Best Zoom Cameras of 2019 – Complete Buyer’s Guide

A zoom camera is a very powerful device for a variety of activities from documenting your adventures to simply watching the night sky. Due to its super zooming capabilities, you can shoot premium quality videos that are crisp and clear for you to enjoy. However, finding yourself the best zoom camera can be a time-consuming task. 

Having a good camera allows you to capture travel moments and with good zoom, no matter how far away you are standing, you will be able to capture the image clearly as if seeing from the naked eye.

In order to help you find the best zoom camera, we have compiled a list of the top ten models present in the market with excellent zoom features. We have also mentioned the features you must look out for to help you buy the right model. 

Comparison Chart of the Best Zoom Cameras

PRODUCT DETAILS
gm2-table__image

Panasonic Lumix FZ80

  • Captures in 10fps raw
  • Best overall with its 60x zoom range
  • Comes with a touch LCD screen for you to use
View Latest Price
gm2-table__image

Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ200

  • Has a great EVF
  • Provides raw support
  • Runner-up that comes with a fast f/2.8 zoom lens
View Latest Price
gm2-table__image

Canon PowerShot SX530

  • Has a 50x zoom ratio
  • Best for money that provides a responsive performance
  • Compact design that makes it easy for you to carry it around
View Latest Price
gm2-table__image

Canon Powershot SX60

  • Best compact zoom camera as it has a zooming lens of 65x
  • Provides users with good handling, making it ideal for beginners
  • Built-in Wi-Fi with NFC allows transferring images and videos wirelessly
View Latest Price
gm2-table__image

Panasonic Lumix FZ1000

  • Has a fast autofocus
  • Vari-angle LCD makes controlling this camera very easy
  • Best point and shoot camera due to superior image quality it has
View Latest Price
gm2-table__image

Nikon COOLPIX P900

  • Provides exceptional image quality
  • Controls are fully manual for your ease
  • Best optical zoom camera due to its 83x zoom lens
View Latest Price
gm2-table__image

Sony DSC-RX10 III

  • Captures pictures in raw mode as well
  • Best travel zoom camera due to its quick autofocus ability
  • Resistant to dust and splashes, making it good for traveling
View Latest Price
gm2-table__image

Nikon COOLPIX B500

  • Best long-zoom camera with 40x zoom lens
  • Also has Wi-Fi, Bluetooth connectivity, and NFC connectivity
  • Has an 80x dynamic zoom that captures even the most intricate detail
View Latest Price
gm2-table__image

Sony Cyber‑Shot RX10 IV

  • Has a touch LCD and EVF
  • Dust and splash resistant design
  • Best superzoom camera that comes with a large 1-inch sensor
View Latest Price
gm2-table__image

Amcrest 4MP

  • Has an excellent image quality of 1080p
  • Best pan tilt zoom camera due to its sharp image quality
  • Allows quick Ethernet set-up on both android and iPhone devices both
View Latest Price

How is Camera Zoom Measured?

The zoom lens measurement for a camera is the amount of magnification the lens is able to produce. These numbers can be slightly confusing because some manufacturers tend to highlight other measurements such as combined zoom, optical zoom, and digital zoom. 

Optical zoom is an essential zoom measurement because it only measures the focal length range of the lens, which is based on the physical construction of the lens. As the lens moves, the glass element present inside provides it with a focal length range necessary in zoom lenses. 

The digital zoom lens is also the focal length range simulation provided by the camera’s software. Rather than depending on the physical element of the lens to alter the focal length, digital zoom is based on the ability of the software inside the camera to magnify the image present on the LCD screen. 

A combined zoom is the zoom lens measurement of both digital and optical zoom added together. This is an older term and is rare in cameras today.

What is Better? Optical Zoom or Digital Zoom?

In order to answer this question, you will first have to understand what digital zoom and optical zoom actually do. 

Optical Zoom

If taking a lot of pictures of subjects that are far away is important to you, then make sure the camera you buy comes with optical zoom. An optical zoom lens is also a true zoom lens and is similar to the zooming lens found on film cameras. This lens provides you with higher-quality pictures with proper detail and no blurriness. 

Digital Zoom

Some cameras provide you with digital zoom, which is just a fancy term for in-camera image processing. When you make use of digital zoom, the camera enlarges your image from the center and simply trims the edges present outside the picture. This lens provides you with the same result that any photo-editing software or program will provide if you crop the image from the edges and simply enlarge the remaining photo to fit the screen. 

Now that you know both, you can see clearly that a camera with optical zoom is a much better buy than one with digital zoom.

How to Choose a Camera With Incredible Zoom?

