Camera review test, 600 yards.
See our comparison galleries for the Olympus SP-590UZ, Nikon Coolpix D90, Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ28 and Canon PowerShot SX10 IS
We tested the following cameras at approximately 600 yards, in decent light, taking photos of a distant house. We didn't fiddle about too much, really just lined the targets up and took the picture, with focus, exposure and everything else set to automatic. The images have not be tweaked with any auto adjust features, so you can make you own minds up about which are best at the different ranges.
We used the optical zoom, and then zoomed in with the digital zoom where there was one. However neither the Panasonic nor the Olympus have a digital zoom so the image is purely the optical zoom that we have cropped.
Most images were all taken within seconds of each other, so the lighting and all the conditions are just about identical. The day was clear and sunny, and the images were taken at about 9 in the morning looking due west, so the sun was just about behind. The Olympus was teken a few weeks later, albeit from the same spot at the same time of day.
To see just how far away the house is, scroll down or click here.
Olympus SP-590UZ from around 600 yards, and the same image cropped and zoomed.
Nikon Coolpix D90 24X optical zoom from approx 600 yards, and the same camera with digital zoom
Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ28 18X zoom, and crop
Canon PowerShot SX10 IS 20X optical zoom from approx 600 yards, and the same camera with digital zoom
To illustrate the distance to the house, it is the white dot in the middle of the picture below, taken from the bird hide.