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Photography QnA: Digital Terms Dictionary

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Category: All About Photography : Digital Photographic Discussions - Imaging Basics : Digital Terms Dictionary

Looking for a digital terms dictionary? Confused about all of the digital terms? You've come to the right place! Check out this useful Q&A.

Page 1 : 1 -10 of 18 questions

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Photography Question 
Estella Aguilar

member since: 7/27/2006
  1 .  Digital Camera: LCD Brightness and Format
My camera's LCD monitor brightens up to 5 levels. Does it change brightness when you print your photos? Or does that brightness only apply to the LCD? Also, when should "Format" on my camera be used? And what is "format"?

9/6/2006 11:04:30 AM

Christopher A. Vedros
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 3/14/2005
  Changing the LCD brightness on your camera does not affect the printed photos.
The format function on your camera will erase all of the images on your memory card so you can take more pictures. You should do this ONLY after you have copied your pictures to your computer.
Chris A. Vedros
www.cavphotos.com

9/6/2006 3:12:56 PM

Courtney Lawyer

member since: 2/26/2005
  I'm not a techy so I don't know exactly everything that format does but it's important that you format your card often. I lost 300 pics on one of my cards becuase the card got messed up. I called sandisk to figure out the prob and they told me that format your card is like changing the oil in your car. The recommend doing it monthly. it's quick and I reccomend it. You don't want to go through the heartbreak of loosing photos like I did.

as far as LCD brightness, try to leave it as close to the real color/settings. Otherwise you may think your picture was bright enough and then put it on the computer or print it and realize that it was way to dark

9/12/2006 10:00:53 AM

Lorrie A. Prothero

member since: 10/24/2004
  A format is a type of language/filing system. To format a disk means to get a disk ready for a "new" filing system. Yes, it will clean your disk of current files, but it goes beyond. Think of it like this...I you were asked to go clean/make your bed, would you take your bed apart, re-assemble then change the sheets? Well, formating takes out all the current "furniture" and rebuilds it getting it ready for new "sheets".

9/12/2006 3:31:31 PM

Jarrah 

member since: 7/31/2006
  I have had problems from formatting my card each time I wanted to delete all the images once they'd been downloaded. The card up and fritzed without warning. I now use "Delete All" rather than constant reformatting. Of course it may just have been a faulty card but I was told that it may have been a possible reason.

9/12/2006 3:49:47 PM

Courtney Lawyer

member since: 2/26/2005
  I don't usually format my card until I've emptied it. I empty the card and then format and then the formating only takes a couple seconds. try emptying your card first

9/12/2006 4:34:34 PM

Jay Kinghorn

member since: 7/12/2006
  Estella,

I find that most LCD displays are too bright for me to accurately judge exposure. Changing the brightness of the display does nothing to your photo, however, with may LCD monitors being too bright, if an image looks good on the back of the camera, it is often underexposed when I bring it into Photoshop.

As to your formatting question, Courtney has it right on. I recommend formatting cards monthly or, whenever you use cards on cameras by different manufacturers. It's good preventative maintenance.

Jay

9/13/2006 2:39:45 PM

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Photography Question 
Denine Rowan

member since: 6/19/2005
  2 .  What is TIFF, RAW and JPEG?
When purchasing a digital camera, is it important that it is JPEG, RAW, and TIFF. What are these terms referring to, and what would be best? It seems like only the very expensive cameras have all three.

6/19/2005 12:52:54 PM

Christopher A. Vedros
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 3/14/2005
  These terms all refer to file formats for graphic images (photos). JPEG is the most universal format. It compresses the image for a smaller file size. The higher the compression level, the more the image quality will be degraded. Practically all digital cameras available today can save images in JPEG format. TIFF is an uncompressed image format. Many graphics programs, like PhotoShop, can work with TIFF images. Since a high-quality TIFF is a large file, it is not usually used for emailed photos or photos on a Web site like JPEGs are. Very few digital cameras on the market today can save images in the TIFF format.
RAW is an uncompressed file format that digital SLR cameras and some higher-end digital point-and-shoot cameras can use. The file is a direct capture of the image info from the image sensor, with no processing or image adjustment done. The image will need to be adjusted in a graphics program. Most programs cannot handle a RAW file directly; it has to be imported and converted to TIFF or JPEG first.
As I said, very few cameras have the TIFF format built-in, so you shouldn't base your camera selection on that. RAW format will give you the most flexibility for adjusting the exposure, white balance, etc., but you need to have some skill with a graphics program like PhotoShop to finish your image.
Many digital photographers (myself included) choose to shoot in JPEG, with the camera set at the highest resolution and quality that the camera can do. This will give you an image that will not need as much post processing to get it ready for printing.

