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Old Mar 23, 2009, 4:17 PM   #1
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Would like to know why a camcorder can zoom to optical 30-40-50-60x and a digital mega zoom p&s only to 10-15-20x and now to 24-26x soon.

As you no doubt can tell I'm not technically knowledgeable about cameras. I need a simple explanation in order to understand it.

Also, can you take a still picture on a camcorder when in the long zoom mode or is the still restricted to the lower zoom ranges? How does the still image quality compare to the video image and compare to other still cam images taken with normal p&s?

Thanks very much.

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Old Mar 24, 2009, 3:58 PM   #2
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Could someone at least explain why I did not get any replies to my questions? Is it so stupid or does not anyone know the answers?

There must be some pros or experts knowledgeable enough to have the answers.

Thank you.
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Old Mar 24, 2009, 11:26 PM   #3
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Maybe others were expecting someone else to answer, as was I. Sorry, but it happens sometimes.

style="BACKGROUND-COLOR: #000000"The size of the sensor in video cameras is generally smaller than in still cameras. The smaller size allows designers to create lenses with larger zoom ranges, while still making them portable and affordable. The smaller sensor size can be a disadvantage if you need to blow up the picture for a print larger than 4"x 6", though, as you will be able to see the loss of detail.

style="BACKGROUND-COLOR: #000000"I can't say for sure, but would guess that you could take a still shot when zoomed fully. I can't think of a reason you would not be able to, but I haen't used one myself.

style="BACKGROUND-COLOR: #000000"You may get better answers to your questions if you scroll down to the Hybrid camera forum. Most of us here are still picture photographers, which may be another reason fo lack of replies.

style="BACKGROUND-COLOR: #000000"brian

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Old Mar 24, 2009, 11:49 PM   #4
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For a regular videocam, the resolution is less than 0.5M pixel for a standard definition TV frame. A megazoom digital still camerathese days, may have around 8-10M pixel resolution.

Also, with the videocam, the picture is moving so you don't have time or the need to examine each frame individually.

So really, the lens doesn't need to be nearly as good asthe zoom on a digital still camera. Because of these reasons, the videocam can have a larger optical zoom range, and still fit within the parameters of acceptable quality.
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Old Mar 25, 2009, 5:36 AM   #5
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Simple Explanation:

In general, camcorders use smaller image sensors than still cameras. It is easier to design and manufacture zoom lenses for small image sensors than it is for larger image sensors. And video images are much more forgiving of optical flaws (distortion, chromatic aberration, etc.)than are still images.
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Old Mar 25, 2009, 6:50 AM   #6
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Thanks very much for all your responses.It makes me feel better now! I will explore the Hybrid forum also.

I have received a couple of still shots taken with a video cam (think Sony) and thought they looked very good as to image quality-clarity, color, sharp and at full screen. I did not print them though.

Thanks again to all.
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Old Mar 25, 2009, 8:04 AM   #7
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picsgalore wrote:
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I have received a couple of still shots taken with a video cam (think Sony) and thought they looked very good ...
.. but they may not have been at the extreme ends of the zoom range where the flaws might have been more noticeable.
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Old Mar 25, 2009, 8:10 AM   #8
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You are absolutely correct TCav. Never thought of that. Thanks. Shows what I don't know huh!

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