10X zoom digicams - need stabilization?

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Matthew Fleming, Jan 10, 2004.

  1. Camera-meisters,

    My father is interested in buying a digicam with built-in 10X zoom. My
    question is, how often is motion blur a problem when these cameras are used
    near the end of their zoom range, and is it worth getting a model with
    electronic stabilization to avoid this? Which models have stabilization and,
    in general, which models are recommended? Compact size is important and the
    new Olympus looked appealing for that reason.


    Matthew Fleming
    Matthew Fleming, Jan 10, 2004
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  2. I have the c750 which I bought because it was small. In an outdoor setting
    with bright light I've had success (clear photos) holding the camera, even
    at full power. Some people say though, that above 5x you start to see
    John Worthington, Jan 10, 2004
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  3. Motion blur is a serious problem with 10X zoom. I have three cameras with
    high optical zoom. One is a Meade binocular camera with 8X fixed
    magnification. Another is a Panasonic SV-AV100 with 10X optical zoom. And
    finally, a Canon ZR30MC also with 10X optical zoom. The Panasonic and Canon
    cameras are digital video cameras with electronic image stabilization (EIS).
    The Meade has none. All three take stills and shoot video. The little
    Panasonic is pretty amazing with its EIS, which it needs because it only
    weighs 5.44 ounces and my hands do shake a bit. The Canon has some bulk and
    mass, so its EIS is not needed as much. And I can tell you it's very hard to
    get a clear non-blurry shot out of the Meade.

    David Sommers, Jan 10, 2004
  4. Matthew Fleming

    dylan Guest

    The rule of thumb (for 35mm) was you can handhold at 1/focal length. ie if
    at the extreme the 10x is equivalent to 250mm then for speed slower than
    1/250 second you need assistance to avoid shake ie tripod. Stabilization
    will probabbly enable a speed 1 or 2 stops better ie 1/60. Changing ISO to a
    higher value will allow higher shutter speeds.
    dylan, Jan 10, 2004
  5. A normal person can take a handheld picture with a shutter
    speed of 1/focal length. The Olympus C-740 / C-750 has a focal length
    up to 380mm (10x). So you need enough light to get a shutter of
    1/380s or faster.

    So objects in direct sunlight should be doable. Otherwise you
    need IS, which will let you go 3x slower shutter speed as a
    rule of thumb.
    Povl H. Pedersen, Jan 10, 2004
  6. Matthew Fleming

    Larry Lynch Guest

    The need for stabilization is directly related to hand

    Since I own several cameras with 10x or more I found
    that tripods and monopods are an invaluable tool.

    When I was much younger I could fire off a shot with a
    long lens without much preparation, but as I get older
    and more arthritic, and less steady, I find a need for
    such things as "bean-bags" and leaning posts.

    I havent yet found a need for any electronic or
    mechanical stabilization except in video, where the
    camera is usually moving as well as the subject.

    Patience and relaxation will make for better photos than
    anything he can buy.
    Larry Lynch, Jan 10, 2004
  7. The rule of thumb (for 35mm) was you can handhold at 1/focal length. ie
    This was my rule of thumb as well. However, I find that with digital
    cameras I can go two or even three stops worth of shutter speed slower
    than this. Yes, it might be the higher ISO which can automatically be
    selected, but I also think it is because you need slightly less resolution
    with digital than film. I.e. comparing 35mm slides projected onto a huge
    screen, compared to viewing digital images on a CRT monitor......

    I've also found that digital allows more flexibility with camera
    placement, particularly the Nikon Coolpix swivel lens range.

    David J Taylor, Jan 10, 2004
  8. Matthew Fleming

    HRosita Guest


    You are lucky. I find that I have to actually concentrate real hard on holding
    the camera (D7Hi) steady whey I zoom out. I think it is probably because the
    camera is lighter and if you don't use the EVF and hold it with hands a little
    extended, you get more camera shake when you take the picture.
    HRosita, Jan 10, 2004
  9. Matthew Fleming

    Mark Johnson Guest

    The Oly e-100rs was very good at this. But it was designed for rapid
    shots. Other digicams, now, can do the same - but I don't know how
    they compare to the old models, like this.

    Without stabilization, you might have trouble, even with precapture
    and a digicam, getting a sharp image at more than 4-5x zoom.
    Mark Johnson, Jan 10, 2004
  10. My experience is similar to David's:

    1/10 second is often enough to get good results.

    In fact, as long as I take a few extra exposures, I tend to get at least
    one sharp shot even at 1/2 second in 36 mm (equiv) mode. In these
    situations I do try to lean the camera against something solid though.

    I've been a photographer since about 1975, when I shot a _lot_ of Tri-X
    for the local newspapers. At that time 1/25 second with a 50 or 55 mm
    prime was OK, i.e. about twice the 1/focal_length rule.

