70x optical zoom ... aaaargh!

A forum to share ideas and opinions on the equipment and technical aspects of film, video and AV making.
Post Reply
User avatar
Dave Watterson
Posts: 1672
Joined: Sun Jan 28, 2007 11:11 pm
Location: Bath, England
Contact:

70x optical zoom ... aaaargh!

Post by Dave Watterson » Sat Jan 10, 2009 6:50 pm

At the Consumer Electronics Show in the USA Panasonic announced three new camcorders which will have 70x optical zooms.

My heart sank.

Can you imagine what will happen?!?! They have not said how much of the range will be at the wide end but you can bet the telephoto end will be powerful. Yes, they have image stabilisation, but think of the shots we will see of distant mountain peaks, small birds feeding, personalities shooting by in their cars ... all at the full extent of the zoom and wobbling enough to make audiences seasick!

Are you scared? Are you very, very afraid?

Dave

daveswan
Posts: 72
Joined: Mon Oct 13, 2008 10:22 am

Re: 70x optical zoom ... aaaargh!

Post by daveswan » Sun Jan 11, 2009 9:04 pm

Aaagh! is there nothing the great unwashed won't swallow :x
There's going to be a lot of sea-sick viewers of dodgy home movies with this cam

User avatar
leif
Posts: 31
Joined: Mon Aug 11, 2008 8:47 pm
Location: Denmark
Contact:

Re: 70x optical zoom ... aaaargh!

Post by leif » Mon Jan 12, 2009 11:06 am

In the pro-world I've seen zoom ratios of 100+.
It's just a question of a Very stable tripod.

All video takes will gain from a good tripod!

daveswan
Posts: 72
Joined: Mon Oct 13, 2008 10:22 am

Re: 70x optical zoom ... aaaargh!

Post by daveswan » Mon Jan 12, 2009 9:31 pm

Yes, and have you seen how much they cost :shock: ?
Trying to put that ratio on a consumer priced cam is asking for trouble, even with a micro-sized sensor.
I'm sorry but it belongs with the megapixel-itis that afflicts so many consumer compact digicams, and even low-end DSLRs. It really saddens me to see Pannasonic going down that road, and hope nobody else will follow, but they will, just mark my words, :cry: So many sheep, or lemmings for that matter.
Dave

Brian Saberton
Posts: 342
Joined: Fri Apr 27, 2007 7:00 pm
Location: Scotland

Re: 70x optical zoom ... aaaargh!

Post by Brian Saberton » Wed Jan 14, 2009 2:24 pm

It's always the same isn't it? The manufacturers sell us cameras with very long zooms when what we really need is a decent wide angle.
Brian Saberton

Michael Slowe
Posts: 627
Joined: Mon Jan 29, 2007 4:24 pm

Re: 70x optical zoom ... aaaargh!

Post by Michael Slowe » Thu Jan 15, 2009 11:41 am

Well, I have to admit that much of my footage over the years, on both film and tape (now S X S cards) has been shot with the tele end of a zoom lens! I specialise in documentaries, as some of you will know, and I rely on the ability to observe without drawing attention to the camera, besides I like the narrow DOF you get at the tele end, especially if you use ND filters to ensure a wide aperture.

I don't recall any adverse comments from judges or audiences regarding camera shake but it goes without saying that a firm tripod is essential when operating at long focal lengths. I remember many years ago having to use a special long attachment for a film about bowls (that is old men on a green!) and I couldn't have done it without the lens. Don't forget also the wonderful film made by the Scottish schoolteacher about a Dipper bird on a river that did so well at BIAFF (last year?). He used a long Nikon lens on his Canon video camera and got wonderful pictures. MInd you he had focus issues but still managed a stunning film. If the unskilled punters that you are worried about can't use the long tele advise them to learn and join the IAC!

User avatar
Dave Watterson
Posts: 1672
Joined: Sun Jan 28, 2007 11:11 pm
Location: Bath, England
Contact:

Re: 70x optical zoom ... aaaargh!

Post by Dave Watterson » Fri Jan 16, 2009 12:00 am

This is the beast in question:
Image
I think it looks great, but it is clearly aimed at the relatively casual user. Someone like Michael Slowe can - and does - make good use of long lenses. But he is almost always to be found with a large, heavy tripod when out and about filming.

As for the range of the lens ... neither the Panasonic website nor the press-kit gives details. Clearly journalists are not supposed to be interested in such esoteric things. By extension, presumably the customers are also supposed to just wonder at the "70x" and not ask much more. The price seems likely to be highly affordable.

Dave

User avatar
stingman
Posts: 442
Joined: Mon Jan 29, 2007 10:37 am
Location: Isle of Wight
Contact:

Re: 70x optical zoom ... aaaargh!

Post by stingman » Fri Jan 16, 2009 1:44 pm

I think it looks sexy and in my favorite colour as well! It looks like an underwater camera..... but don`t get it wet!

be good

Stingman
Ian Gardner
Film Maker

User avatar
fraught
Posts: 537
Joined: Thu Mar 08, 2007 11:54 pm
Location: Basingstoke
Contact:

Re: 70x optical zoom ... aaaargh!

Post by fraught » Fri Jan 16, 2009 5:02 pm

Bloomin 'eck!!! That's the equivalent of having a 3500mm Lens on my Canon SLR!!!!

You're certainly going to get the moon full frame!!
Only Boring People Get Bored
http://www.fraught.net

User avatar
stingman
Posts: 442
Joined: Mon Jan 29, 2007 10:37 am
Location: Isle of Wight
Contact:

Re: 70x optical zoom ... aaaargh!

Post by stingman » Mon Jan 19, 2009 1:59 pm

Cool for looking at all the tallent down the street ;-)

Anyone else think of another one ;-)

Be good....

Stingman
Ian Gardner
Film Maker

daveswan
Posts: 72
Joined: Mon Oct 13, 2008 10:22 am

Re: 70x optical zoom ... aaaargh!

Post by daveswan » Mon Jan 19, 2009 3:33 pm

As I said it's designed to appeal to the moron majority, the types who are seduced by ludicrous "digital zoom" figures :x
I'm sorry, but I really hoped manufactures would get byond such fripperies, but I guess not. Since such people are not the type to put said cam on a big Vinten, Sachtler or O'Conner (Even if they could afford one) we'll see an awful lot of seasick home-movie viewers :twisted:

Sorry, the thought of one of those on an O'Conner :lol:
Dave

Brian Saberton
Posts: 342
Joined: Fri Apr 27, 2007 7:00 pm
Location: Scotland

Re: 70x optical zoom ... aaaargh!

Post by Brian Saberton » Tue Jan 20, 2009 3:48 pm

Twas ever thus. I remember going to a local camera shop (remember those?) back in the late 60's to look at a film camera and the first thing the sales person did was to demonstrate the "power" of the zoom lens. I have to say it was about 3X; nothing in todays terms.
Brian Saberton

Post Reply