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Old Mar 6, 2008, 9:16 PM   #1
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I have been looking at DSLR and Point and Shoot and Camcorders. DSLR has 10-20x optical zoom with non-detachable lens. Point and Shoot have about 3-5x optical zoom. Camcorders have 30-40 optical zoom. They don't seem long enough to have this. Why do Camcorders have such high optical zoom options and DSLR's don't? I hope this is the correct forum for this.
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Old Mar 6, 2008, 11:19 PM   #2
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The first thing you need to know before you get attacked and lynched by the DSLR mob, Is that, Though they use to make some film SLR's with non- detachable lenses. As far as I am aware all of today's DSLR's do have detachable lenses. I believe you are refuring to the superzooms such as the Fuji 9100 or the canon S series. These camera look like DLR's and have many similar functions but they are not.

Now to the meat of you question. It all has to do with physical size. The super zooms have a larger image censer than a camcorder does. Therefore the lens must also be bigger to cover the image area. A 30x zoom on one of these cameras would be huge and heavy. And no one would likey want to use it. DLR's have even bigger image censer. And many of the lenses for them are designed for the even bigger 35mm film size. P&S cameras have small censers too, but these cameras are aimed at the casual snap shooter who just wants to take pics at birthday parties, ands who is not going to pay the money for a larger zoom ratio.
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Old Mar 7, 2008, 6:51 AM   #3
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zeropointef wrote:
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...Why do Camcorders have such high optical zoom options and DSLR's don't? I hope this is the correct forum for this.
Camcorders have even tinier sensors than 'superzoom' cameras like my 12x Kodak Z712is (37-432mm 35mm lens equivalent), so the optics are smaller.

I have two ancient Sony Video8 camcorders with more than adequate 18x optical zoom, but they need resolutionmerely for TV output, with only 625 vertical lines, i.e., much poorer resolution than my 7 Mpixel still camera (3072x2304).

Even 1000 pixel HD video still isn't up to quite modest digicams in resolution, so the sonsors & optics don't need to be so good, and are on a smaller scale, making satisfactory construction easier & cheaper. Ordinary camcorders are still in the age of the earliest consumer digicams.
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Old Mar 7, 2008, 8:52 AM   #4
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To emphasize what tjsnaps and Alan said, a camcorder can have a longer zoom because it produces a lower quality image. The lower quality image hides the problems with lower quality glass.

Take a look at a frame-grab from one of those consumer camcorders. It is less than a 0.5Mp image. Though the importance of pixel count is often exagerated, an increase by more than a factor of ten is a very real improvement and will show more problems with a lens.
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Old Mar 12, 2008, 8:40 PM   #5
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Thanks for your help tjsnaps, Alan T and Bill Drew. Sorry about the misunderstanding of what an SLR is.

Todd
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