6/19/2005 2:04:12 PM

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Photography Question 
Maria K. Carpenter

member since: 1/11/2005
  3 .  White Balance Help?
I am still learning. and a lot of the terms are clear after some study. But this white balance ... I am having trouble understanding it for some reason! Can someone give me a description that even a child might could understand?
Thanks for you help:)
Maria

1/15/2005 6:52:07 PM

Gregory LaGrange
BetterPhoto Member
gregorylagrange.org

member since: 11/11/2003
  Light from sunlight is different than light from a light bulb and fluorescent lights ... even though to your eyes, it can look the same.
Sunlight has all colors in its spectrum (rainbow), so sunlight makes white things look white. Light from a light bulb only has the red-yellow in its rainbow, so on film, everything looks yellow. But it's just really easy to see on white areas because they look yellow instead of white.
Light from a fluorescent bulb only has green-blue in its rainbow, so white things look green.
Thus, in order to get a photo to look natural, you use white balance. So you could say that with purple, blue and green on one side, and yellow, orange and red on the other side, sunlight is balanced with 6 colors. A light bulb has only three - yellow, orange, and red. So you have to balance the other side with the 3 missing colors to get white stuff to look white.

1/15/2005 11:44:24 PM

Maria K. Carpenter

member since: 1/11/2005
  Well, thank you very much! You have made it clear!

1/16/2005 4:10:57 AM

Gena L. Talbot
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 8/23/2005
  I have to say this thread is pretty old... but I have to really put out a hube THANK YOU... to Gregory for explaining this subjuct PERFECTLY! If you happen get this... Thank you! :)

8/11/2008 9:15:59 AM

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Photography Question 
Judy A. Arena

member since: 1/10/2004
  4 .  Digital vs. Optical Zoom
What is the difference between a digital and optical zoom? I have a Nikon 5700 Coolpix and never even thought about there being a difference (duh...). Thanks for whatever explanation you can give (in everyday speak-ease, please).

4/18/2004 7:38:31 PM

Jon Close
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 5/18/2000
  Optical zoom refers to the lens physically changing the focal length. At all zoom settings the lens projects an image on the full digital sensor. Digital zoom crops the image from the center of the sensor and enlarges it. There is less detail in the digital zoom image, since it is created using only a portion of the pixels available on the sensor.

4/19/2004 7:11:45 AM

Miltos Vasiliadis

member since: 4/19/2004
  Optical zoom - zoom made by the lens. This means real zoom. The same happens if you move closer to the subject. Pros: You get a very good image detail. Cons: Depending on the lens quality, you may have aberrations ("mistakes") in the image. It gets flattened, the lines become less straight, etc.
Digital zoom - A re-creation of the image by multiplying PART of its pixels. It is virtual, because the human eye or brain cannot do that. Pros: You don't need super-expensive lenses to do it. Cons: Less detail, loss of reality.
What do I mean? Well, I've argued many times about this; if you digitally zoom a subject, it doesn't change apart from getting enlarged. Think of it this way: Look at something - a flower, for example - and then step 1 meter closer; aren't there other things that change apart from its size? The human eye aberrates, and the lens does that too. Digitally zooming a picture is like looking at THE PRINT through a magnifying glass, while optically zooming an image is like looking at THE SUBJECT through a magnifying glass. This is my opinion, although nobody asked for it ... sorry :)

4/19/2004 8:26:25 AM

Robert Korb

member since: 10/31/2003
  Digital images are represented by many colored dots or pixels. The number of pixels used to represent the image depends on the resolution you set on your camera, and the capacity of the camera. For example - The highest resolution you would find on a typical 2 Megapixel camera would be something like 1600 pixels horizontally by 1200 pixels vertically (of course horizontal and vertical can be changed by rotating the camera when you take the picture). [You lower the resolution if you want to increase the number of images you can store on your memory card]

So that's how the image is STORED.. But how is it DISPLAYED?? Well a typical computer monitor has a resolution of 1024 x 768 pixels it can display. Now thats less than the 1600 x 1200 your 2MP camera can take. As a result, you cannot see every pixel of your image in your computer display at one time. You can only see the 1024 x 768 portion of your larger image... unless some clever stuff is done.

