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Comparing optical zoom to the zoom on a dslr lens
I am not quite sure how to even word this. I have a panasonic lumix camera with a 12x optical zoom. How does this compare to a 50-200mm lens on a dSLR? I mean if I am standing at the same point which camera can get a closer shot? I know there are other factors with a dSLR like very little to no shutter lag etc but I want to know what the difference would be in zooming in with both these lenses.thanks..

Comments (6)

You didn't state which panasonic you had. if it is the new TZ5 then the lens is a 10X 28-280mm. the other lens you are talking about is 50-200mm. or 3X..

Generally the dslr lens is going to be much faster in terms of fstop. also the dslr itself has interchangeable lenses, so if the 50-200 is not telephoto enough you simply buy a lens that is. olr if it is not wideangle enough there are many others to choose from..

With the panosonic the lens you have is it you csannot change it. thnbis is the big flexability that dslrs give the user...

Comment #1

Kimtab wrote:.

I am not quite sure how to even word this. I have a panasonic lumixcamera with a 12x optical zoom. How does this compare to a 50-200mmlens on a dSLR? I mean if I am standing at the same point whichcamera can get a closer shot? I know there are other factors with adSLR like very little to no shutter lag etc but I want to know whatthe difference would be in zooming in with both these lenses.thanks.

You may be having a 35-420 mm equivalent lens on your Panasonic. A 50-200 mm lens (probably a 55-200 mm) would give you for 1.5 crop cameras about 75-300 mm range and for 1.6 crop cameras (Canon) 80-320 mm..

The difference will be visible in the framing but also the quality difference (so you can crop more).VictorBucuresti, Romaniahttp://s106.photobucket.com/albums/m268/victor_petcu/http://picasaweb.google.com/teodor.nitica/..

Comment #2

A '12x' means that the focal length number is 12x bigger at one end than the other, but it doesn't tell you what those numbers are, which is what you really need to know. 10-120mm and 20-240mm lenses are both '12x' but the second has more telephoto range (the big number) and less wide-angle range (the small number)..

Zooms with this huge range are inevitably optical compromises and will sacrifice image quality for convenience. At the other end of the scame is a 'prime' (non-zoom) lens, which has only one invariant focal length, but will often give extremely good optical performance in comparison to a zoom..

The 50-200mm lens you mention obviously has a 4x zoom range (200/50 = 4), What is more important is to realise that this is a telephoto zoom: 50mm on most DSLRs is a modest telephoto, apparently bringing the subjecta little closer to you than you see with your eye. 200mm is quite a powerful telephoto. COnversely, a 17-70mm lens is also (about) 4x, but goes from wide angle (17mm) to modest telephoto (70mm). So both 17-70 and 50-200 mm lenses have a 4x range but are quite different..

Owners of DSLRs are more likely to be concerned about image quality than owners of compacts (I guess!), which is why they are more likely to buy zooms of lower range but, therefore, better optical quality. Canon make an expensive and popular 17-40, a miserable 2.5x zoom range but optically excellent..

There *are* some extended range zooms for DSLRS, of which the best is probably the Tamron 18-250 which has a 13x zoom range. but the price you pay for this convenience is a narrow maximum aperture, and significant distortion and poor resolution at the extremes. If you are using it for holdiiday snaps that will be printed at 5 x 7 it's ideal as a general purpose all-in-one lens. But if you want to make sharp, big, high quality enlargements you would be disappointed..

Best wishesMike..

Comment #3

(1) 12x means the ratio of the longest to the shortest focal range is 12x. So the 55-200 has a zoom ratio of 3.6x ( = 200/55 )..

(2) We normally talk about the 35mm equivalent focal length. Your camera might cover say 36mm-432mm and this is "in 35mm terms". The 55-200 lens for the DSLR would, on a typical entry level DSLR, actually give a longer field of view than the quoted number because the sensor on a DSLR is actually smaller than a 35mm film frame. The effective range would be more like 83-300mm in 35mm terms. Bare in mind the quoted length of your non-DSLR camera lens is NOT it's true range, which would be a large factor smaller ( 6 or 9 times ) due to the relative sensor sizes. If you look on the front of the lens you may see it's true focal range quoted..

(3) While they might overlap on range, in practice the image quality will be better on a DSLR even with a relatively cheap zoom lens. This relates to the sensor and the effects of diffraction and is a key reason why large sensor cameras like DSLRs give generally better image quality. You will often see the term "per pixel sharpness" and this is essentially what that relates to. Of course you won't necessarily see this in a print, but for large prints it becomes more obvious..

Hope that helps..

StephenG.

Fuji S3 ProPentax K100DFuji S9600Fuji E900PCLinuxOS..

Comment #4

There's one crucial piece of information missing from this question: sensor size on both cameras..

Almost certainly, the 12x zoom will appear enlarge the image more than a 50-200mm lens on a DSLR. That is because the sensor on the non-DSLR is much smaller, so the lens is focusing it's image on a much smaller area..

However, the actual level of enlargement/magnification is determined by the actual focal length of the lens. Forget "12x" for a moment. That's not the piece of information you're looking for. What is the range of focal lengths on the lens?.

Kimtab wrote:.

I am not quite sure how to even word this. I have a panasonic lumixcamera with a 12x optical zoom. How does this compare to a 50-200mmlens on a dSLR? I mean if I am standing at the same point whichcamera can get a closer shot? I know there are other factors with adSLR like very little to no shutter lag etc but I want to know whatthe difference would be in zooming in with both these lenses.thanks..

Comment #5

I have a FZ5. I just checked on the side of the lens it say 35mm equivilent 36-432, maybe that is the answer to my question...

Comment #6

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This question was taken from a support group/message board and re-posted here so others can learn from it.

 

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