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

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by VK, Mar 10, 2005.

  1. VK

    VK Guest

    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
    VK, Mar 10, 2005
    #1
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  2. 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
    David J Taylor, Mar 10, 2005
    #2
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  3. VK

    Owamanga Guest

    On Thu, 10 Mar 2005 17:16:15 GMT, "David J Taylor"
    <-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
    Owamanga, Mar 10, 2005
    #3
  4. VK

    Ron Recer Guest

    "Owamanga" <owamanga(not-this-bit)@hotmail.com> wrote in message
    news:...
    > On Thu, 10 Mar 2005 17:16:15 GMT, "David J Taylor"
    > <-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
    Ron Recer, Mar 10, 2005
    #4
  5. 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
    David J Taylor, Mar 10, 2005
    #5
  6. VK

    Owamanga Guest

    On Thu, 10 Mar 2005 11:50:38 -0600, "Ron Recer" <> wrote:

    >
    >"Owamanga" <owamanga(not-this-bit)@hotmail.com> wrote in message
    >news:...
    >> On Thu, 10 Mar 2005 17:16:15 GMT, "David J Taylor"
    >> <-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
    Owamanga, Mar 10, 2005
    #6
  7. VK

    bob Guest

    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
    bob, Mar 10, 2005
    #7
  8. VK

    bob Guest

    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
    bob, Mar 10, 2005
    #8
  9. VK

    Owamanga Guest

    On Thu, 10 Mar 2005 13:01:12 -0500, bob <> 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
    Owamanga, Mar 10, 2005
    #9
  10. VK

    Owamanga Guest

    On Thu, 10 Mar 2005 13:08:35 -0500, bob <> 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
    Owamanga, Mar 10, 2005
    #10
  11. VK

    bob Guest

    Owamanga wrote:
    >
    > 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).


    I already am lazy, so I guess I don't have anything to worry about.

    ;-)

    Actually though, with a center weighted meter, it's pretty easy to
    predict what the camera will do in any giving lighting situation. With
    Matrix metering it's harder to guess. I end up re doing shots because I
    added exposure compensation because I thought the subject would need it,
    but the metering system did something I wasn't expecting.

    Bob
    bob, Mar 10, 2005
    #11
  12. VK

    bob Guest

    Owamanga wrote:
    >>
    >>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.


    Of course it's a discontinued model, but it's pretty good. The prints I
    get back are easily better than any prints I ever got from 35mm -- most
    likely due to bad/dirty equipment at the local labs.

    Here's a photo that I did that makes use of RAW mode and multiple
    exposures to extend dynamic range:

    http://www.2fiddles.com/photos/photography/chicago.jpg

    With the accessory wide angle lens it's capable of doing some really
    nifty stuff, especially considering the compact nature of the camera:

    http://www.2fiddles.com/photos/photography/marin.jpg

    Since the accessory lens has no moving parts, and is small and light,
    it's easy to stick in a pocket between shots. I can carry the camera
    around all day and not get tired of it. I definitely could not say that
    about the F4.

    >
    >
    > 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.


    Depends on what you're doing I think. RAW mode on the 5000 is slow as
    death. If the subject is moving you'll probably get better photos
    (albiet with slightly lower technical quality) by using jpg mode. That
    random shutter lag is a b****.

    If you're only going to make a 4x6 print, then you probably wouldn't be
    able to tell the difference anyway. It would probably be hard to tell
    the difference at 8x10

    Bob
    bob, Mar 10, 2005
    #12
  13. VK

    Ron Hunter Guest

    David J Taylor 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).
    >
    > David
    >
    >

    It's effect is usually negative, not to say that it can't have its uses.
    I have a picture of a lodge taken from a nearby mountain, which
    wouldn't even be visible had I not cranked in the full digital zoom on
    top of the 4X optical my camera offers. Yes, it's a bit fuzzy, but it
    isn't a speck on the landscape, either.


    --
    Ron Hunter
    Ron Hunter, Mar 10, 2005
    #13
  14. VK

    Ron Hunter Guest

    bob 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 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


    Well, if you start with all the data, then you certainly have a better
    start. Now whether or not you can then convert, and crop, and get a
    better image, that's dependant on how good you are with what software...


    --
    Ron Hunter
    Ron Hunter, Mar 10, 2005
    #14
  15. VK

    Ron Hunter Guest

    Owamanga wrote:
    > On Thu, 10 Mar 2005 13:08:35 -0500, bob <> 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

    Remember than writing RAW and/or TIFF formats to flash cards may try
    one's patience...
    How patient is you wife?


    --
    Ron Hunter
    Ron Hunter, Mar 10, 2005
    #15
  16. VK

    VK Guest

    David J Taylor wrote:
    > 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.


    Fair enough.

    I always shoot RAW, so I've never dealt with JPEG compression. I find
    that QImage does a pretty spectacular job of up-ressing in those cases.


    Interesting to learn about the above.

    Regards,
    Vandit
    VK, Mar 12, 2005
    #16
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