Sunday, July 20, 2008

To zoom or not to zoom...

One of the reasons why I changed my camera a little while back was to finally get something that could give me more than the 3x zoom which seems to be more or less the standard in the point-and-shoot digital cameras. I did not want to deal with the complexities of an SLR (or a dSLR for that matter) so I ended up buying something that is placed somewhere in the middle between SLRs and the simple point-and-shoots which would give me not only more control but a 20x zoom - the Olympus 570-UZ (which oddly enough stands for... Ultra-Zoom).

I will try to post about my different experiences with the camera tagged with photography so it should be easy to keep track of them. In this post though, I want to focus on the zooming aspect. When one says 20x-zoom it sounds like a pretty abstract concept (rightly so since at least for me visualizing 20x vs 10x is pretty difficult without seeing pictures.) So the two pictures here show the same scene - window cleaners working on a building by Kichijouji Station (吉祥寺駅) one with no zoom and one at 20x. I think the difference speaks for itself ;)

From Non-zoomed image to 20x zoom !

So far I am very happy with the zooming even though I read online that some people had difficulty adjusting to its mechanics - instead of using buttons to set the desired zoom the camera you are expected to turn the barrel a-la-manual focusing in an SLR. The mechanism is not directly mechanical though which means when you turn, the camera detects the turn and adjusts the zoom level which makes for delays. The process takes a little bit of playing with in order to get comfortable but after the first 15 minutes I was good to go.

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