    I believe the absense of a mirror and a much softer release button is
    the most important reasons here, similar to having a very soft and
    smooth trigger action on a target rifle.

    Terje Mathisen, Jan 10, 2004
  11. You are lucky. I find that I have to actually concentrate real hard on
    Ah, the LCD viewfinder! Yes, if you have to hold the camera at arm's
    length, this is not good for stability. I've found that I use the EVF
    almost exclusively since moving to the Nikon 5700. Somehow it's with the
    cameras beign so compact that you can jam them (and yourself) up against
    something solid. As Terje says, perhaps the lack of the shutter shock and
    perhaps the lack of the wind-on noise help as well.

    David J Taylor, Jan 10, 2004
  12. Matthew Fleming

    Ed Ruf Guest

    This is actually where the swivel on the Nikon 99x/4500 comes into it's
    own. Especially with the TC-3 attached, shooting off the hip. literally,
    was a great way to stabilize the camera. One of the things I miss, since
    moving up to a 5700. Yes the LCD swivels, but it does not offer the same
    possibilities in my experience.
    Ed Ruf Lifetime AMA# 344007 ()
    See images taken with my CP-990 and 5700 at
    Ed Ruf, Jan 10, 2004
  13. This is actually where the swivel on the Nikon 99x/4500 comes into it's
    I kept my 990 when I bought my 5700......and sometime borrow my wife's!

    David J Taylor, Jan 10, 2004
  14. Matthew Fleming

    Ed Ruf Guest

    I still have the 990, but sold the TC-3 and FC-8. I still use the 990 at
    work to document our test hardware where the proximity of the flash to the
    lens is actually beneficial.
    Ed Ruf Lifetime AMA# 344007 ()
    See images taken with my CP-990 and 5700 at
    Ed Ruf, Jan 10, 2004
  15. Matthew Fleming

    MarkH Guest

    According to DPReview the A1 gives 1 to 1.5 stops worth of IS, my Canon 28-
    135 IS lens gives 2 stops and the expensive 70-200L IS gives 3 stops.

    Maybe your rule of thumb is a bit optimistic?

    Still even 1 stop worth of IS lets you get the shot in half the light, so
    that is definitely worth having.
    MarkH, Jan 11, 2004
  16. Matthew Fleming

    JPS Guest

    In message <bts9t8$n8p$>,
    1.0 stops = 2.0x the shutter time
    1.5 stops = 2.8x the shutter time
    2.0 stops = 4.0x the shutter time
    2.5 stops = 5.7x the shutter time
    3.0 stops = 8.0x the shutter time
    JPS, Jan 11, 2004
  17. Hi Matthew,

    There are now very few digital cameras with image stabilizing, and your best
    bet for new would be the Panasonic zoom range which all have IS and 12x
    optical zooms in small bodies and use SD cards.

    However, the ZF1 & ZF2 are only 2Mp cameras, but they have launched a new
    FZ10 that is 4Mp, though I've yet to see it.
    Also, look at the Minolta DZ1 as it has camera shake warning.

    Some older cameras to look out for are:
    Olympus C-2100; Canon PS Pro 90(I think?) and the Sony CD-1000 as well.

    For further details ckeck out www.dpreview.com

    Stephen Leslie, Jan 11, 2004
  18. I suspect quite a few cameras have camera shake warning (which just uses the
    1/focal-length rule). It also is the Minolta Z1 which is the 10x camera (and
    no IS). The Minolta A1 is a 7x camera (28-200mm equivalent) that has an
    equivalent technology (AS or anti-shake).

    If you have $1.5k or more to spend, a Canon DSLR with an appropriate IS lens
    (such as the 28-135mm, 70-200mm, 100-400 IS lenses), or a Nikon/Fuji/Kodak DSLR
    with an appropriate VR lens (70-200mm, 80-400mm, or 24-120mm) will work. I've
    heard that Sigma has an announced OIS lens, but I'm not sure if it is shipping
    Michael Meissner, Jan 11, 2004
  19. Matthew Fleming

    Nylon Lover Guest

    I got the Panasonic FZ10 2 weeks ago...IT ROCKS! Excellent camera at
    only $539 (with case). Taken around 500 pics so far and it is my best
    camera (I have 5 digitals). Give it a try!
    Nylon Lover, Jan 12, 2004
  20. Matthew Fleming

    MarkH Guest

    OK 3x probably isn’t too far out. I would be cautious and say 2 - 3 x
    slower shutter speed.

    However you look at it IS allows you to get away with slower shutter speeds
    and could easily make the difference between a blurred picture and an
    acceptable picture.
    MarkH, Jan 12, 2004
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