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  1. #1

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    Question Digital Camcorders; Multiple questions

    I need a camcorder that can record out to 200+ yards, for my other hobby.
    It needs to record something with a diameter of approx. 3/8" at that distance, with clarity, so, what do I want?
    An SD camcorder with high optical zoom-78x/ digital zoom-800x

    or

    An HD camcorder with low optical zoom-25x/ digital zoom-300x

    Another question is: what's the difference of optical vs. digital zoom?

    Finally, will an HD camcorder increase mirage effect?

    Thanks for any feedback
    I refuse to argue with idiots, because people can't tell the DIFFERENCE!

  2. #2

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    Canon has some nice models out, check those.
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  3. #3

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    You want optical zoom. Optical zoom actually uses the optics of the camera to enlarge the image and so there is little/no quality loss when zoomed in (dependent on the lens). All digital zoom does is take the image and enlarge it with a computer program, which means, by definition, you achieve a zoom at the sacrifice of quality. Digital zoom is generally no different than taking the photo or video into an editing program on your computer and blowing it up. You WILL lose quality. Digital zoom is worthless to anyone who cares about picture quality.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Digital_zoom

    "Professional cameras generally do not feature digital zoom."
    Last edited by Cpyder; 11-14-2010 at 11:39 AM.

  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cpyder View Post
    You want optical zoom. Optical zoom actually uses the optics of the camera to enlarge the image and so there is little/no quality loss when zoomed in (dependent on the lens). All digital zoom does is take the image and enlarge it with a computer program, which means, by definition, you achieve a zoom at the sacrifice of quality. Digital zoom is generally no different than taking the photo or video into an editing program on your computer and blowing it up. You WILL lose quality. Digital zoom is worthless to anyone who cares about picture quality.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Digital_zoom

    "Professional cameras generally do not feature digital zoom."
    Thanks, that's the way it was explained to me several years ago. Just thought it might mean something different with camcorders.
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    Let me get this straight... you want to record a surface area of 3/8" diameter at 200+ yards?

    Wow! You better be looking at some serious bucks here. You will need some phenomenal optics for that kind of zoom in. I have no idea which cameras can do this well, but if my uneducated self had to start looking, I'd start with digital SLR's where I could buy a super zoom lens that would fit the bill. Most of the new SLR's record HD video. Also make sure you buy a really sturdy tripod. No matter how good the shake compensation, at that zoom, you will need that camera/camcorder to be planted on a rock.

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    Well, I ended up getting a Panasonic, 78x optical, with a flash drive. It probably wont go out to 200, but hopefully 100 anyway. I'll find out next weekend. If not, I'll return it, and keep looking.
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  7. #7

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    You want this:

    Sony XDCAM EX PMW-EX3 - Camcorder - High Definition - professional - widescreen


    Should be able to pic a used one for a cool $7k or so
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  8. #8

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    78X optical? What model was that? I haven't seen one with more than 25x or so, 78X is an insane optical zoom. That's like going from 14mm to 1092mm in one lens....

    Also at that high of a zoom, you'd never be able to hold it steady even with "steady shot".
    ]
    --update

    I do see the panasonic SDR-T50k SD camcorder with 70x optical zoom (they call it 78X but it's really 70 with digital zoom).

    It's 1.48mm to 104mm.

    So yes, technically it's "70x", but the focal length (which is what actually gives you magnification) is only 104mm, not that high actually.

    The X factor is just the telephoto focal length (104mm) divided by the wide focal length (1.48mm).

    Since the Wide end is TINY, 1.48mm, it's just a marketing trick that they can actually call it "70X, or 78X".
    Last edited by nguyendot; 11-15-2010 at 11:57 AM.
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