Really Basic Question

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by hvsteve, May 18, 2006.

  1. hvsteve

    hvsteve Guest

    I've always used a film SLR and am finally thinking of moving on to
    digital. This question is really basic. I like to use long lenses. I
    see many digital cameras advertizing long zooms by combining optical
    and digital. I have always thought the digital zoom was pretty
    worthless as all it does is enlarge the existing image, getting fuzzier
    with size. With cameras now having five or six mp, does that give high
    enough resolution so digital zoom becomes useful? Do I get the same
    result by shooting with only the optical zoom and enlarging it on my
    PC? I'm looking for shirt pocket size, otherwise I might as well drag
    along one of my SLRs with a bunch of lenses.
     
    hvsteve, May 18, 2006
    #1
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  2. hvsteve

    IRISH GENE Guest

    i use to have a canon is pro 90 2.4 mp, 10x optical zoom , anytime i
    went beyond the 10x into digital zoom it was terrible , i don't know if
    they have made the digital zoom any better , im sure they haven't
    otherwise they would be really useing it as a selling point .

    gene

    hvsteve wrote:
    > I've always used a film SLR and am finally thinking of moving on to
    > digital. This question is really basic. I like to use long lenses. I
    > see many digital cameras advertizing long zooms by combining optical
    > and digital. I have always thought the digital zoom was pretty
    > worthless as all it does is enlarge the existing image, getting fuzzier
    > with size. With cameras now having five or six mp, does that give high
    > enough resolution so digital zoom becomes useful? Do I get the same
    > result by shooting with only the optical zoom and enlarging it on my
    > PC? I'm looking for shirt pocket size, otherwise I might as well drag
    > along one of my SLRs with a bunch of lenses.
     
    IRISH GENE, May 18, 2006
    #2
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  3. hvsteve

    Pat Guest

    If you've got the lenses and your happy with them, you might consider
    just buying a dSLR body and using the rest of your equipment.

    If you do, just be careful with using an old flash on a dSLR. The
    trigger voltages are different and it could fry the electronics.

    Good luck.
     
    Pat, May 18, 2006
    #3
  4. hvsteve

    Mark² Guest

    hvsteve wrote:
    > I've always used a film SLR and am finally thinking of moving on to
    > digital. This question is really basic. I like to use long lenses. I
    > see many digital cameras advertizing long zooms by combining optical
    > and digital. I have always thought the digital zoom was pretty
    > worthless as all it does is enlarge the existing image, getting
    > fuzzier with size. With cameras now having five or six mp, does that
    > give high enough resolution so digital zoom becomes useful? Do I get
    > the same result by shooting with only the optical zoom and enlarging
    > it on my PC? I'm looking for shirt pocket size, otherwise I might as
    > well drag along one of my SLRs with a bunch of lenses.


    Digital zoom does nothing more than you could do later...by simply cropping
    out the outer portion of the frame.
    You're better off simply getting your best shot at the maximum optical
    extension, and cropping later if necessary. Digital zoom is a sales pitch
    for the ignorant masses (not stupid, mind you...just ignorant).
     
    Mark², May 18, 2006
    #4
  5. hvsteve

    hvsteve Guest

    I thouht of that but they are, unfortunately, Canon F lenses which do
    not work with their digital SLR. I have stuck with the SLR bodies this
    long because, as you know, the lenses,filters,etc. are the most
    expensive part of the setup.
     
    hvsteve, May 18, 2006
    #5
  6. hvsteve

    Ron Hunter Guest

    IRISH GENE wrote:
    > i use to have a canon is pro 90 2.4 mp, 10x optical zoom , anytime i
    > went beyond the 10x into digital zoom it was terrible , i don't know if
    > they have made the digital zoom any better , im sure they haven't
    > otherwise they would be really useing it as a selling point .
    >
    > gene
    >
    > hvsteve wrote:
    >> I've always used a film SLR and am finally thinking of moving on to
    >> digital. This question is really basic. I like to use long lenses. I
    >> see many digital cameras advertizing long zooms by combining optical
    >> and digital. I have always thought the digital zoom was pretty
    >> worthless as all it does is enlarge the existing image, getting fuzzier
    >> with size. With cameras now having five or six mp, does that give high
    >> enough resolution so digital zoom becomes useful? Do I get the same
    >> result by shooting with only the optical zoom and enlarging it on my
    >> PC? I'm looking for shirt pocket size, otherwise I might as well drag
    >> along one of my SLRs with a bunch of lenses.

