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Question on P&S wide angles
Hi, I just posted another thread but have a related question on wide angle. I currently have an older P&S and it's served me well. It's a regular 35mm with 3.8X zoom. I'm looking to buy a new P&S. I'm thinking of a wide angle (28mm) for those obligatory group shots at family gatherings and events..

Does the 28mm make that big of a difference compared to the standard 35mm? Is it enough of a difference for me to only look for the 28mm cameras? Thanks!..

Comments (20)

Depends on your vision and style of shooting. I would never purchase a camera that didn't go at least as wide as 28mm and prefer 24mm. Currently in 24mm there isn't much to choose from except the Ricoh GX100 with it's 24-72mm lens. I still use the four year old CoolPix 8400 with a 24-85mm zoom. In 28mm there are a few more options which I'm sure other photographers will post about in this thread..

Larry Bermanhttp://BermanGraphics.com..

Comment #1

At the 'wide' end, a few extra mm makes a noticeable difference..

28mm is so much more versatile than 35mm - definitely worth going for 28mm.

Confused of Malvern.

'The greatest fool can ask more than the wisest man can answer'..

Comment #2

Yes 28mm is noticably different but I would not go any wider because of the angular effects at the sides of the frame where, especially tall people standing, can look out of proportion to others towards the centre. Use the old rule where the talls are in the middle at the back if you need to..

Cheers..

Comment #3

I would agree with a 28mm minimum..

Manatee wrote:.

Hi, I just posted another thread but have a related question on wideangle. I currently have an older P&S and it's served me well. It'sa regular 35mm with 3.8X zoom. I'm looking to buy a new P&S. I'mthinking of a wide angle (28mm) for those obligatory group shots atfamily gatherings and events..

Does the 28mm make that big of a difference compared to the standard35mm? Is it enough of a difference for me to only look for the 28mmcameras? Thanks!.

Thanks for reading .... JoePhoto.

( Do You Ever STOP to THINK and FORGET to START Again ??? )..

Comment #4

You must get 28mm. Canon 860IS/870IS, Nikon S600, Panasonic LX2 or TZ5 would be the best choices. Depends on whether you want compact, ultra compact or manual controls...

Comment #5

Stargooner wrote:.

You must get 28mm. Canon 860IS/870IS, Nikon S600, Panasonic LX2 orTZ5 would be the best choices. Depends on whether you want compact,ultra compact or manual controls..

The Sony W130/150/170 is quite a nice new choice too and has a 5x zoom from 28mm or slightly less wide depending on model) plus an optical viewfinder. And there's the Fuji F100fd. So you've( plently to choose from!.

Androohttp://Androo.smugmug.com..

Comment #6

I definitely think I want the wide angle. I'm also confused and don't understand why more P&S's aren't wide-angles. I think many people buy these for everyday photos, birthdays, family gatherings, etc. One would think that it's pretty important to have wide angles. So, why aren't more P&S's wide angles?..

Comment #7

The manufacturers seem to be obssessed with megapixels and long zooms. Good question, Panasonic seemed of led the way here, and if it wasn't for the quality of their sensors they'd probably have the compact market wrapped up!!..

Comment #8

Manatee wrote:.

I definitely think I want the wide angle. I'm also confused anddon't understand why more P&S's aren't wide-angles. I think manypeople buy these for everyday photos, birthdays, family gatherings,etc. One would think that it's pretty important to have wide angles.So, why aren't more P&S's wide angles?.

That is a very good question because there used to be even LESS available with 28mm..

The only reason I can think they got away with it is because that was the "only" thing available, and most consumers never knew the difference; (at least not till they got to their first party and tried to get everyone close enough without taking a hammer/saw and doing major wall-removal demolition)..

Even then, they didn't know any better because that was all that was available..

Even back in film days, there was only a couple P&S's available with 28mm..

Thanks for reading .... JoePhoto.

( Do You Ever STOP to THINK and FORGET to START Again ??? )..

Comment #9

Manatee wrote:.

I definitely think I want the wide angle. I'm also confused anddon't understand why more P&S's aren't wide-angles. I think manypeople buy these for everyday photos, birthdays, family gatherings,etc. One would think that it's pretty important to have wide angles.So, why aren't more P&S's wide angles?.

It's driven by peoples lack of knowledge. Tell someone who knows very little about photography/cameras that you just bought a new camera. The first thing they will ask you is "how many megapixels is it?" (even though 99% of digital pictures taken there days are never even printed), the next thing they ask is "how much zoom does it have?". So to the 90% of the P+S market who have no clue at all, the manufacturers are just giving them what they want, high megapixels and long zoom... Then people wonder why their photos look terrible when shooting in low light / indoors..

I would gladly sacrifice the number of megapixels my P+S has by half if it could shoot better at low light/using higher ISO. Likewise I would sacrifice most of the telephoto capabilities to have a good wide angle (24mm equivalent) with reasonable aperture (f2.8 maybe)...

Comment #10

I've just ordered a Nikon S600, I wanted a ultra-compact model with wide angle, IS and overall good performance. It's 28mm with lens VR..

