Anyone got a superzoom compact digi camera

Looking for some recommendations

20 messages
19/12/2007 at 18:13

I'm buying a compact digital camera in Jan, but have little idea about them. I got a basic spec. from one of my friends which goes something like: 6MP - 12X optical zoom - image stabilizer -  .35 or less shutter speed - 2MB SD card compatable - zoom works when using it as a camcorder.

I don't want a DSLR, just a good quality compact with a good range optical zoom. 

Anyone got any recommendations for cameras around this spec. or can you suggest additions to the criteria I should be looking out for.

Any general advice on digital cameras would also be appreciated.

19/12/2007 at 19:12

I got one of the Kodak V610 twin lens 10x optical zoom last year, the type where the lens doesn't extend from the body, but moves inwards. It lasted about 10 months, then the shutter covering the lenses stopped working. Shortly after this, the zoom lens stopped being able to focus

It's a shame really as it was a great camera, the zoom was excellent, the image stabilistaion worked really well, and the panoramic image stitching was very good too.

I'd got an imported model, so it didn't have a warranty so we now only use it for the great close-ups it can do. If I had the money, I'd definately get another Kodak, though not this style (with the lenses going in instead of out) I think they've stopped making them now anyway.

Below is a pic taken at about the last point up Helvellyn you could see Glenrhydding campsite:

 This is the zoom in to the campsite from the same point, hand held, using digital zoom as well, but shows the image stabilistaion, the view finder was just a blur when I took this:

This is an example of the Panoramic stitching.


19/12/2007 at 19:15


Panasonic TZ3 Seems to be a good one, 7.1MP

Hmm canon and fuji have some too but they aren't as "compact"

 I think it be hard to find a  camera that can Zoom when taking movies these days.  Used to be the norm a few years ago.

19/12/2007 at 19:39

The canon powershot S3 can zoom while taking movies (and the movie feature has its own button so you avoid menus - whoopee!). It is a good camera but does have a lot of noise on the picture at higher ISOs. It's not a compact compact but does pack a lot of features.

19/12/2007 at 21:25

I have a Rioch Caplio R6 but the R7 is out now. 8mp I think , Zoom 35mm 28 - 200 equivalent, image stabilisation, excellent macro mode. You can also customise and memorise two personal settings as well. Don't think it zooms during the movie mode though but not sure about this.

It does not have full manual control but has exposure compensation.

Very compact, fits in a shirt pocket easily.

Try looking for internet user reviews for which ever camers you fancy. They can be very helpful. The one or two I've read state the R7 is better than the R6 - I am happy with the R6.


19/12/2007 at 22:43

Yes, the zoom whilst taking movies does seem to be a bit hit and miss. I am seriously looking at the Canon Powershot S3 and S5, the only thing stopping me is a few reviews marking them down on the performance in poor light, which might be most days in the UK.

The Panasonic Lumix FZ8 and FZ18 appear to be superb in all reviews but neither zoom whilst in movie mode. 

20/12/2007 at 00:26

I've got (amongst many cameras) a Fuji S8000fd which I like a lot, it has a 500mm zoom and shoots very quickly with image stabilisation.

It'll pick up a small bird against a bland sky.

It's an excellent 'compromise' camera which does movies too - what lets it down in common with all cameras of this type is the deliberate crippling of the 'save to card' speed - my Nikon DSLR can shoot at speed until the card is full - the Fuji takes an age to save one frame.

Despite that it's a bit of a gem - only cost half of what my 500mm lens cost for my Nikon, fits in a pocket, records sound, has a decent popup flash, has the weirdest feature called auction mode where you shoot four pics at different angles of an item for sale and it assembles them into one pic - bizzare.


20/12/2007 at 09:45

You can zoom on the Rioch Caplio R6 to x4 on the movie mode and record with sound.

1st class as conventional compact camera.

20/12/2007 at 14:15
I'll give a second vote for the Fuji S8000fd
20/12/2007 at 17:38

I use a Canon Powershot A640 and am very happy with it.

