BetterPhoto Q&A
Category: New Questions

Photography Question 
Ellen L. Zaslaw
BetterPhoto Member Since: 10/30/2003

zoom on digital camera

I just read above that it's better to
walk closer to your subject than to
use your digital zoom. I would like
to know why exactly? Also it says it
is better to zoom optically than
digitally. How do you zoom optically?
Does that just mean (again) just to walk up closer to your subject?

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12/6/2001 5:47:53 PM

Ken Pang   Because all digital zooms do, is take one pixel and clone it into 4, for a 2x magnification. This means that by zooming in, you are not gaining any more detail - you are simply making the apparent size of the photo larger.

When you zoom optically, you are changing the light that falls onto the CCD (The digital equivalent of film). So when you zoom in optically, there is now extra detail for the CCD to record. So the photo remains sharp and detailed.

On the other hand, when you zoom digitally, the same image falls onto the sensor, but it is being cropped and electronically enlarged, after capture. This means that you have the same level of detail, but each pixel is made larger.

Don't worry about optical zooming. In most cameras, that's how zooming is done, until you can zoom no more. Then, generally it might beep or put a message on your screen to indicate it has started digitally zooming.

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12/7/2001 4:16:57 AM

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