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Forget the edge of space, Nikon P900’s 83x lens will zoom you to the moon

Just how powerful is that 83x zoom lens in Nikon’s new Coolpix P900? When we first wrote about it, we jokingly said you could get up-close from across the country. Well, that still may be questionable, but one user discovered that you could go to the surface of the moon.

A German nature photographer, Lothar Lenz (a fitting last name), tested the zoom’s reach while recording video of the moon. At 24mm, the moon appears in the day sky like a cloud. As the 1.5-minute video progresses, the camera gets closer and closer to the moon, showing the many craters and marks on the surface – a photo one normally sees from NASA. Despite having a small point-and-shoot sensor, the amount of detail the P900 was able to capture is pretty spectacular (make sure you set the video to 1080p and view it full-screen). DIY Photography notes that Lenz employed the 166x digital zoom to get even closer; while the image isn’t as sharp, you can still view the moon’s surface clearly. In the video you’ll notice some shaking. At full telephoto, even with optical image stabilization you can only do so much.

Toward the end of the video, Lenz pulls us back to Earth. If the 83x lens could take us to outer space, imagine what else you could zoom onto. Just make it legal, please.

Related: Nikon’s crazy 83x zoom camera can capture every pore (from 10 miles away)

Lenz, who goes by the username Naturbeobachtungen von Lothar Lenz (wildlife observation of Lothar Lenz, in German) on YouTube, recently posted a video of birds he filmed using the P900 (if you like watching animals in their natural habitat, he has plenty of those videos). While the video quality may not be at the level of cameras with larger sensors, it isn’t bad at all.