    >


    Most newer cameras have 'enhanced digital zoom', which simply means that
    the image is processed to interpolate pixels into the expanded image to
    minimize 'jaggies', and break up the 'pixelization' effect. The purists
    will argue that this can't possibly really improve the picture, but it
    DOES look more pleasant.
    I still recommend using digital zoom only when image quality is not the
    primary concern.
     
    Ron Hunter, May 18, 2006
    #6
  7. Mark² wrote:
    > hvsteve wrote:
    >> I've always used a film SLR and am finally thinking of moving on to
    >> digital. This question is really basic. I like to use long lenses. I
    >> see many digital cameras advertizing long zooms by combining optical
    >> and digital. I have always thought the digital zoom was pretty
    >> worthless as all it does is enlarge the existing image, getting
    >> fuzzier with size. With cameras now having five or six mp, does that
    >> give high enough resolution so digital zoom becomes useful? Do I get
    >> the same result by shooting with only the optical zoom and enlarging
    >> it on my PC? I'm looking for shirt pocket size, otherwise I might as
    >> well drag along one of my SLRs with a bunch of lenses.

    >
    > Digital zoom does nothing more than you could do later...by simply
    > cropping out the outer portion of the frame.
    > You're better off simply getting your best shot at the maximum optical
    > extension, and cropping later if necessary. Digital zoom is a sales
    > pitch for the ignorant masses (not stupid, mind you...just ignorant).


    A shirt-pocket size digital camera with a massive zoom range would be very
    nice, but quite impractical to design!

    Try a compromise. Go for a Panasonic Lumix FZ7, or better, an FZ30. Both
    have fabulous Leica 12* zoom lenses and should give you everything you want
    provided your shirtmaker increases the size of his breast pockets!

    Dennis.
     
    Dennis Pogson, May 18, 2006
    #7
  8. hvsteve

    Bob Williams Guest

    hvsteve wrote:
    > I've always used a film SLR and am finally thinking of moving on to
    > digital. This question is really basic. I like to use long lenses. I
    > see many digital cameras advertizing long zooms by combining optical
    > and digital. I have always thought the digital zoom was pretty
    > worthless as all it does is enlarge the existing image, getting fuzzier
    > with size. With cameras now having five or six mp, does that give high
    > enough resolution so digital zoom becomes useful? Do I get the same
    > result by shooting with only the optical zoom and enlarging it on my
    > PC? I'm looking for shirt pocket size, otherwise I might as well drag
    > along one of my SLRs with a bunch of lenses.
    >

    Check out the Panasonic DMC TZ1
    5MP, 10X Zoom, Image Stabilization, Shirtpocket size.
    See: http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/specs/Panasonic/panasonic_dmctz1.asp

    Bob Williams
     
    Bob Williams, May 18, 2006
    #8
  9. hvsteve wrote:
    > I've always used a film SLR and am finally thinking of moving on to
    > digital. This question is really basic. I like to use long lenses. I
    > see many digital cameras advertizing long zooms by combining optical
    > and digital. I have always thought the digital zoom was pretty
    > worthless as all it does is enlarge the existing image, getting fuzzier
    > with size. With cameras now having five or six mp, does that give high
    > enough resolution so digital zoom becomes useful?


    Not really. The only time when digital zoom may be useful is when your
    subject only fills a tiny fraction of the frame even at maximum optical
    zoom and you can't get any closer and you are running out of space on
    the digital media. I find 2x digital zoom occassionally useful - I
    would not touch fractional in camera digital zoom factors with a barge
    pole.

    A DSLR also gives you an implicit 1.4x magnification with a given lens
    due to the intrinsic smaller size of the CCD sensor to a full 35mm
    frame. This can be an advantage if you need high magnifications
    routinely.

    > Do I get the same
    > result by shooting with only the optical zoom and enlarging it on my
    > PC?


    Pretty much. Some in camera digital zoom firmware is slightly worse
    than the post processing option. The digital zoomed & cropped image
    requires less media space.

    >I'm looking for shirt pocket size, otherwise I might as well drag
    > along one of my SLRs with a bunch of lenses.


    3x optical zoom are very compact, 10x optical zooms exist but require a
    large shirt pocket.

