Most Promising Pocket Megazoom Cameras of 2010

These pocket point-and-shoot cameras pack a lot of zoom into a compact size. Meet some of the most anticipated models of the year.

Canon PowerShot SX210 IS

Canon's new point-and-shoot camera--the 14-megapixel PowerShot SX210 IS--is a powerful upgrade from last year's excellent 12X optical-zoom SX200 IS.

On top of SX200 carryover features like the pop-up flash, optical image stabilization, and HDMI-out, the SX210 boasts a 14X zoom range and a 3-inch LCD screen. Another addition is the dedicated video button with stereo audio recording and the ability to zoom while shooting video. We also like the wink-and-smile detection for remote shutter release.

Available in March.

More Info | $350

Casio Exilim FH100

The Casio Exilim FH100 is Casio's first pocketable high-zoom camera with rapid-fire settings. This 10X optical-zoom camera has a high-speed burst mode that shoots an impressive 40 stills per second; it also has a video mode that captures up to 1000 frames per second at a 224-by-64-pixel resolution.

The EX-FH100 has different in-camera modes that utilize its high-speed feature. If you're unsure of which one to use, just select the "High Speed Best Shot" mode, which helps you select the best mode for the given shooting conditions.

More Info | $350

Fujifilm FinePix F80EXR

The ultraslim 12-megapixel Fujifilm FinePix F80EXR offers a 10X optical-zoom lens (27mm to 270mm) and 720p high-definition video recording with HDMI-out. Its dual image stabilization accommodates shaky hands to ensure a clear shot.

One fun feature of the F80EXR is Fujifilm's "pet detection" mode that analyzes pictures of dogs or cats and matches them up to an in-camera database of breeds recognized by the American Kennel Club, Cat Fancier's Association, and Federation Cyno Logique Internationale.

Available in March.

More Info | $300

Kodak EasyShare M580

Looking for a camera that lets you designate photos for upload to Facebook, YouTube, and Flickr? The 14-megapixel Kodak EasyShare M580 does just that. Its 8X optical-zoom lens (28mm to 224mm) and simple upload options make this an intriguing pocket megazoom.

More Info | $200

Nikon Coolpix S8000

The 10X optical-zoom (30mm to 300mm), 14-megapixel Nikon Coolpix S8000 is a pocket megazoom with a 3-inch LCD screen. We like the camera's automated ISO and shutter settings.

The Coolpix S8000 shoots 720p high-definition video at 30 frames per second. Other features include four-way image stabilization, a 4fps burst mode, motion-tracking autofocus, a backlight, and improved flash exposures.

More Info | $300

Olympus Stylus-7040

The 7X optical-zoom (28mm to 198mm) Olympus Stylus-7040 is a new wide-angle, high-zoom pocket camera with 720p high-definition video recording.

It has some fun in-camera extras, such as a range of "art filters" that simulate fish-eye effects, hand-drawn pictures, and 1960s pop art; it also has dual sensor-shifting/digital image stabilization and autofocus tracking for moving subjects.

More Info | $250

Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZS7

Following up last year's Lumix DMC-ZS3 comes the new 12-megapixel Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZS7, which features a 12X optical-zoom (25mm to 300mm) and a built-in GPS receiver that geotags images as you shoot them. It also shoots 720p AVCHD Lite high-definition video at 30 frames per second and adds support for basic in-camera video editing features.

Another big upgrade from the Lumix ZS3 is the Lumix ZS7's manual controls, which allow you to control aperture priority, shutter priority, and exposure. If you don't like manual settings, you can use the camera's Intelligent Auto mode.

Pricing and release date are not yet available.

Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZR3

The 14-megapixel Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZR3 is the successor of last year's solid Lumix ZR1, offering the same superquiet and fast-focusing 8X optical-zoom Leica lens (25mm to 200mm) in a 1-inch-deep frame.

The DMC-ZR3 features AVCHD Lite video recording and in-camera video editing, as well as a "Happy Mode" that is supposed to boost the hue, saturation, and brightness of the shot.

Pricing and release date are not yet available.

Samsung HZ35W

The pocket camera with the highest optical zoom is the new Samsung HZ35W: It boasts an impressive 15X optical zoom (24mm to 360mm). At an inch deep, the HZ35W has a 3-inch AMOLED screen and 720p high-def video capture at 30 frames per second.

This camera also has GPS capabilities to geotag photos with their location. Samsung says that photos are embedded with the name of the city and country, not just the longitude and latitude of the shot. The HZ35W would make a great travel companion due to its compact size, high zoom, and extra features.

