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Thread: A friend asked me a question and i need help with the answer.

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    A friend asked me a question and i need help with the answer.

    He was looking at a catalog that had compact cameras with x40 optical zoom and dslr's with 18-55mm lens and was wonering if there is a formula for lens mm to x optical zoom. That way it would be easyer to compear zooms. He is trying to decide weather to go compact or dslr. Any help would be appreciated.
    Jeramy

    Camera: Nikon D7000
    Lenses: Nikon 18-105mm 55-300mm

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    My friends call me Dave
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    I cant help with the conversion Jeramy. I think we could offer more advice if we new what cameras they are thinking of buying or at least their budget. I think the most impotent question is What do they want the camera for, What is their main interest I mean
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    Who let the rabble in? Lance B's Avatar
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    Need to know the size of the sensor on the compact he's looking at so as to compare actual mm or FOV equivalents. The 18-55 is a 3x optical zoom. 40x optical zoom? Seems like a huge zoom ratio and that would be akin to an 18-720 zoom on an APS C DSLR!
    Last edited by Lance B; 22-11-2012 at 3:22pm.

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    Ausphotography Site Sponsor/Advertiser Film Street's Avatar
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    18-55mm lens -

    55 divided by 18 = 3.0555 optical zoom

    18-200 lens -

    200 divided by 18 = 11.11111 optical zoom


    When comparing zooms pay attention to what focal length the zoom starts at eg:

    16-200 lens -

    200 divided by 16 = 12.5 optical zoom

    some zoom lenses can sound longer much longer than others just by having only a couple of extra millimetres at the wide end.

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    As far as I know compacts don't go above 20x optical zoom. Anything above that would be impossible to hold steady unless you mount on a tripod. Then you might as well get an entry level dslr. Go online and check out reviews and comparisons of compacts, there are some really good ones.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Duane Pipe View Post
    I cant help with the conversion Jeramy. I think we could offer more advice if we new what cameras they are thinking of buying or at least their budget. I think the most impotent question is What do they want the camera for, What is their main interest I mean
    Thanks for replying.
    He is looking for a camera for everyday eg happy snaps on camping trips and holidays and maybe geting into some landscapes in the futuer.
    He also likes the idear of prime lenses on dslr's. hes looking at the nikon D3100 and im not sure what compack he was looking at.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lance B View Post
    Need to know the size of the sensor on the compact he's looking at so as to compare actual mm or FOV equivalents. The 18-55 is a 3x optical zoom. 40x optical zoom? Seems like a huge zoom ratio and that would be akin to an 18-720 zoom on an APS C DSLR!
    Thanks for the reply
    He is looking at the nikon D3100 with the dx sensor . As for the x40 optical zoom i dont know what compact ha was looking at he may have given me the wrong number.
    Last edited by disco2td5; 22-11-2012 at 4:04pm.

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    Drifter, Racer and Picture Taker
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    Most compacts have very small sensors, so can use smaller lenses.
    While a normal APSc DSLR has a sensor around 23X16mm, the average compact's or brige camera's sensor is only around 5X8mm (and many even smaller), so it's a lot easier to make a many X zoom lens for them than it would be for a DSLR, hence why you see lots of compacts with 20X zooms, and even up to 40X zooms.
    They only have to go from a true 3mm up to 60mm to get 20X zoom, but the IQ of these lenses is in no way comparable to the lenses on DSLR's and the bigger the zoom ratio, the more they have to stick out at maximum zoom and the poorer the quality of the lens (in most cases).
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    Quote Originally Posted by Film Street View Post
    18-55mm lens -

    55 divided by 18 = 3.0555 optical zoom

    18-200 lens -

    200 divided by 18 = 11.11111 optical zoom


    When comparing zooms pay attention to what focal length the zoom starts at eg:

    16-200 lens -

    200 divided by 16 = 12.5 optical zoom

    some zoom lenses can sound longer much longer than others just by having only a couple of extra millimetres at the wide end.
    Thanks for replying
    This should satisfy him and also i have learnt something new my self from this

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    Quote Originally Posted by fotog View Post
    As far as I know compacts don't go above 20x optical zoom. Anything above that would be impossible to hold steady unless you mount on a tripod. Then you might as well get an entry level dslr. Go online and check out reviews and comparisons of compacts, there are some really good ones.
    Thanks for replying .
    As for x40 optical zoom im only going bye what he told me. i didnt even thing of going online for some comparisons thank will have a look soon.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by Bennymiata View Post
    Most compacts have very small sensors, so can use smaller lenses.
    While a normal APSc DSLR has a sensor around 23X16mm, the average compact's or brige camera's sensor is only around 5X8mm (and many even smaller), so it's a lot easier to make a many X zoom lens for them than it would be for a DSLR, hence why you see lots of compacts with 20X zooms, and even up to 40X zooms.
    They only have to go from a true 3mm up to 60mm to get 20X zoom, but the IQ of these lenses is in no way comparable to the lenses on DSLR's and the bigger the zoom ratio, the more they have to stick out at maximum zoom and the poorer the quality of the lens (in most cases).
    Thanks for replying
    Wow i did realize compacts have such small sensors. i thingk it might be best to show him this thread and let him make his decision.

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    A royal pain in the bum! arthurking83's Avatar
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    smaller sensors with massive lens zoom ratios will generally give poorer image quality results than a much larger sensor with a smaller zoom ratio.

    Also be careful with the specs on the 40x zoom of the camera, some of that multiplication could be 'sensor zoom' or digital zoom .. which on a small sensor is as useless as any number of other useless gadgets and accessories.

    Some superzoom bridge cameras can perform quite well if the image size is kept to a minimum when compared to a dslr with a medium quality zoom lens.
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    Ausphotography irregular Mark L's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by disco2td5 View Post
    .... i thingk it might be best to show him this thread and let him make his decision.
    And after he does that, suggest he also joins us here on AP.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Oh. If you do read this thread, g'day there, friend of Jeramy.

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    Arch-Σigmoid Ausphotography Regular ameerat42's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mark L View Post
    ...Oh. If you do read this thread, g'day there, friend of Jeramy. ...
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