The clever stuff is that the computer software averages out neighboring pixels and makes a "best guess" as to the color of 1 pixel to represent more than 1. In other words, it can shrink the entire image by taking away (for example) 4 pixels and representing it as 1 pixel that is the average in color, of the 4. Since the entire image is smaller it fits on the display. Your camera does this too - especially since the displays on digital cameras are so much smaller than computer displays. But the original pixels STORED on the image don't change - They are just changed for the purpose of display.

So what does this have to do with digital zoom? Let's say you have a really high power digicam - 10,000 pixels by 10,000. Then the overall dot for dot image could take up a large area of your livingroom floor. If you get up on a ladder you see the whole thing. But if you put your nose down to the floor you only see a few inches of the image. That's digital zoom. The image quality is unchanged. There is not a bit more detail in the image than when you looked from the ladder. But when you get closer to the floor you do see things you didn't notice up there...Because you're taking a closer look. Now lets say you look through a magnifying glass. You no longer can see what the image is! Rather you just see dots of different colors. Not too good is it. As I said - the resolution of the image doesn't change..it's just your VIEW of it that changes.

Now optical resolution is different. It depends on the quality and capability of the lenses on your camera. An optical zoom does change the resolution of your image. It also changes how much of the image is visible. You see less of the field, but the part of the field you see is closer and truly has more detail and THAT detail will be recorded in the pixels of your digital image. That's why optical zoom is generally preferred over digital zoom. BTW - the zoom part is actually the ability to change the magnification "infinitely variable" from one extreme to another (say 1x to 10x) But the what is really meant in the preceding discussion is magnification of the image, not really the zoom part, because after all, we are taking STILL images not moving ones...

RL Korb

4/20/2004 8:08:36 AM

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Photography Question 
Jj J. 

member since: 4/12/2004
  5 .  The X Factor ... in Optical Zoom
What does X mean in optical zoom?

4/12/2004 11:37:17 PM

Jon Close
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 5/18/2000
  X means "times" or "multiple." A 10x zoom is one in which the longest focal length is 10 times the length of the shortest, such as 7mm - 70mm. It is not the same usage as binoculars, where "8x" means the image appears 8 times closer, or larger, compared to unaided vision.

4/13/2004 6:46:27 AM

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Photography Question 
Jim Sutton

member since: 4/13/2002
  6 .  Saving Digital Photo Files
HELP! I am a novice digital photographer. I use a Nikon D100 and edit the images with Photoshop CS. (I am also a Photoshop novice.) I recently discovered that my saved edited images are about 1/3rd the size of the original, unedited images. I normally shoot the D100 in JPEG fine at Large resolution because I want to be able to make large prints at 300 dpi. For convenience, I save both the unedited and edited photos on a 200gb external hard-drive in different folders. Now I find that the edited images are too small to print as large as I'd like. What am I doing wrong?

3/12/2004 11:45:17 AM

Wing Wong
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 2/8/2004
  Hi Jim,

What is most likely happening is that your images are being saved in the default quality setting for JPEG, which is somewhere between 50%-80%. So each time you edit your image and save it again, you lose 20% - 50% of your image's quality.

The best way to go about saving your digital files while working and for archiving is to work with a TIFF image.

The D100 supports RAW format, so once you have taken your original image in either JPEG or RAW, convert it. IF from raw, once you have your adjustments made, comit the file to TIFF format.

TIFF is a lossless file format which will allow you to retain more of the information. Some programs like PS CS will support TIFF files that are 16bit/channel, so if you convert from 16bit raw to 16bit tifff and work on the tiff, you will have even better leeway to work with.

Once you have finished your edits and cleanups and are ready to commit the image to a website, THEN save it to a JPEG format. But keep both the original and final version in TIFF format in case you want to do something else with it later.

You should be able to retain your original images' resolution and data better that way.

JPEG saves space, but does so at a great cost to quality. Hence many will recommend working with TIFF and then saving to JPEG for output, but retaining the TIFF versions.