The wierd thing is they sell the S700 (slightly cheaper) 12MP and 37-111m but with 1/1.7" sensor and sensor shift VR, so I can understand that. But then they have the even cheaper 10MP S550 36-180mm with the same 1/2.5" sensor of the S600 but with electronic VR. Now if theres one camera in that lineup that needs the best VR it's the S550 with the longer telephoto zoom..

So they are probably gonna sell more S550's becausse the low price and zoom range but to my mind it has no real VR because electronic versions are next to useless. They'll also sell more of the S700 because of the higher megapixel count...

Comment #11

Stargooner wrote:.

I've just ordered a Nikon S600, I wanted a ultra-compact model withwide angle, IS and overall good performance. It's 28mm with lens VR..

The wierd thing is they sell the S700 (slightly cheaper) 12MP and37-111m but with 1/1.7" sensor and sensor shift VR, so I canunderstand that. But then they have the even cheaper 10MP S55036-180mm with the same 1/2.5" sensor of the S600 but with electronicVR. Now if theres one camera in that lineup that needs the best VRit's the S550 with the longer telephoto zoom..

So they are probably gonna sell more S550's becausse the low priceand zoom range but to my mind it has no real VR because electronicversions are next to useless. They'll also sell more of the S700because of the higher megapixel count..

The good thing is that if your intentions are to mostly use the wide-angle end .... there is less need for stabilization; unless you use really long exposures, in low light..

Thanks for reading .... JoePhoto.

( Do You Ever STOP to THINK and FORGET to START Again ??? )..

Comment #12

Leica DLux 3 will certainly solve your wide angle needs. Go for it!..

Comment #13

JoePhoto wrote:.

The good thing is that if your intentions are to mostly use thewide-angle end .... there is less need for stabilization; unless youuse really long exposures, in low light..

Thanks for reading .... JoePhoto.

( Do You Ever STOP to THINK and FORGET to START Again ??? ).

Understand your thinking, but when approaching the 114mm telephoto end of the S600 VR becomes useful, admittedly more so with those camera with lonegr zooms. Exactly my point though, that Nikon produce the S550 model which has the most requirement, yet the least effective VR...

Comment #14

Manatee wrote:.

I definitely think I want the wide angle. I'm also confused anddon't understand why more P&S's aren't wide-angles. I think manypeople buy these for everyday photos, birthdays, family gatherings,etc. One would think that it's pretty important to have wide angles.So, why aren't more P&S's wide angles?.

Two reasons: (1) beginners are more impressed with telephoto capability, so a camera with increased telephoto reach is easier to sell than one with greater wide angle coverage, and (2) it's difficult to design and manufacture wide angle lenses (tele are relatively easier)..

Some of the Panasonic digicams have a sensor that can give you greater-than-stated width if the camera is used in the 16:9 or 3:2 aspect ratio than in 4:3, a "28 mm" equivalent lens actually giving you about 25.5mm..

Bob..

Comment #15

Robert Deutsch wrote:.

Manatee wrote:.

I definitely think I want the wide angle. I'm also confused anddon't understand why more P&S's aren't wide-angles. I think manypeople buy these for everyday photos, birthdays, family gatherings,etc. One would think that it's pretty important to have wide angles.So, why aren't more P&S's wide angles?.

Two reasons: (1) beginners are more impressed with telephotocapability, so a camera with increased telephoto reach is easier tosell than one with greater wide angle coverage, and (2) it'sdifficult to design and manufacture wide angle lenses (tele arerelatively easier)..

Some of the Panasonic digicams have a sensor that can give yougreater-than-stated width if the camera is used in the 16:9 or 3:2aspect ratio than in 4:3, a "28 mm" equivalent lens actually givingyou about 25.5mm..

I agree with everything you said previously, but I am not sure that is correct..

I suggest, and suspect, that they achieve the "wider" aspect ratio is by simply cutting off the top/bottom portions of the image..

I mean, the sensor only has a physical width, combined with the lenses (physical) FOV, at least one of those (physical elements) has to change to get a wider FOV..

The biggest scam ever perpetuated by Kodak was the introduction of the "panoramic" disposal cameras. After you took them apart, you found it was nothing but the standard disposables with plastic blocks (on top/bottom). The negatives were simply only partially exposed, "clear" emulsion on top/bottom..

The original (panoramic) disposables had the SAME LENS, thus, the "wider" FOV was simply an illusion..

Kodak later admitted it was a MARKETING move to put the 1-Hour labs out of business. Kodak advertised they would produce 4" x 10" prints; knowing that there were no 1-Hour labs at the time that could produce 10" lengths. (I could adjust my machine to about 9", so delivered 3.75" x 9" prints when they needed them immediately)..

The point is that customers would actually get MORE (bigger image) with a standard 8" x 12". (albeit the "full" image, which they could later "cut" THEIR CHOICE of the top/bottom off of, and frame in a panoramic frame if they choose).

The main point is that with a regular camera, the customer had a choice of keeping their convention ratio image, or cutting down to a panoramic, where-as when they originally bought the, (what they though was "wider"), panoramic, they were STUCK WITH THAT FORMAT..

