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View Full Version : Zoom vs. Megapix



macnag
07-06-2004, 08:56 AM
I've been using an olympus 3030 (3.3 megapixels) for several years. Many of my shots are of onstage performances. I find that I often need to crop 25% to 50% to get the compostion I want. I'm deciding whether it would be any better to get a 10X optical zoom at 3.2 megapixels, such as the Powershot S1 (the Epson 765 has way too much instability at 10X) or a 5 megapixel such as the Powershot S500 IS. I would really like the smaller size of the S500 for backpaking as well.

So, basically, more zoom and less cropping or more pixels and keep cropping?

John_Reed
07-06-2004, 10:58 AM
So, basically, more zoom and less cropping or more pixels and keep cropping?
More optical zoom will buy you a lot more image quality than more pixels will. For example, if you crop a 3X - 5 megapixel image and equate the result with a 9X - 2 megapixel image, you'd be left in the first instance with only 5/9 megapixels (it goes as the inverse of the square of the magnification), compared to the "small" 2 megapixel image. The two cameras currently available with the longest optical zooms combined with image stabilization are the Panasonic DMC-FZ10 and the Canon PowerShot S1 IS; choosing between those two is a matter of personal preference. I think that the larger size of the FZ10 promotes greater stability in the way it can be gripped, on the other hand, you might do fine with the smaller S1.