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Old Jan 8, 2005, 9:05 AM   #1
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I am a "digicam" novice and am looking to purchase a new digital camera. I am probably looking for one with 4-5 megapixels, however I am really confused about optical zoom. I do want the ability to take pictures at a distance, but from am confused of how high to go in optical zoom. Any suggestions would be great!




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Old Jan 8, 2005, 9:11 AM   #2
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How close do you want to get? :-)

Keep in mind that numbers like "ten times zoom" might mean 10 times the lowest wide angle of the lens. Sp ten times 28mm would mean a 280mm zoom.

Just look at the usually posted "35 mm equivalent."

50mm is a normal view as the eye would see an object. So 300mm equivalent would be six times zoom.

Ignore "digital zoom," as thqat is actually merely enlarging done by the camera software, which can be done better in your image processing program, both better and later.

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Old Jan 8, 2005, 9:40 AM   #3
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I am with DBB on the digital zoom all the way! It's just a quality degrader. As far as optical zoom the typical is 3x-4x but I went with one of the ultra zoom models at 10x zoom. At 10x zoom I was on a mountain at 2600 some feet and could fill the frame with a house and it's yard in the valley below. Pretty powerful stuff. It has come in handy in the park as well but the typical user would be happy with a 3x-4x for portraits and party pics etc.
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Old Jan 8, 2005, 9:58 AM   #4
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These days, there are quite a few good cameras to be had with lots of optical zoom. I would buy a camera with as great an optical zoom as I could find. I did that a few years ago when I first bought a digital cam, and was glad I did. No, you don't need it all the time, but how sweet it is when you need it and you got it! You can't use it if you don't have it. Panasonic with their 12X optical zoom is very, very nice. Great assist for focus as well. That puppy would be one of the first ones I'd look at...IF I were you. Forget about the digital zoom. Meaningless. Best Regards,

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Old Jan 8, 2005, 10:36 AM   #5
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I've been "looking" for some time now and decided on the Konica-Minolta Z2 (10X zoom) for my first Digicam. You can see some good reviews if you GOOGLE: steves forums Konica Z2 reviews








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Old Jan 8, 2005, 4:53 PM   #6
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As others have said, ignore the X zoom number and look at the 35mm equiv. That is purely a marketing number containing no photographically usefull information.

Keep in mind that photography is not all long lenses: wide angle is very usefull as well. A broad view where you cannot back up any further without falling off a cliff, a group shot of kids at a party indoors, many urban scenes, ... I find that I use the wide end of my lenses more often than the long end. YMMV
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Old Jan 8, 2005, 5:01 PM   #7
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RVPuller wrote:
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I've been "looking" for some time now and decided on the Konica-Minolta Z2 (10X zoom) for my first Digicam. You can see some good reviews if you GOOGLE: steves forums Konica Z2 reviews








Why not KM Z3?
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Old Jan 8, 2005, 9:03 PM   #8
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Zoom Zoom Zoom I hear this all the time from people when they purchase a camcorder or a digital camera look at the zoom i got and then they never use it or compalin about it. Myself I think the zoom is over rated. I do allot of outdoor shots and I very seldom use zoom I like the wide angle anyday. And when you have such a powerful zoom then arn't you needing a tripod for decent photo's? I go for other features and leave the big zoom for others.
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Old Jan 8, 2005, 11:03 PM   #9
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If you are looking for zoom, let me suggest the Panazonic FZ-15 (4 Mp) or FZ-20 (5Mp) they have an impressive optical Zoom 35-420 mm (12x) and OIS system, which allows you take pictures handheld at full zoom!!!


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Old Jan 11, 2005, 1:59 AM   #10
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As others have hinted, it all depends on what kind of photography you're in to, but I find I use my 10x zoom (Oly C-755 UZ) quite a lot. Outdoors I find enough sunny days that it comes in quite handy (not all the time, no, but priceless when you need it), and indoors, I've coupled the camera to an Oly FL-50 electronic flash that also zooms in sync with the camera lens, so at parties I can take quite nice portraits from across the room by zooming in.

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