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rawnog Sep 18, 2010 10:04 AM

Megazoom help please
Looking for a megazoom (at least 10x) that is small enough to easily fit inside my purse. Want to be able to zoom while taking video. Was excited when the panasonic 210 came out with video zooming capabilities but the reviews on quality of photos/videos aren't great, and I don't think the sx200 zooms while taking video. The panasonic FZ35 got great reviews but is really bigger than what I want. Is there another megazoom about the size of the canon sx200 that zooms while taking video with good quality? Would also like somewhat decent indoor performance if possible. If nothing fits these qualifications, I will go with the larger camera that will zoom while videoing - which of those would you recommend? Trying not to spend more than $500. Thanks for any input you can provide.

mtclimber Sep 18, 2010 10:31 AM


Welcome to the Forum. We're pleased that you dropped by.

It sounds as if your best best would be the Canon SX-130, which has 12X optical zoom (28-336mm) full manual and auto controls, and does shoot HD video that allows zooming and can re-focus during filming. It sells for $249.

Remember though, these cameras are small imager P+S cameras, they will not provide the low light level capability that you would find in a DSLR camera.

Sarah Joyce

rawnog Sep 18, 2010 2:33 PM

Thanks! The only thing that worries me with the SX-130 is that it doesn't have a viewfinder, and since I will be taking lots of outdoor shots/videos, that may be a problem. I have seen the FZ-35 listed as a "compact," so I may go back and take a look at that in person (I've looked at so many, it's hard to keep them straight). I'm thinking I may have to give up one of my preferences (zooming in video mode or size) and go with another camera unless there is an easy solution to glare on the screen that I'm unaware of, because my phone with the full touch screen is virtually unusable in the sun due to glare, so I'm thinking the SX-130 may be also.

mtclimber Sep 18, 2010 6:20 PM


The Panasonic FZ-35 is a great choice, although somewhat larger in size. It will not tuck easily into just any purse. It will require a larger purse. The FZ-35 is at an all time low price of around $300. It has full automatic and manual controls, a good EVF, dual channel sound and it will do HD video, and you can zoom while filming.

Sarah Joyce

rawnog Sep 19, 2010 9:10 AM

Thanks I will check it out. I have seen quite a few reviewers not recommend the SX-130 based on very poor battery life so that's definitely out. The Canon S20 is smaller than the FZ35, would that fit my specifications? If so, which would do better indoors? Are there any smaller (about SX130 size), good cameras with a viewfinder that would fit my needs? If there is no solution to the glare on the screen and no smaller ones with viewfinders, I'll look for the FZ35 or SX20. I suppose I'd be partial to the Canon since I've used Canon so long, but if the FZ35 is better I'll go with that.

Thanks for any clarification you can provide!

rawnog Sep 19, 2010 10:04 AM

After further reading, I see the FZ35 does better in low light and has less shot-to-shot lag than the sx20, so I've decided to go with it unless there is a more compact camera with a viewfinder that would be somewhat close in comparison.

mtclimber Sep 19, 2010 11:22 AM


Canon camera with viewfinders have become very scarce. The choice for 2010 is only the G-11 camera. In 2009 the SD-1200 and the SX-20 did have an optical viewfinders, along with the G-11, but that optical viewfinder was deleted when the SD-1300 was introduced for 2010.

The SD-1200 can still be found at some dealers. It had 10mp with 3X optical zoom. The SD-1200 is roughly 3.5" X 2.0" X 0.7" so it is indeed very small. It high ISO/low light capabilities are measurably limited and it shoots standard video with no zooming while filming. The size of the SD-1200 does allow it to be carried easily even in a larger clutch purse. However, the 3X optical zoom offered is well short of your megazoom request.

If you would please click on the below listed links you can see photos of my own Canon SD-1200 camera:

In my opinion the Panasonic FZ-30 remains your best and most economical choice if megazoom is indeed your requirement. I have not had any fast battery drain with the Canon SX-130 camera at all. I chose to use Eneloop rechargeable, long charge, batteries and have had no problem. Bit again the SX-130 does not have a viewfinder.

Sarah Joyce

rawnog Sep 19, 2010 11:59 AM

Thanks for the pictures. I could do without the zoom while video if need be, but would need at least 10x. Do you shoot outside much with the SX-130 and if so how does the glare effect the screen. Also, how many shots or how much video do you get with the eneloop batteries. If the glare and battery drain isn't that bad, I would much prefer the SX-130 because of the size.

mtclimber Sep 19, 2010 1:11 PM


Thanks for clarifying things. The SX-130 is a new camera. I have only had my copy for 6 days. Thus far, I have take 124 still photos and one video clip, and the battery indicator still shows full.

Yes, when taking photos outdoors, there is always the possibility of a LCD glare problem. I make it a habit, when possible to shoot from a shaded area, like under a tree, to minimize LCD glare. In my use of the SX-130, I have found things to be very workable. The image quality is very, very good, lens sharpness is excellent, and the built-in flash is pleasantly powerful.

It is certainly not a DSLR camera. It is a very handy and good hobbyist camera that has provided me with great results.

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