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  Bald Eagle 08:55 04 Oct 2010

My wife has offered to buy me a new camera for Xmas. Soon comes around doesn't it? We've seen one that says it has a 30X zoom. My physics is 50 years old now so can someone confirm whether or not that this means something 300 metres away would appear as if 10 metres away.

  muddypaws 09:18 04 Oct 2010

I assume you are referring to a stills camera, not video.
Unless you have a very steady hand I find that anything over 5X zoom you need a good built in optical stabiliser and a tripod for 10X or more
I have a Fuji S1600 15X with double stabiliser and I can just about hand hold it at 15X without blur.
Your query: That is how I understand it.

  hastelloy 09:30 04 Oct 2010

I'm not able to answer your question but suggest that you try the camera in a store. You may find that, at high zoom, it's impossible to hold the camera steady enough.

  woodchip 09:39 04 Oct 2010

300x Zoom I think this is not Optical Zoom. It's Optical Zoom you should be looking for from about 5 to 12x

300x is done using software looking blocky when in Large Zoom

  Bald Eagle 09:48 04 Oct 2010

This is the one we were looking at :- click here

I know from my old cheap camera that digital zoom is not very good, so at the moment I zoom until it says that digital zoom is in use and then back off until it clears back to just optical zoom.

May decide to rein in our ambitions. We tend to go for as much as possible for our money so to us 30X had got to be better than 15X. Apparently not, so thanks for the advice so far. Must admit I don't fancy getting my tripod down from the loft. May look for a monopod instead.

  muddypaws 10:05 04 Oct 2010

Just a quick test fot you. The furthest treetops in the normal shot are about 90- yds away.
It is raining and misty and hand held at 15X so some blur. An Olympus would no doubt do better

betterclick here

click here

  hssutton 11:36 04 Oct 2010

First of all the 30x refers to the optical zoom. The 30x is the widest aperture multiplied 30 times, in this case 28-840mm (35mm equivilent) It also has a 5x is the digital zoom.

With optical stabaliser built-in, this becomes a very handy camera to carry around.

You should be able to handhold given a little practice, assuming you do not suffer from the shakes and use a good technique. I often handhold my heavy DSLR at 500mm when shooting birds/planes. However a decent tripod would be a major benefit at long zooms.

  johndrew 12:11 04 Oct 2010

Working out the lens zoom.

I think these answers may give you all you need click here; failing that try this click here

  hssutton 13:44 04 Oct 2010

When I posted my comment I hadn't checked out whether it had an optical viewfinder, so yes the lack of this would make it almost impossible to handhold at full zoom. Making a tripod essential.

click here

  Bald Eagle 17:03 04 Oct 2010

Thanks for the replies. You have reminded me that one of my biggest moans was bright sunshine making the screen invisible! Will look for a similar one with a "proper" viewfinder!

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