Cameras are looking more and more like telescopes. This year's CES saw several megazoom models emerge, including 60X and 70X from Sony and Panasonic camcorders and a 26X still camera from Olympus. (The higher the camera's resolution, the harder it is to extend the range of a lens. The Olympus is a 12MP camera, while the standard-def camcorders are under a megapixel.)
But it's hard to parse those numbers without a concrete example. Bob Perry from Panasonic captured it well when he said that using the companies 70X zoom is like "holding a piece of spaghetti in our hand that's about a half a mile long. And at the end when that spaghetti's moving up and down, we're taking a picture and we expect it to be fully in focus and sharp."
But perhaps the best way to picture this awesome zoom capability is, in fact, to see a picture.