Optical or Digital Zoom? The Choice is Clear


 Optical or Digital Zoom? The Choice is Clear

Optical zoom gets to the root of the problem, so to speak. The image quality is much better and this is because digital zoom just crops in on the image. It doesn’t increase light sensitivity or pixel size, and it’s not an adjustable or fine-tuned function like optical zoom can be. Optical zoom also means that you have more space for your photo and video storage!

For those who are wondering why they need to know about optical vs digital zooms: it's important because not all photography features should be overlooked just because they seem too small.

As mentioned above, digital zoom (also known as digital enlargement) has several problems. In order to understand those problems, we first have to understand the definition of “zoom factor”. The zoom factor is basically a ratio between the apparent magnification of an image and its physical size. For example, if you take a 50mm lens and then put it on a camera with a 50mm lens, both lenses will be at the same focal length. However, the camera will let you take photos at various magnifications, depending on what settings you’ve selected. The magnification of the lens with the 50mm focal length, however, is not the same as the magnification of a zoom lens with a range of 20mm to 200mm. The zoom lens can be set to magnifications higher than any single focal length lens can provide.

The same is true for digital zoom. Digital enlargement simply takes a part of an image and enlarges it digitally for easier viewing on a computer or other digital display device. When you take an image that has been enlarged, you are clearly losing image quality.

If you don’t need to see the image on a computer screen and would like to save space on your camera memory card, then digital zoom is definitely the right choice for you. However, if you want to print or share your photos, let's get started with the reasons why optical zoom is better.

When we zoom in with digital zoom, we're actually losing pixel quality. With optical zoom, you are able to take pictures at higher magnifications without any loss of image quality. This results in sharper images and less blurring when taking close-up shots than what can be achieved with digital zoom.

When it comes to digital zoom, you have the ability to take multiple shots of the same scene and then select the best shot from the group. You will need a tripod if you plan to take long-exposure shots this way, but it works well with static objects in daylight. With optical zoom, however, you are forced to move your camera back and forth and reposition yourself for each shot – an option that may not be easily available (or desirable) in some circumstances.

Perhaps most importantly, digital zoom cannot be adjusted. When using digital zoom, you need to accept what your camera gives you at that magnification level. Some cameras give you up to 4X digital zoom. With optical zoom, however, you can always change the magnification level from wide-angle to telephoto.

When you're trying to take a “close-up” shot, it's important that your camera know how close it is and what magnification level you are using. For example, do not expect to be able to get a close-up shot of the Saab logo on your car’s dashboard at 1600mm in a photo taken with digital zoom. This is almost too close for comfort (unless you are really tall). Optical zoom on the other hand will give you much better results for this type of shot. The Saab logo would be perfectly clear and you would not need a tripod to shoot this type of shot.

If you prefer a standard zoom lens instead of an ultra-zoom lens, optical zoom is definitely the way to go. Digital zoom does not give you the ability to change magnification levels easily. You can definitely make some adjustments in post-processing, but the best results are often obtained from a standard zoom lens that has been adjusted just for close features.

Optical zooms have many positive aspects that can benefit your photography and videography needs. So if you are looking to get some creative and professional photos, check out options in the USA. If you're looking to get the best digital camera for your photo needs, then you should consider buying a Nikon digital SLR.

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Conclusion :

I agree with the comment of Gigaom's John Gruber that “in order to capture subtle images, you have to zoom. But in order to zoom, you have to crop. And in order to crop, you have to use digital zoom […]” Digital zoom is just so easy and convenient and I'm glad I did not miss it. Instead of avoiding taking pictures by not zooming at all or allowing a poor individual component (i.e., digital zoom) to make my work less satisfactory, I embraced it and took advantage of the convenience.

Katherine: A camera has no limit on how much it can take up its memory slot.

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