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

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by drelliot@gmail.com, Aug 27, 2006.

  1. Guest

    Is 12x optical zoom on a 10 mp digital camera good enough for shooting
    surfers from the beach? Thanks!
     
    , Aug 27, 2006
    #1
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  2. Guest

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

    wrote:

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


    Judging from the only two parameters you gave, by "good
    enough", I assume you're asking if you can zoom the
    surfer close enough. It depends on how close you are to
    the surfers.

    If you're talking about the new 10 MP Pana FZ50 with its
    420mm lens - a 6-foot surfer standing straight up, shot
    from a distance of 100 ft at max focal length, will nearly
    fill the height of the image in 4:3 mode, and will be
    slightly too big to fit in the frame in 3:2 mode.
     
    , Aug 27, 2006
    #2
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  3. wrote:
    > Is 12x optical zoom on a 10 mp digital camera good enough for shooting
    > surfers from the beach? Thanks!


    That is sort of asking if a car is good enough if it has a speedometer
    that goes up to 120 mph and a 20 gallon gas tank.

    We need a little more information about the camera (make and model would
    be nice) and your needs. What I would want for a beach camera may be far
    different than you would. Finally there are question about your camera
    experience and the quality results you are expecting?

    --
    Joseph Meehan

    Dia duit
     
    Joseph Meehan, Aug 27, 2006
    #3
  4. Bob Williams Guest

    Re: Is 12x optical zoom ona 10 mp digital camera good enough forshooting surfers from the beach? Thanks!

    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
     
    Bob Williams, Aug 27, 2006
    #4
  5. Guest

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

    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.

    Thanks!

    Best,

    Elliot


    Bob Williams wrote:
    > 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
     
    , Aug 27, 2006
    #5
  6. Mardon Guest

    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".
     
    Mardon, Aug 28, 2006
    #6
  7. Frank ess Guest

    Mardon wrote:
    > 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
     
    Frank ess, Aug 28, 2006
    #7
  8. Joseph Meehan wrote:
    > wrote:
    >> Is 12x optical zoom on a 10 mp digital camera good enough for
    >> shooting surfers from the beach? Thanks!

    >
    > That is sort of asking if a car is good enough if it has a
    > speedometer that goes up to 120 mph and a 20 gallon gas tank.
    >
    > We need a little more information about the camera (make and model
    > would be nice) and your needs. What I would want for a beach camera
    > may be far different than you would. Finally there are question
    > about your camera experience and the quality results you are
    > expecting?


    Rereading your message I see I did not properly read it. You want to do
    surfers from the beach. Well two points. 12X does not mean what most
    people might think it means. It is not like binoculars where a 12X
    binocular would make something appear 12 times closer. What it means is
    something will appear 12 times larger at the long end than the short end.
    However they usually have a wide angle on the short end so the long end is
    often something like 6 times larger than normal would be. That will vary
    depending on the camera.

    You will be able to get some good photos with the typical such camera,
    but it will not be anywhere close to the kind of results you might see in
    magazines etc, where they photographers are using lenses that cost far more
    than any camera you are looking at.

    Some places you can get some very nice shoots close to shore (depends on
    the surf) so at those locations the equipment becomes less important.

    --
    Joseph Meehan

    Dia duit
     
    Joseph Meehan, Aug 28, 2006
    #8
  9. Ron Hunter Guest

    Re: Is 12x optical zoom ona 10 mp digital camera good enough forshooting surfers from the beach? Thanks!

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


    Well, it is better than no zoom, but without a good IS, you might not
    get stable enough pictures for good use. 12X is pretty good for a zoom.
     
    Ron Hunter, Aug 28, 2006
    #9
  10. Stewy Guest

    In article <g8pIg.7611$Mz3.5736@fed1read07>,
    Bob Williams <> wrote:

    > 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.
     
    Stewy, Aug 28, 2006
    #10
  11. Re: Is 12x optical zoom ona 10 mp digital camera good enough forshooting surfers from the beach? Thanks!

    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/gallery.hawaii/web/hawaii.wave.c12.11.2004.JZ3F2615b-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
     
    Roger N. Clark (change username to rnclark), Aug 28, 2006
    #11
  12. HEMI-Powered Guest

    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
     
    HEMI-Powered, Aug 28, 2006
    #12
  13. cjcampbell Guest

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

    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.
     
    cjcampbell, Aug 28, 2006
    #13
  14. Guest

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

    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:
    > > 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
     
    , Aug 28, 2006
    #14
  15. SMS Guest

    Re: Is 12x optical zoom ona 10 mp digital camera good enough forshooting surfers from the beach? Thanks!

    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!
     
    SMS, Aug 28, 2006
    #15
  16. SMS Guest

    Re: Is 12x optical zoom ona 10 mp digital camera good enough forshooting surfers from the beach? Thanks!

    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.
     
    SMS, Aug 28, 2006
    #16
  17. ASAAR Guest

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

    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. :)
     
    ASAAR, Aug 28, 2006
    #17
  18. Re: Is 12x optical zoom ona 10 mp digital camera good enough forshooting surfers from the beach? Thanks!

    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
     
    Andrey Tarasevich, Aug 28, 2006
    #18
  19. Mardon Guest

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

    SMS <> 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¢
     
    Mardon, Aug 28, 2006
    #19
  20. Bill Funk Guest

    On Mon, 28 Aug 2006 10:39:47 +0900, Stewy <>
    wrote:

    >In article <g8pIg.7611$Mz3.5736@fed1read07>,
    > Bob Williams <> wrote:
    >
    >> 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"
     
    Bill Funk, Aug 28, 2006
    #20
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