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View Full Version : FZ3 long optical zoom VS higher MP camera?



Mr Bear
10-28-2004, 08:33 AM
I am considering the FZ3. Based on the reviews and user comments it seems like a great camera for the price. However, while it is very compact for a camera with a long zoom lens, it is somewhat bulkier to carry around compared to compacts with shorter 3x lenses.

Most of my shots end up in slideshow type projects being burned to a DVD disk for viewing on a television. I sometime make 5 X7 prints and would very occasionaly make a 8 X 10 print.

Here is my question:

Suppose I were hiking in the woods and wanted to photgraph a shot of a bear 50 yards away. Would I be better off with a FZ3 zoom shot with IS (not enough time for a tripod which I am not carring anyway) or use a camera with only a 3X optical with 6 or 8 MP with which I would later crop down to 5 X 7 size?

I know this is an over generalization but I was trying to get a feel of the equivalence of using a long optical zoom at 3MP as compared to the shorter 3X lens at higher MP with blowup and cropping?

I posed this question at a camera shop and the salesman had absolutely no clue.

Any thoughts? Thanks..

lumixfan
10-28-2004, 08:50 AM
Based on your requirement, I would go for FZ3 itself. You have the advantage of compositional clues. You can compose+IS also built in. Somehow, I am not a cropper. I wish to compose the shot well in first place and do minor/no adjustment in computer. I rather spend the extra time shooting outside, getting more pictures.

Jayde
10-28-2004, 09:47 AM
Mr Bear
simple at 50yds with a 3x zoom you wont have a pic of a bear jus a black blob ! ok nothin great at best..
then blow it up even then its gonna get pixelised damn qik ..
you real decent photo then u need somthing longggggg !
thas not sarcasm !
and i dont wanna be that close bears move at 30 mph, hope hes your bros.. :eek:

genece
10-28-2004, 10:39 AM
You do not get the crop in the % you are thinking, an 8mp camera would maybe be able to raise a 3X 3mp to maybe 5X. Unless it was a DSLR and then that is a different Ballgame.
I have seen a formula for this and I thought I had it bookedmarked but I guess not.

John_Reed
10-28-2004, 10:58 AM
Suppose I were hiking in the woods and wanted to photgraph a shot of a bear 50 yards away. Would I be better off with a FZ3 zoom shot with IS (not enough time for a tripod which I am not carring anyway) or use a camera with only a 3X optical with 6 or 8 MP with which I would later crop down to 5 X 7 size?First of all, I don't know of any 6MP or 8MP cameras that are smaller than the FZ3. But, for the sake of argument, take a Fuji E510, a compact 5MP camera, with an imaging matrix of 2592X1944 pixels, and a maximum equivalent focal length of 91mm. Let's compare a full-zoom image shot on the FZ3, with its 2016X1512 imager, and 420mm maximum equivalent focal length. If I took a full-zoom shot on the FZ3, and the resulting image was 2016 pixels wide, the question is, how wide would that show up on the Fuji imager? The answer is, 91/420 (focal length ratio) X 2592/2016 (imager width ratio) X 2016 (FZ3 image width) = 562 pixels wide. So, roughly speaking, the clean, full-optically captured image on the FZ3 would be about the same as a 5X digital zoom on the Fuji. General formula: QR (quality ratio) = (FL1/FL2)X(IW1/IW2). If your "QR" as I've defined it comes out <1, you'll lose image quality with Camera 1, if >1, you'll gain image quality, all other things equal. Not to mention the greater endangerment of your life by having to get closer to the Bear by the same factor! ;)

Mr Bear
10-28-2004, 10:24 PM
Thanks for the responses and particularly to John Reed for his detailed explanation of the QR formula.

Also, I never knew a bear could run at 30 MPH. When I hike in bear country with my FZ3, I will have to remember to take along a slow friend. Since I can't out run the bear, at least I will be able to out run the other guy....

Thanks

RobertJ
10-29-2004, 08:31 AM
another way of putting things:

a 3 MegaPixel image is 2048 pixels wide - an 8 MegaPixel image is 3264 pixels wide. Therefore the 8 MegaPixel image is only 1.6 times as many pixels in width of image. Whereas the 12x zoom is 4.0 times greater than the 3x zoom.

So, everything else being equal, in theory, you could end up with a much better resolution image with 12x optical zoom and 3Mp than the 3x zoom and 8Mp camera - obviously this is only the case where the subject is so far away that you need to use the full 12x zoom capability.

Jayde
10-29-2004, 09:22 AM
Mr Bear
you sure you want a Z3 you cant fit xtra lens.. sod the compact crap.. were bears not mice, i made a damn strap to carry my Z10+TL55 on a bike.. hands free, you can get tamrac velocity bag that swivels on you..
ok you decide but as long as u know.. now..
solly... NOT !
FZ15 yeh !

you find other lens info here..

Thnx Robert i agree.. still numbers fumbers lol.. ;)

wmussatto
10-29-2004, 01:43 PM
The FZ-3 has better resolution than its 3MP may imply. Check the review on www.dpreview.com where it does better than 4pm camera's. Jeff's comparison here shows it better than the KM-3Z
RE: extention lens. People have put tele adapters on the FZ-3 using the Panasonic supplied adapters. Again search the www.dpreview.com Panasonic forum where its been discussed.. The adapter is plastic so you'd want to be careful and stay with a lighter lens (e.g., the Sony 1.7 would be out I suspect).