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Is 12x optical zoom ona 10 mp digital camera good enough for shooting surfers from the beach? Thanks!

 
 
Roger N. Clark (change username to rnclark)
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      08-28-2006
http://www.velocityreviews.com/forums/(E-Mail Removed) wrote:

> Thanks!
>
> I'm just looking for some ballpark figures.
>
> Yes--it's the 12x zoom 10 mp panasonic.
>
> I was just wondeirng what others might have used for successful surfing
> prhotography form the shore.


This image was done at 420 mm on a 1.3x crop sensor:
http://www.clarkvision.com/galleries...2615b-600.html

The curl is about 6 feet, so a surfer would have been
a nice addition. I have photographed surfers from Hawaii
to Australia with a 300 mm lens + 1.4x TC = 420 mm
on 1.3x crop sensor which equates to 546 mm on 35mm.
(none are online)

In your case, I think the camera is 420 mm equivalent, so would
be a little less than above. If you can get close enough,
you could get some nice images.

A small sensor camera has two issues: shutter lag, and
signal to noise. See this test which compares various
images:

A Photographic Image Quality Test Using the Moon
http://www.clarkvision.com/imagedetail/moon-test1

It shows you can get quite nice images from the small sensor
cameras, just you can't enlarge the image as much as those from
a DSLR. The other issue is can you get a fast enough
shutter speed with adequate signal-to-noise? The above
image was done at 1/2000 second at f/5.6 at ISO 160.
That should be possible with with the FZ series cameras,
with S/N differences like on the moon test page above.
Shutter lag may be a frustration though in such a fast
action sport.

Roger
 
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HEMI-Powered
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      08-28-2006
Today, made these interesting comments ...

> Is 12x optical zoom on a 10 mp digital camera good enough for
> shooting surfers from the beach? Thanks!
>

I don't know, is it? You are only one who would know if that is
good enough or not. But, if your real question is whether 12X is a
long enough telephoto and can't find more, which I would believe,
then shoot at the max MP and crop out the surfer from the middle

--
HP, aka Jerry

Member, Chrysler Employee Motorsport Association (CEMA)
http://www.cemaclub.org/default.html
 
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cjcampbell
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      08-28-2006

(E-Mail Removed) wrote:
> Is 12x optical zoom on a 10 mp digital camera good enough for shooting
> surfers from the beach? Thanks!


12x what?

Tell us the 35mm equivalent of your lens. 12x could mean an equivalent
of 12mm - 144mm. You can go very wide, but only medium telephoto. So
who knows?

If you really want to photograph surfers from the beach, though, you
need a heck of a lens. Some guys use telescopes.

 
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drelliot@gmail.com
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      08-28-2006
Thanks!

You've all been very helpful!

OK--now here comes the second part.

I am going to shoot surfers professionally--what kind of equipment
should I buy?

Lets' say I have $1,000, $2,000, and $3,000.

What would you take to the beach if you were going to shoot surfers?

Thanks!


Frank ess wrote:
> Mardon wrote:
> > (E-Mail Removed) wrote:
> >
> >> Is 12x optical zoom on a 10 mp digital camera good enough for
> >> shooting surfers from the beach? Thanks!

> >
> > As others have already said essentially what I will say. It depends
> > totally on your definition of "good enough". My sister has a Canon
> > PowerShot S3 IS with a 12x optical zoom and 6.0 mega pixels. She
> > loves her camera and is extremely happy with both its zoom ability
> > and its overall performance. She showed me a crop from one of her
> > images that let her read a license plate from what I would estimate
> > to be about 150 meters away. IMHO 12x would probably produce images
> > that are "big enough" if you are not too far away. OTOH, I would be
> > very unhappy if my only camera were one like hers. At full zoom, her
> > camera shows a very marked loss of contrast, colour fringing, lack
> > of
> > edge definition and other problems. To my eye, no P&S camera can
> > give "good enough" results. That's why I have a Canon dSLR and all
> > "L" lenses. Like I said at the beginning, it depends totally on
> > your
> > personal definition of "good enough".

>
> If the OP ever gets a chance to observe surfsport photographers at
> work, he will see they have even more stringent requirements than do
> birders. They use BIG LONG lenses (600mm and up) and super-sturdy
> tripods.
>
> I used a Nikon CP8700 with add-on telephoto extender, equivalent to
> about 480mm, if I recall correctly. From the beach, it made nice
> scenics of waves and athletes on boards. From the pier it showed a few
> pretty well-filled frames. All that to indicate you either get a BIG
> LONG lens, or you get close.
>
> Local conditions may vary, but most surfside atmosphere is heavy with
> humidity, and even the best lenses' production is often degraded.
>
> It's another case of "If you intend making a career of it, it requires
> serious investment of study and equipment". A casual shooter might be
> satisfied with what comes out of a 12x small-sensor camera, but it
> won't measure up to what shows up in the magazines.
>
> --
> Frank ess


 
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SMS
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      08-28-2006
(E-Mail Removed) wrote:
> Is 12x optical zoom on a 10 mp digital camera good enough for shooting
> surfers from the beach? Thanks!


You'll run into the age-old problem of shutter lag and frame speed if
you're expecting to do action photography.

