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Old Jun 25, 2004, 7:41 AM   #1
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Hello!

Till what zoom is it no problem to take a clear steady picture without a tripod?

Thank you very much!

Ed
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Old Jun 25, 2004, 8:52 AM   #2
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It really depends on how steady you are, if the camera has an image or lens stabilization system (like the Panasonic FZ10, Canon S1 IS, Minolta A1), and what shutter speed you're using.

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Old Jun 25, 2004, 9:23 AM   #3
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I'm looking into the pentax optio mx (soon to be released) that hasn't got stabilisation. Would that be a problem? From what zoom on would that be? Is thre a poss to see before taking a picture how much you've zoomed in?

Is the shutterspeed automatically faster by a stronger zoom or de you have to set that yourself?

Thank you very much!

Ed
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Old Jun 25, 2004, 10:34 AM   #4
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What shutter speed you get is dependent on the mode the camera is in. Personally, I prefer to choose the aperture and let the camera choose the shutter speed, but not every camera has a mode that works that way (it's usually called Aperture Priority.)

VC is completely correct. It all depends on how steady you are, if you are leaning against something, if you are holding the camera correctly. For some people it's 100mm, but I know others who can hand hold out to near 500mm (personally, I find that amazing, but that could just be me.)

Eric
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Old Jun 25, 2004, 10:36 AM   #5
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I don't know the details of that camera. Check for reviews here at www.steves-digicams.com or at www.dcresource.com for detials.

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Old Jun 25, 2004, 10:45 AM   #6
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Thanks for your help!

I will just have to wait for the revieuws on the pentax (it is going to be released very soon Pentax said) If picture quality is ok and it doesn't take to long till I am able to take my pics, I'll go for that one...

Thanks Again!

Ed
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Old Jun 25, 2004, 11:39 AM   #7
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I think all digital cameras integrate the zoom you have set with the settings in program mode and will open the lens all the way before going below approximately the reciprocal of the 35mm equivalent of the focal length in shutter speed. This is considered the standard for handholding with good technique. 10X cameras often have a 380mm equivalent long zoom. That means you need enough light to get 1/380 sec to get a really sharp shot handheld without stabilization.

It takes pretty bright light to generate 1/380 shutter speed.

I think stabilization is more important with movies taken at long telephoto than a still camera. Friends bought a digital camcorder without stabilization and the images at long zoom ranges made you seasick. They exchanged it for one with mechanical stabilization and the pictures were great.

The Canon S1 isn't as compact as the MX but it has stabilization. It takes 640 X 480 sound movies at 30 fps like the MX. It is limited to a Gig of movie for a single shot, which gives somewhere around 9 minutes. You can generally find better deals on CF than SD, and spare NiMH batteries are cheap for the S1. My guess is that the MX will take longer movies with MPEG4 than the S1 with the same sized card, but I don't know that for sure.

Some cameras have a zoom scale when you zoom, but I don't know about either of those.
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Old Jun 25, 2004, 11:51 AM   #8
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The rason for me wanting the optio mx is indeed its size which is a very important factor for me... If I wont take that one I might go for the nikon coolpix 3700 with 3 x zoom but also a very good movie mode (640- 30fps)
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Old Jun 25, 2004, 1:50 PM   #9
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ed33 wrote:
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Till what zoom is it no problem to take a clear steady picture without a tripod?
This depends very much on the individual, and how the individual is feeling at the time, and how big the resulting image is likely to be. My wife took a remarkably sharp shot at half a second shutter speed recently, but I bet she couldn't repeat it. When hand-held at 50mm equivalent, I always go for a shutter speed of 1/250 or faster if I can, unless depth of field is a priority, because I know I'm likely to shake without a tripod.

You should do the experiments for yourself (with & without tripod), on a subject you know well, like the view from your bedroom window.

The wonderful thing about digicams is that you can do all the experiments and find things out for yourself, without it costing you anything but the time & effort to do it. Do the experiments! Try it for yourself! If you're at home you can view the results on your PC in a few seconds.

Lots of people are likely to tell you about how they can hand-hold long zooms for long exposure times, and some of them might even be telling the truth. Don't try it for an important shot until you've learnt your own limitations.
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Old Jun 25, 2004, 2:22 PM   #10
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There's another aspect to this question.

Holding a camera steady is not just a matter of taking a few shots, noticing that they are blurred and then assuming that you've reached your limit.

To really find what your individual limit is you have to shoot every day with the same set-up and judge after a month how good you've gotten. It's like exercise - which is not to say that you can go out there with fifty pounds of equipment.

However you would be surprised at how much steadier you get after pushing YOUR limits more then the camera's.

Dave
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