If you work almost exclusively with PS and use layers and such, keep the file in PSD format. That way, you get to keep your layers and other PS customizations.

The downside of TIFF and PSD storage is that they will take up more space.

3/12/2004 12:30:47 PM

Terry L. Long

member since: 2/12/2004
  One thing that the previous poster forgot to mention... SAVE TO CD ASAP! I had my external hard drive crash on me recently and it would've cost $1100.00 to recover the data. However, I had just about everything on CD so the recovery wasn't worth it.

3/12/2004 4:30:50 PM

She-She Killough

member since: 6/26/2003
  I have a question similar to Jim's. I shoot with a Cannon D60 and always shoot in RAW and convert to TIFF, but what I don't understand is...my oringinal converted file is anywhere from 25mgs-50mgs (many 36mgs) But when I ediit them even the tiniest bit and save them as TIFF again, my files for some odd reason end up becoming 18mgs everytime? Why on earth do they do that?
Also I convert from 16 bit and change it when editing in PS Element 2, to 8 bit (because you have to and because you can't keep your EXIF info if you don't)(at least I think?!)

Thanks for any help!!

Sheesh

3/16/2004 9:52:01 PM

Gregory LaGrange
BetterPhoto Member
gregorylagrange.org

member since: 11/11/2003
  I didn't read the whole long answers, but if you have the window that comes up when you save a jpeg that has the 1-10 to determine what file size you want, it will come up on 10 if you save everything else at 10. But if you use the "save as" when you save after editing, sometimes the file size window will come up as a different number. So if you just automatically click to save without checking the file size, you may save it at a size smaller than you wanted. This may be particular to my version of photoshop (5.5Le).
I think it may be similar for the person saving RAW to TIFF. If there's an option of saving 8 bit or 16 bit, they second time she saves, she may be unintentionally going from 16 to 8 bits the second time.

3/16/2004 10:21:49 PM

She-She Killough

member since: 6/26/2003
  Thanks Gregory for responding! Not sure if I was very clear. I am working on some images right now and they are big files 36 mgs most likely and they are all TIFF...I am going to edit them some and save them as a TIFF when I do that I am going to double check and see if there is a file ratio size that you can choose I am almost 98% there is not.(I know there is in Jpg) So when I edit it shrinks in mgs even though I am saving it in a TIFF. That is my problem finding out what is the reason for it going from 36 mgs to 18 just from an edit and re-save again to TIFF? Probably made that clear as MUD! Does that make sense?

3/16/2004 10:59:32 PM

Gregory LaGrange
BetterPhoto Member
gregorylagrange.org

member since: 11/11/2003
  I know what you meant. I don't have any realistic use for tiff files, so I was trying to remember off the top of my head. I know that tiff dosen't have several options for file size, but I thought that maybe it had two bit size options.

3/16/2004 11:05:18 PM

She-She Killough

member since: 6/26/2003
  Yes Gregory, you are right Tiff files do have two options for bit size. But if I am remembering correctly that comes in at conversion. That is when I come out with the big file. It is the editing that shrinks it that baffles me?
Btw I went to your website and I must say you have some Beautiful and amazing images there!! :D

3/17/2004 12:45:22 AM

Wing Wong
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 2/8/2004
  TIFF's that are created through RAW conversion are usually 16bit uncompressed. So a 6MP digital camera would have a 36MB file size. Each "8bit" Pixel is comprised of 3 bytes, one for each color channel. So a normal 8bit picture uses 24bits to represent each pixel. A 16bit picture just doubles that number.

By default, most conversion tools will not compress an image so as to remain as compatible as possible.

Saving to 8bit format will halve the file size from 36MB to 18MB. If you load a 16bit image into an imaging program and work with it in 8bit space, you will end up with an 8bit image.

While TIFF doesn't have "size" options, it does have various compression format options(LZW, RLE, LOSSY, etc.) Each of these can result in a shrinking in the file size as well.

*smiles* Yes, saving to CD is important. I had mentiond that in another posting, but hadn't in this one.

3/17/2004 12:32:40 PM

She-She Killough

member since: 6/26/2003
  Wow that is a lot of amazing information! So Wing is there a way to keep my 36 mg images 36mgs and still work them in PS? How would I do that?
Thanks for your help BTW!!

