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Camera zoom question

KNERSIE

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How many times optical zoom do I need to take photos of cattle or wildlife at around 150 yards (450 feet) away.

If there is anyone that can explain to me how you convert lenses in millimeters to X optical zoom?

I'd also like to hear what cameras you have that can do the job (also in fading light) and the pros and cons of them. The goal isn't really to get to learn which is the best camera on the market, but rather to try and find out what is the minimum requirements I need. I am considering trying to take my hobby to something more profitable especially since livestock tends to be neglected on shows in favour of the saddle horses where every mother will buy multiple (very costly) enlargements of the little one on his horse.
 

KNERSIE

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dun":1jamf4wq said:
Mine is a 4x and it isn;t enough so I would think for that distance you would be looking at a minimum of 8.
This may help: http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/compare.asp

There are so many models available at affordable prices with 10X and 12X zoom that I started to question whether that would be enough. As soon you start looking at 15-20X the price increase dramatically and it seems that an image stabiliser is a neccesity for the super zoom cameras. Anyone with experience that can comment on this?
 

Jogeephus

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Can't comment on the science of it but I talked to a professional photographer before i bought a digital camera and he recommended the Canon Rebel. He said it was the best quality for the money - at the time anyhow. I later made a trade for a 75-300 zoom lens that fits on it. Am very pleased with it and can get some really good shots of wildlife and such and don't have any problem with it turning out blurry pictures since it has auto focus. However, I haven't learned how to take good pictures in low light or hazy conditions yet. There is a way but this would require my reading the manual and I just can't bring myself to do this. :oops:
 

dun

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KNERSIE":2c3iu7cx said:
As soon you start looking at 15-20X the price increase dramatically and it seems that an image stabiliser is a neccesity for the super zoom cameras.

Not a bad idea for lower powered zooms too. But it would be mandatory on anything over about 8, particularly for distance stuff.
 

milkmaid

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If I were purchasing a camera, I would definitely go with one that had image stabilization. The camera I have now (Olympus SP-350) is great, but it doesn't have enough zoom, and even with low zoom, if the animal moves or I move - the pic is blurry. It takes amazing scenery pictures and with a bit of work I can get good action pics (ie my chariot race photos) but it's tough. My folks have a Canon with image stabilization and incredible zoom (like 12x with the option to go to 48x) and I get spoiled when I'm home for the summer and can use that one. :p

I'd also suggest getting a camera that can work well in low-light settings; some are designed to pull in extra light even in indoor and low light situations. Mine doesn't, which is frustrating; the Canon my folks have will do that.
 

randiliana

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I can't translate mm to x zoom for you. But when I bought my camera I went with a 15x optical zoom, it serves my purposes quite well, and I really like the zoom. It isn't too bad for takeing blurry pictures at high zoom, even if I am not using a tripod, which is most of the time. Of course it helps that we have quiet cattle and I don't need to use high zoom most of the time. It is a Sony Cybershot DSC-H7.
 

KNERSIE

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milkmaid":2sln3yy6 said:
If I were purchasing a camera, I would definitely go with one that had image stabilization. The camera I have now (Olympus SP-350) is great, but it doesn't have enough zoom, and even with low zoom, if the animal moves or I move - the pic is blurry. It takes amazing scenery pictures and with a bit of work I can get good action pics (ie my chariot race photos) but it's tough. My folks have a Canon with image stabilization and incredible zoom (like 12x with the option to go to 48x) and I get spoiled when I'm home for the summer and can use that one. :p

I'd also suggest getting a camera that can work well in low-light settings; some are designed to pull in extra light even in indoor and low light situations. Mine doesn't, which is frustrating; the Canon my folks have will do that.

Claire, can you find out which model it is, please?

Also is it a 12X optical with 4 X digital zoom? How far can you shoot to still have decent quality?
 

KNERSIE

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randiliana":me4jwb0z said:
I can't translate mm to x zoom for you. But when I bought my camera I went with a 15x optical zoom, it serves my purposes quite well, and I really like the zoom. It isn't too bad for takeing blurry pictures at high zoom, even if I am not using a tripod, which is most of the time. Of course it helps that we have quiet cattle and I don't need to use high zoom most of the time. It is a Sony Cybershot DSC-H7.

