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Re: megapixels or zoom lense? Which is best for wildlife,landscapes?

 
 
VK
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      03-10-2005
Hi -

For enlarging to 13x19 or something similar, the $200 scope just is not
going to compare to a serious telephoto. Also, when it comes to
getting action shots, blurring backgrounds and so on, what you pay for
your kit does matter.

There *is* a reason most of the top wildlife photographers in the world
do use $10k+ worth of kit.

To the OP:
(a) I have a *very* hard time believing that the digital zoom on a P&S
"does not affect quality at all."
(b) for wildlife, you really should think of getting an SLR or DSLR -
use it in auto mode if you have to, but the response time of a DSLR
simply *cannot* be matched by a compact digicam. By the same token, no
single lens will give you a good wide angle field of view AND a long
telephoto reach.

I know you said this is just for fun, so it is your all - but before
you decide, you may just want to look at a DSLR and how easy it is to
use in full auto mode.

Cheers,
Vandit

 
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David J Taylor
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      03-10-2005
VK wrote:
[]
> To the OP:
> (a) I have a *very* hard time believing that the digital zoom on a P&S
> "does not affect quality at all."


Under some limited circumstances digital zoom can actually improve the
quality because:

- the focussing and exposure may be more accurate

- the JPEG compression will have less effect on the lower resolution
image. This can apply when you use, for example, a 2:1 zoom and the
central e.g. 1024 x 768 pixels of the image are interpolated to 2048 x
1536 pixels before being JPEG compressed.

(I have confirmed this on a Nikon 990 using Basic JPEG compression).

David


 
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Owamanga
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      03-10-2005
On Thu, 10 Mar 2005 17:16:15 GMT, "David J Taylor"
<(E-Mail Removed)-this-bit.nor-this-part.uk> wrote:

>VK wrote:
>[]
>> To the OP:
>> (a) I have a *very* hard time believing that the digital zoom on a P&S
>> "does not affect quality at all."

>
>Under some limited circumstances digital zoom can actually improve the
>quality because:
>
>- the focussing and exposure may be more accurate
>
>- the JPEG compression will have less effect on the lower resolution
>image. This can apply when you use, for example, a 2:1 zoom and the
>central e.g. 1024 x 768 pixels of the image are interpolated to 2048 x
>1536 pixels before being JPEG compressed.
>
>(I have confirmed this on a Nikon 990 using Basic JPEG compression).


This needs to be qualified:

A digital zoom is better than no zoom at all, but never as good as an
optical zoom.

A digital zoom *can be* better than a digital crop/zoom performed
later in software. This is because the camera has access to RAW data
from the sensor before JPEG compression that your expensive computer
software is missing.

--
Owamanga!
http://www.pbase.com/owamanga
 
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Ron Recer
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      03-10-2005

"Owamanga" <owamanga(not-this-bit)@hotmail.com> wrote in message
news:(E-Mail Removed)...
> On Thu, 10 Mar 2005 17:16:15 GMT, "David J Taylor"
> <(E-Mail Removed)-this-bit.nor-this-part.uk> wrote:
>
> >VK wrote:
> >[]
> >> To the OP:
> >> (a) I have a *very* hard time believing that the digital zoom on a P&S
> >> "does not affect quality at all."

> >
> >Under some limited circumstances digital zoom can actually improve the
> >quality because:
> >
> >- the focussing and exposure may be more accurate
> >
> >- the JPEG compression will have less effect on the lower resolution
> >image. This can apply when you use, for example, a 2:1 zoom and the
> >central e.g. 1024 x 768 pixels of the image are interpolated to 2048 x
> >1536 pixels before being JPEG compressed.
> >
> >(I have confirmed this on a Nikon 990 using Basic JPEG compression).

>
> This needs to be qualified:
>
> A digital zoom is better than no zoom at all, but never as good as an
> optical zoom.
>
> A digital zoom *can be* better than a digital crop/zoom performed
> later in software. This is because the camera has access to RAW data
> from the sensor before JPEG compression that your expensive computer
> software is missing.
>

But a digital zoom is not better than a RAW image which is later converted
to a TIFF and then cropped using software in your PC. Also, by cropping
with the PC you have full control over framing the crop/zoom. That is much
more control than you have when trying to frame a digital zoom of a flying
bird or running deer with the camera.

Ron


 
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David J Taylor
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      03-10-2005
Owamanga wrote:
[]
> This needs to be qualified:
>
> A digital zoom is better than no zoom at all, but never as good as an
> optical zoom.
>
> A digital zoom *can be* better than a digital crop/zoom performed
> later in software. This is because the camera has access to RAW data
> from the sensor before JPEG compression that your expensive computer
> software is missing.


Yes, optical zoom is much better. Any improvement from digital zoom is
slight at best, and I would only recommend unzoomed or 2:1 (exactly)
digital zoom under the circumstances I indicated.

