You know you're living in 2015 when the zoom function on a bridge camera - a type of camera that sits between a pocket camera and a full-on DSLR - can show you each crater, crease, and crevice that marks the blemished, shadowy surface of the Moon. It's something you have to see to believe, and lucky for us, YouTuber Naturbeobachtungen von Lothar Lenz has shown off the insane zooming capabilities of his new Nikon Coolpix P900 camera in the video above. This is the first bridge camera on the market with an 83x optical zoom, and it sure is something.
Incredibly, this handheld camera doesn't come with interchangable lenses, it just has the one, and it's been categorised as a 'super-zoom' lens.
For those in the know, Amy Davies reports at TechRadar that its 83x ratio equates to 24 mm to 2,000 mm in 35 mm terms, and for those who have no idea what that means, let's just say that this thing has an incredible range for a handheld, and allows you to see and shoot things that are impossible to view with the naked eye. It also includes a digital zoom, which reaches to 166x, or 4,000 mm, says Davies.
Now, before you all rush off and put this at the top of your Christmas list, give your relatives a break, because this thing is not cheap - it'll set them back around AUD$670. Plus it's heavy, and there's no raw mode capability.
But there's nothing else quite like this on the market - TechRadar says that the Canon SX60, which offers a 65x optical zoom, and the Sony HX400V, which offers a 50x optical zoom are the only models that come close - so let's appreciate it from afar as a nice little reminder of just how insane imaging technology has become. We can now give our smartphones near-DSLR capabilities, so who knows what we'll be carrying around in our pockets over the next 50 years.
Here's another video of someone using the Nikon P900 to zoom in on the Moon at night: