Astonishing zoom on the moon…with a $600 camera

Written by Andy Stout

Lothar Lenz/RedSharkMoon with a view...

We know that consumer cameras are getting more capable with every generation, but the video of this zoom still took our breath away.

The frame above is taken from a video where German nature photographer Lothar Lenz tried to zoom in on the moon with his new Nikon Coolpix P900.

The P900 has a frankly ridiculous 83x optical zoom. That’s 24-2000mm equivalent.

It’s not something you’re going to be shooting too much video with — its 16-megapixel CMOS sensor can only capture 7 frames per second in continuous shooting mode — but for amazing zooms lke this it’s unlike anything we’ve seen before at this price point.

Perhaps rather importantly, the camera also features what Nikon calls Dual Detect Optical VR technology, which offers the equivalent of five stops of stabilisation to help reduce camera shake - which is going to be a problem even on a tripod at 2000mm.

And, entertainingly, it gets even crazier on the zoom front. An enhanced digital zoom on the P900 takes things up to 166x before a 332x digital zoom quadruples the optical zoom's reach. Lenz does that a bit later on in the video and, while the quality obviously drops, it’s still impressive.

Tags: Production


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