3/17/2004 2:11:11 PM

Wing Wong
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 2/8/2004
  Hey She-She K,

Hmm.. that depends on the version of PS that you are using. I had heard that PS version 6 and above supported 16bit images to some degree, but it was limited. I know that PS CS supports 16bit images to a much greater degree.

If you want to keep working with 36MB files, ie 16bit/channel, files, then you will want to make sure of the following:

- when saving files, use 16bit TIFF or 16bit PSD. PSD is preferred since it retains various layer, path, mask, colorspace, and profile information specific to photoshop.

- check to see what level of 16bit support your version of PS supports. Some functions might ask you to convert to 8bit mode before that function will work. That could knock you down to 8bit mode.

- Backup files at the RAW stage and 16bit stages. This will save you time if you lose files due to a computer crash.

I'm still saving up for PS CS, so in the meantime, I'm using CinePaint(16bit version of Gimp) to do my post-raw file editing. I save files in XCF(Gimp file format), PSD, or 16bit TIFFs.

Programs like PS elements or 3rd part paint programs which don't support 16bit may have the ability to import 16bit and put it into an 8bit format. If you use these programs, be careful not to save over your 16bit files with the 8bit ones. Alot of album software programs might do this without telling you since they are geared towards 8bit images and not 16bit images.

*smiles* I think that's about it. The only other issues is that working with 36MB images might be a bit taxing on your computer, so make sure you have enough system memory.

3/17/2004 3:17:43 PM

She-She Killough

member since: 6/26/2003
  Wow Wing you certainly are a wealth of information! I have PS Elements 2. And I would bet that is the reason it changes it to 8 bit because it can't support 16 bit. I have never heard of the program you use Cine Paint, where do you find it? And do you like it?
Thank you so much for all your help Wing!! :D
Sheesh

3/17/2004 10:50:31 PM

Wing Wong
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 2/8/2004
  Hi She-She K,

Thanks. :)

CinePaint is what some folks call "OpenSource", that is, the program is free for downloading and use. You can download the program or the source code to the program and make changes to it as you see fit.

CinePaint used to be called FilmGimp and was used by some film studios to touch up images in 16bit mode and to help with some special effects clean ups.

You can get access to CinePaint at:

http://www.cinepaint.org

You can access Gimp at:

http://www.gimp.org

They have a version for Windows, MacOSX, and Linux.

I like CinePaint because it lets me work in 16bit, but it has it's problems:
- not quite stable on Windows
- not all filter effects are available yet in 16bit mode
- interface is very different from PS

Basically, it takes some getting used to and you will want to save often. :)

But it IS free, so if you don't have PS CS and want to try 16bit, give CinePaint a try.

Btw, I only check recent postings on the boards, so if you have a question, please feel free to email me through BetterPhoto's contact page.

3/17/2004 11:57:11 PM

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Photography Question 
Stacey L. Place

member since: 2/11/2004
  7 .  What is Bracketing
I am a beginner and I was wondering what it means to bracket.

2/24/2004 6:43:13 PM

Bob Cammarata
BetterPhoto Member
cammphoto.com

member since: 7/17/2003
  Bracketing means to shoot two or more additional shots of a particular scene at slightly different settings... both over, and under what is determined as the "ideal" exposure.

Typically, this is done with the aperture ring. If the scene requires 1/250 second at f-8, the shutter speed remains unchanged, but you would shoot at f-5.6, f-8, and f-11.
This would be a bracket of one stop over and under, although it is usually best to use smaller increments of 1/2 stop either way.

Bracketing is most often used during difficult lighting situations to insure that at least one of the three shots in the series is properly exposed.

2/24/2004 8:06:00 PM

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Photography Question 
Jody E. Ellis

member since: 7/4/2003
  8 .  Digitial Camera Optical Zoom X Ratings
Can you tell me exactly what each increment of "X" means in the optical zoom ratings? Forinstance: if 7X = 200mm and 8X = 280mm, what does that mean for may photos? If an object is 8 yards away will it appear 1 yard away with 8X?
Thanks

2/15/2004 9:23:14 AM

Jon Close
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 5/18/2000
  The multiple is usually just the ratio of the long and short focal lengths of the zoom. so a 28-200 zoom is a 7x zoom.

