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Old Oct 11, 2004, 1:15 PM   #1
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I am considering an LC-1 purchase, but have reservations about the limited zoom range to 90mm only. Does anyone have experience of using the x3 digital zoom for distant subjects - or is it better to zoom the image via the LCD after capture? Assuming ISO 100 and a largish aperture, what image degradation is seen? My printer (canon) has a max resolution of 300 dpi, and I rarely print above 7x5. Any views would be much appreciated. Thanks. Biggles2
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Old Oct 11, 2004, 3:11 PM   #2
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Because resolution is computed by multiplying width x height, if you crop a photo to make it look like twice as much optical zoom is used, you end up with only 1/4 the original resolution.

Basically, Digital Zoom is only cropping the photo, then interpolating it back up to the original size (by adding pixels that were not captured by the camera's sensor, based on the values of adjacent pixels).

The quality you'd get, would depend on the quality of the interpolation algorithms the camera used.

You'd most likely be better off performing this in software later. Then, you'd have far more control over exactly how much you crop, as well as having access to advanced interpolation algortihms if interpolation is needed for the desired print size to prevent pixelation.

But, keep in mind that regardless of which cropping and interpolationtechnique works better (either in camera, or using software later), that you're still not going to have any more pixels representing your subject by using either technique, compared to what the sensor captured with optical zoom.

Interpolation adds pixels, based on the value of adjacent pixels, and will not increase the detail captured by the sensor.


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Old Oct 11, 2004, 5:46 PM   #3
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Many thanks for your views. I guess I was hoping that the basic quality of the excellent Leica lens (and its 5mp sensor) would be good enough to allow cropping to, say, the equivalent of a 200mm focal length without too much degradation in a 7x5 print. One would, of course, have greater reservations if using a lens of lesser quality. Thanks for your input , and for any others who have actually run such a print. Regards. Biggles2
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Old Oct 11, 2004, 6:00 PM   #4
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Youcould get away with cropping itthis way for a 5x7" print.

Even 1 Megapixel can produce a good quality 5x7" print, but you'd get a little more detail going higher.

Also, consider how often you'd need to use more optical zoom than the camera provides. You may find that the number of times you do this may not be very often. Personally, I take most of my photos closer to the wide angle end of the lens.

I just wanted to make sure you understood that resolution is more like area when computing it (since you multiply width x height in pixels for resolution).

So, when you crop a print to make it look like you used twice as much optical zoom, you end up with 1/4 the resolution (which is OK if you keep print sizes smaller). You should be fine at 5x7" size with it using 2x Digital Zoom (or just cropping using software later).

But, if you need to do this often, you'd get a little more detail using a camera with higher optical zoom.


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Old Oct 11, 2004, 6:28 PM   #5
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I think you'd be just finecropping itto make it look like twice as much optical zoom was used for a 5x7" print size. Let's do the math:

2560 x 1920 = 4,915,200 pixels (this is the resolution of the LC1 image).

1280 x 960 = 1,228,800 pixels (this is how many pixels you'd have representing your subject if you cropped to make it look like twice as much optical zoom was used).

1280 x 914 = 1,169,920 pixels (this is the image size we'd end up with when adjusting the crop for the correct aspect ratio for a 5x7" print).

This works out to about 183 pixels per inch (1280 pixels / 7 inches ~= 183 pixels per inch).

Chances are, with most printers, you won't be able to see more detail going much higher than this anyway, at typical viewing distances.

Now, you can always print much larger using interpolation. However, this won't get you any more detail (interpolation only prevents pixelation).


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Old Oct 13, 2004, 2:22 PM   #6
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Thanks again for your inputs. I,too, like to use wide-angle (28mm) for compositon, but all my previous prints have beenwith traditional film SLRs. Digital, of course, now offers much greater flexibility with all the software toys at one's disposal. I just wanted re-assurance that, with the 90mm focal length of the LC-1, I wouldn't be disappointed with the results when I cropped to enlarge the image to one that I might otherwise have obtained with a lens of greater zoom . Thanks for your explanations. Regards. Biggles2.
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Old Apr 18, 2006, 4:48 PM   #7
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is anyone still using this gorgeous camera?

i've been studying it for the past few days and my opinion is that the lc1 was and still is an outstanding camera. i reckon it dwarfs many of the new cameras released by various manufacturers, even those like canon, sony or even panny.

the lc1 is aglorious examplethat a bigger sensor with fewer pixels can do miracles for photo quality. i wishthe darned pixel-race wouldend already and manufacturers and the market come to its senses.

here's a pic of that gorgeous lc1 for those of you that don't know it...
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