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Old Nov 11, 2002, 12:05 PM   #1
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Default How important is optical zoom?

How important is optical zoom? For 'family' photos, trips, vacations, etc.?? Thanks!!
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Old Nov 11, 2002, 12:19 PM   #2
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Default Re: How important is optical zoom?

Usually , wide angle is very appreciated for family photos, especially indoor when you can not back up further than the wall, and it,s not easy to make panorama with people pictures ,
At thw wide end: 35mm focal ( 35 film equivalent) is sometime not enough , 28 mm focal is quite ok for almost every indoor situation. Wider than 28, distortion become apparent IMO, not good for people pics.
At tele end, your need set the limit.
(Optical zoom is the real , digital zoom is the in camera magnification, you can do this after if you like.)
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Old Nov 11, 2002, 2:35 PM   #3
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It isn't that hard to make panoramas with people:

It does take some work to get the technique down with Panorama Tools and PhotoShop's masked layers, but not hard after you spend a year or so figuring those programs out :lol: Above is stitch of three off-level, hand-held shots. I have done a lot of those, and they aren't really hard after the learning curve.

Having some zoom is very usefull, both at the wide end as KCan noted and at the long end.
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Old Nov 11, 2002, 2:42 PM   #4
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impressive! thanks for the comments!
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Old Nov 11, 2002, 3:55 PM   #5
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With modern small cams, having some optical zoom gets you sharp candid closeup's which the cams can do well, and there is a lower expectation of detail. Apparently, appreciation has more to do with facial recognition. With multiple shot features you can get really good candid people shots.

Pack wide angle people shots with detail and the eye will soon find where there's lack of sharpness. Too much DOF can be a problem, but zoom allows you to lose some. In built Flash can be a problem as range and angle does not always match up to zoom settings.

Too much zoom in the spec may not be useful - unless you are comfortable with tripods. As with all zoom lenses, the wider the range, the more likely they are to distort at the extremes. There is always an optimum 'sweet spot'.
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Old Nov 11, 2002, 4:25 PM   #6
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Digital cams provide you with opportunity to experiment without the cost of development.

I would regard digital zoom and only opt for optical zoom. 3X optical is very useful. 10X optical is very useful in nature and animal shots where moving closer would cause the intended object to leave.
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Old Nov 11, 2002, 7:04 PM   #7
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Optical zoom is a great tool. I own a Canon Pro90 with a stabilized 10X (37 to 370 mm equivalent) lens. My camera is "only" 2.6 megapixels. I think you have to balance megapixels against quality of the glass. You'll see that folks who own Oly 2100 UZ and Canon Pro90's rave about them.
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Old Nov 11, 2002, 11:12 PM   #8
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BillDrew,
great! but you have to do it quick, to avoid someone cross the room and figures also in the other half! :lol:
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Old Nov 12, 2002, 6:46 AM   #9
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I don't always try to avoid having someone in the shot twice - it can make for an interesting picture.
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Old Nov 12, 2002, 7:25 AM   #10
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Bill very interesting. I did not it was that easy to create twins.
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