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Old Oct 20, 2005, 4:32 PM   #1
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my friend is looking to upgrade digital cameras. we have been advised different things by the shops. she takes a lot of photos of her dogs and then crops the picture and then blows them up to A4 size.so she is left with just the dogs. we are trying to decide whether to buy a 7 megapixel camera with x3 optical zoom or a 5megapixel camera with x3 optical zoom. which will give better pictures?


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Old Oct 20, 2005, 5:00 PM   #2
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what is better more megapixels or more optical zoom
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.

That's because like area, resolution is computed by mutliplying width by height (only in pixels).

Here is an online chart of popular "long zoom" models you may find interesting. You'll find a listing near the bottom of the chart labeled "Typical 7MP3X Optical Zoom" (note that it may have a popup advertisement on it, since geocities/yahoo sites are known for that)

http://www.geocities.com/digital_ray...oomzoomv7.html

Quote:
we are trying to decide whether to buy a 7 megapixel camera with x3 optical zoom or a 5megapixel camera with x3 optical zoom. which will give better pictures?
It depends on the model.:-)

Higher resolution does not necessarily mean better photos (and in some cases higher resolution can mean worse photos, even when other characteristics are similar).

It can be handy for slightly larger prints (or a *little* more room for cropping). But,there is not as much difference as people seem to think between 5 and 7 Megapixels for most print sizes.

You have to take a number of camera characteristics into consideration (sensor sensitivity/dynamic range, noise levels, lens quality,Autofocus Accuracy,image processing of the data from the sensor impacting saturation, sharpness, contrast, amount of artifacts from JPEG compression, color accuracy, and more).

Now, it so happens that some of the newer 7 Megapixel models seem to have pretty good sensors (Sony makes a 7MP 1/1.8" Sensor that Sony, Nikon, Canon, Olympus,Pentaxand others use in some of their non-DSLR models, that's not too bad compared to most other cameras in the market niche using it).

But, you have to take each camera on a case by case basis, looking at a lot more than just megapixels to see what may fit your needs the best.


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Old Oct 20, 2005, 5:21 PM   #3
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In other words, if you're doing a lot of cropping now (depeding on the camera, it's resolution, and how much optical zoom you're using), I'd make sure to factor that into your decision (you may want to consider models with more optical zoom, provided other camera characteristics are acceptable).

If the dogs are moving, Autofocus Speed and Accuracy may be a consideration.

Depending on the lighting, the ability to shoot at higher ISO speeds may need to be considered, as well as the brightness of the lens (as most, but not all models, lose a lot of light as more zoom is used, requiring slower shutter speeds for proper exposure). And the list goes on...

We have a Best Cameras List broken down into categories that you may want to look through to get a better idea of what's available.

You'llfind how a camera compares to others in the same "market niche" in the review conclusion section of each model's review here. That's where you'll see some things like autofocus speed and reliability, lens quality, cycle times between photos, image quality indoors and outdoors, flash range, etc., discussed.


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