Re: Can someone explain how digital camera optical zooms compare to film camera zooms?

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by fruitbat, Sep 17, 2003.

  1. fruitbat

    fruitbat Guest

    (Joe Price) wrote:
    > Hi all
    > I'm thinking aobut buying a film camera but am getting confused with
    > the different terminology used.
    > I have a background in using digital cameras and when purchasing one
    > of those they talk about 3x optical zoom or 6x optical zoom for
    > example.
    > When considering buying a film camera the zooms of the lenses talk
    > about 29-88 or 27-64 for example..

    That's the focal length of the lens. Digital cameras have them too,
    but they're not always prominently listed. Canon's G3, for example,
    has a 7.2-28.8mm lens.

    > This terminology which you get for film cameras - or slr digital
    > cameras - is confusing me.
    > Could someone please explain to me for example how a 3x optical zoom
    > - for digital cameras - relates to an "x" size lens for film of
    > digital slr cameras.

    The zoom magnification is just the biggest focal length divided by the
    smallest. So, the aforementioned G3 has a 4x optical zoom. A 4x
    optical zoom means that the objects in the image when zoomed all the
    way in will be magnified 4x from what they look like when zoomed all
    the way out.

    Note that this doesn't tell you how "big" (or "close") the lens can
    make an object in *absolute* terms, if that's a concern of yours. The
    zoom magnification you're referring to is only relative to the
    lens/camera its specified for. Two lenses may both have "3x" zooms,
    but produce vastly different images. This is true for digital cameras
    and anything else. Just because two cameras both say they have a 3x
    optical zoom does not mean they necessarily give the same wide angle
    or same tight angle.

    fruitbat, Sep 17, 2003
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  2. Joe Price

    Joe Price Guest

    Many thanks for your responses!

    Exceedingly helpful!
    Joe Price, Sep 17, 2003
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