Point and Shoot Camera Question

Old Aug 22nd, 2004, 05:09 PM
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Point and Shoot Camera Question

I bought a 38 to 115mm zoom Minolta camera at Ritz Camera a little bit ago. The guy there helping me look at the point and shoot cameras was telling me that, in general, the more you could zoom in the smaller the shutter and the less light capable of hitting the lense.

In short, that lower zoom capable cameras would take better pictures. Does anyone know if this is true? I have a month to exchange if need be.
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Old Aug 24th, 2004, 06:32 AM
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The more you zoom the smaller the aperture(the amount that the shutter opens)...thus allowing less light to enter. For pics taken outyside, that may not be much of a factor.

<In short, that lower zoom capable cameras would take better pictures.>

A good photographer with a high quality camera can get great photos even when using the zoom. Perhaps, what he menat to say, was the camera you bought takes better pics when not using the zoom.

Other factors digital or film, lens quality etc all affect the photo quality.

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Old Aug 25th, 2004, 12:18 PM
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So it's the actual zooming in that effects the photograph?

Because he actually recomended lower zoom capable cameras, going so far as to say he would recommend a 115mm zoom over a 160 zoom even if they were the same price as the 115 would take sharper pictures.

thanks
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Old Aug 25th, 2004, 05:28 PM
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Although in theory he is correct, in actual practice the effect is probably miniscule and not worth considering, at least not in the 38-115mm zoom range. (This may be more of an effect if you were using a 1000mm zoom and the light was not very bright.) The advantage of the zoom is to allow you to get a bit closer for your picture and the exposure would probably be compensated for by the shutter speed. As long as you use the camera as designed you will probably be happy with the results for most of your photos. Try taking several pictures under various conditions to determine if the quality is what you expect or need.
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Old Aug 25th, 2004, 05:36 PM
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Oh, and by the way. The comment about the picture being sharper with a 115mm than a 160mm is like saying that a tv picture is sharper on a 5-inch tv than on a 27-inch tv.
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Old Aug 27th, 2004, 09:46 AM
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Really, this level of detail is a bit obsessive for a point&shoot camera. If you want to get crazy, most fixed lenses are sharper than a zoom. Photography, like life, is a series of trade offs.

There are so many other factors to consider related to the length of the lens, e.g., depth of field. You can either get into this stuff, learn about it, and use it to get the photos you see in your mind's eye, or you can buy a point&shoot with a reasonable zoom and not worry about it.

I like a 35-135, but it's not on a p&s. 38 gives you a little bit of a wide angle (not enough for my taste) and 115 isn't a bad zoom. Try it and see how often you are frustrated at not being able to get the shot framed the way you want (at 38) or close enough (at 115).
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Old Aug 30th, 2004, 11:24 AM
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I have actually taken photography courses before and can use the manual cameras (although not as well as I'd like). However, I find that on Vacation, that I don't even like to take out a P&S let alone and manual camera.

So I've just been trying to figure out what will work best for quick work. My girlfriend will want to make scrapbooks and we'll want to enlarge some to 8x10 or 8x12 to put up in our house. I realize that we probably won't notice all that much difference between cameras and film, but we still want to know what peoples experience is that produces the best photographs with a P&S.

I know my biggest problem has been fitting everything in a picture rather then not being able to zoom into it with the non-zoom P&S I've been using.

Thanks for the input though all.
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Old Aug 30th, 2004, 11:34 AM
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"I know my biggest problem has been fitting everything in a picture..."

Then you might want a wider angle zoom, 28mm or even 25. (When you get down towards 20 you start to get a fish eye effect.)
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