Dig Cam Query

Discussion in 'Photos & Videos' started by rockislandmike, Mar 1, 2004.

  1. rockislandmike

    rockislandmike Active Member

    Sort of looking at my options in the way of a new digital camera (so I don't have to share with my dad and brother anymore), and I'm wondering what the difference is between optical zoom and digital zoom.
  2. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery

    Optical zoom is best. It actually uses lenses to enlarge the image.

    Digital zoom is basically what you can do on your computer - enlarge the image. It is not as good, as it basically takes a portion of a bigger picture, and then enlarges it. So resolution goes down.

    Do you follow my explanation? I am sure someone more eloquent than I will be here to explain soon... :D

  3. jon-monon

    jon-monon Active Member

    As you zoom in with the digital zoom, you blow up the noise level proportionaly to the amount of zoom. The additional noise becomes less appearnt with higher meagpixel cameras, but it's still there.

    I would look for an 8X or 10X lense, and full manual control, as well as good macro focusing if you wnat close ups like Shamus is famous for. For less expensive models that cover that criteria, check out the Olympus C-7xx series (except the C-720), the Minolta Z1 or Z2, and the Fuji finepix series. If you are using it for modeling and not general purpose, the 10X lense is less important.

    I use this site to compare:


    For macro, the closer the foucus, the better. Within a couple of inches or less is good. Again, higher megapixel cameras can make up for a deficiency in this area, because you can electronically blow it up once on the computer.

    As far as megapixels, if you have a good lense (and for me that also measn good macro), 3 is enough, but more is better.

    I chose hte Minolta Z1, although it does not macro as close as the C-740, I figured I could crop it on the PC with 3 megapixels and have a clear image. I tested the theory with this photo and proved it to be correct. More than you asked :D but I hope it helps.

    Attached Files:

  4. rockislandmike

    rockislandmike Active Member

    Thanks, everyone, that helps a lot. I talked to a guy at the office store about them too, and he explained a few more things to me as well.

    I'm looking in the 3.2 megapixel range, right now I'm tossing around either a Fujifilm Finepix A210, or a HP Photosmart 735. Probably the latter. I'm trying to reach a balance of a new camera I like and gives me good quality shots, and is still in the ballpark moneywise that it won't mean I can't have any new trains for six months to a year.
  5. Drew Toner

    Drew Toner Member

    HP all the way

    Hello Rock,

    I bought the HP 618 three years ago and it is very good. I am very pleased with it.

    It is a 3.1 with full manual control if you wish. I don't know if they even make this one any more, so maybe the 735 replaces it. Anyway, my HP has taken a few 'bad' bumps, has been opened up, (and not by a trained professional):rolleyes: :rolleyes: ;) ;) ;) ;) and keeps on taking good pictures. Has macro, as close as, about 3-4 inches.

    I would by another.

  6. jon-monon

    jon-monon Active Member

    The HP's do feel durable. Don't know that I would want to drop check my Minolta! The 735 looks nice for under $200 at mwave.com who I have bought from frequently, but check out the 850 for a little more:


    Quite a lense for the money! They do nice macro, but not ultra close-up, if that is important. I would think the 4.1MP offered by the 850 would compensate for this, as you could blow it up in software. These two models have Pentax or Fuji lenses, according to the reviews.

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