Today my wife went on a hike on Mt McCoy in Simi Valley with her friends. That peak is around 1.5 to 1.75 miles away from my home. I wanted to take some photos so first I took out the Kodak AZ521/AZ501 that I had bought recently from Walmart for around $169. It has 50x optical zoom.
Here are two photos from one of the bedrooms in my home. I zoomed in 50x and then cropped the photos. The photos are not that great but when you take into consideration the distance between the camera and the object, it is awesome job in my opinion.
Then, I put on a sharp Super Takumar 135mm F2.5 lens and also one Sun 80-210mm F4.8 lens on a Pentax K30 camera. Obviously I can’t zoom in that much with this pair. Following photo is the closest I could get.
So many times, I advise people to go for a ultrazoom P&S camera instead of buying a zoom lens for the SLR. Changing lens on the camera is a time consuming job and on the other hand, the second camera will not take any more space/weight than a zoom lens for your SLR. Plus, when you need to zoom in, take photos with the P&S almost in few seconds. One thing to note here is I am assuming that we normally use Zoom in outdoor and in broad day light so an SLR really does not do any better than any camera. iPhone included.
I am writing this for another blog I have: http://photography-with-any-camera.blogspot.com/ for amateur photographers.