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Old Jun 25, 2007, 4:19 PM   #1
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I'm after a camera to fill a void. I photograph mainly birds, and have several cameras from point and shoot (Fuji 4700z, Nikon cp4500, Minolta z5 etc.) They cover most situations. I also have a Canon DSLR with 170-500 and 600mm lenses and a host of others.

I am however, intrigued with the 18x optical of the Olympus. The wide angle @ 28 is a change, image stabilisation is a bonus, but the 18x optical is the clincher for me. From what I have read, it seems to fill the void between point & shoot and DSLR - I know my way around both and I can use the 550 as a toy or a serious tool - it seems a good compromise. Unfortunately there is no other consideration as yet nobody else does higher than 12x as far as i know.

My reservations are the reviews. They are bitter-sweet to say the least. I firmly believe there have been a few lemons sold as not all users are poor photographers. Are things improving on this front?

Finally, what about the Olympus tcon 1.7 has anyone dared to use the 18x with this to obtain 30.6x (I think!)? with technique being a major issue, I'd not even attempt such a focal length without a tripod, but curious if anyone else has. Meanwhile, I'll read the back threads and learn.



Thanks



Steve
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Old Jun 25, 2007, 8:44 PM   #2
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With reduced resolution (Finezoom, 2048x1536) Olympus 550 offers (optical) 27x zoom!
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Old Jun 26, 2007, 1:00 PM   #3
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Has anyone got any examples of this? - apologies for "basic" questions, not found my way around the forum(s) yet.



Any links to pics please?
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Old Jun 26, 2007, 3:53 PM   #4
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Steve ---
Perhaps you are not confusing the Zoom Ratio, 18X, with image Magnification.
However, the 520mm full zoom of the 550 is about 24% longer than the 420mm max of the 12X Pentax FZ50 and some other long zoom prosumer cameras. However, the magnification at 520mm max zoom is equivalent only to a 10.4X binocular compared to 8.4X for many 12X zoom ratio cameras. A 1.7X accessory lens works remarkably well for avian photography with no significant image degradation or light loss.

If you have photographed many birds (very active targets of opportunity) you surely understand that image stabilization is not merely a bonus --- it is a necessity at full zoom. Tripod users and Digiscopers seem to favor static birds. Moreover, unless you specialize on birds that perch stationary at less than 40 Ft distances in front of appealing natural backgrounds you must recognize that 3000mm FL would often be desirable. The alternative is to boost effective FL by cropping so low intrinsic image noise and large authentic-resolution optical pixel count are also essential.

Suggestion: Wait five years to purchase. Surely digicam sensors will then be larger and more sensitive, Noise levels lower at huge ISOs, and pixel counts larger, as well as prices lower.

Lemons. "... not all users are poor photographers ... " True, but a large fraction of negative reviews show a lack of understanding, not camera defect.
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Old Jun 27, 2007, 5:20 PM   #5
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THERE you can find pictures with 18x and 27x zoom
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