Digital Cameras with Big Zooms
By Ted C. Fishman

(MONEY Magazine) – GOOD $404

Pentax Optio555

It fits in a shirt pocket and still has a 5x zoom, making images look five times the size your eye sees unaided. We love the rugged metal case. A neat feature lets you stitch pictures into panoramas. The price, from, is after a $50 maker's rebate through June 30.


Canon PowerShot S1 IS

The S1's nifty image-stabilization feature compensates for the slight shaking of the hand that can blur pictures during long exposures or extreme zooms. Its 10x zoom makes possible more-naturally lit shots at dusk and closeups from across a soccer field.

BEST $550

Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ10

It resembles an Instamatic with a jelly jar on it, but it boasts a superb 12x Leica lens that's image-stabilized, so nighttime shots are supersharp. Comes with one Panasonic battery; extras cost $50, but grab 'em because you'll want to shoot all day. --TED C. FISHMAN