When choosing a camera with a very good zoom, there are some features you must definitely look out for. These features make the product stand out and make your investment worth every penny. These features are:

Image Stabilization

Optical image stabilization is an essential feature that must be present in the camera you buy. This feature helps in fixing any camera shakes that can occur during your photography session. This is very useful when you have hand-held shooting sessions. As a result, images will be smooth, crisp, and clear.

Viewfinder

A viewfinder is essential to have in your camera. This finder provides you with a better scene framing than what the LCD display shows. With its help, you can add extra stability to your camera while holding it to your eye level using both hands. 

Image Sensor

When shopping for the best zoom camera, you must find out if the image sensor on your camera provides sufficient low-light performance. A sensor with this capability will make it easy for you to capture impressive shots in both nighttime and daytime. With a good image sensor, you can take pictures no matter the time of day. 

Megapixels and Resolution of Video

Megapixels are essential for the working of your camera. With a good, high number of MPs, you can take larger images. This is a feature you are bound to appreciate if you want to print still shots that you’ve taken. It is also recommended to get a model that comes with 4k recording ability at 30 fps or higher. 

Quick Take - Best Zoom Cameras

Before we dive into our review, here are the best zoom cameras:

  1. Panasonic Lumix FZ80
  2. ​Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ200
  3. ​Canon PowerShot SX530

Review of the Best Zoom Cameras

In order to help you find the best zoom camera, we have compiled the top ten models present in the market. We have also mentioned their pros and cons, essential features, and who this camera is best suited for. So, make use of this guide to find the camera that is right for you.  

Best Overall:
 Panasonic Lumix FZ80

PANASONIC LUMIX FZ80 4K Digital Camera, 18.1 Megapixel Video Camera, 60X Zoom DC VARIO 20-1200mm Lens, F2.8-5.9 Aperture, POWER O.I.S. Stabilization, Touch Enabled 3-Inch LCD, Wi-Fi, DC-FZ80K (Black)

PROS

  • Touch LCD
  • Fast auto-focus
  • Wi-Fi connectivity
  • Huge 60x zooming
  • 30 fps 4K photo capture

CONS

  • Has fixed rear LCD
  • No EVF eye sensor

What Recent Buyers Report

According to recent buyers, this is a great product for taking pictures from faraway distances. Its picture quality makes it stand out and its dynamic range is very impressive, as well. Users also like that the camera has easy-to-use features that make it good for newbies and professionals, both.

Why it Stands Out to Us

This camera stands out due to the deep handgrip it comes with. The grip makes it easy for you to handle. Moreover, since the shutter release is present at its top, it is surrounded by the zoom control lever that makes zooming easy while taking pictures. There is also a record button for proper video capturing. All of these features make this amazing camera simpler to handle and use.

Who Will Use This Most

This device is the perfect buy for professional photographers as it allows them to zoom up to 60 times. This gives the ability to take pictures of things that are very far away. It also has a touch LCD that makes using it a simpler task. It can also be a great option for social media influencers. With its Wi-Fi connectivity, you can transfer pictures right away and upload them on your social media account if you want.

Bottom Line

Panasonic’s Lumix DC FZ80 camera allows you to zoom as much as you want without charging a lot of money. It also supports raw images along with 4k video. It has a touch LCD and sharp EVF that make this the perfect buy for professionals and beginners, both.

Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ200 12.1 MP Digital Camera with CMOS Sensor and 24x Optical Zoom - Black

PROS

  • Speedy performance
  • Shows sharp images
  • Has a fast zoom lens
  • Provides raw support
  • Mic input and hot shoe

CONS

  • Expensive
  • Has no GPS

What Recent Buyers Report

According to recent buyers, this camera is the best combination of the perfect image quality and features. They love it because of its superzoom feature, which makes it a good, quality camera that is not cheap but worth every penny spent on it. Its 24x lens also allows you to stay a good distance from your subject and blur the background for a more focused shot.

Why it Stands Out to Us

This camera stands out due to its performance. This is a speedy device and starts and shoots in a time span of only 1.3 seconds. It has a shutter lag of only 0.1 seconds and can take burst shots of 12 pictures in only a second. Furthermore, it has the ability to shoot 5.5 frames per second for sixteen shots.

Who Will Use This Most

Due to its speedy performance, images produced by this camera are sharp and even the excellent 1080p video quality will be loved by videographers and photographers. The fast aperture present in this camera provides shallow field depth even at longer focal lengths for both pictures and videos. Since it has a fixed aperture f/2.8, the same amount of light is captured whether you are zoomed out at 600 mm or 25 mm.