Digital SLR sales would plunge if a P&S digital ever could approach the
same shutter lag and frame speed. I was just talking to my nephew last
night, who's daughter is a gymnast, and he's finally going to get a
digital SLR because it's just hopeless to do sports photography with a
point and shoot.

Your real question should be whether you should get a Canon or Nikon
digital SLR!
 
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SMS
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      08-28-2006
(E-Mail Removed) wrote:
> Thanks!
>
> You've all been very helpful!
>
> OK--now here comes the second part.
>
> I am going to shoot surfers professionally--what kind of equipment
> should I buy?
>
> Lets' say I have $1,000, $2,000, and $3,000.


You're pretty much limited to Canon, as you'll need one of the BWLs
(big white lenses).

$1000, forget it.

$2000, forget it.

$3000, 30D and Zoom Telephoto EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS or EF 100-400mm
f/4.5-5.6L IS.

With the 1.6 crop factor, you'll be at 112-380mm with the 70-200mm and
160-640mm with the 100-400mm.

Since presumably you'll be shooting in bright sunlight, you may want the
100-400mm.

The great thing about going the Canon or Nikon route is that it's very
easy to rent lenses. Spending $30-40 for a one day rental of a high-end
lens, to use when photographing a competition, may be well worth it.
 
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ASAAR
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      08-28-2006
On Mon, 28 Aug 2006 10:32:11 -0700, SMS wrote:

>> I am going to shoot surfers professionally--what kind of equipment
>> should I buy?
>>
>> Lets' say I have $1,000, $2,000, and $3,000.

>
> You're pretty much limited to Canon, as you'll need one of the BWLs
> (big white lenses).
> . . .
>
> The great thing about going the Canon or Nikon route is that it's very
> easy to rent lenses. Spending $30-40 for a one day rental of a high-end
> lens, to use when photographing a competition, may be well worth it.


Oh, I see. Nikon and Canon rent suitable lenses, but only Canon
sells them.

 
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Andrey Tarasevich
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      08-28-2006
(E-Mail Removed) wrote:
> Is 12x optical zoom on a 10 mp digital camera good enough for shooting
> surfers from the beach?


Zoom does not mean what you think it means. "Zoom" is a marketing term
that corresponds to the ratio between the longest and the shortest focal
lengths of the lens. It does not describe in any way the apparent
magnification ration the camera will produce. And magnification ratio is
what you seem to be interested in.

For example, a camera with a 200-400mm lens has only 2x zoom. A camera
with 25-300mm has 12x zoom. Yet (all other things being equal) the first
camera at 400mm will produce much higher magnification ratio than the
second camera at 300mm and, therefore, be much "better" in that respect
for "shooting surfers from the beach".

--
Best regards,
Andrey Tarasevich
 
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Mardon
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      08-28-2006
SMS <(E-Mail Removed)> wrotet:

>> I am going to shoot surfers professionally--what kind of
>> equipment should I buy?
>> Lets' say I have $1,000, $2,000, and $3,000.


> You're pretty much limited to Canon, as you'll need one of the
> BWLs (big white lenses).
> $1000, forget it.
> $2000, forget it.
> $3000, 30D and Zoom Telephoto EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS or EF
> 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS.
> With the 1.6 crop factor, you'll be at 112-380mm with the
> 70-200mm and 160-640mm with the 100-400mm.


I'm no longer confident that the OP is 'for real'. It seems a little
strange to me to be considering 'professional' surfer phototography
with a P&S camera and then a $1,000 to $3,000 budget. Anyway, one
can never be sure, so I'll treat the question as real.

I own the 70-200mm F/2.8L and use it with a 1.4x Canon extender on a
20D (1.6 crop factor). I would never consider taking professional
surfer photos with this focal length. It's too short. It's even a
challenge to get as close as I would like to get when shooting field
sports if the action is at the far end of the field. Because the 20D
won't autofocus above f/4, I can't add a more powerful extender
either. What lens aperture is required for the 30D to autofocus?

IMHO, if the OP isn't prepared to spend close to $15K, he/she ought
to forget professional quality surfing photos. I also wonder about
photographic experience. Professional quality photos (surfing or
otherwise) takes not only good equipment but experience and ability.
If the OP was considering a P&S, does she/he have SLR experience? If
not, then it seems like putting the cart before the horse to be
considering professional surfing photography.

Just my 2

 
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Bill Funk
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      08-28-2006
On Mon, 28 Aug 2006 10:39:47 +0900, Stewy <(E-Mail Removed)>
wrote:

>In article <g8pIg.7611$Mz3.5736@fed1read07>,
> Bob Williams <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:
>
>> (E-Mail Removed) wrote:
>> > Is 12x optical zoom on a 10 mp digital camera good enough for shooting
>> > surfers from the beach? Thanks!
>> >

>> Depends on how far away the surfers are and how good is good enough for
>> your particular application.
>> To get an IDEA of what the camera will see, look thru a pair of 8 -10X
>> power Binoculars.
>> They should have 400-500mm lenses.
>> Most 12X Zooms have max. focal length of 432mm
>> Bob Williams

>
>Also keep in mind that the 12x starts from wide-angle. My camera has a
>6x optical zoom from 35-210mm equiv. So that's only around 4x actual
>magnification.


No, that's 6x.
6 times 35 is 210. (Unless my calculator is broken.)
--
Bill Funk
replace "g" with "a"
 
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