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Old Dec 17, 2003, 10:40 AM   #1
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Default 6490 maximum zoom and camera shake

I will be new to digital cameras, coming from the slr world.

Ultra zoom lenses (like the optical zoom of the 6490) usually require a tripod or image stabilation in the camera.

Is there any problem with handheld shots taken at 280-380 zoom?

Is the lag time between pressing the shutter and the actual picture snap any different between the lens being at 28 as opposed to 380?


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Old Dec 17, 2003, 2:11 PM   #2
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As a general rule, you want to use 1/focal length for handheld shots of stationary subjects. For example: if shooting at a 50mm equivalent focal length, you'll want a minimum shutter speed of 1/50 second. If shooting at 380mm equivalent, you'll want a minimum shutter speed of 1/380 second.

The lighting conditions and ISO speed selected impact the fastest shutter speeds you can get. So, in lower light, the problem can become more pronounced with handheld shots. Some people have steadier hands than others, so the 1/focal length rule is only a guide.

Also, with it's lens rating of F2.8/F3.7; almost twice as much light can reach the sensor at wide angle, compared to full zoom -- so this can impact the camera's useability (requiring more light to get fast enough shutter speeds to prevent blur from camera movement at full zoom).

This is one reason that most of the "super zoom" models are really not suitable for night sports in Gyms or Stadiums (higher ISO speeds are needed for faster shutter speeds in low light, which can cause increased noise; and slower shutter speeds would result in motion blur).

For sports in low light, a Digital SLR with a fast (able to gather more light) lens is recommended, since these cameras can shoot at higher ISO speeds with lower noise, compared to consumer models with much smaller sensors.

To answer your second question, yes. Most models have a much longer autofocus lag using zoom. I've seen the Kodak DX6490 tested at around 9/10's second autofocus lag at wide angle, slowing down to around 1.4 seconds autofocus lag at full zoom.

Just like shutter speeds, focus times are also impacted by lighting conditions (as well as the amount of contrast in your subject), so these times are only a guideline.

Using prefocus (half press of the shutter button), prior to taking the shot can reduce lag times substantially.
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