4Mpix with 3X opt or 3Mpix with 4X optical zoom?

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by amyotte, Oct 25, 2003.

  1. amyotte

    amyotte Guest

    Does one get a better picture if using a 4Mpix camera with a 3X optical or a
    3Mpix with a 4X optical?
    I kinda like the idea of the 4Mpix camera and then I can zoom and crop on my
    computer if I want.

    Looking at the Olympus C4000 and a Kodak DX6340 and I like the feel of the
    cameras and the research I have done indicates either would be a good

    The Olympus is a 4Mpix and with a 3X optical zoom.
    The Kodak DX6340 is a 3Mpix with a 4X optical zoom.

    I have not seen the Kodak DX6490 around here but the 9X optical would be
    nice with a 4 Mpix. Maybe I should hold out.

    Any thoughts?

    amyotte, Oct 25, 2003
    1. Advertisements

  2. amyotte

    amyotte Guest

    Oops just found out our local Futureshop has a Kodak DX6440 for the same
    price as the C4000. Will check it out.

    amyotte, Oct 25, 2003
    1. Advertisements

  3. Brian,

    mathematically both are not the same, because the zoom works on
    a linear scale, but the Megapixels are the result of a square.

    Thus the 3 Megapixel camera with a 4x optical zoom will yield
    somewhat more detail at max zoom than the other, provided, of
    course, that both zooms start at the same wide angle starting

    If you wanted a linear comparison, you could compare the zoom
    factor or, better, the maximum focal length (film equivalent),
    with the number of pixels across your picture sensor. Multiply
    both and you arrive at a figure that can be compared between

    Mathematically equivalent, but even more useful would it be if
    the camera manufacturers told us the size of one pixel in nature
    at max zoom and at a certain distance, or the angular size of
    one pixel. Has anyone here done such calculations?

    I see that the question is no longer of interest to you, but I
    thought perhaps others may be interested in this fundamental

    Hans-Georg Michna, Oct 26, 2003
  4. amyotte

    amyotte Guest

    Thanks Hans-Georg

    The question still interests me. Strip out the make and models I was
    looking at and the original question becomes...

    Is there any photo quality advantages using a 4Mpix with a 3X optical zoom
    versus a 3Mpix camera with a 4X optical zoom?

    I realize that the optical zooms would be at their maximum.

    The advantage at 1X optical zoom would, assuming good lenses, be for the
    4Mpix camera.

    amyotte, Oct 26, 2003
  5. Brian,

    the answer was already in my first message. The answer is no.
    The 4x optical zoom would yield more detail, or more
    enlargement, even though it only has a 3 Megapixel sensor.

    The linear enlargement would be higher by a factor that is the
    square root of (4 / 3), i.e. approx. by a factor of 1.15.

    This assumes that the zooms all begin at the same wide angle
    focal length film equivalent. The zoom factor alone doesn't say
    enough. You can have a wide angle zoom, for example.

    Hans-Georg Michna, Oct 26, 2003
    1. Advertisements

Ask a Question

Want to reply to this thread or ask your own question?

You'll need to choose a username for the site, which only take a couple of moments (here). After that, you can post your question and our members will help you out.