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01-12-2011, 07:22 PM   #1
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How does magnification of lenses compare to P&S cameras?

I was just thinking about my parent's point and shoot which is the Sony H55 which has a 10x optical zoom. How does that compare to lenses for DSLRs? Or can they be compared?

01-12-2011, 07:45 PM   #2
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P&S specs usuallly give the zoom ratio, such as 10X. That is only a ratio of the longest focal length divided by the shortest focal length.

In the DSLR world, the 10X designation is almost never used, and the term "superzoom" is used instead for something that has about the same range, such as an 18-250.

Zoom is either a verb, meaning to adjust the focal length of the lens, or an adjective for a lens that has this capability.

Note that the typical standard lens that comes with DSLRs is a 3X zoom, for reference.
01-12-2011, 08:13 PM   #3
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if you go to dpreview, they also list the 35mm equivalent on P&S, i find this useful.

at the same time I think most canon P&S list them on the lens also ( I own the SD780 that does this).

but the superzoom for P&S zoom hella alot more than your typical tele in the DSLR world.
01-12-2011, 08:54 PM   #4
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I looked up the H55 specs

The H55 lens has a 35mm (film) equivalent of 25-250mm.

The Pentax DSLR sensors are 2/3 the size of a frame of 35mm film, that is the 'crop' that people refer to. This means to calculate the equivalent field of view in 35mm terms, you multiply by 1.5.

The kit lens, an 18-55, has an equivalent of 27-83mm.
If you add the 50-200 (which is 75-300) you end up at 27-300, or 11x.

The zoom multiplication factor is pretty useless without using a benchmarked field of view.

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