1719: "Superzoom"

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1719: "Superzoom"

Postby Vroomfundel » Fri Aug 12, 2016 2:47 pm UTC

Image

Alt text: "'*click* Let him know he's got a stain on his shirt, though."

With sufficient zoom you can also disprove certain moon-related conspiracy theories.

Also, hoorey, looks like the comic was late and some of us on the wrong side of the world got to create the thread!
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Re: 1719: "Superzoom"

Postby Echo244 » Fri Aug 12, 2016 2:51 pm UTC

Vroomfundel wrote:With sufficient zoom you can also disprove certain moon-related conspiracy theories.


Hooray!

Anyway, yes, please let me know where I can get one, so that I can (with sufficient stability) show someone the left behind bits from various Moon Landings. The more ML Hoaxers we can convince with live images, the more nails we put in the coffin of that particularly annoying conspiracy theory.
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Re: 1719: "Superzoom"

Postby Mahnarch » Fri Aug 12, 2016 2:58 pm UTC

Now Shirley Jackson Lee can see the flag that the astronauts left on Mars for herself.

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Re: 1719: "Superzoom"

Postby The_Alchemist » Fri Aug 12, 2016 3:20 pm UTC

I'm missing the joke. Read explain xkcd. Didn't help.

Anyone? Anyone?

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Re: 1719: "Superzoom"

Postby cellocgw » Fri Aug 12, 2016 3:31 pm UTC

The_Alchemist wrote:I'm missing the joke. Read explain xkcd. Didn't help.

Anyone? Anyone?


Dunno -- I interpreted it as just a nice lightweight bit of fun for a Friday.

BTW, I tried to snap the Perseids with my new superzoom (Nikon P900, 2000mm equivalent) but the shower rate was disappointingly low, and all I got were a couple jets zooming overhead. (and the background stars)
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Re: 1719: "Superzoom"

Postby Vroomfundel » Fri Aug 12, 2016 3:36 pm UTC

The_Alchemist wrote:I'm missing the joke. Read explain xkcd. Didn't help.

Anyone? Anyone?


Google "human humour". I would also recommended looking up "how to better conceal one's identity when infiltrating a (semi-)intelligent civilization".

Seriously though, the joke is in the implication that with a good zoom you instantly command knowledge of everything that's happening in the world in direct line of sight from you. Maybe that's the reason why the Earth is round - the Flying Spaghetti Monster knew that we'll eventually invent Superzoom and didn't want us to spy on each other too much. Flat Earth would have been worse - from most places you won't be able to observe too many people but from mount Everest nothing is off-limits; Germans* would have to live in caves. And don't get me started on the hollow Earth scenario - that would be plain weird, no privacy anywhere.

* Germans are notorious for being extremely sensitive to the facades of their homes being observed - just look at google streetview, most are blurred out
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Re: 1719: "Superzoom"

Postby jjcote » Fri Aug 12, 2016 3:39 pm UTC

The_Alchemist wrote:I'm missing the joke. Read explain xkcd. Didn't help.

Anyone? Anyone?

Hahaha. I do this all the time, GOOMHR. Paid less than $100 for the camera that did this.
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Re: 1719: "Superzoom"

Postby Hiferator » Fri Aug 12, 2016 3:40 pm UTC

Vroomfundel wrote:And don't get me started on the hollow Earth scenario - that would be plain weird, no privacy anywhere.

Doesn't the hollow Earth scenario adjust the way light propagates to explain our everyday observations? In that case, it wouldn't change the line of sight.

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Re: 1719: "Superzoom"

Postby Vroomfundel » Fri Aug 12, 2016 3:55 pm UTC

I didn't mean that the Earth might be hollow in this universe. If it were then indeed our observations would be quite different - instead of sky we would be seeing Earth everywhere, if we could see anything at all - light has to come from somewhere after all. This can be arranged though. One options is a la GoT opening credits - the sun being inside the hollow sphere. No sunsets in this case unfortunately. Alternatively, there could be holes in the hollow sphere to allow sunlight in or just the firmament could be semi-transparent, like the houses from recycled plastic.
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Re: 1719: "Superzoom"

Postby somitomi » Fri Aug 12, 2016 3:59 pm UTC

Now we only have to wait for a supermoon to make a "Supermoon Superzoom" pic.
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Re: 1719: "Superzoom"

Postby Soupspoon » Fri Aug 12, 2016 4:39 pm UTC

I'm currently looking at cameras... 63x optical zoom1 on a 'bridge' camera is looking attractive. (Replacing an older one that is now far from the top end, now.)

But it's not a lucky coincidence, as I've been looking2 for a long, long time, just never quite taking the leap onto the upgrade that seems to make sense at any given moment. Maybe now I will do, for it has been prophesised!