Randi, can I ask you a favour? When you have the time can you take a photo for me at about the camera's maximum range zoomed in to the max and also not zoomed in at all and post the pics for me? And if I can push my luck can you pace the distance as well please? Don't need to be great pics, I just want to see what the zoom can do?
 

mnmtranching

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I need to up grade my camera to, so I'm paying attention. 8)
 

randiliana

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KNERSIE":etyow1gs said:
randiliana":etyow1gs said:
I can't translate mm to x zoom for you. But when I bought my camera I went with a 15x optical zoom, it serves my purposes quite well, and I really like the zoom. It isn't too bad for takeing blurry pictures at high zoom, even if I am not using a tripod, which is most of the time. Of course it helps that we have quiet cattle and I don't need to use high zoom most of the time. It is a Sony Cybershot DSC-H7.

Randi, can I ask you a favour? When you have the time can you take a photo for me at about the camera's maximum range zoomed in to the max and also not zoomed in at all and post the pics for me? And if I can push my luck can you pace the distance as well please? Don't need to be great pics, I just want to see what the zoom can do?

I can do that, later today, probably.
 

Running Arrow Bill

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I have a Kodak "Easy Share Z730" with 5.0 meg and 4x optical and 8x digital.

I keep it set on the "sports action" option and have had no problems with blurring whatsover. As a former 35mm photographer, it is always a good idea to use a tripod when using a telephoto lens or a digital zoom lens. Even a fraction of an inch movement can magnify tremendously at the target shot several hundred feet away. When I used a 35mm I always used high speed ASA 400 film and 1,000 of a second shutter speed to avoid bluring. [other option is to "pan" following the subject's movement: this will, of course, blur the background but enables one to use a lower shutter speed].
 

milkmaid

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KNERSIE":2dpy6i9s said:
milkmaid":2dpy6i9s said:
If I were purchasing a camera, I would definitely go with one that had image stabilization. The camera I have now (Olympus SP-350) is great, but it doesn't have enough zoom, and even with low zoom, if the animal moves or I move - the pic is blurry. It takes amazing scenery pictures and with a bit of work I can get good action pics (ie my chariot race photos) but it's tough. My folks have a Canon with image stabilization and incredible zoom (like 12x with the option to go to 48x) and I get spoiled when I'm home for the summer and can use that one. :p

I'd also suggest getting a camera that can work well in low-light settings; some are designed to pull in extra light even in indoor and low light situations. Mine doesn't, which is frustrating; the Canon my folks have will do that.

Claire, can you find out which model it is, please?

Also is it a 12X optical with 4 X digital zoom? How far can you shoot to still have decent quality?

I looked through the pics on my computer... looks like it's a Canon Powershot S2 IS. http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/canons2is/

How far, I don't know. I've never really thought about it. I mostly use it for portrait style pics from 20 yards or less since it takes really nice portrait pics, whereas I have a hard time doing that with my Olympus SP-350. I looked through the pics on my computer and came up with a couple that sort of show distance.

This is taken with the Canon at about 100 yards:


The blurred line at the bottom is a barbed wire fence that was about 20 feet in front of me.

Another pic with the Canon at 6:50am (ie wasn't trying for quality):


Pic with another camera to show distance... I was standing in approximately the same location for both pictures, and the wood fence in the background of this pic is the one the black cow is standing next to in the previous pic.


One more pic with the Canon, taken at about 20 feet. It wasn't at maximum zoom.
 

gimpyrancher

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Make it easy.

50mm equals 1X

400mm lense equals 8X

10 power binoculars have 1000mm lenses.

a 50X magnification is equal to a 5000mm lense.

The higher the power the less quality. But I can still read what brand of cigarettes you hold up at the higher powers if I use a steady base.

Hope this helps.

gimpyrancher
 

KNERSIE

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gimpyrancher":10hvp02a said:
Make it easy.

50mm equals 1X

400mm lense equals 8X

10 power binoculars have 1000mm lenses.

a 50X magnification is equal to a 5000mm lense.

The higher the power the less quality. But I can still read what brand of cigarettes you hold up at the higher powers if I use a steady base.

Hope this helps.

gimpyrancher

That part is easy enough to understand, what is the significance of the first number, ie 18-55 vs 36-108mm?

Can I assume a 70-300mm lens zooms equally powerfull to a 28-112 and to a X4 optical zoom for instance?

What exactly does the 4X digital zoom do in combination with say a 12X optical zoom?
 
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