Zoom in close to hikers down in the Grand Canyon

Zooming in On Hikers in the Grand Canyon

Last Updated: 2023-08-08

The Grand Canyon in Arizona in the United States is a great place for super zooming. I suppose you could say that it's a grand place for super zooming! In my first super zoom video at the Grand Canyon, I zoomed in on buildings that are inside the canyon. Who knew that there were buildings down there? Not me.

And in my latest super zoom video at the Grand Canyon, I zoom in on hikers down in the canyon. The Grand Canyon hikers video is at the end of this article. Who knew that there were hikers down there? OK, everybody probably knows that people hike the canyon, but when you're standing on the rim of the Grand Canyon looking down, you're so far away from the canyon floor that you can't see them.

Click to see a full-size picture

But it turns out that you can see the hikers down there if you have a super zoom camera! When I was at the Grand Canyon, I had my Nikon COOLPIX P1000 super zoom camera. So I was the only person up on the canyon rim that could see the hikers way down below! It's fun being able to see things that others can't see. It was so much fun that I told strangers walking by that "I can see things that no one else can see". I'm not sure why, but they all walked away from me very quickly.

The focal lengths mentioned in this article are 35mm equivalents. Also, if you are reading this article on a large screen like a tablet, desktop computer or a TV then you can click on some of the pictures to see a larger view.

Let's take a look at some pictures of people hiking along the Bright Angel Trail in the Grand Canyon. We'll start with a view of the hikers using the Nikon P1000's most wide-angle focal length of 24mm. This is a common "Zoomed Out" focal length on many zoom cameras.

Click to see a full-size picture

I added that red circle in the picture to show the location of the hikers because they are so far away that you actually can't see them at this focal length. That's not a surprise considering that I calculated the straight-line distance between the hikers and the camera to be about 1 mile (1.7 km).

And here's the same scene at the P1000's maximum optical focal length of 3000mm. I took the 24mm picture and the 3000mm picture from the exact same location.

Click to see a full-size picture

The 3000mm picture is a magnification of 125x compared to the 24mm picture. That's one heck of a zoom range and it's why the Nikon P1000 is by far the king of super zoom cameras!

Fun Fact! The U.S National Parks Service estimates that it would take between 6 and 9 hours to hike from the south rim (where I took this picture) to where these three hikers are on the Bright Angel Trail. The P1000 zoom covered the distance in about 5 seconds!

Let's try to get an even closer view of the hikers by applying a little digital zoom to the picture taken at 3000mm. But why apply a little digital zoom when we can apply an insane amount of digital zoom?! Check out the picture below which is a digital magnification of 840x compared to the 24mm picture. That's equivalent to a focal length of 20,160mm!!

Click to see a full-size picture

I applied the digital magnification in postproduction using my photo editing software (Photoshop). If you scroll back up to the 24mm picture, you'll see that we went from not being able to see the hikers at all to being able to see that they are wearing what are probably Fitbits or similar health/fitness monitoring devices on their wrists. I think that's amazing!

Be sure to check out the video below to see the 840x magnification of the other hiker which I think looks even better.


Did we have to use some digital zoom to get the final close-up picture of the hikers? Yes, we did. Is the final close-up picture of the hikers a tack sharp picture? No, it is not. But applying that level of digital zoom and getting the detail that we did was only possible because the Nikon P1000's 3000mm OPTICAL zoom gave us the pixels to work with. We could not have started with a picture taken at a focal length of 200mm, for example, and gotten as close to the hikers as the picture above no matter how much digital zoom we applied.

By the Way...

By the way, take a look at this cropped view of the picture taken at 3000mm:

Does this large rock look like a dog? Hikers walk by a peculiar rock.

Does anyone else think that the large rock that they are walking by looks like a dog's head? The dark spot is the eye and the left front of the rock is the dog's nose.

large rock look like a dog. Does this rock look like a dog's head?

I keep thinking that if the hikers stopped to pet the rock dog's head and said, "Who's a good doggie?", then the rock dog would climb out of the ground and follow them down the trail with its giant tail wagging!

Well it looks like dog's head to me, so I hereby proclaim that this rock shall now and forever be named "Dog Head Rock"! I'd post an official sign next to the rock, but 6 to 9 hours is a really long hike :)

Watch the Video

Click on the video below to watch the Nikon COOLPIX P1000 camera use all of its 24mm to 3000mm focal length range to find hikers down in the Grand Canyon You'll see our two hiker friends from above and other hikers on Bright Angel Trail up to about a mile (1.7 km) away. In the video, we'll also zoom in on people hiking Plateau Point Trail who are about 3 miles (4.9 km) away!

Click to watch the video
Click to Watch the Video on YouTube

Thanks for reading this article and watching the video! You can also check out some of my other articles and videos below. Or you can browse through all of my articles.

This article, the pictures and the video are Copyright One Lens Two. All rights reserved. These materials may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed in whole or in part without the expressed written authorization from One Lens Two.

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Article Contributors
John Miller John Miller is the owner of "One Lens Two" and "In and Around Phoenix". He is also a co-owner of "Fooding Around Phoenix". John is always looking for collaboration opportunities so contact him using one of the options below!