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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Posts
    22

    Telescopic Lens Capability

    OK…this question may be very basic, even for a beginner, but allow me to ask it anyway. I am presently shopping for a new P&S camera and doing the “normal stuff” --- soliciting advice, reading reviews/opinions, and trying to understand the specs of various cameras.

    Which brings me to lens: I want something with a 5X optical zoom at a minimum. Here are 3 I am considering, all with 5X optical zoom:
    --- Canon SD890IS: Lens is 37mm to 185mm
    --- Fuji F100fd: Lens is 28mm to 140mm
    --- Panasonic FX500: Lens is 25mm to 125mm

    At the max telephoto end, will the Canon at 185mm be “pulling “ images 32% “closer” (i.e. 185mm / 140mm) than the Fuji and 48% “closer” than the Panasonic (i.e. 185mm / 125mm)?

    I know the low-end measurement reflects a wide-angle characteristic (which I don’t think I need). So, I’m wondering if these measurements mean that the Canon actually has that much better “telescopic capability” compared to the other two.

    Thanks!!!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Illinois, USA
    Posts
    1,129
    If by better you mean longer, then yes. The higher the number the longer it is. However, the longer you go, the less noticeable the difference is (i.e., 300mm doesn't get you a whole heck of a lot closer than 200mm)
    I have a camera. It takes pictures.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Posts
    22
    Quote Originally Posted by griptape View Post
    If by better you mean longer, then yes. The higher the number the longer it is.
    No...what I mean is at max lens will images look 32% closer?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    Formerly South Wales. Now South Carolina.
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    7,147
    Quote Originally Posted by Rick Seton View Post
    OK…this question may be very basic, even for a beginner, but allow me to ask it anyway. I am presently shopping for a new P&S camera and doing the “normal stuff” --- soliciting advice, reading reviews/opinions, and trying to understand the specs of various cameras.

    Which brings me to lens: I want something with a 5X optical zoom at a minimum. Here are 3 I am considering, all with 5X optical zoom:
    --- Canon SD890IS: Lens is 37mm to 185mm
    --- Fuji F100fd: Lens is 28mm to 140mm
    --- Panasonic FX500: Lens is 25mm to 125mm

    At the max telephoto end, will the Canon at 185mm be “pulling “ images 32% “closer” (i.e. 185mm / 140mm) than the Fuji and 48% “closer” than the Panasonic (i.e. 185mm / 125mm)?

    I know the low-end measurement reflects a wide-angle characteristic (which I don’t think I need). So, I’m wondering if these measurements mean that the Canon actually has that much better “telescopic capability” compared to the other two.

    Thanks!!!
    Quite honestly, I have digital zoom compacts with various zoom ratios. I find the one thing I am always regretting I don't have is a good wide-angle. They're great for the long shots but poor at wide-angle.

    Other than the cameras you have selected, might I suggest following this search: http://dcresource.com/reviews/camera...32&submit.y=10
    All these have wide angle and the Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ18, Fuji FinePix S100fs, Fuji FinePix S8000fd and the Fuji FinePix S8100fd.

    I don't know how much you wanted to spend though.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Posts
    22
    Thanks Rhys, but I should have mentioned that I want something simple/small to carry in my jeans pocket...this is why I had not looked much at the ones you recommended.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Terra Australis Incognita
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    3,877
    I might be wrong but I think the mm may be only half the issue. I think the sensor size plays a part and may not be the same from camera to camera. Unless of course the manufacturers say it "is equivalent to that length on a 35mm format" or something like that which brings it back to an apples apples comparison.

    I'd try and ignore mm and look at the "magnification" specs eg 5X.

    Half the time I use a P&S indoors I wish it was wider (or that my house was bigger so I could step back).
    D800, D300, D90, 24-70 f2.8, 70-200VR f2.8, 300 F4, 105 micro, 16-85VR, 50mm 1.8, Tammy 90 macro, 70-300VR, SB900, 2xSB600, MB-D10, 055XPROB 322RC2. New computers to run photoshop faster. C&C always appreciated. PhotoGallery
    Pressing the shutter is the start of the process - Joe McNally ... Buying the body is the start of the process - Dread Pirate

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Posts
    2,132
    5x only means that the max focal length is 5x the minimum, for example 25-125mm. This is why you could have a 6x zoom that doesn't go as far as a 5x zoom.

    IMO the F100fd is probably the best choice out of the 3 you listed.
    Nikon D300 | Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8 | Nikkor AF-S 70-300mm VR | Nikkor AF 35mm f/2 D | SB-600 | Lowepro Voyager C | Lowepro Slingshot 300 AW

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    Nikkor AF 35mm f/2 D - Like New (FX compatible)

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  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    New York
    Posts
    235
    Interesting selection there. I'm curious that if telephoto or long reach is your priority why something like the Panasonic TZ isn't on the list. It's a bit bigger, but no by much. One thing to consider with a long zoom is the ability to hold it steady. Even with various stabilizing systems holding a camera away from our face and holding it steady isn't the best plan. This is is where bridge cameras come in with EVF's. In that realm I'd say the Panasonic FZ8 or FZ18 (for RAW capability and manual settings) or Canon S5. There are others in that range. I have an FZ8 as my walkaround camera. It's not pocketable but it's easily carried because of it's small size and light weight.

    If a long reach indoors is an issue then the lens should also have a larger aperture at the telephoto end of the zoom and a powerful onboard flash or the ISO will rocket up to compensate.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Posts
    22
    Quote Originally Posted by Ken. View Post
    Interesting selection there. I'm curious that if telephoto or long reach is your priority why something like the Panasonic TZ isn't on the list.
    I did look at the Panasonic TZ5 (which a lot of people seem to really like), but I thought it too big compared to the others I was looking at for carrying in jeans pocket. I know myself well enough to know that if I "talk myself into thinking it really isn't that big", I'll end up not carrying it with me as much as I would really like to.

    I wish you could test drive these things for a few days!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    New York
    Posts
    235
    After cracking a cell phone in my pocket and washing an iPod I have small belt packs. I carried a Sony T5 for the longest time this way.

    It really is a matter of getting into the habit of just doing it. Every day either my E-510 or FZ8 is with me.

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