1 I can further digitally zoom with GIMP, later, if I so wish. Ditto setting to monochome or sepia. Thus these are largely unneccessary features, for me. But I suppose I could use image stabilisation, and be lazy, than actually steady my camera the ways I've always done before...

2 I tend to test them by viewing the shop signs acrossbthe street at full zoom. Sufficiently demonstrative of how much/little of the moon I'd get.

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Re: 1719: "Superzoom"

Postby moody7277 » Fri Aug 12, 2016 5:49 pm UTC

Jupiter is a little overexposed in this. Those three squiggly dots above it are three of the Galilean moons. Done with my camera resting on a rail.

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Re: 1719: "Superzoom"

Postby Takigama » Fri Aug 12, 2016 6:14 pm UTC

The_Alchemist wrote:I'm missing the joke. Read explain xkcd. Didn't help.

Anyone? Anyone?


I felt the same way, and none the other explanations are very gratifying... when i first read it i had assumed it was some form of parody of an Ad on tv or some hot topic i'd missed...

But it seems like its perhaps just a poke at the whole "superzoom" marketing term and thats just sooooo last year! ;) Though if that is the case, its also perhaps a little bland for an xkcd comic.

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Re: 1719: "Superzoom"

Postby JPatten » Fri Aug 12, 2016 7:47 pm UTC

But this is the superzoom I want...
https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/ ... 6L_IS.html


or this one
Lens Mount Canon EF
Focal Length 1200mm
Maximum Aperture f/5.6
Minimum Aperture f/32
Angle of View 2.1°
Minimum Focusing Distance 45.9' / 14 m
Autofocus Motor USM
Image Stabilization N/A
Weather Resistant Not Supplied By Manufacturer
Magnification 0.09 x
Lens Construction 13 Elements / 10 Groups
Diaphragm Blades 8
Filter Ring Diameter 48mm Drop-In
Dimensions 9.0 x 32.9" / 228.0 x 836.0mm
Weight 36.4 lb / 16.5 kg
Compatibility Canon EF Mount

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SuicideJunkie
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Re: 1719: "Superzoom"

Postby SuicideJunkie » Fri Aug 12, 2016 8:00 pm UTC

Pro tip:
You can get around that 14m minimum focusing distance by zooming in on the reflection in the subject's eyes and then zoom into the reflection in your own camera lens, and repeat until you reach the required distance and the image comes into focus.

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Re: 1719: "Superzoom"

Postby speising » Fri Aug 12, 2016 8:19 pm UTC

JPatten wrote:But this is the superzoom I want...
https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/ ... 6L_IS.html


or this one
Lens Mount Canon EF
Focal Length 1200mm
Maximum Aperture f/5.6
Minimum Aperture f/32
Angle of View 2.1°
Minimum Focusing Distance 45.9' / 14 m
Autofocus Motor USM
Image Stabilization N/A
Weather Resistant Not Supplied By Manufacturer
Magnification 0.09 x
Lens Construction 13 Elements / 10 Groups
Diaphragm Blades 8
Filter Ring Diameter 48mm Drop-In
Dimensions 9.0 x 32.9" / 228.0 x 836.0mm
Weight 36.4 lb / 16.5 kg
Compatibility Canon EF Mount


None of those are zoom lenses. And you need a caddy for them.

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Re: 1719: "Superzoom"

Postby JPatten » Fri Aug 12, 2016 8:26 pm UTC

You are right... They are Prime lenses. But its hard to beat the Zoom factor they provide :)


I think the term is SuperTelePhoto

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Re: 1719: "Superzoom"

Postby gercunderscore4 » Fri Aug 12, 2016 10:59 pm UTC

I think Cueball might just be making this up and advertising for superzoom cameras.
- We never get confirmation about anything Cueball sees.
- He could have just come here from the store, hence knowing who's working and about the stain.
- White Hat never uses the camera.
- Many of Cueball's claims seem ridiculous (e.g. reading the number off of the tag on a flying falcon).

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Re: 1719: "Superzoom"

Postby Eternal Density » Sat Aug 13, 2016 12:30 am UTC

SUPERZOOM is the most innovative camera I've used in years!
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Re: 1719: "Superzoom"

Postby StClair » Sat Aug 13, 2016 12:49 pm UTC

SuicideJunkie wrote:Pro tip:
You can get around that 14m minimum focusing distance by zooming in on the reflection in the subject's eyes and then zoom into the reflection in your own camera lens, and repeat until you reach the required distance and the image comes into focus.


Yeah, but you have to keep repeating "enhance" during the whole process.

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Re: 1719: "Superzoom"

Postby da Doctah » Sat Aug 13, 2016 1:01 pm UTC

Panel two reminded me of a stray thought I once had when I was checking out a red-tailed hawk that had taken to camping out atop a lamppost near our office. After I had fiddled with the range and focus of a really good pair of binoculars, he launched himself and moved to another lamppost a short distance away. It struck me in that instant that he could most likely see me more clearly than I could see him, even without optical assistance.

