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Photography Question 
Pundareeka 
 

What is the optical zoom in DSLR camera?


I just want to know what is the optical zoom in an DSLR camera.
Further, what is yous opinion about Canon S3 IS/S2 IS over normal point and shoot camera?
Further, am buying the camera for the first time. Do I really need to look into DSLR camera?


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4/12/2006 12:30:15 PM

 
Christopher Budny
BetterPhoto Member Since: 10/3/2005
chrisbudny.com
  I believe you may be confusing a term from the non-SLR world. Digital SLR cameras, like film SLR cameras, require that you attach a lens (zoom lenses or non-zoom varieties.) Non-SLR cameras cannot accept lenses (other than conversion lens add-ons, sometimes) and therefore have a finite amount of zoom their built-in lens can achieve. That is the "optical zoom" measurement, such as 3x, 8x, 10x, 12x. Such a camera may then offer "digital zoom" on top of that, where the camera's software will artificially zoom in further by manipulating the image data. So you may see cameras advertised with "12x optical zoom, total 36x zoom" because they've added on the ability for 3x more zoom, processed digitally inside the camera.
I'm afraid I can't offer any opinion on the Canons you mention; have not used them.
To decide whether you want a DSLR, or a high-end point-and-shoot (fixed lens) camera, you'll have to do some analysis of the kinds of photos you hope to take, or like to take, and the money you want to spend, as DSLRs are often a bigger financial investment, given the lens(es) you also have to buy.


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4/12/2006 2:20:12 PM

 
Pundareeka    Hi,
Thanks for your comments.
I may not need the SLRs I think.
Given the option between 12x(optical zoom) and normal point and shoot(3-4x opical zoom) cameras, which one would be better? Also if you any suggestions on which camera to buy, please do so.
Thanks once again.

Best Regards,
Pundareeka Bhat


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4/12/2006 2:36:04 PM

 
Brendan Knell
BetterPhoto Member Since: 4/17/2005
  A 12x zoom would zoom further than a 3-4x zoom.


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4/12/2006 3:46:48 PM

 
Christopher Budny
BetterPhoto Member Since: 10/3/2005
chrisbudny.com
  Now you're probably talking about considering your price limits (plus determining if you want to take pictures that need that kind of zoom.) The Sony I've got has a 12x optical zoom, and I love it. It is considered an "SLR-like" camera... in that it has manual controls for shutter, aperture, exposure compensation settings, etc., or you can fall back on several "Auto" program modes. Runs about $375 now (price has dropped) before adding memory chips. My friend's got an older 10x Olympus that we've both enjoyed very much. If you haven't visited www.dpreview.com before, that can be a very useful site, for comparing a few models side by side. But then ultimately, you'd do well to go to a store and try out a few models for the feel, weight, ease of using menus, etc.


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4/12/2006 3:55:18 PM

 
Craig m. Zacarelli
BetterPhoto Member Since: 2/3/2005
  the S2 abd the S# are both excellent cameras, they take great photos and have a nice Image Stabelization system built in... worht the price alone in my book!
-zacker-


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4/12/2006 6:58:52 PM

 
Carolyn  M. Fletcher
BetterPhoto Member Since: 10/6/2001
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  I have the Sony H-1 with the 12x optical zoom. It's got a lot of good qualities, and the digital zoom actually works pretty well, which is REALLY unusual.Much better than my other Sonys anyway.


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4/13/2006 6:07:13 AM

 
Christopher A. Vedros
BetterPhoto Member Since: 3/14/2005
  Pundareeka,
The Canon S2IS, S3IS, Sony H1, and several others all fall into a category of cameras sometimes called "SLR-like" or "superzooms".

They have several advantages over other point&shoot digitals, in addition to the larger optical zoom range.

They have larger diameter lenses with better optics. Most compact pocket-sized P&S digitals have a lens about the size of your thumbnail. A larger lens can give you a better image.

They have larger digital sensors. This also results in better image quality and lower image noise. A 5MP superzoom will likely produce a better image than an 8MP compact P&S.

They usually offer more control over your exposure settings than compact P&S cameras, which sometimes have only automatic modes.

As for digital zoom - Don't use it. Ever. Period. Digital zoom, on any camera, is simply just cropping your image in the camera. The cropped-out pixels are just thrown away, and your image is saved at a lower resolution than what your camera can produce. So if you have a 6MP camera, an image that is taken with digital zoom might only be 3MP or less. Turn your digital zoom off, you will always have the option of cropping your image later if you want.

Chris


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4/13/2006 6:42:46 AM

 
Pundareeka    I would like thank each and everyone especially Chris V. whose comments were most relevant for me. Now I'll go and buy Canon S3 IS, only thing is that I have to wait. Does anybody know when Canon S3 IS is going to be there in US market? Websites say May. As I am leaving US in May month itself, I just want to know the exact date of somebody knows it.

Thanks and Best Regards,
Pundareeka Bhat


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4/13/2006 7:09:42 AM

 
Christopher A. Vedros
BetterPhoto Member Since: 3/14/2005
  I think you'll be happy with the S3IS. I bought the S2IS last year for my wife, and I've used it as much as she has. It's a very handy alternative to my dSLR and heavy camera bag if I need to travel light.

I haven't seen an exact ship date for the S3IS, just that it will ship in May. B&H photo (www.bhphoto.com) is not taking orders for it yet, so my guess is that they have not been given a firm ship date from Canon yet. They will usually start taking orders for new items a few weeks before they are scheduled to ship, but unlike some other online retailers, they don't usually make promises that they can't keep.

I think they'll start taking orders when they get a firm ship date.

Chris


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4/13/2006 7:31:58 AM

 
Craig m. Zacarelli
BetterPhoto Member Since: 2/3/2005
  I bet it hits the UK before it does here... like the 30D did.
-zacker-


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4/13/2006 9:38:37 AM

 
Pundareeka    Thanks for your input. Am counting days for S3 IS to come to US.

Best Regards,
Pundareeka Bhat


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4/13/2006 9:42:18 AM

 
Oliver Anderson
BetterPhoto Member Since: 11/16/2004
  Pundareeka, I just bought 6 S2 IS from Dell and my sales staff loves the camera. the 12X optical is great for the type of photography they do on construction and road construction sites. Don't know what the difference in price is for the S3 but you might want to consider the S2 since the price has dropped $170 in the last month. The reason I know this is because I bought one at Circuit City a month ago for $498 then last week Dell sold them for $329.


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4/13/2006 5:20:35 PM

 
Pundareeka    Hi Oliver,
Yes I know. In fact yesterday it was $284 in Dell and today it is $312 I believe. Am not sure, somehow I want to wait for S3 IS. Thanks for your information anyways.

Best Regards,
Pundareeka Bhat


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4/13/2006 5:24:44 PM

 
Oliver Anderson
BetterPhoto Member Since: 11/16/2004
  Well I'm just glad we waited an extra 4 weeks to order the other 5. Buying electronics is crazy, you never know if what you're buying is a going to drop the next day.


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4/13/2006 5:37:42 PM

 
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