Bottom Line

This 24x Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ200 does not have a very ambitious zoom ratio, but with a sharp and fixed aperture lens of f/2.8, it works amazingly no matter how far away from the subject you are. It also provides you with a speedy performance that makes it a great purchase.

Best for the Money:
Canon PowerShot SX530

Canon PowerShot SX530 Digital Camera w/ 50X Optical Zoom - Wi-Fi & NFC Enabled (Black)

PROS

  • Compact
  • Good control layout
  • Integrated with Wi-Fi
  • Has creative shot mode
  • Framing assist function

CONS

  • Has no EVF
  • Lags slightly when locking focus on the zoom

What Recent Buyers Report

According to recent buyers, this is a very lightweight and compact camera that provides the same image quality of many expensive cameras today. It does not compromise on anything and has amazing features that are easy to use. It comes with 50x optical zoom without lagging in the picture quality department. It also has W-Fi connectivity with NFC that allows the sharing images right away.

Why it Stands Out to Us

This camera stands out to us due to the field of view it captures. With a 50x zooming lens, this device can cover 21-1, 200 mm and allows you to take wide-angle landscapes easily. Also, with the strong and comfortable grip it provides, you can hold it steady when shooting images. The features on this device are placed ergonomically, which makes it easy for you to use this camera.

Who Will Use This Most

This camera is the perfect fit for beginners and professional videographers. It has the essential features needed by professionals to put bread and butter on their tables. Since it has a steady grip, using this is very simple for a newbie handling a camera. The zoom and shutter buttons sit right on the top to allow you to operate it comfortably.

Bottom Line

In conclusion, Canon Powershot SX530 is a very compact camera with superzoom abilities. It has 50x zoom that does not compromise on the quality of pictures. It also comes with Canon creative shot mode and is integrated with Wi-Fi that allows quick sharing of images. This is a good camera to buy in terms of money.

Best Compact Zoom Camera: 
Canon Powershot SX60

Canon Powershot SX60 16.1MP Digital Camera 65x Optical Zoom Lens 3-inch LCD Tilt Screen (Black)

PROS

  • 10 fps bursts
  • Vari-angle LCD
  • 65x zoom lens
  • Strong ergonomics
  • Raw image capturing ability

CONS

  • Not ideal in dim light
  • Not good for quick action

What Recent Buyers Report

According to recent reports, this camera has a mind-blowing zoom of up 65 times, which makes it easier for you to photograph wildlife and other faraway objects. The superzoom present in this product at such a price point makes buyers love this. Users also love that it has a good sensor and better image quality than other products. Also, its compact size makes it easy for you to carry it around when traveling.

Why it Stands Out to Us

The top-most reason to buy this camera is its lens. This camera lens not only has an exceptional zoom range but also captures pictures with an extreme telephoto ability to ultra-wide shots. It matches a full frame of 21mm at its wide end and can zoom into 1,365 mm easily. The SX60 captures views that can be widened and cropped down easily. The camera lens is enough for many different applications.

Who Will Use This Most

This camera is a solid option for smartphone owners who love good zoom power and even for DSLR owners searching for a compact and light model to take along when going traveling. It is also perfect for astronomers and wildlife photographers, as its zoom power allows them to capture their subjects with clear and good quality pictures.

Bottom Line

Overall, this Canon PowerShot has the ability to capture views that are ultra-wide and can even capture telephotos. It is an ideal purchase for wildlife photographers, families, and even travel photographers who want a compact and small camera to carry around. This is a lightweight model with great zooming power, making it a fantastic choice.

Best Point-and-Shoot Camera With Zoom: 
Panasonic Lumix FZ1000

PANASONIC LUMIX FZ1000 4K Point and Shoot Camera, 16X LEICA DC Vario-ELMARIT F2.8-4.0 Lens, 21.1 Megapixels, 1 Inch High Sensitivity Sensor, DMC-FZ1000 (USA BLACK)

PROS

  • Has a sharp EVF
  • 1-inch image sensor
  • Integrated with Wi-Fi
  • 4k video shooting ability
  • Burst shooting at 11.8 fps

CONS

  • It is bulky
  • Doesn’t have a weather seal

What Recent Buyers Report

According to recent buyers, this camera is perfect for beginners and amateur photographers. It has automated settings that require no processing from your side, except for cropping. It has a good zoom that allows you to take pictures at a reasonable distance. Its sensor size is also good, and with so many options and controls, you can customize photo taking, as well.

Why it Stands Out to Us

Even though the FZ1000’s lens does not cover a wide range compared to cameras with a smaller sensor, the 1-inch image sensor on this is almost four times the size of the surface area. It also has a good zoom ratio that makes it stand out. This unit is also the best point-and-shoot camera since it does not lag at all and takes pictures with outstanding image quality.

