Originally Posted by deckofficer
Can anyone share their zoom capabilities with those high end DSLR cameras?
A term like 12x zoom doesn't really describe how much reach your camera has. It only describes the zoom-range of the lens. For example, if you have a 12-120mm lens, it is a 10x zoom... but 120mm isn't much reach at all.
High quality lenses are not "super zoom". The more zoom range, the more complicated the lens design and the less quality can be delivered. Instead, for high quality lenses, you have to switch to another lens.
But let's see, my standard lens is 24-105mm so just over 4x zoom. Another popular high quality lens is 70-200mm so less than 3x zoom. The best lenses are "prime" lenses which have no zoom at all, like my 100mm f/2.8L IS macro lens.
I just ordered a 8-15mm lens which is still a 2x zoom but ultra-wide fisheye.
So I guess you really mean how much reach one has to pull far away objects closer. To find how much reach a camera + lens combination has, you need to use a focal length number. These get multiplied by a factor determined by the camera sensor size, but most manufacturers tell you the 35mm equivalent directly to make this easier. For example, the Canon G1X is 15.1-60.4mm which is a 4x zoom. The big 1.5" sensor multiplies this to 35mm equivalent: 28–112mm. A smaller sensor would have multiplied it to much much more, so there you have it: a big sensor gives high quality but less reach for the same lens. If I would put that 15.1-60.4mm lens on my full frame 5D2 camera, it would just be 15.1-60.4mm because a full sensor gives 1x factor. On my 7D it would be 24-100mm equivalent because it has a 1.6x factor. On the G1X it is 28-112mm because it is 1.85x factor.
I see that Sony has superzoom's that have a 35mm equivalent focal length of 24-384mm which is 16x. At 12x I assume you have 24-288mm equivalent. My longest combination currently is 200 x 2 x 1.6 = 640mm. This means I can make that house more than twice as big as the Sony, but at the cost of a 6 lbs camera + lens + teleconverter combination of many thousands of dollars.
I am looking into buying
a 70-300mm L-class lens from Canon which comes near what you can do at the high end, but at 70mm is still a telelens at it's widest setting. Also looking at the good old 100-400mm lens which is compatible with the 1.4x and 2x teleconverters I have.
Okay, here's my pic for today: it is a red-legged honeycreeper
This is shot at a whopping 640mm focal length so Canon 7D body (1.6x factor) fitted with a Canon 2x Teleconverter (2x factor) to which is a 70-200mm lens fitted. This gives 200 * 2 * 1.6 = 640mm.