David


 
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Owamanga
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      03-10-2005
On Thu, 10 Mar 2005 11:50:38 -0600, "Ron Recer" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:

>
>"Owamanga" <owamanga(not-this-bit)@hotmail.com> wrote in message
>news:(E-Mail Removed).. .
>> On Thu, 10 Mar 2005 17:16:15 GMT, "David J Taylor"
>> <(E-Mail Removed)-this-bit.nor-this-part.uk> wrote:
>>
>> >VK wrote:
>> >[]
>> >> To the OP:
>> >> (a) I have a *very* hard time believing that the digital zoom on a P&S
>> >> "does not affect quality at all."
>> >
>> >Under some limited circumstances digital zoom can actually improve the
>> >quality because:
>> >
>> >- the focussing and exposure may be more accurate
>> >
>> >- the JPEG compression will have less effect on the lower resolution
>> >image. This can apply when you use, for example, a 2:1 zoom and the
>> >central e.g. 1024 x 768 pixels of the image are interpolated to 2048 x
>> >1536 pixels before being JPEG compressed.
>> >
>> >(I have confirmed this on a Nikon 990 using Basic JPEG compression).

>>
>> This needs to be qualified:
>>
>> A digital zoom is better than no zoom at all, but never as good as an
>> optical zoom.
>>
>> A digital zoom *can be* better than a digital crop/zoom performed
>> later in software. This is because the camera has access to RAW data
>> from the sensor before JPEG compression that your expensive computer
>> software is missing.
>>

>But a digital zoom is not better than a RAW image which is later converted
>to a TIFF and then cropped using software in your PC. Also, by cropping
>with the PC you have full control over framing the crop/zoom. That is much
>more control than you have when trying to frame a digital zoom of a flying
>bird or running deer with the camera.


There is a camera that takes RAW and has a digital zoom?

...wow, I learn something new every day.

--
Owamanga!
http://www.pbase.com/owamanga
 
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bob
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      03-10-2005
Owamanga wrote:
[snip]

> A digital zoom *can be* better than a digital crop/zoom performed
> later in software. This is because the camera has access to RAW data
> from the sensor before JPEG compression that your expensive computer
> software is missing.


Yes, and also for the reasons David mentioned (focus & metering).

In my experiments with my Coolpix 5000, which were posted and discussed
here back in the fall, at 400% digital zoom (in camera crop), there was
a very slight difference between what the camera produced and what I
could do in Photoshop. The camera seemed to render the tones better,
while photoshop seemed to get the details better. Or maybe it was the
other way around. It didn't make a lot of difference either way.

For my camera and my tastes, if I know I will be cropping anyway, then I
would not hesitate to use the digital zoom. It will save the work of
doing the cropping and I don't need to worry about remembering what I
had in mind.

At least with my camera, there doesn't seem to be any real drawback,
other than the contstraint in metering modes (no matrix meter, but I'm
starting to think that might not be bad...)

Bob
 
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bob
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      03-10-2005
Owamanga wrote:

>
> There is a camera that takes RAW and has a digital zoom?
>
> ..wow, I learn something new every day.


Coolpix 5000 takes RAW and has digital zoom, so there is at least one.

I have not tested the method of RAW > crop in photoshop vs. digital
zoom. I know the RAW image has the potential to look better, but I
suspect that it would be mainly do to the virtue of it being a RAW
image, rather than a jpeg.

Bob
 
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Owamanga
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      03-10-2005
On Thu, 10 Mar 2005 13:01:12 -0500, bob <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:

>Owamanga wrote:
>[snip]
>
>> A digital zoom *can be* better than a digital crop/zoom performed
>> later in software. This is because the camera has access to RAW data
>> from the sensor before JPEG compression that your expensive computer
>> software is missing.

>
>Yes, and also for the reasons David mentioned (focus & metering).


Metering definitely, I'm not too convinced about the focus advantage.
I've never used one so maybe I'm missing the experience.

>In my experiments with my Coolpix 5000, which were posted and discussed
>here back in the fall, at 400% digital zoom (in camera crop), there was
>a very slight difference between what the camera produced and what I
>could do in Photoshop. The camera seemed to render the tones better,
>while photoshop seemed to get the details better. Or maybe it was the
>other way around. It didn't make a lot of difference either way.




>For my camera and my tastes, if I know I will be cropping anyway, then I
>would not hesitate to use the digital zoom. It will save the work of
>doing the cropping and I don't need to worry about remembering what I
>had in mind.
>
>At least with my camera, there doesn't seem to be any real drawback,
>other than the contstraint in metering modes (no matrix meter, but I'm
>starting to think that might not be bad...)


Matrix makes people lazy, in that sense it's a curse. I always use it
when I'm shooting 'subject priority' (ie, brain power busy doing other
things such as focus-tracking & framing a moving bird, than worrying
about taking a 6 point spot average and doing some Ansel math).

--
Owamanga!
http://www.pbase.com/owamanga
 
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Owamanga
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      03-10-2005
On Thu, 10 Mar 2005 13:08:35 -0500, bob <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:

>Owamanga wrote:
>
>>
>> There is a camera that takes RAW and has a digital zoom?
>>
>> ..wow, I learn something new every day.

>
>Coolpix 5000 takes RAW and has digital zoom, so there is at least one.


I keep meaning to buy a P&S for the wife, this sounds like a good
candidate.

>I have not tested the method of RAW > crop in photoshop vs. digital
>zoom. I know the RAW image has the potential to look better, but I
>suspect that it would be mainly do to the virtue of it being a RAW
>image, rather than a jpeg.


Definitely, if you can get RAW, digital in-camera zoom should be
avoided (except for the metering advantage previously discussed).
Photoshop will give you precise control over the crop without the
double-artifact issues involved with working on Jpegs.

--
Owamanga!
http://www.pbase.com/owamanga
 
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