Who Will Use This Most

This camera provides a touch of ease to life and is ideal for people who like to take pictures right away. It helps them capture beautiful scenery, wildlife, and even moon shots with accurate details. This device is ideal for photography enthusiasts and is great in terms of money and features, both. So for professionals and beginners, this camera is the perfect one to buy.

Bottom Line

The Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ1000 is a video and point-and-shoot camera made for amateurs and professional photographers. It has a one-inch sensor and a recording capability of 4k. Its price point is also affordable and the features it provides are very useful in taking high-quality pictures and videos.

Best Optical Zoom Camera:
Nikon COOLPIX P900

Nikon COOLPIX P900 16MP Zoom Digital Camera with 83x Optical Zoom, Built-in Wi-Fi and NFC (Black) (Renewed)

PROS

  • Eye-level EVF
  • Full manual controls
  • Video capturing at 1080p
  • Has Wi-Fi integration and GPS
  • Has a good image stabilization system

CONS

  • No raw support
  • Large and heavy

What Recent Buyers Report

According to recent buyers, this camera is great for point-and-shoot photography. It has features that make it ideal for taking images from a good enough distance. Apart from that, it has many other settings you will find useful. This is a fine zoom digital camera and the reach of the telephoto lens is very impressive. Users like that it also does not compromise on its picture quality.

Why it Stands Out to Us

This camera stands out because sometimes locking on a subject that is far away is impossible even with zoom. However, with the framing-assist button, you can do just that. It has a strong auto-focus system, and this framing-assist button outlines how far you are zoomed in. Releasing this button will take your lens to the previous position automatically.

Who Will Use This Most

The exceptional quality of pictures this camera provides, even with full superzoom makes it an ideal product for professionals. It has all the features they will appreciate and the easy-to-use features on this camera make it good for a novice, as well. This is a complete camera and has the best optical zoom in the market, making it perfect for everyone.

Bottom Line

The Nikon Coolpix P900 has the longest zoom range in the market. It has an excellent stabilization system, a quick auto-focus, and integrated Wi-Fi and GPS. However, it lacks detail at high ISOs, so if this doesn’t bother you, then you should go for it.

Best Travel Zoom Camera:
Sony DSC-RX10 III

Sony DSC-RX10 III Cyber-shot Digital Still Camera

PROS

  • Quick auto-focus
  • 1-inch image sensor
  • Wide aperture zoom lens
  • Dust and splash-resistant
  • High-definition slow motion

CONS

  • Very expensive
  • Hood lens blocks the flash at wide angles

What Recent Buyers Report

According to recent buyers, this camera is the best choice for a variety of situations, including both video and still photography. It is incredibly versatile and can be adjusted to your needs. The pictures it takes are of premium quality and are tough to match. This model is excellent, according to buyers, as it provides great still photography images and even better videos.

Why it Stands Out to Us

This camera stands out due to its incredibly versatile nature. This versatility is not only present inside the sensor but also in the lens. Even though it does not have a fixed aperture like its previous model, its zoom is what makes it stand out. This is also a good product in terms of light-gathering ability and range.

Who Will Use This Most

This RX10 III is an all-around performer capable of capturing not only wide-angle landscapes but also wildlife, even at long telephoto distances. It also takes good macro shots and pictures of dimly lit streets to make it a complete package. Overall, it’s worth buying for both professionals and beginners.

Bottom Line

The Sony Cyber-Shot has an exceptional 25x zoom and a wide aperture lens that takes exceptional photographs. The large image sensor gives you clear-cut photography and videography. It also has fast auto-focus and 4k video, making it the perfect pick.

Best Long Zoom Camera:
Nikon COOLPIX B500

Nikon COOLPIX B500 Digital Camera (Black)

PROS

  • Vari-angle LCD
  • Quick auto-focus
  • In-camera Wi-Fi and Bluetooth
  • Comes with full manual control
  • Has excellent image stabilization

CONS

  • No raw support
  • Large and heavy

What Recent Buyers Report

Recent buyers state that this camera has great zooming ability, is easy to use, and promises high-quality pictures. It takes outstanding pictures travel photographers will appreciate. The different modes allow you to find the one that suits you the most. Plus, since it has a long battery life, you can take up to 200 shots before it dies, which is good enough and makes this item worth buying.

Why it Stands Out to Us

This item stands out due to its traditional layout, that makes it easy to use. This camera has a four-way pad for navigation and each button has its own function. You can control flash mode, macro shooting, use a timer, and even adjust exposure compensation. The center of this pad allows you to access other menu functions in order to customize the settings you need.

