How Much Camera Zoom Do You Really Need

How Much Camera Zoom Do You Really Need?

You should consider how much zoom (or, more precisely, which focal lengths) you need for the subjects you want to capture whether you’re looking for a new camera or just want a new lens for a body you already own.

Here’s a brief explanation of focal length, how it relates to zoom, and which focal lengths work best for shooting various types of subjects, such as wildlife, sports, travel, and architecture.

What is focal length? The focal length of your camera lens, measured in millimeters, is what determines its perspective. The wider the field of view is, the lower the focal length number is. The closer the subject appears, the higher the number.

What is zoom? The distinction between the minimum and maximum focal lengths is what determines a zoom lens’s zoom ratio (i.e., a lens that can change focal length by rotating the barrel). Typically, this is stated as 5x, 10x, 30x, and so forth. A 5x zoom would equate to 120mm on the long end of a lens that has a 24mm (or equivalent) wide-angle focal length.

What is crop factor? Typically, focal lengths are discussed in relation to full-frame sensors, which are the same size as 35mm film. However, the majority of the sensors found in digital cameras are smaller than full-frame. The subject is brought closer by a smaller sensor, which effectively crops the image created by a lens.

The crop factor refers to the size difference between a given sensor and a full-frame sensor.

For instance, our preferred mirrorless camera’s Four Thirds sensor has a crop factor of 2. This means that you can multiply the focal length of lenses used on that camera by two to get the equivalent focal length for a full-frame camera. For example, the 12–40mm zoom lens on an Olympus camera gives you the same perspective as a 24–80mm zoom on a full-frame camera.

Since APS-C sensors, like the one in our upgrade pick mirrorless camera, have a crop factor of 1.5, they fall between Four Thirds and full-frame, making Fujifilm’s 16–80mm kit lens equivalent to a 24–120mm.

Read More: How Much Does A Photo Booth Cost?

Source: Nytimes

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