30x zoom or 3x zoom for compact camera?

Started 9 months ago | Discussions thread
John Sheehy Forum Pro • Posts: 20,231
Re: 30x zoom or 3x zoom for compact camera?

Brisn5757 wrote:

John Sheehy wrote:

Brisn5757 wrote:

I'm trying to decide on either a 30x or 3x compact camera to buy for touring overseas.

I'm told thst photo quality can suffer for a 30x lens but will a I miss some shots by only havibg a 3x zoom camera.

Choose your poison.

If the 30x goes any wider, that's not something that you can get with the 3x, without stitching and its labor and artifacts.

The 30x, no matter how soft it may be at full optical zoom, can get lots of (possibly soft) fine details that the 3x could never give if you cropped it.

However, the 3x may be better (sharper, more light) in some or all of the range that it overlaps with the 3x, even if the 3x is lighter.

Hi John.

I was thinking 3x zoom and crop the photo or 30x but it depends on the quality of ghe photo after you have cropped part of the photo.

For example if I wanted a closeup of an old historic bell on a building. There is no way I will get close enough using a 3x zoom camera but if the lens are good quality I might be able to crop the photo.

That has limited value. It serves mostly to make something look bigger in the final image of typical image size, but the detail is severely limited. There is no way that the sharpest lens in the world doesn't run out of resolution fast cropping from an original with a mediocre number of MP; the mosaic tiles are just a little bit more contrasted. With the same sensor and focal length, 30x puts 100x as many pixel where one single pixel is at 3x! That could mean reading a distant sign vs just about telling that it is a sign at all.

Might I suggest that you get the highest quality ~3x-6x (or even "1x" lens) compact you can find and are willing to afford, and then just get a very cheap 50x or greater zoom camera also, for when you want that fine detail that gets lost inside of a big pixel with low magnification. If you go used, you can do the latter for very cheap. There are lots of Canon SX50s serving as paperweights these days, despite the fact that they have an optical 1200mm-equivalent (to FF, in terms of field of view) lens and sensor, at 12MP, that you could buy for close to nothing, or spend just a little more and get something newer and better.

Cropping is what you do when you don't have another choice, and it sucks, but less so if it allows AF to work where it otherwise wouldn't.

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