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Old Jul 31, 2005, 7:52 AM   #1
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I am sure this question has been raised but I am new to this board and couldn't find anything like this discussed.

Take a Canon PowerShot S1 IS with 10X zoom and 3 megapixels and produce a picture zoomed in at 10X. Then take a Canon SD-500 zoomed into only 3X but having 7 megapixels, can you get the same results printing an 8X10 from both using the S1 full picutre and blowing up 1/3 of the SSD-500 image?

I am trying to weight the advantages carrying a smaller camerawhile still having the advantages of higher zoom rates by upping the megapixel size rather than the camera size to get the added zoom.
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Old Jul 31, 2005, 9:13 AM   #2
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"Zoom" contains no photographicaly useful information. Does the 10x zoom go from 28 to 280mm (equiv) vs. 3x zoom from 40 to 120mm? Or 40 to 400mm vs 28 to 84mm?
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Old Jul 31, 2005, 9:32 AM   #3
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Megapixels can compensate for small zoom range to a small extent but a 7 megapixel camera does not actually capture that much more data than a 3 megapixel camera.

3 megapixels is around 2000 x 1500 pixels 7 megapixels is around 3000 x 2300 so only about a 1/3rd bigger in any direction.

As Bill says it's also important to look at the actual range when comparing zooms. Since you are looking at cropping to acheive your result you are interested in the telephoto end of the zoom. The S1 IS is 38 - 380and the SD-500 is 37 -110 in 35mm equivalent. Using 50 mm as an approximation of the field of view if the human eye the S1 IS gives around 7x magnification and the SD-500 only double so there's no way you could get a 7x magnification and 3 megapixels by cropping an SD-500 image.

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Old Jul 31, 2005, 9:42 AM   #4
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More of a question of the right camera for the job.

You want the right lens with the right "focal length" for the shots your taking.

For instance, taking soccer photos would mean you'd need probably a 200mm lens (in 35mm equivalence) at the "long end". This doesn't really translate to 10X or whatever.

As far as megapixels go, the more megapixels you've got to work with, the better quality the image and more cropping you can do.

A pocketable camera is never going to have the quality of the DSLR, as they usually put cheaper sensors in them, and optical quality is compromised to build a small compact lens.

-- Terry

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Old Jul 31, 2005, 12:30 PM   #5
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Thanks everyone.

I am shooting mostly horse show pictures. I currently have a Canon A70 with a teleadapter and end up with about 8X. The problem is that I can only get about 3 shots on a canter across the ringwith the auto focus and flush of the buffer. The SD-500 can do burst shots until the card is full and since the eye piece is like the old fashion view finders you can follow the moving horse easily, but there is no teleadapter for it.

I was hoping to make the SD-500 work becuase of it's small size so I can keep it in a pocket - as I am carrying a video camera, a still camera, batteries and a bucket full of stuff for the rider.

The PowerShot S2 IS would work, but it is larger and it still shows the last picture taken even in burst mode according to Steve's review, which makes it hard to follow a cantering horse in burst mode.

Budget is an issue and the SD-500 and S2 ISareat the far end the budget as it is so a DSLR is not an option - just a dream.

I will keep looking... and thanks again for the responses
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Old Aug 1, 2005, 3:00 AM   #6
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You can disable the review of the last shot with the S2, but the picture does freeze a bit.

style="BACKGROUND-COLOR: #000000"When photographing birds in flight, you have to guess where they will be after the 1st shot. I dont think the horses are quite so difficult to follow at that distance though. I would think that you will have to focus manually in any case.
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Old Aug 1, 2005, 11:09 AM   #7
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1X is 37mm on the SD500 compared to 38mm on the S1. Basically a non factor.

To crop a 9X image from a 7Mp SD500 will give you about 0.43Mp of remaining image. That isn't good enough for even a decent 4 X 6. Extra pixels isn't generally an adequate substitute for a zoom.

You can get a Panasonic FZ5 for $375 including shipping. It will take 5 shots in a burst and you have to wait only a couple of seconds before you can take another burst. The viewfinder does blank out though during burst. I haven't found it much problem to continue a constant pan rate during a burst. And you can't put it in your pocket.

The best zoom range I am aware of currently available with an optical viewfinder are in 5X cameras. Above that they usually go to EVF and you usually get blanking during a burst.

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