Choices -- Optical Zoom vs. Megapixels

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Rob, Jun 5, 2004.

  1. Rob

    Rob Guest

    Looking for a P&S Digital cam for a vacation trip coming up. Trying to
    weigh megapixels vs. optical zoom. We've been looking at the Olympus C5000
    (5MP, 3 X optical Zoom) and the C740 (3MP, 10X optical Zoom). I don't see
    printing anything bigger than 8X10 (usually not bigger than 4X6), and
    usually will frame the picture before I shoot (i.e. won't be looking to crop
    much afterwards) so my thought is that I should go for the C740. I also
    like the ability to buy AA batteries when I forget to recharge.

    I am looking for something somewhat compact so I don't have to carry my
    conventional SLR everywhere.

    TIA for any advice/other options.
    Rob, Jun 5, 2004
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  2. Rob

    daytripper Guest

    I had the chance to play with a friend's C740 yesterday. It may only be 3MP,
    but that 10x optical zoom is awful hard to dismiss...

    daytripper, Jun 5, 2004
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  3. Rob

    Paul Wylie Guest

    The drawback is that it's not a stabilized lens, so slow shutter speeds
    will require a tripod at high zoom levels.

    ** Note "removemunged" in email address and remove to reply. **
    Paul Wylie, Jun 5, 2004
  4. Rob

    Larry Guest

    Small sandbags or bean-bags and a tripod should be a normal part of shooting
    with any lens stronger than about 5 or 6x.

    Depending on electronics (if you have them) will get some good shots, but
    doing it with a really stable camera to start with will get some great shots.
    Larry, Jun 5, 2004
  5. Rob

    Phil Wheeler Guest

    Phil Wheeler, Jun 5, 2004
  6. Rob

    Rob Guest

    Thanks for the info. Is the need for a tripod at high zoom/low speed much
    different on a digital than a conventional film camera? Is there a camera
    in the same price range as the C740 that has stabilization with a similar
    optical zoom capability? I saw the Cannon S1 IS has it, but its about an
    extra $100.

    Thanks again

    Rob, Jun 6, 2004
  7. The Canon IS system is simply amazing. I personally wouldn't blink to
    spend an extra $100 to get it, seeing as I have shaky, shaky hands. I
    just wish it was available in more lenses and cameras.
    Brian C. Baird, Jun 6, 2004
  8. Rob

    Paul Wylie Guest

    No, it's not really any different than a film camera in that regard.
    I have the Olympus C2100UZ which is 2 MP with 10x optical zoom and lens
    stabilization. The lens stabilizer is amazing. I regularly take handheld
    shots at full zoom (380mm equivalent) at shutter speeds slower than 1/100.
    It's such a great feature that I bought the KM Dimage A2 because it offers
    image stabilization and a 7x optical zoom (although KM's image
    stabilization is nowhere near as good as Olympus's lens stabilization).

    It's a real bummer that Olympus stopped making digital cameras with the
    lens stabilization system. The C7xx cameras have never had lens
    stabilization (the big difference between the C2100UZ and the C700 was the
    stabilizer and about $100). I'd have gladly upgraded to a 4 or 5 MP
    version of the C2100UZ, but it was not to be.

    ** Note "removemunged" in email address and remove to reply. **
    Paul Wylie, Jun 6, 2004
  9. Rob

    Phil Wheeler Guest

    I have an old Oly 2100UZ with IS. Only 2 mp but I get good 8x10 prints
    with it. Still use it as my backup camera when traveling.

    The Canon S1 IS would be my choice if I was looking for another such
    camera (but now I use a Canon dSLR and 28-135 IS -- plus other lenses --
    and higher ISO).

    IS is definitely worth the $100 if that's what it is. And Canon IS is
    what my Oly uses -- so I know it to be very effective. Aside from long
    zoom, IS is a godsend for shooting in museums where no flash and no
    tripod is allowed.

    Phil Wheeler, Jun 6, 2004

  10. So I wonder and hope that Olympus are going to start using IS in their C7xxx
    cameras to compete with the Canon S1.
    Any signs that will happen?
    I like the S1 a lot but the 3.2mp coupled to either the poor lens and/or the
    low processing quality leaves it with rather soft images.
    If Oly were to bring out a C7 camera with 5mp and an optical stabiliser (oh
    plus a flip up/down LCD too) I would buy it in an instant...

    I agree about the Minolta AS system too - having used both an A1 & A2 for
    over a month I was a bit disappointed with it's capabilities compared to the
    Canon IS system, still it was better than nothing as I am finding out with
    my Oly C770 - I need at least 1/200 at max zoom... :-(
    AngryofMayfair, Jun 6, 2004
  11. Rob

    Rob Guest

    Thanks to all for the input. Best Buy had the two camera side by side. One
    factor I hadn't considered in the $$ was that the CF cards for the Canon are
    about half the price of the DX cards for the Olympus, thus almost offsetting
    the price difference. Decided on the Canon for the IS, and the fact that our
    film SLR is a Canon thus making some of the controls familiar.
    Rob, Jun 9, 2004
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