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I am a complete newbie to DSLRs.

I am planning on buying a Canon EOS 1100D SLR with Kit (EF S18-55 IS II). (It's also known as the Canon Rebel T3.)

I have a 10x optical zoom in my Point and Shoot camera.

Does the Canon EOS 1100D with EF S18-55 IS II have a similar concept ? What is the default zoom it comes with ?

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Well yes there's such a concept, but normally the focal length is used rather than to state 10x. In your case widest the lens can do is 18 and the how far it can reach is 55mm. There's a pretty good explanation here. –  Peng Tuck Kwok Nov 12 '12 at 10:16
    
FORGET ZOOM factors. There is an old saying. If your photo isnt good enough you are not close enough. Concentrate on focal lengths. You dont want to upgrade to a better camera by using it the same way as your P&S. Look at your current photos, see what you like taking pictures of and buy your kit with that in mind. In the end focal length and perspective are important not how much you can zoom. (PS: Same goes for mega pixels) –  Darklantern Nov 12 '12 at 10:19
    
Also this question has been asked before :D –  Peng Tuck Kwok Nov 12 '12 at 10:19
    
3Yes, this question is a duplicate of the one Peng suggests. If that doesn't answer your question, feel free to ask a followup. (In this case, 55 ÷ 18 is 3, which means that the kit lens does not have the zoom flexibility you are used to on your point and shoot.) –  mattdm Nov 12 '12 at 13:53
    
it may be helpful to find out the equivalent focal lengths of your point & shoot to compare... which model is it? –  drfrogsplat Nov 13 '12 at 11:05

2 Answers 2

up vote 7 down vote accepted

The focal length values on a lens give you a better indication of how it magnifies you view than the "x times optical zoom" attribute. So instead of saying the kit lens is a 3x zoom, it is described as a 18-55 zoom. This is to distinguish it from a 70-210 lens, which is also a 3x zoom but would give you a more magnified view, better at photographing far away objects.

You can buy a 10x zoom (such as the Canon EF-S 18-200), but I wouldn't recommend it, as you would be missing out on one of the greatest advantages of an interchangeable lens system!

Lens design is a compromise, making a 10x zoom lens generally means quality will suffer, either at the wide end or the tele end, or probably both. It's a swiss army knife of a lens, and a swiss army knife is always bettered by a full size saw or a proper screwdriver.

The best zoom lenses are usually between 2x and 3x. You would be better served by a 18-55mm lens and a 70-200mm lens, to give you your 10x range (with a small gap). 70-200s are not cheap lenses, but they are exceptionally good. My final piece of advise would be to start shooting with the 18-55 and find out what range you really need before spending any money. If you find you are always cropping the middle 50% out of your images that indicates you need at least 100mm.

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The "zoom" defined on your point and shoot is Fmax/Fmin. Ie. that definition can be applied to your lenses for the DSLR: e.g. 55/18~ 3x zoom. The zoom doesn't tell you how far or wide you can see with it though. The focal length and sensor size will:

If you buy a 20mm 2.8 lens you have 1x zoom with a wide angle and if you get a 500mm F8 lens you also have 1x zoom with a huge binocular effect; it is going to get you virtually closer to something in the distance than your 10x zoom point and shoot.

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