Find a high optical zoom, and stay away from the high digital zoom. The "crappy" image comes form the use of digital zoom. Optical zoom actually brings the image "closer", while the digital zoom blows up the existing image.....blow it up to far and you start to gat a pixxilated (sp)picture. Blurry. As far as holding the camera steady, which is critical in high zoom situations....you got me. It seems like any vibration caused by the driver, the wind, what ever.... , makes the image look like krap.
I know that I am probably stating the obvious. Hope that helps!