Astounding Results From 36X Optical Zoom

A little over five years ago I posted examples of the field of view of a 10X optical zoom lens set at it’s closest wide angle setting and at it’s longest telephoto setting.  The post was titled “The Power of 10X Optically Zoomed VR Mega-pixels“.   I recently updated my camera to a 36X Optical Zoom Vibration Reduction model, and of course immediately had to test out what 36X zoom meant in visual terms.  So I took the camera outside and shot this picture, at the full wide-angle setting (Note – clicking on picture will open to a larger size):

While still standing in the same position, I decided to zoom in on something that I knew was off in the distance, but you probably cannot discern in the photo above.

Now, by zooming in a bit, you can see the martin house in the distance.  But I still had more to go, so I continued zooming in and took another photo:

And then I realized, the lens is still not zoomed out to the max, so I continued on:

Scroll back up to the first photo, and then back here to compare.  That is a pretty incredible zoom range.  In the first photo, the martin house is just barely visible.  In the last photo, you can see individual blades of grass sticking out of the nesting cavity.  Before being too critical of the last photo for being a little soft in focus, be aware that these photos were all taken HAND HELD!

For another example, here is a picture of my patio, taken with the camera attached to a tripod:

See the black smoker pit at the rear of the patio?  I zoomed in full to the top of the smoker, and this is what I saw:

With a tripod, the results are truly astounding.  And what is more astounding is that this huge zoom range is contained in the small package you see in this next photo:

It will be interesting to see how this powerful zoom actually performs as I put the camera through its’ paces on some photo-outings.  The proof, they say, is in the pudding.  I’ll be sure to let you know.