Highest Focal Length Digital Camera
Kodak Pixpro Astro Zoom AZ651 With a maximum focal length of 1,560 mm, the Kodak Pixpro Astro Zoom AZ651 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.

Nikon Coolpix P600
Nikon Coolpix P600
from $300
Zoom Great zoom Help
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

Canon PowerShot SX60 HS
Canon PowerShot SX60 HS
from $449
Zoom Great zoom Help
External mic jack External mic jack Help
Record higher quality audio with a microphone
Screen resolution High resolution screen Help
922k dots

Learn more about the Canon PowerShot SX60 HS

Sony CyberShot DSC-H400
Sony CyberShot DSC-H400
from $241
Zoom Great zoom Help
External mic jack External mic jack Help
Record higher quality audio with a microphone
Panorama In-camera panoramas Help
Stitches together multiple photos into a panorama

Learn more about the Sony CyberShot DSC-H400

Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ70
Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ70
from $249
Zoom Great zoom Help
3D Takes 3D photos Help
View photos in 3D on 3D televisions
Wide angle Wide angle lens Help
20 mm

Learn more about the Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ70

Green arrow See more of the top telephoto lens digicams


Showing 1 comments

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