Who Will Use This Most

This camera is perfect for outdoor usage and allows you to zoom in as much as you want. It is the perfect buy for travelers due to its long battery life, it can shoot up to 200 shots before dying down. Also, its ease-of-use makes it perfect for beginners, as well. You can choose between the different modes present in order to find the one that suits you the most.

Bottom Line

Nikon Coolpix B500 is a camera powered by AA batteries, so you will never run out of power. The focusing speed on this item is very good and accurate, and the macro is accurately focused when taking close-ups. It is, overall, perfect for professionals and even beginners.

Best Superzoom Camera:
Sony Cyber-Shot RX10 IV

Sony Cyber‑Shot RX10 IV with 0.03 Second Auto-Focus & 25x Optical Zoom (DSC-RX10M4)

PROS

  • Wi-Fi integration
  • Touch LCD screen
  • Phase-detect auto-focus
  • Raw capture with tracking
  • 1080p slow-motion and 4k video

CONS

  • Very expensive
  • The hood on the lens blocks the flash

What Recent Buyers Report

For recent buyers, this camera is the perfect buy due to its excelling picture quality. It has a long zoom range and allows you to take video with auto-focus. It captures each and every detail, even with action shots and portraits. It allows you to use the extra zoom range and even video features, such as super-slow motion.

Why it Stands Out to Us

This camera stands out because other superzoom cameras have long designs but use small image sensors and even have narrow apertures. This camera, on the other hand, makes use of the one-inch sensor design and has a surface area that is four times the 1/2.3-inch design other reasonable bridge-model cameras use.

Who Will Use This Most

This camera will be used the most by professionals due to its superzoom quality. Since it has a 25x zoom ratio, the lens on this camera acts well for macro shots, as well. This device focuses easily at wide angles, which is also good for proper magnification when needed. The focus limiter switch on the barrel also disables macro capture and can be ideal for beginners and professionals, both.

Bottom Line

Sony Cybershot RX10-IV camera provides you with a very good zoom range and also makes use of a staked sensor design and phase detection focus for capturing detailed images. It is a premium image-quality camera with a fixed lens in a bridge design.

Best Pan Tilt Zoom Camera:
Amcrest 4MP

Amcrest 4MP Outdoor PTZ POE + IP Camera Pan Tilt Zoom (Optical 12x Motorized) UltraHD POE+ Camera Security Speed Dome, CMOS Image Sensor, 328ft Night Vision, POE+ (802.3at) - IP66, 4MP, IP4M-1053EW

PROS

  • Affordable
  • Connects to your phone
  • Has onboard and cloud storage
  • Provides excellent image quality
  • Has zoom, pan, and tilt functionality

CONS

  • Has minor pincushion distortion

What Recent Buyers Report

Buyers state that this camera not only monitors the outside of your household but also keeps track of the neighborhood. Its mounting is solidly constructed and built for both daily and industrial use. The sensor on this camera is very strong, is 2MP, and provides users with a 90-degree field of view along with 3x digital zoom.

Why it Stands Out to Us

This product stands out since it can record video at 30 frames in a second. It also makes use of 12 infrared LEDs to provide you with good night vision, and the built-in microphone and speaker are also very helpful.

Who Will Use This Most

This camera is good for house protection and use in industrial areas. The field of view is remarkable and has a viewing angle of 360 degrees. The optical zoom is very intelligent and since it is waterproof, you can use it for outdoor photography at any time. This is a great camera for use in industrial areas and housing society.

Bottom Line

The Amcrest 4MP is an affordable home surveillance camera that provides you with sharp and clear image quality due to its pan and tilt functions. It can be connected to your phone and allows you to alter the settings with it.

What Do I Need to Know Before Buying a Zoom Camera?

When buying a zoom camera, you must know which zoom it comes with. There are two main types of zoom lenses these cameras have. These include optical zoom and digital zoom. As mentioned above, optical zoom is a much better option, as it does not harm the quality of the image, whereas digital zoom leads to deterioration of quality. 

You should also look for durability and camera design. When choosing a zoom camera, durability is important because you will not want to carry a bulky model when going on an adventure. Also, many zoom cameras come with a plastic body and so you should also get a secure strap for a much safer, more comfortable experience. 

Another important factor is a wireless connection. With Wi-Fi integration and Bluetooth, sharing of images is fast, quick, and efficient. These things elevate the photography experience and are good features to consider. 

Conclusion

With the above-mentioned guide, you can find out everything you need to know when buying a zoom camera. You can read about the top ten cameras present in the market and also find the one most suited to your needs. Also, with the help of this article, you will know which zooming lens to buy and why. Make use of this information and buy the best zoom camera for your adventures right away.