2016 Roundup: Enthusiast Long Zoom Cameras
While most of new 1" sensor enthusiast cameras have been on the shorter end of the focal length spectrum, there are now quite a few long zoom models, as well. Whether you want something pocketable or want to shoot for the moon (pun intended), you'll find it in this group.
There are plenty of other long zoom compacts out there, some offering focal ranges reaching 2000mm though they almost always use much smaller 1/2.3" sensors (the Olympus Stylus 1s is one exception). The larger sensors used in the cameras in this roundup completely eclipse those models, especially when it comes to image quality and control over depth-of-field.
The models we're looking at in this article include:
- Canon PowerShot G3 X
- Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ1000
- Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ2500/FZ2000
- Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZS100/TZ100
- Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX10
- Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX10 II
- Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX10 III
With the exception of the Panasonic ZS100/TZ100, all of these cameras are pretty hefty, so don't plan on stuffing those into a pocket. Focal ranges are all over the map, ranging from 200mm on the Sony RX10 I/II to 600mm on the Sony RX10 III and Canon G3 X. The vast majority of these cameras shoot 4K video, with some having more controls than others.
To further help you pick the right camera in this class, we've created the chart below, which breaks down the equivalent aperture for each camera, as you work your way through the zoom range. Our article here explains the concept of equivalence, but at a high level all you need to know is that the lower the line is on the graph below, the blurrier the backgrounds you'll be able to get and, typically at least, the better the overall low-light performance.
With its F2.8 constant aperture lens, the Sony Cyber-shot RX10 I & II capture more total light and offer more control over depth-of-field compared to its peers, by 1 or 2 stops. The trade-off is that its focal length caps out at 200mm equiv. The Canon PowerShot G3 X and Sony RX10 III have the longest lenses, with the latter being about 2/3-stop faster once hitting around 100mm. The Panasonic FZ2500 splits the difference between the G3 X and RX10 III.
And with that out of the way, let's get right into exploring the enthusiast long zoom cameras!
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