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Old Dec 18, 2002, 10:15 AM   #1
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Default What happened to 10x zooms and stabilization

I noticed some earlier model digicams offered 10x zooms and electronic stabilization.it seems the newer prosumers :dimage 7h1,sony 717 etc....do not .Why not since almost every digivideocam does.Its probably already been covered here but I can't find where.
David
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Old Dec 18, 2002, 1:01 PM   #2
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The Olympus C-2100UZ and E-100RS both have optically stabilized 10X zoom lenses as does the Canon Pro90 IS. The optically stabilized lenses are quite expensive to produce and with the digital camera market getting tighter with retail prices dropping all the time - something had to go. Unfortunately the excellent optically stabilized lenses are what they got rid of to keep the cameras priced "attractively" for the buying public.

The Olympus C-2100UZ is a terrific camera but it got caught in the megapixel wars. The average buyer only saw that it was a 2 megapixel camera, they did not see the benefit of the 10X stabilized lens. This made it a good $200 more expensive than the competition so it did not sell well when it first came out. Olympus discontinued it and many online liquidators sold them for $400 to $600 and then they sold quite well. Same for the E-100RS except that it also had a very expensive CCD imager because it is a high framerate camera capable of capturing 15 frames per second in full 1.6 megapixel resolution. The E-100RS went for $1300 and again, the buying public only saw that it was a 1.6 megapixel camera and it sold very poorly. Both the C-2100UZ and E-100RS cameras are highly sought after now and used ones don't last long on eBay.

The Canon Pro 90IS is the only one left that's still available and it goes for around $1000. The new Olympus C-730UZ has a 10X lens but no stabilization system. Image stabilization is very much needed for lenses beyond 6X to prevent camera shake and blurring. 10x is a lot of magnification and even at shutter speeds of 1/250 sec you can get motion blurring. And of course, most people do not want to use a tripod either.

Modern video camcorders have digital image stabilization which is not the same as optical IS. Optical IS uses gyros and a floating lens assembly and is expensive. Digital IS uses electronics and an image border area to overcome a certain amount of camera shake. And the big difference is that the image size of video is very small compared to multi-megapixel still images so it is easier to digitally stabilize the smaller video images.

The bottom line - the all mighty marketing dollar. Optical IS systems just costs too much to impliment.

-Steve
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Old Dec 18, 2002, 1:36 PM   #3
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This was the main reason i bough the Fuji 3800 and not the Oly C-730. i read Steve's review and the extra money on the extra zoom is essentially wasted.
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Old Dec 18, 2002, 1:44 PM   #4
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Steve nailed the situation perfectly. The megapixel war and the growing popularity of digital photography has wiped out the big stabilized lens option. Another issue is the size and weight of these cameras has been a problem. All the cameras that Steve mentioned use(d) the same lens, a Canon product. Once Canon stopped producing the lens, the supply dried up and killed all three camera models. Finally, these cameras all bump up against the digital SLRs as far as price goes.

One minor correction... the Canon Pro90IS is now out of production now, too.

I love my Pro90. They'll have to pry my cold dead fingers off this camera (at least till I can afford a digital SLR )
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Old Dec 18, 2002, 4:20 PM   #5
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Ask and I shall receive.Thanks for the info...maybe one day they'll go back to them.Attention Canon! ! put an image stabilized 10x on a G3 keep it around a grand and sign me up
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Old Dec 20, 2002, 7:33 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alfisti
This was the main reason i bough the Fuji 3800 and not the Oly C-730. i read Steve's review and the extra money on the extra zoom is essentially wasted.
No it isn't, that's a fallacy!!! First there's things called tripods.

Second, I HAVE taken handheld shots at FULL Optical zoom (10x-380mm) and FULL Optical+Digital zoom (30x-1000mm) with no problem (just with a little more concentration). You can see my handheld C-700 shots (same focal length of C-730) at:
http://www.pbase.com/oly_c700/info
(look for the three steeple shots by Mikefellh, full digital, full optical, full wide angle)

As for IS cameras, there's the new Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ1 12x zoom with IS, but it too is only 2.1mp even though it's brand new on the market.
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Old Dec 20, 2002, 11:13 PM   #7
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As for IS cameras, there's the new Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ1 12x zoom with IS, but it too is only 2.1mp even though it's brand new on the market.

Had't heard of that one..a step in the right direction
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Old Dec 21, 2002, 8:01 AM   #8
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Mike very nice pics. You have a steady hand. I do not have a steady hand but do have the tripod. I use the tripod with my wife's C720 and the extra zoom is not a waste.
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