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Optical vs. digital zoom

What's the difference between optical and digital zoom?

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It's important to understand this difference, as you could be disappointed with the results if you use one rather than the other. Optical zoom works like the zoom on a traditional film camera. When you push the button to zoom in or out, physical lens elements move inside the camera, reducing the field of view and making the object you're shooting appear closer. Digital zoom, on the other hand, has no moving parts. The camera interpolates a small portion of an image to artificially restore the file to its original size. Using its electronic brain, the digital camera analyzes what it sees and digitally zooms in, usually two or three times closer. Unfortunately, digital zoom also reduces the resolution of an image, so your picture will tend to be more pixilated than the same image taken with an optical zoom camera. If you're just snapping an image to e-mail to a friend, this loss of resolution won't be so noticeable. But in situations where the highest quality counts, skip the digital zoom and use your PC's image-editing tools to zero in on your subject.

Posted on Sep 08, 2005

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What is the difference in the optical and digital zoom?

Hi,

Find the difference below

Digital Zoom

1. Digital zoom is a part of digital cameras, and camcorders, which helps to crop the entire image, and then digitally enlarge the size of the viewfinder of the portion that is needed to zoom in on
2. Digital zoom crops the image down to a centred area with the same ratio as the original, and also interpolating the result back up to the pixel dimensions of the original. this method involves cropping, hence the resolution and quality is reduced
3. Digital zoom, crops a portion of the image and then enlarges it back to size. And due to this, image quality is reduced in comparison with the original one.
4. Using the digital zoom allows the user to get closer to the subject when the photographer wants to be discreet about taking pictures, like taking a picture of a person in a graduation ceremony.

Optical Zoom

1. While taking a picture using a Camera to want to get a close shot of the subject without moving physically closer, photographers use the optical zoom.
2. The optical zoom ratio of a digital camera measures how much the lens can actually zoom in to make subjects appear closer. Optical zoom, enlarges a picture while keeping the resolution and sharpness of the picture high.

3. There is no relation between optical zoom and the resolution of the photo, as optical zoom only enlarges the whole image or the subject to a certain range. So image quality only depends upon the mega pixel (MP) of the camera

4. Optical zoom is very useful, while taking a picture of a landscape, or to get a closer view of a subject, without reducing the quality of the entire image, like taking a picture of a Rainbow in the sky.
Regards,
Ron


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Digital cameras tip : zoom

Zooming is addition important application with digital cameras - there are two kinds of zoom: optical zoom and digital zoom. An optical zoom agency is one that relies on the lens itself accumulative the ablaze advancing in, so that what is abroad appears beyond and afterpiece in the consistent image. An digital zoom agency is one that takes the consistent angel and magnifies it afterwards the fact. Needless to say, an optical zoom agency is abundant added important than a digital zoom.
on Dec 23, 2010 • Cameras
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Just purchased it from bid tv it has 4xdigital zoom would i have been better to get optical zoom instead this is my first camera

Digital zoom enlarges the ccd image and will become more pixelated the more you zoom and optical zoom uses an actual lens to magnify the image coming into the camera. optical zoom is better than digital zoom.
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Optical zoom problem in movie mode

Your camera is not broken. That's by design. Canon cameras do not allow optical zoom use while in movie mode. Canon claims that using the optical zoom in movie mode would cause excessive noise in the movie. However, you can use digital zoom in movie mode. You'll need to go into the menus (press the menu button) and turn digital zoom "on" if it's currently off.
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Optical zoom

Hey needacamera,
The range of an optical zoom lens refers to how wide angle to telephoto the lens covers. An example of a 6x optical zoom would be an 18mm-108mm lens, which covers wide angle to telephoto. An example of a 3x zoom lens would be an 18mm-54mm lens, which would provide a capability of capturing images from wide angle to normal views. To calculate the x factor of an optical zoom you would divide the largest number by the smallest number on your zoom. I hope this helps!

Sincerely,
Allan
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May 31, 2008 • Cameras
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Zoom

IT WONT...DIGITAL ZOOM IS IMPOSIBLE TO TAKE OFF I YOU DONT HAVE OPTICAL ZOOM
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Zoom function

Yes. This camera has 3x optical zoom and 4x digital zoom. However digital zoom cannot be used in 2880 x 2160 size. Optical zoom: It is approximately 5.6 - 16.8 mm. (equivalent to 38 - 108 mm on 35mm film camera) Digital zoom: It extends to 4x from telephoto end (108mm) of optical zoom.
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If I take hi-res pictures with the 3040 how much can I manipulate the image on my PC to zoom in while still maintaining quality?

Digital zoom in the camera means nothing. You can't create detail that isn't there. Enlarging and sharpening on the PC can produce much better results than in-camera digital zoom - no more real detail, but a better illusion of detail by enhancing edges. You can print up to about 8x10 with the 2100 or 11x14 with the 3040, but a zoomed in 2100 8x10 will probably be a more spectacular picture than the 3040's 11x14, unless you can get equivalently close to your subject. Also, the more precise viewfinder of the 2100 can make up for the difference in resolution. With the 3040, you are more likely to need to crop to print your desired view (unless you can use the LCD), since you can't see exactly what you are going to get when using the optical viewfinder and will tend to get more periphery than you want.
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Super Zoom

In addition to the optical zoom, this camera is equipped with a super zoom and digital zoom for taking telephoto and wide-angle shots. The super zoom and digital zoom cannot be used at the same time. Super zoom is used to extend the optical zoom up to 14× magnification. However, the resolution is automatically fixed at 1600 ×1200. Digital Zoom is used to extend the maximum optical zoom to approximately 40x. However, pictures taken with the digital zoom may appear grainy. Camera shake is likely to occur at these higher magnifications, please see “camera shake” question for further details on this.
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Differences between Optical Zoom and Digital Zoom

When you change the focal length of a zoom lens, the subject is magnified. Optical zoom replicates the zoom of a 35mm camera. Digital zoom takes a portion of the image's data and displays it at full size, producing a magnification of the original image, similar to the effect of using a telephoto lens. However, the process is different from the magnification produced using the camera's optical zoom, and the stronger the digital zoom, the more the image will degrade.
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