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Old Aug 26, 2003, 2:56 PM   #1
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Default Shake, Rattle and Zoom


I'm new(ish) to this digital camera malarkey and hope for some advice springing from your experience.

I have an Olympus C3000 zoom on which I sometimes use a tiffen 2x converter taking the optical zoom up to 6x. I don't use a tripod but am happy with the results that seem very sharp.

I'm now thinking of upgrading camera. At what magnification does camera shake start to become noticable in images? Does it appear worse with more pixels?

Say I went for an Olympus C750 zoom, would I be likely or unlikely to get blurred images at full 10x zoom? If so would I likely be alright at 7x zoom?

I realise that shutter speed and lens brightness are important here. So what shutter speed is sufficient to avoid camera shake showing in pictures from the current crop of 4-5 Megapixel cameras with around 7x zoom or more?

Answers to these points will help me choose between saving a bundle of s on an Olympus C750 Zoom or waiting to splash out on a Minolta A1 (once I've seen or heard that it works) or another 5 Megapixel camera.

Cheers in advance

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Old Aug 26, 2003, 5:30 PM   #2
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The shake is from your movement of the camera. Defeat this with the use of the tripod. If you have steay hands you might not even need the tripod. 6x is about range when image stablization becomes useful.
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Old Aug 26, 2003, 7:40 PM   #3
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I wondered the same thing before I got my c700 with 10x zoom. It all depends on the shutter speed you use. The general rule is to use the recipricol of your focal length as a shutter speed. This means at full zoom (10x on a 38mm lens) you're at 380mm and should use a shutter speed of 1/380 or faster to give you a decent chance at a sharp hand-held shot. Most of your images under this speed will be blurry unless you have a very stready hand (I do not). So if lighting conditions permit you to use a shutter speed high enough your shots will be fine. If you're indoors without a lot of lighting you should count on getting a tripod, monopod, or some support device for more consistant results.

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Old Aug 28, 2003, 2:04 PM   #4
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Thanks to you both, between you I think I've the answers and tips I need to quell my trepidation.

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Old Aug 28, 2003, 2:44 PM   #5
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Here's some pics courtesy of the Oly_C-700 Yahoo Group:

A handheld shot at full optical zoom (some digital snuck in), 407mm:

A handheld shot at full digital zoom, 1000mm:

Full wide angle for comparison, 38mm:

My full optical zoom was at 1/400th of a second, so there was no problem with the 380mm focal length. I don't recommend using digital, I actually have mine turned off now...digital just distorts the picture, and you can get the same effect by cropping and enlarging on the computer, plus you can go back to the original if you make a mistake.

- Check out the Oly_C-700 Yahoo Group, discussions, fun assignments for all C-7x0 users, http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Oly_C-700/
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Old Aug 29, 2003, 5:48 PM   #6
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Personally I think some people in here tend to exaggerate.
As I have said a few times on this forum and stand by my statements......You CAN take great pictures with a zoom lense WITHOUT a tripod.Possibly I have steadier hands than most or maybe there is blurr in my closeups that I can't see who knows.
I have an Oly c-750 and you can check out my pics below to see for yourself. Quite a few of them are closeups of things using the full 10x range.
Sure you can't take clear pictures with a 10x zoom while having a SEIZURE but if you take your time, possible lean on something solid and shoot you'll be fine. The whole point of digital is being able to see your pics and try again if they're no good.
That being said I believe you will need a tripod for outdoor night shots like scenery and such
I differ from most others though because I think indoors where the lighting is not sufficeint you can get by with using the flash on most cameras and not have blurr (atleast it works for me )Depends where most of your shots will be taken I suppose
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