and too expensive.

The HS50 is no longer manufactured and the Canon SX60 seems to have the features that are essential for me -

  • high zoom
  • swiveling back screen
  • eye-level viewfinder

however it has electric zoom control and no manufacturer seems to be making a camera with manual zoom.

Other desirable features are

  • connection for an external flash
  • ability to set the focus to infinity

A big problem is that it is very difficult to find a shop with a demo model that I can try.

If anyone has experience of the Canon or any other camera that I should consider I would like to hear from you.



travis_farmer: but seriously, i was just wondering why you don't like interchangeable lenses?

Imagine that the camera is switched off and it and the lenses are sitting on a table.

How long does it take to attach the correct lens and take a picture? Less than 20 seconds?

How much is a 1000mm lens for a DSLR?

How much is a 24mm lens?

How much is a 24-1000mm zoom lens?


How much is a 24mm lens?

Who cares? It isn't wide enough!

AWOL: Who cares? It isn't wide enough!

So what super-zoom camera have you experience of that has a wider lens?

Life is full of compromises.


Robin2: So what super-zoom camera have you experience of that has a wider lens?

None of them. Not a one. Neither mirrorless (at a sensible price).

Guess I'll be using my (D)SLRs for a while to come.

I also like manual zoom, and am saddened by the lack of cameras that have this :frowning: Loved by minolta A2, back in it’s day.
I think Sony took over a lot of the konica/minolta IP, and the RX10 looks pretty interesting…
Only 25x zoom, but… fast for a superzoom lens!

westfw: Loved by minolta A2, back in it's day.

Glad you reminded me. I still have an A200 which I have not used for a long time and I was equally p-ed off when Konica Minolta sold out to Sony who never followed up with a newer model.

Prompted by you I went to look for my A200 only to find I could not get it out of the camera bag without cutting the corroded zips. The camera looks OK. I am now trying to charge it up. However it only as a 7x zoom so it will not be used. :)


I've had a Panasonic Lumix DMC - ZS50 for several years and it works great. 30x zoom.,2817,2477859,00.asp

Pauly: I've had a Panasonic Lumix DMC - ZS50

Thanks. I might consider that style of camera but it would need to have an articulated back screen.

The main reason for not considering that style in the past was the absence of a manual zoom. But, now, none of the manufacturers seems to make a manual zoom.


travis_farmer: but that the technology has left behind the folks that still like manual control.

Regardless of preference there are tasks for which manual control works better.

On any of the cameras I have tried the servo-operated zoom was not nearly as responsive as my manual / mechanical zoom. The manual zoom also allows me to work the zoom with my left hand and operate the shutter with my right hand. And I find it difficult to manipulate the servo-zoom while half-depressing the shutter button (to fix the light settings) with the same finger.

It would certainly be possible to make a servo zoom system that is immediate, but it would deplete the battery in no time.


Super zoom cameras cram a lot of lens into a small space. They no longer have a single "zoom" control. If you look closely, there are many different elements inside that move different directions through the zoom range. Like maybe there's an Arduino in there controlling a bunch of steppers.

If you want a manual zoom then you are limited to interchangeable lens systems. Many of them have a lens with a range close to the superzoom camera. So buy one with that lens and never take it off the camera. There is no rule that says you must own more lenses.

MorganS: If you want a manual zoom then you are limited to interchangeable lens systems.

Not true. Sorry.

My Fuji HS50 has manual/mechanical zoom with a 42x range.

And I am not aware that any of the interchangeable zoom lenses has that sort of range - even assuming I could afford it.


It seems that Fujufilm has a very slow release cycle. I expected to find 3-4 updates to that camera but it seems like maybe there's only been no new versions in the last 3.5 years since that camera came out. Their other "S9" range which seems to be somewhat similar has also had very few updates in that time.

MorganS: there's only been no new versions in the last 3.5 years since that camera came out.

Which is why I started this Thread :)


Few people buy cameras now, thru are a niche product. Design and retooling costs are significant, I doubt the camera companies can justify updating their cameras every year.

Qdeathstar: Few people buy cameras now, thru are a niche product.

Interesting - and maybe correct. I can see how phone cameras can compete with small pocket cameras but they can't replace a the type of camera that has a big zoom lens. I only use my phone's camera when I have no choice.


We're not talking about digital zoom.

indeed, if we weren’t talking about shitty cellphone cameras in the op, we certainty are now as for most people the shitty cell phone camera is enough.

Too bad we can’t get even 3x optical on a phone, but there just isn’t the room. I doubt that will change, because phones are getting smaller/thinner and optical magnification requires physical space.

10x optical zoom:

But it's a rare feature for phones. Most people want a slimmer phone that works for selfies.

There's also some new tech coming to phones in the next 2 years (or maybe never) which implements a phased-array for light and has no lens at all. If you zoom that, is it digital zoom or optical?

My 42x optical zoom Fuji camera cost less than that phone :)