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As you may know by now, there's an oil rig 12 km off the coast of The Hague. 12 kilometers is pretty far away, so it's not easy to photograph. Even with a long zoom lens it shows up pretty tiny:
Today the weather was clear and sunny, so I tried once again with both my new Nikon D7100 with the Nikon 70-300 mm lens and the not-so-new Canon SX280 point-and-shoot. I mounted them both on a tripod and tried 300, 240 and 200 mm on the Nikon and the full 90 mm (about equivalent to 300 mm on the Nikon) with and without digital zoom on the Canon. I cropped the images to show just the oil rig.
The results (click the links to load the different images):
It looks like the Canon is slightly sharper than the Nikon combo. And although the 70-300 mm lens is supposed to be a bit soft at 300 mm but shaper at below 200 or 240 mm, it still shows a tiny bit more detail at 300 mm than at 240 mm and certainly more than at 200 mm. And as expected, the results for using digital zoom or simply cropping the photo on the computer later are virtually identical.