Top Five Pocket Superzoom Cameras Guide

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Canon PowerShot SX280 HS Pocket Superzoom Camera

Canon PowerShot SX280 HS Pocket Superzoom Camera

Full disclosure – I own and love Canon PowerShot SX230 HS, the original Canon SX pocket superzoom. The current model, the SX280 HS, has a lot going for it, not the least of which is the list price is about $70 less than the other full-featured cameras in this guide. The features and specs are pretty comparable, too. The PowerShot SX280 HS has a 20x 25-500mm optical zoom lens with Canon’s Intelligent IS image stabilization, PASM manual shooting modes, and full HD video at 60 FPS. It also has built-in Wi-Fi (digital camera Wi-Fi demo video) and built-in GPS.

Canon PowerShot SX280 HS Intro >>

  • Price: $329
  • 12.1-megapixel 1/2.3-inch backlit CMOS sensor with HS System
  • 20x 25-500mm f/3.5-6.8 optical zoom lens
  • 1920 x 1080 full HD video at 60 FPS with stereo sound
  • Sensitivity: ISO 80-6400
  • Shooting modes: Program with PASM manual modes, Hybrid Auto and scene modes
  • Built-in Wi-Fi with Canon CameraWindow app for Android and iOS
  • Burst: up to 14 FPS full-resolution burst
  • Built-in GPS
  • Dimensions: 4.19 x 2.47 x 1.28 in. / 106.4 x 62.8 x 32.6mm

next cameraPanasonic Lumix SZ3 >>


Sony Cybershot HX50V

Panasonic Lumix ZS30
Lumix ZS30

Fujifilm FinePix F900EXR

Canon PowerShot SX280 HS
SX280 HS

Panasonic Lumix SZ3
Lumix SZ3



About the author: Photo-John

Photo-John, a.k.a. John Shafer, is the managing editor of and has been since the site launched back in 1999. He's an avid outdoor enthusiast and spends as much time as possible on his mountain bike, hiking or skiing in the mountains. He's been taking pictures for ever and ever, and never goes anywhere without a camera.

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  • Photo-John says:

    A few days after I published this article, Samsung announced a new pocket superzoom camera – the WB700. The new Samsung outdoes all of these cameras spec-wise. It’s got an 18x optical zoom lens, RAW shooting and full manual exposure controls. It’s also smaller than all but one of the cameras in this gude. You can check out the new Samsung WB700 here:

    Too bad this camera wasn’t available a bit sooner. It’s a pretty sure bet it will be included when I update this article, sometime next year.

  • camera reviews Nikon Coolpix S8100 & S9100 says:

    I love you camera reviews. They are extremely helpful. I agree with you about super zoom pocket cameras. I’m in the market for a new camera and can’t make up my mind about Nikon Coolpix S8100 or S9100 and now the Samsung WB700 excites me.
    I will be using this camera for mostly stills indoor/outdoor/ landscape, wildlife, sports, grand kids and my four Maltese dogs.
    Ease-of-use is important as well as night shots and the best quality images. Can you help me decide?
    Thank you

  • Photo-John says:

    I’m glad you found this guide useful. I actually started working on updating the guide with more current cameras. I am hoping to have that posted today. I think it will tell you everything you need to know. Check back tonight or tomorrow and please post again if you have more questions :-)

  • Patia says:

    OK, I realized that no matter how great the iPhone 5′s camera is, I cannot possibly give up a superzoom. I still like my TZ4, but this little Canon is looking pretty good.

  • Photo-John says:

    Good for you, Patia! And I agree about the Canon SX230 HS. It snuck past me when it was announced and I only really discovered it while I was researching this guide. My experience with the SD4500 IS plus the SX230 HS specs made a strong impression on me and I bought the camera before I finished the guide. I am very, very pleased with it :-)

  • M Cooper says:

    Personally do have a pocket size superzoom (Fujifilm Finepix F800EXR to be exact). The camera is a little rectangle that fits nicely into my pocket and takes reasonable pictures. The manual overrides are not very refined so I rely on automatic settings a lot.

    Despite the quality gap, there is a number of people who are non-photographers and accepted the bottom-line of an image is not to reproduce a poster (piece of paper) on your wall. Pros still print their images but there are those who are satisfied with enough resolution for sending by E-mail. The iPhone is an all in 1 device. Some people have become very up to date in the trend of carrying “portable” devices. You tell them a desktop computer has more processing power than a laptop and finally an iPad they’d rather be carrying the smallest thing that can fit into their purse or briefcase.

    In the old days we don’t have a choice that prints must be made from negatives or need a good projector for slides. But when a choice is given, photo enthusiasts would still carry bulky SLRs but the casual photographer for quick sharing wouldn’t mind an image taken with a phone even at less than half the resolution.

  • M Cooper says:

    By the way, the Fujifilm Finepix F770EXR listed here is already the previous model. Since Nov. 2012 the F800EXR is already out with the same resolution and a bit of enhancement. Some stores are already selling the F770EXR at a discounted price…

  • Daniele says:

    Hi, i am looking for a great camera to take pictures while climbing. So small, quick autofocus, fast continous picture…i am not an expert but i have no budget constraint. any help? thanks

    • Photo-John says:

      Any of the cameras in this guide would be a good fit for you. However, since you’re talking about climbing, where your camera might get banged around, I’d encourage you to look at our Outdoor & Waterproof Camera Guide. The rugged, waterproof point-and-shoots don’t have the long zoom that pocket superzooms do, but they can take a lot more abuse and they’ll still fit in your pocket. Most of them also have fast burst rates, too. Here’s a link to the Outdoor & Waterproof Camera Guide:

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