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Old Oct 22, 2006, 1:40 AM   #1
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Sure, 12x would be great, but can these lens perform just as well as a shorter (3x) lens typically seen on a more compact P&S? At it's widest angle, will the 12x P&S produce the same quality image as the 3x would at it's widest angle? Will the 12x produce as 'bright', 'sharp', andsimiliar distortion levelof a picture as the 3x?
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Old Oct 22, 2006, 10:44 PM   #2
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It is impossible to say yes or no to this question, because each case is different. If everything could possibly be equal in a lens, and only the amount of zoom were change, it would not effect image quality whatsoever. The fact that more glass elements and engineering tecniques have to be changed that can reduce image quality of a lens that has a wider range of zoom.

In an SLR/dSLR camera, an average prime lens will almost always give better pictures than an average zoom lens. However, there is a major difference in the point and shoot world. Size.

A bigger lens is not always better, but smaller optics can create a greater challange, esspecially with zoom lenses, because they have to have the capacity to fit in a much smaller body, sometimes retract, etc. Super zooms usually have the capacity to be a lot bigger, and thus face fewer engineering limitations size wise. However, they have to make more zoom.

So to answer your question, it varies from camera to camera. An example I have experience with is the Fuji F10 vs the Fuji S6000fd. Both have very similar sensors, but one is a pocketable 3x, and the other is a superzoom the size of a small dSLR. Brightness is identical at their widest because they both have a F2.8 aperture, and the sharpness is actually slightly better on the sS6000, irregaurdless of in camera sharpening. Also, chronomatic abrasion is a little less problematic on the S6000. It also has less corner softness and barrel distortion is about the same at comprable focal lengths.

I don't have the capability to provide a detailed explanation of one vs the other, but some of the others may be able to go in more detail if you want it, but overall, it varies from case to case.
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