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Old Apr 30, 2008, 7:50 PM   #1
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OK…this question may be very basic, even for a beginner, but allow me to ask it anyway. I am presently shopping for a new P&S camera and doing the "normal stuff" --- soliciting advice, reading reviews/opinions, and trying to understand the specs of various cameras.

Which brings me to lens: I want something with a 5X optical zoom at a minimum. Here are 3 I am considering, all with 5X optical zoom:
--- Canon SD890IS: Lens is 37mm to 185mm
--- Fuji F100fd: Lens is 28mm to 140mm
--- Panasonic FX500: Lens is 25mm to 125mm

At the max telephoto end, will the Canon at 185mm be "pulling " images 32% "closer" (i.e. 185mm / 140mm) than the Fuji and 48% "closer" than the Panasonic (i.e. 185mm / 125mm)?

I know the low-end measurement reflects a wide-angle characteristic (which I don't think I need). So, I'm wondering if these measurements mean that the Canon actually has that much better "telescopic capability" compared to the other two.

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Old Apr 30, 2008, 8:27 PM   #2
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Don't write off the wide angle part of the lens. It really depends on the type of pictures you're most likely to take. For landscapes and group shots in tight areas, wide angle is a must. 37mm is not wide. If you're really concerned with telephoto, why not consider one of the megazoom cameras? Some of them start at 28mm and go up to 300, 400, even 500mm.

Take a look here to get an idea of what the various focal lengths can mean to you:


Good luck with your search.

the Hun

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Old Apr 30, 2008, 9:53 PM   #3
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You're concentrating on '5X' without taking into account the actual focal length. '5X' just means the ratio of the longest focal length to the shortest. A 70-210mm lens is a '3X' zoom, but so is a 28-85mm lens, yet they each provide very different results.

If you primarily want to take telephoto shots, then you want the longest focal length lens, and the 'X' doesn't matter. The focal lengths you mention are all '35mm equivalent' focal lengths, so you can compare them directly, and if all you really care about is the telephoto end, then yes the Canon is the longest. But even at 185mm, it isn't very long. What types of photos do you want to take?
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Old May 1, 2008, 9:21 AM   #4
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Rick America wrote:
... I am presently shopping for a new P&S camera and doing the "normal stuff"
I know the low-end measurement reflects a wide-angle characteristic (which I don't think I need). ...
You will find wide angle is more usefull for "Normal stuff" than telephoto. You can only back up so far in your kitchen. Looking for the longest lens possible is the clasic newbie mistake. "Bigger is better" and "Mine is bigger than yours" work as marketing ploys but you shouldn't pay much attention to them.
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