The focal length of a deformable mirror can be changed by altering its mirror profile or refractive index. With the rapid development of microelectromechanical systems technology, the variations in optical power introduced by refractive and reflective deformable mirrors have been improved, and a stabilized zoom system based on these deformable mirrors has thus become a hotspot for quick zooming and better image quality. In this paper, we discuss the domestic and foreign research on these kinds of systems, which can be divided into three categories—refractive zoom systems, all-reflective zoom systems, and catadioptric zoom systems—to indicate the differences in optical path and the deformable mirrors used. The initial theoretical layout, the verification experiment, and the performance of these systems are discussed. Above all, their characteristics and operating temperatures are highlighted, and these three types of deformable mirrors are then compared to find the possible layout for a zoom stabilization system based on two reflective deformable mirrors. Our study can help in the selection of the most suitable types of deformable mirrors and in discussions of a prototype of a stabilized zoom system. A system performance and defects radar chart for these three types of system is drawn to facilitate the selection of deformable mirrors for system design. Finally, ideas for further work to handle the challenges confronted by deformable mirrors are discussed.