panasonic lumix dmc-sz7

Ultracompact megazoom cameras compared

Zoom lenses sell cameras these days, so it's no surprise that manufacturers are doing everything they can to get longer lenses into increasingly smaller bodies.

A 3x or 5x zoom lens used to be the standard for ultracompact cameras -- those measuring 1 inch thick or slimmer -- but in 2012, you can easily find a skinny point-and-shoot with a 10x optical zoom.

The frontrunner here is the sub-$250 Sony Cyber-shot DSC-WX150 thanks to its excellent features, fast autofocus, and the quality of its pictures and video (though its color accuracy could be better). Most of the category consists of sub-$200 cameras, though, so there are several options if you're just looking for a simple pocket camera with a long lens.… Read more