Thursday, 13 March, 2008

Realty about digital zoom

Digital Cameras can come in a variety of colors, shapes, and sizes. There are so many features it could make your head spin. When you are looking into your next purchase for a digital camera one of the most important things to look into is the camera’s zoom options. Today’s cameras are marketed with optical and digital zoom options. It is very important to know the difference between the two.

Optical Zoom

Quite simply the optical zoom feature uses the actual lens optics to bring your subject closer to you. This is your truest option, and it will leave you with the most information when it comes time for editing and printing.

Digital Zoom

The digital zoom feature uses software built inside the camera to enlarge or “crop-in” the subject to appear closer to you. This option loses digital pixels inside your image and can make pictures appear “fuzzy” or “pixely”.

Is one better than the other?

Absolutely! My recommendation is to only use the optical zoom. The digital zoom robs you of important digital information that could mean the difference between handing grandma a crisp 8×10 of the kids or a smaller 5×7 (She wants the 8×10, I promise). I live in Texas and we grew up with the mentality that “everything is bigger in Texas”. That’s a good thing in photography, especially when you start thinking of things like pixel count and digital clarity. Besides, you can use your standard image editing software to “zoom” in later. You’ll get better results using software on your computer than on your digital camera.

Just turn it off!

Most digital cameras allow you the option of turning off your camera’s digital zoom feature. I highly recommend that you do this. As always, all digital camera menus and functions are different with each make and model so consult your manual. If you can’t turn it off, set your digital camera to notify you when the zoom switches from optical to digital.

Professional Photographer’s Big Secret!!!!!

Use your feet to get closer to your subject. That’s it. Keep shooting and have fun.


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