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Re: 1719: "Superzoom"

Postby Eebster the Great » Sun Aug 14, 2016 5:12 am UTC

Echo244 wrote:
Vroomfundel wrote:With sufficient zoom you can also disprove certain moon-related conspiracy theories.


Hooray!

Anyway, yes, please let me know where I can get one, so that I can (with sufficient stability) show someone the left behind bits from various Moon Landings. The more ML Hoaxers we can convince with live images, the more nails we put in the coffin of that particularly annoying conspiracy theory.

You cannot. Basic optics proves it is physically impossible to get that kind of resolution with a camera. Even Hubble has a minimum optical resolution of ~100 m at the distance of the moon. Even very large mirrors and extremely advanced optics, it's probably not possible. Supposedly, images with angular resolution down to 0.3 mas ~ 1.5 × 10-9 rad have been taken, which at perigee would correspond to about 60 cm. But that's diffraction-limited with very little information per pixel, and even then a single pixel would be 60 cm on a side. So it is barely within the realm of possibility that someone could create an expensive, purpose-built telescope that could see a smudge of one or two pixels of slightly different color than their surroundings (though I highly doubt it; we've only ever had that kind of resolution when looking at stars, which are somewhat brighter than rocks), but I doubt that would convince conspiracy theorists if retroflectors don't.

The only way you can photograph the moon landing site is with satellites in lunar orbit.

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Re: 1719: "Superzoom"

Postby SuicideJunkie » Mon Aug 15, 2016 4:21 am UTC

Eebster the Great wrote:You cannot. Basic optics proves it is physically impossible to get that kind of resolution with a camera.

You must have accidentally gotten one of those realistic knockoff cameras with normal zoom. Did you keep the receipt?

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Re: 1719: "Superzoom"

Postby Plasma Mongoose » Mon Aug 15, 2016 4:36 am UTC

The problem with zoom that goes to 8x or more is that unless you have some kind of steady-cam tech as well, it is a bloody nightmare to focus on a faraway subject when you hold it by hand.
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Re: 1719: "Superzoom"

Postby Eebster the Great » Mon Aug 15, 2016 5:42 am UTC

The Galaxy Note 5 has optical zoom up to 8x and seems to remain fairly steady in spite of being somewhat awkward to hold, due to some sort of stabilizing technology I don't really understand.

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Re: 1719: "Superzoom"

Postby EngineNr.9 » Mon Aug 15, 2016 7:26 am UTC

Takigama wrote:
The_Alchemist wrote:I'm missing the joke. Read explain xkcd. Didn't help.

Anyone? Anyone?


I felt the same way, and none the other explanations are very gratifying... when i first read it i had assumed it was some form of parody of an Ad on tv or some hot topic i'd missed...

But it seems like its perhaps just a poke at the whole "superzoom" marketing term and thats just sooooo last year! ;) Though if that is the case, its also perhaps a little bland for an xkcd comic.


Maybe Randall spent too much time on photography forums where superzooms are considered the root of all evil and will lead to the end of quality imaging... Technical reasons aside, I guess people just can't get over it that they spent $20k on gear and now any random guy can get similar pictures with a 500$ "superzoom" (as long as it is a bright day, the subjects are not moving too fast and pictures are only shared on instagram/facebook)

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Re: 1719: "Superzoom"

Postby CharlieP » Mon Aug 15, 2016 10:24 am UTC

Echo244 wrote:
Vroomfundel wrote:With sufficient zoom you can also disprove certain moon-related conspiracy theories.


Hooray!

Anyway, yes, please let me know where I can get one, so that I can (with sufficient stability) show someone the left behind bits from various Moon Landings. The more ML Hoaxers we can convince with live images, the more nails we put in the coffin of that particularly annoying conspiracy theory.


Semi-relevant:

https://what-if.xkcd.com/32/
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Re: 1719: "Superzoom"

Postby JPatten » Mon Aug 15, 2016 12:39 pm UTC

Eebster the Great wrote:The Galaxy Note 5 has optical zoom up to 8x and seems to remain fairly steady in spite of being somewhat awkward to hold, due to some sort of stabilizing technology I don't really understand.

It is probably digital stabilization. It measures the camera shake from the accelerometers and then moves the image around to account for it on the screen. A slong as there isn't too much movement, all you lose is some "Cropping" along the edges which is rarely paid attention to anyway.

It is possible but unlikely it is optical stabilization which would be measuring the shake and moving the optics of the camera itself to compensate. Canon lenses move lense elements to do this, Nikon moves the camera sensor I think.

