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Old Oct 14, 2003, 10:36 AM   #1
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Default Wide Angle Digicams

I am a professional photographer and I have recently begun using digital cameras. There are times a small "point and shoot" camera would come in very handy if they were wide enough. Why can't there be a small digicam with a zoom range that would include 28mm? I know that Olympus has come out with a digicam that is wide, but it is larger than the smaller digicams. If I wanted something larger, I would use my D10.
I feel that many people would buy a smaller digicam if it was wider.
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Old Oct 14, 2003, 1:08 PM   #2
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People don't know what they want, just look at all the questions that have been posted asking, "Which camera should I buy?" and they list things from the smallest pocket camera to a dSLR. Also most want closer, not wider...there have been a few complaints, "when I look through the viewfinder of my 3x zoom camera, why isn't it 3x closer to my eye?"

Personally, I love the size of the C-series Olympus (I own a C-700)...I tried the C-5060 at a camera show recently, but much prefer my C-700 with my wide angle attachment...you would describe as too big and heavy, but a little weight and bulk helps to steady the camera (many of the other ultra zoom cameras just introduced are too LIGHT!

Also, it's probably tougher to make a small wide angle lens; if you look at wide angle converters, they're always much wider at the front than where they attach to the camera...if you look even at a WA converter for a small Nikon Coolpix it makes the camera much larger, example, http://www.andromeda.com/people/ddye...wideangle.html Certainly a built in WA lens would have the same problems.

Barrel distortion is another problem with many wide angle lenses, I've noticed this on some cameras even at 38mm, they aren't very good due to the amount of range they have (compared to a fixed lens)...if I had to chose between having to add a good converter with no barrel distortion, and having the same range with a lot of barrel distortion on a small camera, I'd chose the larger camera with no BD.

I've tried those cameras you're talking about, and they're like kids toys (to me).
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Old Oct 14, 2003, 1:10 PM   #3
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There are a few compact that have 28mm wide angle , Nikon CP5000 is one.
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Old Oct 14, 2003, 1:21 PM   #4
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I agree with Mike that many people don't
know exactly what they want. And yes K,
I am aware of the Nikon 5000. I was stating
that I wanted something more compact. If I
wanted a larger camera such as the Nikon 5000
I would use my D10.
Just thinking out loud that if some manufacturer
knew there was demand out there, they might
produce one.
Jack.
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Old Oct 14, 2003, 1:31 PM   #5
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But would the quality be there? Read what I said about barrel distortion. As Scotty on Star Trek would say, "You can not change the laws of physics." Can they make a small lens that has that much wide angle with little or no barrel distortion? People would complain sooner about the distortion, before they would complain about the lack of wide angle.

If the person who doesn't know about all the fancy lenses out there looked at a fish-eye picture, what would be the first thing they say:

"Look how much you can see."
"That's a weird picture...why is it all distorted like that...someone must have dropped that camera!"
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Old Oct 15, 2003, 7:05 AM   #6
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Default Two Cents Worth

For small size I like my Nikon 4500 with the Nikon W/A. You can fit the camera in one pocket and the lens in another. I also like my Sony 717 with the Sony W/A lens that will zoom. It will frame just about anything and give you a nice clear view of what you have in the viewfinder. It is VERY heavy tho...like walking around with an anchor. Both cameras produce good quality photos, but may not be "good enough" compaired to top of the line pro cameras?
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Old Oct 15, 2003, 10:29 AM   #7
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I carried a tiny 28-70mm Konica 35mm with me for years when I didnít want to schlep the SLR gear. When I switched to digital last year it was irritating that while Minolta made a nice large camera with 28mm I couldnít supplement it with a small carry camera that had decent wide capability.

Then I discovered that I could grab two panorama shots very quickly with the camera held vertically and slightly exceed 28mm with the added benefit of having the shot over 8Mp for wide format printing. The format ends up being perfect for a 13 X 19 print without cropping. The pano assist mode fixes the exposure with the first shot or you can just use manual. If you use the pano assist most proprietary software that comes with the camera will identify and number the pano thumbnails and stitch them very quickly.

You can even take group shots that way if you tell everyone you will be taking two shots. You have to manually stitch if you do that, but that is easier in the Camedia software than auto. The nice part is having the thumbnails identified and numbered. With practice you can even align a 3 shot horizontal pano handheld Ė the two shot vertical is a snap. Most small cameras have rangefinder type optical finders that donít show the entire scene. If you just align the edges you have enough to stitch. Panorama Factory wants more overlap, but most will stitch fine with the edges aligned in the optical finder.

These are two shots I just grabbed. They have no scenic quality as they are just to demo. The first is at full wide, which is 38mm on my C50. The second is a two shot pano.

38mm


38mm twice
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Old Oct 15, 2003, 3:27 PM   #8
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After doing some more thinking I've come up with another reason why there aren't too many digitals with wide angle...although in 35mm photography we're talking about 28mm, due to the smaller CCD (compared to 35mm film) the actual focal lengths are much smaller; on my camera (Olympus C-700) 38mm is actually 5.9mm, to get 28mm it would have to be 4.2mm which is probably too close to the CCD or for the mechanism to handle.

Now with larger CCDs going into cameras the actual focal length has increased, on the Olympus C-5060 Wide Zoom camera 27mm is actually 5.7mm which is easy to manufacture.
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Old Oct 16, 2003, 7:19 AM   #9
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The FZ10 (when it comes out) is supposed to have a wide angle lens. There's lots of discussion in the Panasonic forum here at Steve's and also at Yahoo Groups:

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/PanaLumix/
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Old Oct 16, 2003, 8:19 AM   #10
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I was wondering what it would be like to try a Nikon 5700 with the wide attachment. Has anyone had experience with it?
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