dpuett wrote:Have you read any of the cites I posted or read any other reviews for the camera? It is 16X optical for the FULL resolution and 33X optical for a REDUCED resolution. I have a DMC-ZS3 that is 12X for a 10 MP picture and if I reduce the picture to 3MP, the camera will go to 21X optical zoom.
From the Amazon review for my camera "Here's the sweetest part about the zoom- if you planning to use smaller prints (i.e. 4X6), you can quickly adjust the camera's Megapixel (MP) count from 10 to 7, 5, and 3 to yield maximum OPTICAL zooms of 14.3, 17.1, and 21.4 respectably, without much loss of detail on such prints."
(DMC-ZS3) From DPReview "The Extra Optical Zoom function that extends zoom power to 21.4x (at 3-megapixel resolution) by using the center part of the large CCD to bring subjects even closer without deteriorating the image quality." Same feature with the DMC-ZS10.
The DMC-ZS10 has the exact same feature with different zooms levels and resolution options.
AGAIN, the DMC-ZS10 is a 16X OPTICAL zoom for the FULL resolution and up to a 33.8x OPTICAL for a REDUCED resolution. Read the manual http://service.us.panasonic.com/OPERMANPDF/DMCZS10_ADV.PDF
This isn't the black and white situation that you and others think.
No, it truly is very simple - you're just confusing marketing-speak with reality.
The optical zoom of a lens is the ratio of its maximum focal length to its minimum focal length. Period. Full Stop. So, a lens with a focal length range of 20mm to 100 mm would have 5X optical zoom.
While it's true that going with a smaller sensor (or only using part of the sensor, which is what you're describing with the "Extra Optical Zoom" feature above) will simulate a longer maximum focal length, it also increases the minimum focal length, so the ratio between the two (the optical zoom) remains unchanged.
For example, I have an 18 -200 mm Nikon lens. That's roughly 11X optical zoom. But, that 18-200 mm lens on a digital camera with an APS-sized sensor (Nikon calls this a "DX" sensor) has the same field of view as a 27-300 mm lens on a camera with a full 35mm-sized sensor (or on a film camera). Notice how both the minimum and maximum focal lengths are multiplied by the same amount.
If I were a marketing weasel, I would use the 300 mm equivalent max focal length from the smaller sensor and divide it by the 18 mm minimum focal length when used with a full-sized sensor and then I could advertise an "optical" zoom of 16.6X.
But that would still be incorrect. You don't switch from using all of the sensor to only using a reduced portion of the sensor and then try to use one number from each scenario to figure out optical zoom - that's horrendously poor testing methodology.
This camera has a 16x optical zoom, because that's the full variation you can get on focal length without having to drop resolution.
Optical zoom is a ratio, and is a function of the elements in the lens and nothing more. The rest of the BS about reducing the resolution in order to boost the max effective focal length is just that - BS.