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2008.01.30

UPDATE 2011.06.25: The new Camera finder makes finding the up to date list of wide-angle and even ultra-wide-angle digital camera a breeze. Here are all current ultra-wide angle cameras.

Without much fanfare, camera manufacturers have introduced many fixed-lens cameras with relatively wider lenses. While lenses starting between 35mm and 38mm are still the norm, 28mm and wider lenses are very rare. The few cameras with lenses starting at 24mm, such as the Sony Cybershot DSC-R1 and Kodak Easyshare P880, have been long discontinued. Last year we saw the Fuji Finepix S8000fd and Olympus SP-560 being the widest at 27mm.

In truth, there has historically always been far more people asking for more zoom than for wider lenses. Myself, being part of the latter group, have often felt disappointed with the lack of wide-angle offerings at any one time. Particularly, few flagship models have had such wide-angle lenses, except for Fuji’s mechanically-linked S-series. However, I noticed that we have been receiving proportionally more inquiries lately about wide-angle lenses. One obvious explanation is that the latest crop of 14X to 20X zoom easily reach beyond 400mm is indeed far reaching. Honestly, I do not feel I can see far enough to know where to point a 400mm lens…

When I read the press-release of the Olympus SP-570, the 20X zoom really stuck out as going for the big numbers but it was the 26mm wide-angle that got me interested. At 26mm, the SP-570 because the widest fixed-lens camera in production. Little did I know that this distinguishing quality would be so short-lived: Panasonic today annouced their Lumix DMC-FX35 with a 25-100mm lens, besting the Olympus SP-570 by 4% in terms of field-of-view.

Intestingly, there has been a disproportionate number of wide-angle ultra-compacts, the FX35 included, compared to larger – and more advanced – cameras. Among large cameras, we now (or soon) have:

  • Olympus SP-570 – 20X Stabilized optical zoom, starting at 26mm.
  • Fuji Finepix S81000fd and S8000fd – 18X Stabilized optical zoom, starting at 27mm.
  • Olympus SP-560 and SP-550 – 18X Stabilized optical zoom, starting at 27mm.
  • Fuji Finepix S100FS – 14X Stabilized optical zoom, starting at 28mm.
  • Fuji Finepix S6000fd, S9100 and S9000 – 10.7X Optical zoom, starting at 28mm.
  • Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ18 – 18X Stabilized optical zoom, starting at 28mm.
  • Sony Cybershot DSC-H9 and H7 – 15X Stabilized optical zoom, starting at 31mm.

Among compact and ultra-compact cameras, we currently have:

  • Panasonic Lumix DMC-FX35 – 4X Stabilized optical zoom, starting at 25mm.
  • Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ5, TZ4, TZ3 and TZ2 – 10X Stabilized optical zoom starting at 28mm.
  • Fuji Finepix F100fd- 5X Optical zoom, starting at 28mm.
  • Casio Exilim EX-Z200 – 4X Stabilized optical zoom, starting at 28mm.
  • Casio Exilim EX-Z100 – 4X Optical zoom, starting at 28mm.
  • Fuji Finepix F480- 4X Optical zoom, starting at 28mm.
  • Nikon Coolpix S600 – 4X Optical zoom, starting at 28mm.
  • Olympus FE-350- 4X Optical zoom, starting at 28mm.
  • Olympus FE-290- 4X Optical zoom, starting at 28mm.
  • Canon Powershot SD870 IS – 3.7X Stabilized optical zoom, starting at 28mm.
  • Nikon Coolpix P50 – 3.6X Stabilized optical zoom, starting at 28mm.
  • Olympus Stylus 1030SW – 3.6X Optical zoom, starting at 28mm.
  • Panasonic Lumix DMC-FX33, FX55 and FX100 – 3.5X Stabilized optical zoom starting at 28mm.
  • Sony Cybershot DSC-W170 – 5X Stabilized optical zoom starting at 28mm.
  • Panasonic Lumix DMC-FS5 and FS20 – 4X Stabilized optical zoom starting at 30mm.
  • Panasonic Lumix DMC-LZ10- 5X Stabilized optical zoom starting at 30mm.
  • Sony Cybershot DSC-W150 – 5X Stabilized optical zoom starting at 30mm.
  • Panasonic Lumix DMC-LZ8- 5X Stabilized optical zoom starting at 32mm.
  • Fuji Finepix E900 – 4X Optical zoom starting at 32mm.
  • Sony Cybershot DSC-W130 and W140 – 4X Stabilized optical zoom, starting at 32mm.

That’s all! Notice how most of these cameras have been announced in the last 2 weeks? Many of them have not even shipped yet, but it will not be long. Hopefully this is a sign of a new trend, with most wide-angle models starting at 28mm or wider. The bulk of wide-angle cameras comes in the form of ultra-compact models but, for those looking for advanced features and a wide-angle lens, there are several advanced models in the large category.

Neocamera Blog Neocamera.com © Cybernium.


One response to “Quiet Wide Angle”

  1. What a great info! This will bring a better understanding on the zoom that everyone should notice. Thanks!

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