Cameras

Question

Is 16x optical zoom much better than 10x?

by minniepauz / March 17, 2012 4:43 AM PDT

I currently have a Cyber Shot with a 10x optical zoom and although I LOVE this camera, I need more zoom. I wish I could afford the Cyber-shot Digital Camera HX100V which has 30x zoom but the price ($400) is a bit too much, plus the camera is larger than I want for my purposes (nature walks, birdwatching and family photos).

I'm looking at the Cyber-shot Digital Camera HX9V which has 16x optical for $300, but I'm wondering how much difference I'll get compared to my current 10x. There should be some place online that shows pictures with various zooms, but I can't seem to find them.

The HX9V is the same size as the one I have now and is perfect for slipping into my pocket or carry in my hand, but I don't want to spend $300 if the 16x isn't going to give me much more than what I have.....and THEN for $100 more I could have the 30x.

What to do what to do!! Happy Any advice would be appreciated!

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All Answers

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Answer
Focal Length
by PistonCupChampion / March 17, 2012 6:40 AM PDT

10x and 16x doesn't mean much without knowing the focal lengths of the lens. For example, a 10x lens that starts at 38mm equivalent, will be 380mm at the telephoto end. But a 16x lens that starts at 24mm equivalent will be 384mm at the telephoto end...barely a difference.

You can use this tool to see what different focal lengths look like. The tool is meant for DSLR cameras, but it will give you a basic idea of the difference. You need to select both "FX format" boxes, and use the slider to change the focal length. The HX9V has a 384mm equivalent lens; I would guess your current camera is around 250mm:

http://imaging.nikon.com/lineup/lens/simulator/index.htm

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Good link
by Zouch / March 31, 2012 10:42 PM PDT
In reply to: Focal Length

That looks to be a good link and given you can get all the specifications on the cameras you are interested in, a great way to get down to a short list.

Specifications are great if you understand what they all mean (not always obvious in the optical world) but I've found that once you have a short list, the best final decision is to go and compare the actual cameras in the photo store. The assistant might even be able to suggest alternatives you hadn't considered.

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