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Old Apr 13, 2004, 10:08 PM   #1
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Default High Powered Zoom (10X) 3MP OR Normal Zoom (3X) 5MP???

I want to be able to photograph my daughter at Gymnastics events as well as Christmas concerts, etc...

I am better off with a Camera like the Canon S1 IS with a 10X Optical Zoom and a 3MP sensor, or a camera with a lesser zoom lens like a 3X with a 5MP sensor, like one of the new Elph's???

Can I electronically "zoom-in" after the fact with the 5MP, to a similar degree as the 10X optical zoom on the 3MP camera.

I know everybody always says that digital zooms loose quality, but if you are starting with a 5MP sensor, as opposed to a 3MP, I would think you could zoom quite a bit and still have the same quality???
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Old Apr 13, 2004, 10:27 PM   #2
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I would probably say go with a higher amount of optical zoom. If the picture is more the way you want it to begin with, you will lose less quality in editing, cropping ect...
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Old Apr 14, 2004, 10:30 AM   #3
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Default Re: High Powered Zoom (10X) 3MP OR Normal Zoom (3X) 5MP???

Quote:
Originally Posted by sveet
I want to be able to photograph my daughter at Gymnastics events as well as Christmas concerts, etc...

I am better off with a Camera like the Canon S1 IS with a 10X Optical Zoom and a 3MP sensor, or a camera with a lesser zoom lens like a 3X with a 5MP sensor, like one of the new Elph's???

Can I electronically "zoom-in" after the fact with the 5MP, to a similar degree as the 10X optical zoom on the 3MP camera.

I know everybody always says that digital zooms loose quality, but if you are starting with a 5MP sensor, as opposed to a 3MP, I would think you could zoom quite a bit and still have the same quality???
Since you probably can't use flash during the gymnastics events, I would make sure that whichever camera you get, it has a wide aperture (around f2) and that you can set a higher ISO (around 400). That way, you can get decent shots without flash.

P.S. What size prints will you be making? A 3MP (uncropped) is sufficient for an 8 x 10.
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Old Apr 14, 2004, 1:39 PM   #4
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Dido I would go with the camera that has the fastest lens and highest usable ISO setting. I have found that lighting can be the greatest problem.
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Old Apr 14, 2004, 4:27 PM   #5
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A 10x optical zoom will allow you to crop much more closely than with the 5MP. Indoor lighting makes action shots very challenging, so you might want to consider a strong external flash to help. Higher ISO has more noise, so there's a tradeoff to consider there.
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Old Apr 14, 2004, 5:14 PM   #6
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Yet another vote for the 3MP with zoom but with a little math to go with it.

A 3x zoom camera does not magnify the image by 3x part of the 3x range is taken by the wide angle part of the output. So for the elph the actual magnification is a little over 2x @ 108mm.

The 10x zoom of the S1 is 380mm so that gives you 7.6x

So to get the same number of pixels on the subject you will need 3.8x the number of pixels in the 3x camera as you do in the 10x range camera. Which means you will need to "zoom" in on an 11.4 MP image.

Now if we invert it (figure out what magnification the 5MP camera can do when cropped to 3mp) the zoom equivalent is 5mp/3mp * (max zoom) which is about 3.4x. (170mm equiv)

Obviously there is a secondary aspect of this equation as to the quality of the pictures but as has been posted 8x10s are pretty good at 3MP.

----------------------------------
Some final notes: I was using 50mm for 1x in 35mm equivalent it is pretty close but not exact, but somehow I feel that the numbers given by camera mfgs (as conversions to 35mm) are also close equivalents, so it should even out in the end.
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