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Re: 1719: "Superzoom"

Postby Eebster the Great » Mon Aug 15, 2016 6:54 pm UTC

Several articles online call it "optical image stabilization," as does Wikipedia, so I assume they are taking the term from some sort of press release. But I can't say if that's accurate; it might be digital. I just find the idea that they can move the camera quickly and accurately enough with the accelerometer surprising. Maybe it's using software to track parts of the image to improve accuracy when physically moving the lens.

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Re: 1719: "Superzoom"

Postby gmalivuk » Mon Aug 15, 2016 7:25 pm UTC

Yeah, I always assumed the "optical" in that case meant it was using the image to determine how to stabilize, not that it was physically moving the camera optics.
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Re: 1719: "Superzoom"

Postby speising » Mon Aug 15, 2016 7:44 pm UTC

No, optical means in fact that the optic path gets corrected, either by tilting lens elements or by shifting the sensor. In the case of a DSLR, this can definitely not be controlled via image analysis, since the sensor is covered until exposure. It beats me how this can be done precisely enough, but it works quite good.

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Re: 1719: "Superzoom"

Postby Hiferator » Mon Aug 15, 2016 8:20 pm UTC

Vroomfundel wrote:I didn't mean that the Earth might be hollow in this universe. If it were then indeed our observations would be quite different


I was thinking of this type of theory that adjusts the laws of physics, so it still matches our observations.

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Re: 1719: "Superzoom"

Postby Cougar Allen » Tue Aug 30, 2016 1:21 am UTC

Hiferator wrote:
Vroomfundel wrote:And don't get me started on the hollow Earth scenario - that would be plain weird, no privacy anywhere.

Doesn't the hollow Earth scenario adjust the way light propagates to explain our everyday observations? In that case, it wouldn't change the line of sight.


There's more than one hollow Earth theory. One I like: the Earth is hollow; we live on the inside; the stars we see at night are actually the lights of cities on the other side of the Earth. :shock:

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Re: 1719: "Superzoom"

Postby ijuin » Tue Sep 06, 2016 6:08 pm UTC

Cougar Allen wrote:
Hiferator wrote:There's more than one hollow Earth theory. One I like: the Earth is hollow; we live on the inside; the stars we see at night are actually the lights of cities on the other side of the Earth. :shock:


The "stars are city lights" hypothesis doesn't really explain why the stars haven't changed to reflect the change in city distribution and size over the last couple of centuries...

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Re: 1719: "Superzoom"

Postby speising » Tue Sep 06, 2016 6:12 pm UTC

Nonsense. Progress is a myth. Where you there to see the cities 200 years ago?

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Re: 1719: "Superzoom"

Postby ijuin » Tue Sep 06, 2016 6:34 pm UTC

No, but there are currently quite a few people still alive who, in their youth, knew people who were born 160-180 years ago. So unless Grandpa is lying about HIS grandpa, we have at least secondhand witnesses.

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Re: 1719: "Superzoom"

Postby Eebster the Great » Tue Sep 06, 2016 10:27 pm UTC

Wait, why would both sides of the Earth be in night at the same time?

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Re: 1719: "Superzoom"

Postby Soupspoon » Tue Sep 06, 2016 10:43 pm UTC

They're not, but there's spacio-temporal warping already that renders the central sun appear to move around and the 'horizon' to show curving-downwardness of the Earth (thus some sort of lenticular sightlines, up curving away from up, horizontal curving up from 'horizontal') and if we're seeing ancient city lights for extended peiods of contemporary historic stargazing periods then... well the curvature effects are hyper-complex. Possibly in a mathematical sense.

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Re: 1719: "Superzoom"

Postby ps.02 » Wed Sep 07, 2016 8:15 pm UTC

ijuin wrote:No, but there are currently quite a few people still alive who, in their youth, knew people who were born 160-180 years ago. So unless Grandpa is lying about HIS grandpa, we have at least secondhand witnesses.

And just how accurate do you suppose this information channel would be?

"So, ma'am, 85 years ago when you were young, you probably asked some 90-year-old about how many stars there used to be in the night sky 80 years prior to that. What answer did you get? Was it more stars than are visible today, or fewer?"

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Re: 1719: "Superzoom"

Postby Sableagle » Sat Sep 10, 2016 7:10 pm UTC

8x? My camera does start buzzing a lot at high zoom, which is some sort of stabilisation mechanism desperately trying to keep up.

It goes to 40x, which I can use standing in a wind but is obviously more useful lying down and resting it on a rock, log, rucksack or bicycle saddle, or at least somewhere out of the wind. What doesn't make it better is trying to hold it one-handed to point at stuff. (I breathe better at lower altitudes and in cleaner air.)

For a still image comparison, here are two pictures of the Matterhorn from near Mont Blanc (in really bright light).

Spoiler:
P6200139.JPG

P6200152.JPG
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