Zoom Comparison (Between Point & Shoot and SLR Lens)

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by Alan Ellis, Jun 23, 2008.

  1. Alan Ellis

    Alan Ellis TPF Noob!

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    Point and shoot zoom ability is measured in optical ranges such as 3x, 10x, 12x, etc, but SLR lens are measured in mm.

    So what is the same size SLR lens (in mm) as a 3x, 10x, or 12x zoom on a point and shoot? In other words, if my point & shoot has a 12x optical zoom, what SLR lens do I need to achieve the same zoom level as the 12x point & shoot.

    Thanks...

    AE
     
  2. reg

    reg TPF Noob!

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    You can't compare it like that.
     
  3. Rogan

    Rogan TPF Noob!

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    it all depends what the lens on ur point and shoot is

    on my Fuji Finepix with 10x theres an equivalent to 36mm-365mm (this is all going by what someone else told me)

    so to get this on a crop sensor ur looking at 250-300mm lens on the long end
     
  4. Buszaj

    Buszaj TPF Noob!

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    Very helpful. What Rogan said is correct, usually on the camera around or on the lens it says "35mm equivalent" and then a range of numbers in mm. That is the focal length needed on a 35mm camera (full frame) to get the same reach as your P&S.
     
  5. reg

    reg TPF Noob!

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    I thought it was, but I forgot to run it by you first.

    The fact is: You CAN'T compare it like that.
     
  6. Miaow

    Miaow TPF Noob!

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  7. Alan Ellis

    Alan Ellis TPF Noob!

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  8. amba

    amba TPF Noob!

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    Don't take it personally, but I was always amused by how many people are impressed by the "x20 zoom" stickers and the like. IMO, this is the ultimate triumph of marketeers over the average consumer.
    Manufacturing an x20 zoom costs no more than manufacturing a fixed focal length lens if you ignore parameters like optical quality, maximum aperture etc. true, it has some value to some people, but this is how marketeers divert buyers attention from parameters that increase manufacturing costs, to parameters that cost them nothing to make.

    Sorry again, got carried away, I just could not resist it :er:

    To your question, x8 for example, refers to the ratio between the zoom lens narrow (a.k.a. tele) focal length to its wide focal length. So, for example, Nikon's pretty good and extremely popular DSLR 18-200mm DX zoom lens would be an "x11" zoom in the p&s world, while their excellent and slightly less popular 12-24mm DX zoom lens is an "x2" zoom only. The fact that for these specific two lenses, the "x2" zoom selling price is 50% higher than that of the "x11" zoom (and the "x2" zoom does not even have vibration reduction :thumbdown:), should tell you that there is more to define a lens, or a lens "goodness" than just zoom ratio.

    Always look for the "35mm equivalent" focal length to understand what viewing angles lenses actually give. DSLRs have "focal length multiplier" numbers, typically 1.5 for Nikon and 1.6 for Canon, so, Nikon's DSLR 18mm is equivalient to 27mm focal length in the 35mm (film SLR) world, which is moderately wide, and their DSLR 200mm is equivalent to 300mm in the film world.
    In the point and shoot world there are no standard focal length multipliers, the multipliers are generally higher than those of DSLRs, but vary significantly from camera to camera, even for same manufacturer, effectively, focal length multiplier numbers are only used in the DSLR world, not in the digital P&S world.

    Cheers!
     
  9. darkpbstar

    darkpbstar TPF Noob!

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    large zoom on P&S cameras just turns out noisy. It never looks good when you zoom all the way on a P&S, but, with a dSLR the photos always look amazing, no matter what zoom you use!
     
  10. Alan Ellis

    Alan Ellis TPF Noob!

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    No worries....life is too short to take forum comments personally.

    Your explanation is complicated but makes sense. For the average consumer, "12x, etc" is much easier to understand than values in mm. For me.....just entering the SLR world....trying to make sense of all the info and numbers is somewhat overwhelming, so a comparison to something that I am familiar with (i.e, 12x) is necessary for my beer- damaged brain to understand.

    Thanks for the help and explanation.

    AE
     
  11. asfixiate

    asfixiate TPF Noob!

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    Another big thing to notice is optical zoom vs digital zoom on a p&s. As soon as you leave optical zoom you will notice the noise a lot more. I have DSLR but also have kodak easyshare. Images are fine if I stay within the optical zoom but as soon as i'm digitally zooming the images are horrid.
     
  12. Battou

    Battou No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    You also can't keep the bastard still even with a tripod in the digizoom, That cuts your usable zoom leingth in half (on the easyshare atleast)
     

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