Tuesday, February 19, 2013
Toolbox: Big Zoom Compacts
Get extensive focal range and high-tech features in a camera that’s smaller and lighter than a typical telephoto lens
|This Article Features Photo Zoom|
With its extreme 50x zoom, the PowerShot SX50 HS is the leader in focal-length reach, starting at a wide 24mm and extending all the way to an incredible 1200mm.* And, with digital zoom enabled, the telephoto end quadruples to 4800mm—yes, you read that correctly.
To counteract the inevitable camera shake when shooting handheld at super-telephoto lengths, the camera features Canon's Intelligent IS, which analyzes camera movement and selects the best optical shake correction method automatically; six methods are available, including Macro and a Dynamic mode ideal for video. Speaking of video, you can capture 1080p full HD with stereo sound.
The 12-megapixel SX50 HS is fast, too—it can capture up to 10 frames per second—great for action subjects. You can record in RAW or JPEG, or both simultaneously. Like a DSLR, you can shoot in manual, aperture- or shutter-priority and program modes, but the camera also features a Smart Auto mode, by which the camera evaluates the scene and compares it to 58 predefined scenarios, selecting the most appropriate camera settings for the subject and conditions.
Other noteworthy features include a hot-shoe for using an external flash, and a Vari-angle LCD flips and swivels for easy viewing. Users of Canon PIXMA and SELPHY printers can connect directly to the printer via USB for one-touching printing. Estimated Street Price: $429.
Fujifilm FinePix F800EXR
The F800EXR features a 20x optical zoom, ranging from 25mm to 500mm*. That range is expandable to 40x—or 1000mm—with its digital zoom. A combination of sensor-shift stabilization and auto ISO boost work together to reduce camera shake when shooting handheld.
The camera can capture 16-megapixel images at just under 8 frames per second, or as fast as 11 frames per second with 8-megapixel resolution. It's a speedy camera in other ways, too. In addition to full HD 1080p video with Face Tracking AF, there's a High Speed Movie mode that can capture video at up to 320 frames per second at a reduced resolution of 320x112, or 80 frames per second at a higher 640x480 resolution.
A related feature is the Best Frame Capture mode. Using this, the camera starts recording 8-megapixel images at 11 frames per second. When the moment is just right, fully depress the shutter release and the camera saves 16 frames—both before and after that instant—letting you choose the shot that best captured your subject's action or expression.
The F800EXR also offers Wireless Image Transfer, allowing you to send photos from the camera directly to your smartphone using a free app for Apple iOS or Google Android. Estimated Street Price: $319.
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