Samsung has yet to announce pricing, but the HZ35W will be available in March.

Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX5V

The 10-megapixel Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX5V has a 10X optical-zoom lens (25mm to 250mm) and features a revamped Intelligent Sweep Panorama mode that automatically adjusts capture speed to produce a smoother panoramic image. It has a 3-inch LCD screen and GPS geotagging features, and it shoots 1980-by-1080-resolution high-definition video in AVCHD format.

The Cyber-shot DSC-HX5V is also one of the first TransferJet-enabled cameras, allowing the user to transfer images, video, and other files between compatible devices when you hold the camera about an inch apart from the device to which you want to transfer the files.

More Info | $350

Casio Exilim H15

One of the first cameras to feature Casio's new Exilim Engine 5.0 and Dynamic Photo features is the 14-megapixel Casio Exilim EX-H15. These features allow cool in-camera tricks such as extracting subjects from still photos and superimposing them on a different background, as well as the "Art Shot" mode where the shooter can make a photo look like a drawing.

This pocket megazoom sports an ultra-wide-angle 10X optical-zoom lens (24mm to 240mm), CCD-shifting image stabilization, a 3-inch LCD screen, and 720p high-definition video capture at 30 frames per second.

More Info | $300

Fujifilm FinePix JZ300

For the budget-minded shutterbug, the Fujifilm FinePix JZ300 is a no-frills, high-zoom, 12-megapixel point-and-shoot camera. It packs a 10X optical zoom (28mm to 280mm), a 2.7-inch LCD screen, 720p video capabilities, and motion-tracking autofocus.

If you like the specs of the JZ300 but want something with more features, check out its big brother, the JZ500.

Available in March.

More Info | $200

Fujifilm FinePix JZ500

The Fujifilm FinePix JZ500 is another point-and-shoot 10X optical-zoom lens camera that won't break the bank. Like the JZ300, it sports a 2.7-inch LCD screen and 720p high-definition video recording.

But the FinePix JZ500 also has some features that the JZ300 lacks--it offers 14 megapixels instead of 12, and has dual sensor-shift/shutter-speed image stabilization, face recognition, motion-tracking autofocus, and Fujifilm's "pet detection" mode.

Available in March.

More Info | $250

Nikon Coolpix S6000

A sibling of the Coolpix S8000 is the inch-deep Nikon Coolpix S6000. The 7X optical zoom S6000 has a 14-megapixel sensor, four-way image stabilization, fast boot-up and shutter-release speeds, a 2.7-inch LCD screen, and motion-tracking autofocus.

More Info | $250

Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZS5

Like the Lumix DMC-ZS7 but don't want the GPS capabilities? The Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZS5 ditches the GPS and AVCGD Lite, but offers the same 12X optical-zoom lens and range of manual controls as the Lumix ZS7. The ZS5 shoots MPEG-4 videos at 30 frames per second and has a 2.7-inch LCD screen. In its features, this camera falls right in between the old ZS3 and the new ZS7.

Pricing and release date are not yet available.

Panasonic Lumix DMC-FH20

The high-end, 14-megapixel Panasonic Lumix DMC-FH20 sports an 8X optical-zoom lens (28mm to 224mm), a 2.7-inch LCD screen, and optical image stabilization. It also has an Intelligent Auto mode that helps the shooter get the desired photo effect without having to manually change the camera's settings.

With its wide-angle zoom lens, inch-thick frame, and 720p high-def video capture at 30 frames per second, the FH20 is a very capable point-and-shoot.

Pricing and release date are not yet available.

Samsung HZ30W

The Samsung HZ30W shares the same 12-megapixel count and 15X optical-zoom lens as its sibling, the Samsung HZ35W, but with some major differences. The HZ30W has a 3-inch LCD screen instead of an AMOLED display, and it lacks GPS technology.

However, it does offer dual optical/digital image stabilization and manual controls such as aperture priority and shutter priority--features that make this camera appealing to veteran photographers.

Samsung has yet to announce pricing, but the HZ30W will be available in March.

Sony Cyber-shot DSC-H55

The Sony Cyber-shot DSC-H55 offers some of the same hardware as the Cyber-shot DSC-HX5V, such as a 10X optical-zoom G lens (25mm to 250mm), but it skips out on certain features to make this a bargain high-zoom camera.

Although short of GPS capability and TransferJet connectivity, the H55 comes with the Sweep Panorama mode and can shoot video in 720p high definition. It has a 3-inch LCD screen, as well as Memory Stick and SD/SDHC compatibility.

More Info | $250

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