Converting Optical Zoom To mm

Converting Optical Zoom To mm
Many a times people are confused while comparing the zoom lens of a DSLR (Digital SLR) camera to a Non SLR lens. Usually a DSLR lens shows the zoom capacity in mm, while other non DSLR cameras show the zoom in the form nX for example 5X, 10X, 30X or 42X. So the questions like “How do you compare lenses that say 10x optical zoom to mm-mm in SLRs?” or “How to convert Optical Zoom to mm?” or “How do I compare the zoom lens of a sony cybershot or Canon Powershot to a DSLR?” are all valid questions. 
Well to answer this we need to understand the Focal length of the lens. To make things simpler just check the specifications of the camera lens, for example Sony DSC-HX200V has the focal length of 4.8 – 144mm and its equivalent for a 35 mm DSLR is 27mm – 810mm. These values are given in the specifications of the lens. The Zoom of this camera as advertised by Sony is 30X. This figure is obtained by dividing 810mm by 27mm. 810/27 = 30. So 30X zoom actually means 30 times the wide angle provided by the lens. Canon Powershot SX40 HS has made things simpler by actually printing the 35mm equivalent on the top of the lens. While the nX equivalent ie. up 35X (for  Canon Powershot SX40 ) appears on the screen. 
Nikon Coolpix P510 42X Optical Zoom is comparable to 1000mm Zoom in other words the range provided by Nikon Coolpix P510 is 42X that is equivalant to 1000mm zoom.  
Canon Powershot SX40 optical zoom 35X can be compared to 840mm zoom.
Sony DSC-HX200V 30X optical zoom is equivalent to 810mm zoom.
Canon Powershot SX40 Lens Markings

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