Zoom Ranges

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    • #71228

      Hi All,


      Quick question regarding zoom – I've often been told that you can't just compare zoom figures when looking at cameras, as it's to do with focal length/size too.


      I only have my old Panasonic SD90 to compare to, which has a 28mm wide lens and a 22x zoom.  I'm pricing up a Canon XF100 which according to B&H has a 4.25-42.5mm focal length and a 10x zoom – does this make the Panasonic zoom more than double that of the Canon?  Or do the different lens sizes in play make a difference to this?


      Many thanks for any help!



    • #209158

      In the old days of film, lenses (and zooms) were easy to figure out since you only had two sizes of film to deal with (not including consumer super 8). 16mm film was half the size of 35mm film (frame size, not film size) so the focal length equivalent was exactly half. A 25mm lens was equal to a 50mm lens. (In case you didn't know, focal length refers to the distance the lens elements are from the film/sensor. Higher numbers, or "longer", are more telephoto while lower numbers, or "shorter", are wider angle. 50mm, for 35mm film, is considered "normal" or what your eye sees.) With camcorders, especially consumer ones, there is a wide range of sizes, from 1/4.x to 1/2.x, so you can't judge by focal length alone or zoom numbers. It's best to go by the 35mm equivalent if they give it. Panasonic is 28mm21X (40 is digital zoom which is another story) and Canon is 30.4 10X. So, yes the panasonic is twice as powerful. I think I'll stop here for now, hope that helps.



    • #209191

      Like Will said, it's almost impossible to crunch the numbers in a way that makes sense, but the XF100 should definitely have a shorter practical zoom that the Panny.

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