I owned the camera over a year now, but have just learned to use it\nrecently (after reading the instruction manual)\nI have some questions which I hope someone can provide answers in\n"layman terms".\nWhat is exactly the extended zoom feature in Lumix FZ18? Is this\nstill considered as "optical" zoom. I assume that this is not "digital\nzoom" (because FZ18 still have 4x digital zoom on top of the 18x\noptical.\nIt appears that this option has something to do with reducing the\nresolution for the sake of getting more optical zoom feature. Could\nsomeone explain in simple terms? How this affect the picture quality,\nin particular if I usually only print photos to max 5"x7" sizes. Most\nof the time it will be postcard size of 3.5"x5".\nThe manual said that the FZ 18 has a 18x optical zoom feature\n(equivalent to 18mm to 504 mm). This is however based on picture size\nequivalent to 8 MP (for 4:3 ratio). However, if I select the\nresolution to only 5MP, I can zoom in to 23x. If I choose resolution\n3MP, I can zoom into 28.7x.\n8 MP is equivalent to 3264x2448 pixels, 5 MP is 2560x1920 pixels, and\n3MP is 2048x1536 pixels (for aspect ratio 4:3).\nWhat do you need to print 5"x7" size photo, 8"x10" and 11"x17"? Is\n3MP good enough for 8"x10" photo? 5"x7"? I know that my computer is\nonly set to 1024x768 resolution.\nIf this is the case, I can just set my camera to 3MP and enjoy a 28.7x\nzoom ( from 28 mm to 804mm)! I am still assuming this is NOT digital\nzoom.\nCould someone comment on this? Thanks\n\nIs feature of "extended zoom" in Lumix is common for other long zoom\nP&S cameras (such as Olympus SP570UZ, Fuji S8100fd, or Sony DSC H50)?\nI do not recall that My Canon G7 has this feature (but I may be wrong,\nas I also still have not looked in details into their instruction\nmanual).\n\nThanks for info.