Compact megazooms, also known as travel zooms, are some of the most popular cameras on CNET. That's likely because they offer wide-angle lenses with long zooms, giving you a lot of shooting flexibility, but without the bulk of larger dSLR-style megazooms.
The front-runners here are the Panasonic ZS20 for its price and performance, the Canon SX260 HS for its photo quality, and the Sony HX30V for its balance of photo and video quality, performance, and features. Now's a good time to pick these up, too, as their 2013 updates should be arriving in the next few months.
Editors' note: This was post was originally published April 10, 2012, and was updated on January 17, 2013 with the Canon PowerShot SX160 IS.
The WB850F might not have the best photos here, but its wireless features make it worth considering for those addicted to sharing their shots online. It's also loaded with some fun and unique shooting modes. Read the full review.
Samsung Galaxy Camera
The Galaxy Camera is basically an Android-powered version of the WB850F. Backed by AT&T's 4G data network (for a monthly fee, of course) the Galaxy Camera is the ultimate gadget for those who love to shoot and share. Read the full review.
Canon PowerShot SX160 IS
If you're just starting out in photography and don't want to make a big investment, the SX160 IS is a good place to start. It's inexpensive, has manual and semimanual shooting modes, and it takes AA batteries, so you don't have to worry about charging up a battery before you go out to shoot. Read the full review.