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Old Feb 17, 2005, 3:23 AM   #1
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Hi,

I am very new to photography..it might be a stupid question but has been bugging me for long.

ZOOM !

I have seen pretty much all compact and ultra compact cameras with 3x zoom. But a few exist with 4x and 5x zoom.
How much better is 4x or 5x zoom compared to 3x. What are the advantages.

In my thinking, a landscape photo cant gain much by 4x or 5x...maybe super zoom like 10x is one which makes a difference. For indoor, 3x should be sufficient.

Then were is 4x zoom advantageous?

Thanks,
Kaz.
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Old Feb 17, 2005, 9:56 AM   #2
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Hi,

for landscape and indoors photography, a high-zoom camera probably wouldn't help much, as you're normally trying to get a wider field of view, so you're trying to get more wide angle.

Also, 3x zoom or 4x zoom is rather inaccurate. You should be concerned with their 35mm equivalent range, for example 38-114mm or 34-136mm. The first number denotes the wide end of the zoom, (all else equal) you want it to be low, so you can fit more into a picture, especially indoors as you have less room (or possibly for landscapes also). The second number denotes the telephoto end of the zoom, and it tells you how close you can get to something far away. For example, if you go to the zoo to take pictures of animals or to a concert where you're far away from the stage, to get closer to the animals or performers, you need a big tele.

It really depends on what sort of pictures you're looking to take. If it's mostly landscapes and indoors pictures of people, you should be more concerned with the wide angle end of the zoom, and not worry too much about tele.
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Old Feb 17, 2005, 11:24 AM   #3
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kazaan wrote:
Quote:
ZOOM !
zoom..zoom...zoom

Quote:
I have seen pretty much all compact and ultra compact cameras with 3x zoom. But a few exist with 4x and 5x zoom.
How much better is 4x or 5x zoom compared to 3x. What are the advantages.
The difference between 3x and 4x/5x isn't THAT big. However, it IS WORTH paying for if you shoot far away objects. You can roughly think of it as if the zoom magnifies twice as much (6x would be twice 3x so 4x/5x would be a little less).

Quote:
In my thinking, a landscape photo cant gain much by 4x or 5x...maybe super zoom like 10x is one which makes a difference. For indoor, 3x should be sufficient.
yep... zoom for indoors is almost useless. It does help with advanced obscure uses (eg. trying to get high depth of field (i.e. blurring of background)) but for general use, zoom is not benefitial for indoors. If anything, you want something with high wide-angle for indoors.

Landscapes also require high wide-angle and zoom doesn't help.

Where zoom helps is with taking pics of far away objects. Zoom mainly helps if you want to take animal pics (eg. bird that's far away; animal that is far away; etc) and sports (eg. sitting in a stadium pretty far from the field).

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Old Feb 17, 2005, 2:52 PM   #4
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Sounds complecated but it isn't really.
Firstly - the figures quoted are based on the 35mm film - but everyone seems to use that as a reference so here we go.
Most Non -Zoom compacts have a fixed focal length somewhere between 35 and 40mm. An SLR standard lens is usually 50mm.
If you look straight ahead and close one eye - what you see is just about the same as a 50mm lens would view. If you open the other eye you get a bit wider view - that's more like a 40mm 35mm is a standard compact lens and is often the start/wide end of a zoom. For indoors I personally favour wider than that - at least down to 30mm - as another rough guide a 24mm has an approx angle of view of 90 degrees (or a right angle). A longer zoom is handy as it helps you get in on things happening further away - great at weddings and occasions when you can catch people talking un-aware. Also usefull for getting close ups of wildlife. A 3x zoom is quite nice if you are basically taking snap shots. If you feel like you'd like more then look at a bigger zoom. Remember - most 'Ultra Zooms' on the market don't go out very wide at the wide angle end usually 36-38 ish. Also - if you use a big zoom you need to be able to either use a 'Sports' mode or be able to set a fast shutter speed to avoid wobble and shake. Some of these cameras have a thing called Image Stabilisation to counter the wobble blur effect of using a long zoom.
Sorry if that's too much info - but I wasn't sure exactly what your requirements actually are - so you need to ask yourself - 'what do I want this camera to be able to do for me'. Indoors and snaps 3 x zoom may well suffice (check out the wide end) more adventurous 4x or more
good luck
Geoff
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Old Feb 17, 2005, 10:39 PM   #5
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Hi,

Thanks a lot everyone for the info!!

Kaz.
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