    Regards,
    Martin Brown
     
    |||newspam|||@nezumi.demon.co.uk, May 18, 2006
    #9
  10. hvsteve wrote:
    > I've always used a film SLR and am finally thinking of moving on to
    > digital. This question is really basic. I like to use long lenses. I
    > see many digital cameras advertizing long zooms by combining optical
    > and digital. I have always thought the digital zoom was pretty
    > worthless as all it does is enlarge the existing image, getting fuzzier
    > with size. With cameras now having five or six mp, does that give high
    > enough resolution so digital zoom becomes useful? Do I get the same
    > result by shooting with only the optical zoom and enlarging it on my
    > PC? I'm looking for shirt pocket size, otherwise I might as well drag
    > along one of my SLRs with a bunch of lenses.
    >

    IMHO, digital zoom is worthless.
    EJ in NJ
     
    Ernie Willson, May 18, 2006
    #10
  11. hvsteve

    tomm42 Guest

    hvsteve wrote:
    > I thouht of that but they are, unfortunately, Canon F lenses which do
    > not work with their digital SLR. I have stuck with the SLR bodies this
    > long because, as you know, the lenses,filters,etc. are the most
    > expensive part of the setup.


    I just went through this, bit the bullet and bought the system that had
    lenses that were the closet to what I had been using. That was Nikon,
    so I now have a a Nikon D200 and 3 lenses all bought second hand. The
    nice thing about both Nikon and Canon is that there are a lot of lenses
    on the 2nd hand market, both with Ebay and dealers.
    Mark was absolutely correct about "digital zoom" it is esentially a
    crop function, just making an image from a crop of a larger image. The
    camera functions to do this are crude compared to Photoshop, PaintShop
    Pro or even Irfanview.
    Most dslr images will arguably surpass what you get on film, and let
    you work as you are used to working. With the option of using any ISO
    setting you want for an image.
    With the 8mp P&S cameras at iso 100 you will get good images, but
    higher ISO settings just don't compare to what a dslr can do. The only
    exception is the Sony R1, since it uses the same sensor as a dslr.
    There is a lot to think about and no way to do it right on the cheap.

    Good luck
    Tom
     
    tomm42, May 18, 2006
    #11
  12. hvsteve

    Don Stauffer Guest

    hvsteve wrote:
    > I've always used a film SLR and am finally thinking of moving on to
    > digital. This question is really basic. I like to use long lenses. I
    > see many digital cameras advertizing long zooms by combining optical
    > and digital. I have always thought the digital zoom was pretty
    > worthless as all it does is enlarge the existing image, getting fuzzier
    > with size. With cameras now having five or six mp, does that give high
    > enough resolution so digital zoom becomes useful? Do I get the same
    > result by shooting with only the optical zoom and enlarging it on my
    > PC? I'm looking for shirt pocket size, otherwise I might as well drag
    > along one of my SLRs with a bunch of lenses.
    >


    You are right. If you use a computer to process and edit the images,
    you'll do a better job than in-camera digital zoom.

    BTW, my wife just bought a Nikon D50. I love it. It is a camera at least
    as good as my main camera, an old AE-1. I figure I will be shooting much
    less film now, assuming she continues to let me use her D50. She went
    to the D50 from a N75, and I don't think she has shot a single frame of
    film since, while shooting nearly a thousand digital shots.
     
    Don Stauffer, May 18, 2006
    #12
  13. hvsteve

    Ron Hunter Guest

    Ernie Willson wrote:
    > hvsteve wrote:
    >> I've always used a film SLR and am finally thinking of moving on to
    >> digital. This question is really basic. I like to use long lenses. I
    >> see many digital cameras advertizing long zooms by combining optical
    >> and digital. I have always thought the digital zoom was pretty
    >> worthless as all it does is enlarge the existing image, getting fuzzier
    >> with size. With cameras now having five or six mp, does that give high
    >> enough resolution so digital zoom becomes useful? Do I get the same
    >> result by shooting with only the optical zoom and enlarging it on my
    >> PC? I'm looking for shirt pocket size, otherwise I might as well drag
    >> along one of my SLRs with a bunch of lenses.
    >>

    > IMHO, digital zoom is worthless.
    > EJ in NJ


    digital zoom isn't QUITE useless, but nearly so. I have used it to zoom
    in on things I couldn't quite make out with the optical zoom, and been
    able to identify distant objects that way. Still, not really a good
    feature in my opinion.
     
    Ron Hunter, May 19, 2006
    #13
  14. hvsteve

    Ray Fischer Guest

    hvsteve <> wrote:
    >I've always used a film SLR and am finally thinking of moving on to
    >digital. This question is really basic. I like to use long lenses. I
    >see many digital cameras advertizing long zooms by combining optical
    >and digital. I have always thought the digital zoom was pretty
    >worthless as all it does is enlarge the existing image, getting fuzzier
    >with size. With cameras now having five or six mp, does that give high
    >enough resolution so digital zoom becomes useful?


    Using a digital zoom to increase the magnification 2x turns an 8MP camera
    into a 2MP camera. Useful? Not by me.

    --
    Ray Fischer
     
    Ray Fischer, May 20, 2006
    #14
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