I've compiled a list of the best cameras that meet these criteria. I've included a few cameras that are a little thicker than 1 inch, when those cameras have greater than a 10X zoom lens. Either way, these are the best thin zoom cameras you'll find on the market.
The ELPH 520 HS includes a 12X optical zoom lens, which Canon claims makes the 520 HS the world's thinnest 12X zoom camera. The ELPH 520 HS measures 0.76 inches in thickness.
The sharp-edged design of the Canon PowerShot ELPH 520 HS gives it an interesting look for a point and shoot camera. And it has some good photographic features to match its cool design. The ELPH 520 HS uses a 10.1MP CMOS image sensor, which should improve low light photography results. It has a high-resolution 3.0-inch LCD and full HD video capabilities. The ELPH 520 HS is available in blue, red, silver, and black camera bodies, depending on your location in the world.
Fujifilm has been offering a few different thin zoom cameras in the past few years as part of its EXR series, including the F300EXR.
The latest model in the family is the FinePix F850EXR, which is now available in black, olive green, red, or white camera bodies.
The FinePix F850EXR has a 16MP CMOS image sensor, a 3.0-inch LCD, full 1080p HD video, fast response times, including a 1.1 second start-up.
But the most impressive option is a 20X optical zoom lens in such a thin camera body.
A larger image sensor and a large optical zoom lens make the Fujifilm FinePix F900EXR one of the more impressive models that you're going to see on the market right now.
The F900EXR has a 1/2-inch CMOS image sensor with 16MP of resolution, a 20X optical zoom lens, 1080p HD video capabilities, and a 3.0-inch LCD screen. You can shoot in either RAW or JPEG with this camera.
The FinePix F900EXR also has Wi-Fi capabilities. Look for this sharp-looking camera to be available in indigo blue, red, gold, or black camera bodies.
Fujifilm has unveiled a camera with a nice mid-range zoom lens that has found its way below the $150 price point.
The Fujifilm FinePix T550 includes a 12x optical zoom lens, 16MP of resolution, and a 3.0-inch LCD screen. Those are impressive features to find in an inexpensive camera that measures only 0.73 inches in thickness. The area where this camera has below average performance comes in video recording, where the T550 only offers a maximum resolution of 720p HD.
This is an impressive set of features to find in a camera that is available for less than $150. Look for the FinePix T550 in black, white, silver, or red camera bodies.
With so many interesting features available in the Nikon Coolpix S800c, it's tough to know what to focus on first.
For starters, the S800c has a 10X optical zoom lens in a camera body that measures only 1.06 inches in thickness. The 3.5-inch OLED touch screen is very bright and sharp. This camera has 16MP of resolution, and it can shoot full HD video.
The Coolpix S800c's on-screen interface is based on the Android operating system for mobile devices, which should make it very easy to use to visit the Web with the built-in Wi-Fi and GPS capabilities.
With 16 megapixels of resolution and a 10X optical zoom lens in a camera that measures 1.0 inches in thickness, the S6300 already has a leg up on most point and shoot cameras. This model can shoot full 1080p HD video at 30 frames per second, which is another impressive feature in a point and shoot.
Although the S6300's 2.7-inch LCD screen is little smaller than I'd like to see, there's still plenty to like about the S6300, which is available in four different solid body colors: Blue, red, silver, and black.
Small ultra zoom cameras are growing in popularity, and Nikon's latest contribution to this market is the Coolpix S9500.
The S9500 offers a 22X optical zoom lens as well as an impressive 18.1MP CMOS image sensor. This thin Coolpix model includes an impressive 3.0-inch OLED display screen and full 1080p HD video recording options. You'll also find built-in GPS and WiFi features with this camera.
Panasonic has built quite a few very interesting features into a point and shoot camera that measures only 1.1 inches in thickness with its Lumix DMC-ZS20 model.
The ZS20 includes a 20X optical zoom lens, a 3.0-inch high-resolution touch-screen LCD, and a built-in GPS unit. In addition, the Lumix ZS20, which was introduced at CES 2012, includes 14.1MP of resolution and full HD 1080p video recording capabilities.
That's a lot of high-end features in the ZS20, which is a reasonably-priced camera that's available in black, red, silver, or gray/white camera body colors.
Samsung has done a really nice job of late creating thin ultra zoom cameras that give you a variety of great features. The latest model, the WB250F, is another strong camera along this line.
The WB250F includes an 18X optical zoom lens, a 14MP CMOS image sensor, full 1080p HD video recording, built-in Wi-Fi connectivity, and a 3.0-inch touch-screen LCD. You also can download a Remote Viewfinder app to allow your smartphone as a camera display.
Look for the WB250F to carry a sub-$250 price point and to be available now in black, white, red, or gun metal gray.
10. Samsung WB800F
It wasn't that long ago when finding a camera that had a 20X or larger optical zoom lens meant working with a blocky, heavy camera.
That's no longer the case. Thin zoom cameras introduced in 2013 are beginning to match or surpass the 20X optical zoom mark with more regularity, including the recently released Samsung WB800F, which has a 21X zoom.
The other specifications for the WB800F are pretty impressive, too, including a 3.0-inch touchscreen LCD, full 1080p HD video, 16.3 megapixels of resolution, and full manual shooting modes.
Look for the WB800F to be available in white, black, or red camera bodies.
Camera manufacturers in 2013 have emphasized mid-range cameras that are pretty thin, yet offer a large number of nice features and a good optical zoom lens.
One of the better models you're going to find on the market right now is the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-WX300, which includes some really nice features in a camera that measures about 1.17 inches in thickness. The Sony WX300 has a 20X optical zoom lens, a 3.0-inch LCD, 18.2 of resolution, full 1080p HD video, and built-in Wi-Fi. Sony also claims the WX300 offers a very impressive battery life of up to 500 photos per charge.
Look for the Cyber-shot WX300 in red, black, or white camera bodies.