Article: Super Zoom Variety Episode 2

Episode 2 of the Super Zoom Variety Series

Last Updated: 2024-01-27

What's better than watching a video of a super zoom? Watching a video with a whole bunch of super zooms!

A few months ago, I posted a single video that contained 14 different super zoom video clips and still pictures. You can watch that video on YouTube here. I really enjoyed putting that together and it was well received on YouTube, so I decided to turn that single video into a series of super zoom variety videos. These videos will contain all kinds of different super zooms randomly selected from my growing archive of super zooms. I carry my Nikon COOLPIX P1000 super zoom camera with me often and something zoom-worthy is always catching my eye!

P1000 Product Shot The Nikon COOLPIX P1000 superzoom camera.

Last week I posted Episode 2 of the super zoom variety series. I'm really excited about Episode 2 because I needed two episodes to call it a series! :) But I'm also excited because I think there are some really interesting - and varied - super zooms in this episode. You can watch Episode 2 on YouTube here.

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.

Below are a few sneak peeks of the P1000 super zoom tests in Episode 2.


Click to see a full-size picture

I recorded a video of this black Starling bird using the P1000's maximum digital zoom of 12000mm. That's not a typo - the P1000 can digitally zoom in to the equivalent of a twelve thousand millimeter focal length! How does it do that? The P1000's maximum optical focal length is 3000mm and the camera can magnify that image digitally by four times. And 3,000 X 4 = 12,000.

In many situations, the P1000's in-camera digital zoom is actually pretty good. For example, in the picture above, the sharpness of the Starling's beak is pretty amazing considering that this is a digitally enlarged image. I should note that this .jpg image is straight out of the camera and there were no post-production adjustments.

At this level of zoom, the field of focus is very shallow, so not all areas of the image are sharp. One of the things that I learned about taking pictures with the P1000 at long focal lengths is to take multiple photos of the same subject because you can't always see in the camera's little viewfinder what the autofocus system locked onto. If you take enough pictures, the field of focus will eventually be where you want it :)


Click to see a full-size picture

Is that a bottle of red fruit punch on top of the bridge that spans Roosevelt Lake in Arizona? I like to think so even though some people will tell you it's a flashing light for aircraft. These pictures demonstrate why bridge maintenance crews should carry a P1000 with them. Super zooming from the ground to check the condition of this bottle of red fruit punch - or flashing light if you prefer - is a lot faster and easier than climbing to the top of the bridge's arch.

Alternatively, the maintenance crew can call me. My motto is "Have super zoom camera. Will travel!"

You can read a short Wikipedia article about the Roosevelt Lake Bridge here.


Click to see a full-size picture

Super zoom fans love to see pictures and videos at the maximum focal length. But, another value of having a camera like the P1000 with a ridiculously wide zoom range is that you can frame any shot you want no matter how close or far away the subject is. You can't just walk up to a deer in the wild with your cell phone and frame a shot like the picture above. You need to stay far enough away so that the deer doesn't run away.

But you don't need to use the full power of a super zoom camera every time. Just zoom in close enough to compose the shot that you want. The picture of the deer was shot at "only" 1700mm. Now, did I also zoom in to the deer at the P1000's maximum focal length of 3000mm? ...Of course I did! And you can see that in Episode 2 (see the link below).

BTW, this is a "Mule Deer" that I photographed at the Grand Canyon. The Mule Deer's most recognizable features are their really big ears. The size of this deer's ears is not particularly noticeable in the picture above, but they look pretty big in the video clip that I included in Episode 2!


Hikers Super Zoom

Click to see a full-size picture

Here's another set of pictures showing the start and end of a super zoom from 24mm to 12000mm (digital). These are video frame captures, so the resolution is lower than the pictures that the P1000 takes. The P1000 got us so close to these hikers that I had to apply a post-production face blur in my video editing software to keep the hikers anonymous. The hiker's faces do not look like that in the original video clip!


Click to see a full-size picture

If you have a super zoom camera then I'm guessing that you don't use the upper end of its zoom range indoors. But why not? I do! In episode 2 of my super zoom variety videos, I zoomed in on actress Kate Mulgrew while she was being interviewed onstage at Phoenix Fan Fusion (Phoenix' version of Comicon). When I have my P1000, I don't have to worry about getting to the venue early so that I can get a good seat. With the P1000, every seat in the theater is a good seat!

One of the downsides of super zooming indoors is that sometimes there isn't enough light. That was certainly the case in this venue. Plus, the pictures above were created from a video, so they are video frame captures. I think getting a good super zoom picture with any camera in a situation like this is a minor miracle, so good job P1000!

Are you wondering why I recorded a super zoom video clip Kate Mulgrew? Because she's Captain Janeway on Star Trek Voyager! You can find all of her TV and movie appearances (like Orange is the New Black) on her website.

Watch the Video

This article touches on just a few of the super zooms in Episode 2. You can click on the picture below to see all 10 of the super zooms in this episode. And visit from time to time to see when the next episode of the super zoom test variety video series is published!

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!