Takes geat shots and for me the big advantage is that it takes standard AA batteries.

Means I can use the same rechargeables in the camera and GPS and AAs being available virually anywhere you dont need to rely on carting a charger around. 

20/12/2007 at 18:54

Hi Paul,

I've had a Panasonic FZ8 for 8 months now and have been really pleased with it.  If you email me, I'll send you a couple of images to give you an idea of the results from a point and shoot perspective.  Being a bit of a biff, I can't get the hang of inserting images on the forum yet.

20/12/2007 at 22:25

Another vote for the Canon Powershot 640 (actually mine is a 620, but the 640 has more pixels and a better screen).

Survived 10 months in the Alps and 5,500 shots this year. Doesnt have image stabilisation or a wide zoom ratio, but meters your shots well, and has no purple fringing etc. AA rechargeables last for weeks too.

this for example and many others here

20/12/2007 at 23:17

Thanks everyone, The Fuji s8000fd is in the same band I'm interested in, but scores average on websites I've looked at. As mentioned above by Chris, it's considered slow on start up, shut down, processing etc etc. The canon Powershot 640 scores very highly, but is not quite what I'm looking for in a cross-over compact (sort of like DSLR) super-zoom type thingy.

The Panasonic FZ8 or FZ18 seems to be what I really need, the FZ8 appears to perform very well in low light situations, but I just wish the zoom worked in movie mode. I will email you Paul M after christmas, to ask some questions. 

20/12/2007 at 23:54

Paul - if you don't find anything suitable I wouldn't be too put off by the s8000fd ratings.

I use mine for bird photography - the moving kind mostly and at the beach for kite surfing etc.

The camera might be a tad slow to turn on but I don't turn mine off as it runs on rechargable AA's.

The focussing is amazingly fast and really does work in low contrast/difficult situations.

There is a high speed burst mode if needed.

There aren't many cameras that have the zoom range of the Fuji - as I said I have a Nikon DSLR with lens from 10mm to 500mm but I'm quite happy with the Fuji when I don't want to lug the Nikon with added hassle of lens changing and tripod support.

21/12/2007 at 11:41


 I dont find the Fuji slow to turn on etc but I have nothing to compare it with. Before buying it I spent a lot of time reading the variouse reviews on this class of camera, all of them had faults and great points. I selected the S8000fd base on what I wanted to photograph (outdoors stuff) and weighing up the pros and cons. Final decision between the 8000 and the 9600 was price, weight and having tried both in Dixons (now called something else), best price including a memory stick was Amazon.

 I have not been able use it properly yet just around the garden and village, but it works fine and the results are good. I'm now trying to decide if I buy a new printer or try sending the files to Photobox for printing.  Any advise anyone.

21/12/2007 at 21:23

Austin - performance is a relative thing, my DSLR has no startup time at all - it also uses the same storage cards as these mini digitals do but but manages not to lock up the camera while writing to it.

Home printing can turn onto a hobby on it's own, much better to send the files out.


22/12/2007 at 12:21

I rate my Canon PowerShot S3.

Great if you are going out to take pictures.

Can also get an adapter tube so you can use UV, Cicular Polarising and ND filters  etc if you want to get arty! (Good value ones on fleabay for a few quid)

If I'm going out and a camera/photography is not the main priority I use my Canon Ixus 70

22/12/2007 at 13:45

I use a Fuji Finepix S5600, 10x opticzl zoom, 4 times digital.

You can get one for around the £130 mark, and it gets a thumbs up from me.

22/12/2007 at 23:08

If you are after more than "I've got a..." type of advice, then take a look at Dave's Picks, Sports models or zoom lens models, on

I bought a Minolta Dimage z3 to fit similar specs to those you are looking at, and the review was totally right - on both pros and cons.  Shame the mfr stopped making cameras....
24/12/2007 at 16:10

Or have a look  here

Loads of info

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