Highest Focal Length Digital Camera
Sony CyberShot DSC-H400 With a maximum focal length of 1,550 mm, the Sony CyberShot DSC-H400 has more reach (zoom) than any other digital camera.

Telephoto refers to the maximum focal length offered by the cameras lens. The maximum focal length is essentially the maximum zoom the lens offers. The larger the focal length the more zoom offered by the lens. The optical zoom section has a great overview of the various levels of zoom and how they relate to the max focal length.

When using a long focal length, its invaluable to have good image stabilization to reduce the risk of blur in your images from camera shake. The longer the lens the more magnified the shake is. At 200mm the same shake will be much more visible than at 50mm. A common rule of thumb is to ensure you have a shutter speed equal to 1/focal-length, e.g. at 300mm you should have a shutter speed of 1/300s or faster to avoid blur.

Also, when buying a camera with a long focal length, be sure you look at what the aperture is of the lens at full zoom. In order to achieve fast shutter speeds to avoid shake and blur you'll want a fast/wide aperture - lens apertures get smaller the more you zoom, so a big aperture at full zoom is important

Visual Examples Max Focal Lengths

Here is an example showing how the max focal length correlates into zoom. Each image demonstrates a different focal length and thus a different level of zoom. The zoom levels are simulated.

Small Max Focal Lengths


25mm - 1X Zoom
image taken at 25mm focal length - 1X zoomThis photo illustrates 26mm focal length equivalent to 1X zoom.
50mm - 2X Zoom
image taken at 25mm focal length - 2X zoomThis photo illustrates 50mm focal length equivalent to 2X zoom.
100mm - 4X Zoom
image taken at 100mm focal length - 4X zoomThis photo illustrates 100mm focal length equivalent to 4X zoom.

Large Max Focal Lengths

200mm - 8X Zoom
image taken at 200mm focal length - 8X zoomThis photo illustrates 200mm focal length equivalent to 8X zoom.
400mm - 16X Zoom
image taken at 400mm focal length - 16X zoomThis photo illustrates 400mm focal length equivalent to 16X zoom.
800mm - 32X Zoom
image taken at 800mm focal length - 32X zoomThis photo illustrates 800mm focal length equivalent to 32X zoom.

Telephoto Digital Cameras

The following are the cameras with the largest max focal lengths, providing the most zoom of all digital cameras.

Canon PowerShot SX50 HS
Canon PowerShot SX50 HS
from $379
Zoom Great zoom Help
50x
Supports 24p 24p movies Help
For that film look
Screen flips out Flip-out screen Help
Great for movies

Learn more about the Canon PowerShot SX50 HS

Nikon Coolpix P600
Nikon Coolpix P600
from $447
Zoom Great zoom Help
60x
Screen resolution High resolution screen Help
921k dots
Screen flips out Flip-out screen Help
Great for movies

Learn more about the Nikon Coolpix P600

Sony Cyber-Shot DSC-HX300
Sony Cyber-Shot DSC-HX300
from $398
Zoom Great zoom Help
50x
Screen resolution High resolution screen Help
921k dots
3D Takes 3D photos Help
View photos in 3D on 3D televisions

Learn more about the Sony Cyber-Shot DSC-HX300

Sony CyberShot DSC-H400
Sony CyberShot DSC-H400
from $288
Zoom Great zoom Help
64.6x
External mic jack External mic jack Help
Record higher quality audio with a microphone
Announced New Help
February, 2014

Learn more about the Sony CyberShot DSC-H400

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Discussion

Showing 1 comments

Gwgreen1 (1:17 PM, July 26, 2012)
Nice explanation!!!!!!