Sales of fixed-lens compacts (a.k.a. digicams or digital point-and-shoots) began to decline in 2009 after years of growth, and fell 11% in the U.K. last year alone, according to a new study by GfK Retail and Technology. This is attributed mainly to inroads being made at the low end of the market by smartphones. However, according to the study, the decline has been accompanied by a 50% surge in U.K. sales of "superzoom" compacts—cameras with small sensors and lenses with zoom ratios than exceed 10X.
Examples: the Nikon Coolpix L810 (above) or the Panasonic Lumix ZS20, which have 26X and 20X lenses respectively. Fixed lenses with such extreme zoom ranges are only possible on cameras that have tiny digicam sensors—the Nikon's in this case is a 1/2.3" (4.55x6.17mm) and the Panasonic's is similar, a 1/2.33" (4.56x6.08mm).
Superzoom compacts are most useful for those who do a lot of their shooting in daylight—especially those who like to shoot typical "long lens" subjects such as animals, or sports from the sidelines.
Note: Links in this post may be to our affiliates; sales through affiliate links may benefit this site. More...
Original contents copyright 2012 by Michael C. Johnston and/or the bylined author. All Rights Reserved.
Featured Comment by Marc Probst: "I always thought the main market for superzooms were men who wanted to photograph semi-naked women on the beach from afar...."
Featured [partial] Comment by Marc Rochkind: "Not too hard to see why this makes sense...these cameras do what phone cameras can't."
Featured Comment by Polo: "Olympic Games?"
Featured Comment by Ray Anderson: "I'm an artist (in very realistic watercolor), and I use my camera as a 'sketchbook.' My camera of coice has been a 'superzoom,' because it gives me flexibility of image capture without the neck-breaking weight of a DSLR system. The model I use, and that is still coveted by some people (look at the present price at Amazon!!), is the Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ35. Very good image quality for a small sensor camera!"