NOTE: .... before the actual construction was known, (with the top/bottom blocks), the KODAK REPS said that the way they were being made was to expose TWO framses, (side-by-side), thus getting the panoramic image that way. (a 24mm x 72mm frame) That means a 24 exposure film would only result in "12" images. And indeed, the panoramic disposables WERE INDEED ONLY "12" exposures. BUT .... as described, it was only 12 exposures because that was all Kodak loaded into them, (not 24 as standard disposables)..

(Of course Kodak actually charged "more" for both the purchase of the 12-exposure disposables, and more than double for the printing; which only Kodak could do to produce the 4" x 10" prints.).

Thanks for reading .... JoePhoto.

( Do You Ever STOP to THINK and FORGET to START Again ??? )..

Comment #16

The Panasonic sensor that's in the TZ5 is bigger than it needs to be to cover 28mm-equivalent at the 4:3 aspect ratio. If the camera is set to 4:3 aspect ratio, the image size is 3456x2592 pixels. and when it's set to 3:2, it's 3552x2368 pixels, so you actually get a wider image (more pixels). (You do lose a bit at the top and bottom.) It's not like "letterboxing" in older DVDs, where the width stays the same and they just cut off the top and bottom. The 16:9 ratio is wider still at 3712 pixels; I prefer to use the 3:2 because it's what I'm used to with my full-frame DSLR. This issue was discussed in reviews of the first Panasonics that had this sort of sensor arrangementsee http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/panasoniclx1/.

Bob..

Comment #17

Robert Deutsch wrote:.

The Panasonic sensor that's in the TZ5 is bigger than it needs to beto cover 28mm-equivalent at the 4:3 aspect ratio. If the camera isset to 4:3 aspect ratio, the image size is 3456x2592 pixels. and whenit's set to 3:2, it's 3552x2368 pixels, so you actually get a widerimage (more pixels). (You do lose a bit at the top and bottom.)It's not like "letterboxing" in older DVDs, where the width stays thesame and they just cut off the top and bottom. The 16:9 ratio iswider still at 3712 pixels; I prefer to use the 3:2 because it's whatI'm used to with my full-frame DSLR. This issue was discussed inreviews of the first Panasonics that had this sort of sensorarrangementsee http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/panasoniclx1/.

Bob.

I stand (partially) corrected .....

Thanks for the link, I stand corrected in that they truly are using (more of) a extra wider sensor, instead of simply cropping..

But, it this is correct, it says that wider equivalent focal length is still only 28mm, (compared to 34mm in normal mode). Someone had suggested the wider focal length was 25.5mm..

Quote from link:.

" .... so the 28-112mm lens in 16:9 mode becomes a 34-136mm lens when you switch to 4:3 mode.".

Thanks for reading .... JoePhoto.

( Do You Ever STOP to THINK and FORGET to START Again ??? )..

Comment #18

JoePhoto wrote:.

Robert Deutsch wrote:.

The Panasonic sensor that's in the TZ5 is bigger than it needs to beto cover 28mm-equivalent at the 4:3 aspect ratio. If the camera isset to 4:3 aspect ratio, the image size is 3456x2592 pixels. and whenit's set to 3:2, it's 3552x2368 pixels, so you actually get a widerimage (more pixels). (You do lose a bit at the top and bottom.)It's not like "letterboxing" in older DVDs, where the width stays thesame and they just cut off the top and bottom. The 16:9 ratio iswider still at 3712 pixels; I prefer to use the 3:2 because it's whatI'm used to with my full-frame DSLR. This issue was discussed inreviews of the first Panasonics that had this sort of sensorarrangementsee http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/panasoniclx1/.

Bob.

I stand (partially) corrected .....

Thanks for the link, I stand corrected in that they truly are using(more of) a extra wider sensor, instead of simply cropping..

But, it this is correct, it says that wider equivalent focal lengthis still only 28mm, (compared to 34mm in normal mode). Someone hadsuggested the wider focal length was 25.5mm..

Well, sort of. The Panasonic TZ5's minimum focal length is 4.7mm, which is normally considered equivalent to 28mm in the 4:3 aspect ratio. You do lose a bit on top and bottom when you select the wider aspect ratios, so it's not quite the same as a lens with a focal length of 4.5mm (or whatever is equivalent to 25.5mm). Still, it could be said that setting the aspect ratio of 16:9 with this lens/sensor combination results in a horizontal field of view that's equivalent to what you'd get with a 36x24mm sensor camera and a lens with a focal length of 25.5mm. It's a nice feature if you're a fan of wide angles..

Bob..

Comment #19

Wide angle is a little more difficult to implement (barrel distortion, etc.), so it tends to cost more (Not something people like in their P&S). Zoom is usually more desirable when looking for mass-sales..

Kodak had a interesting design recently that used a completely separate lens for WA. I guess it didn't do to well..

Http://www.kodak.com/...ec/PageQuerier.jhtml?pq-path=9592&pq-locale=en_US..

Comment #20

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