Camcorders forum

General discussion

Sony HandyCam Optical Zoom 20x vs 10x

by jmharp05 / March 27, 2006 10:24 AM PST

I'm comparing Sony Mini DV camcorders. The DCR HC96 is a higher end model, yet has only a 10x optical zoom and 120x digital zoom compared to a 20x optical and 800 digital for the DCR HC36 a much lower end model. Shouldn't the features improve for the better models? I'd like to get the HC96, but I feel like I am losing something.

Any help would be appreciated.

Thanks.

Gary

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I noticed that as well
by gjkiii / March 27, 2006 1:26 PM PST

The sony hc46 which is a model below that has a smaller zoom as well but the hc36 has a higher optical zoom. I have no idea why that is the case. I would like to know that as well

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sony zoom
by Hanover Fist / March 27, 2006 2:03 PM PST

Here's why the HC96 has a lower zoom but is more expensive.
The HC46 has a 1/6" Advanced HAD CCD Imager with, 680K Pixels Gross but only 340K effective pixels. Meaning the video only uses 340K pixels. It can also record video with up to 500 lines of ressolution.
The HC96 has a 1/3" Advanced HAD CCD. It is a 3.3 Megapixel Advanced HAD CCD Imager with 2048K effective pixels. So 2048K pixels are used to shoot the video. It record videos with up to 530 lines of horizontal resolution.

So as you can see the CCD chip has much more pixels in the HC96. Because of that the zoom is lower(10x). There are no under $1000 camcorders out there that I know of with over 10x zoom and a lot of pixels. those camcorders aren't possible yet and if the companies did made them the price would be MUCH MUCH higher.

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thanks
by jmharp05 / March 28, 2006 8:32 AM PST

I was hoping for that kind of answer. Thanks. This cinches it for me. I am getting the HC96.

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Because of CCD size
by azraphale / March 30, 2006 7:44 AM PST

It is actually because of the physical size of the CCD, not the number of pixels that it contains ... though it is true there is often a relationship between size and number of pixels.
The CCD is larger, in this case much larger. Going from 1/6 inch to 1/3 inch means it has 4 times the surface. If the CCD is bigger, and you want the same optical carateristics (20x zoom), the whole optical system will have to be larger, both in diameter and in length. The only way to use a larger CCD and keep the size of the optical system (and camcorder) the same is to reduce the power of the zoom.
If you want a camcorder with a large CCD (which is usually an advantage) and a powerfull zoom, you will have to go with a physically bigger camcorder.

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