To relate the magnification provided by a telephoto to that usually given for binoculars, you divide the lens focal length by the diagonal of the film image. For 35mm film the diagonal is 43mm (though 50mm is normally used for this calculation). So a 200mm lens is equivalent to 4x power binoculars.

2/15/2004 3:13:53 PM

Jody E. Ellis

member since: 7/4/2003
  John,
Thank you for your reply but I'm still confused - if a 200mm lens is the equivalent of 4X - why do the digital camera makers say that a 200mm lens=7X and a 280mm lens = 8X? Sorry to be so dense but I'm missing a piece here.

2/16/2004 9:28:23 AM

Wing Wong
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 2/8/2004
  Something to do with the starting mm rating and the ending mm rating.

For instance, 28mm-200mm is "7x" since 28mm times 7 is about 200mm. (196mm).

It depends on what the starting mm(focal length) is compared to the ending focal length. So a camera that starts with 28mm and ends at 200mm will have a greater X rating than one which starts at 35mm and ends at 200mm, since it is "only" a 5x or a 6x.

Hope that helps. :)

2/16/2004 10:44:00 PM

Jon Close
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 5/18/2000
  The 8x zoom is undoubtably 35mm-280mm. Actually, [just to add to your confusion ;) ] the lens is probably something like 7mm-56mm and the 35-280 is what its equivalent would be on a 35mm film camera.

2/17/2004 5:43:42 AM

Wing Wong
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 2/8/2004
  Jon's got a point.

Most consumer digicams have a focal length multiplier of somewhere between 3x to 8x. Many Olympus digicams are in the 4x-6x range. Ie, a 35mm-200mm is really a 7mm-40mm. This is because of the sensor size. Hence the "equivelent 35mm size" notes on most digicams.

With higher end digital cameras, the focal length multiplier is 1.6, 1.5, or none. Ie, what your lens says is the focal length really is the focal length.

2/17/2004 11:48:55 AM

Jody E. Ellis

member since: 7/4/2003
  Ahhh, I think I've got it - but good grief who thinks of these things! Next to the ppi versus dpi this is right up there on the confusing chart.
Thanks everybody for 'clearing' this up.
j.

2/17/2004 7:57:32 PM

Davin Edridge

member since: 2/22/2003
  Hello All,

On this subject - perhaps someone can answer a quesiton for me - or set me straight - as the case maybe.
I was under the impression that most cameras these days in the compact range (not digital slr's), had two (2) types of focus:
1. Optical
2. Digital
1 - I was under the impression that optical is the best that can be obtained via the glass in the lens in the camera?
2- I was under the impression that the X's factor was then software enhancement within the camera to equate to an optical value when using digital zoom?

Is this correct or incorrect?
I raise this point - in relation to image quality - once you leave the optical range and go into digital - you loose image quality, because the camera is adding pixels to compensate.

Regards,
Davin
www.davin-photography.com

2/18/2004 4:55:46 PM

Wing Wong
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 2/8/2004
  Digital cameras of all kinds depend primarily on optical focal lengths for their reach. The digital X or multiplier is merely cropping an image and resizing it in-camera. This consistently results in inferior images with artifacts.

The source of alot of confusion is how advertisers and some camera makers refer to the "X" aspect. Some will use the #X to refer to the combined optical and digital reach. So if you have a 35-200mm optical system(7x) coupled with a "digital zoom" of 4x, then you supposedly have a combined 24X reach. In reality, you only have a 7X reach with software cropping.

How do you determine? Look at the camera specs and look for the actual optical focal length ranges or the so-called 35mm equivelent focal length. If you find a camera that interests you, but you want to double check the real optical reach, find the camera model at reputable sites like: www.steves-digicams.com or www.dpreview.com or www.luminous-landscape.com to verify the camera specifications.

I own a Minolta A1. It has a 7X optical lens system. It also has a 2X digital "cropping" zoom. Most places I've been to will only advertise the 7X portion, but some places have advertised it as a "14X" camera. My old camera, the Olympus C2100UZ had a 10X stabilized optical zoom system with 2x digital cropping zoom. I only ever used the optical system because the combined mode always gave me bad shots.

For cropping, I use my computer and better sampling software to get a quality crop blow up.

2/18/2004 6:01:26 PM

Wing Wong
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 2/8/2004
  Correction: 24X should have been 28X. :)

Additional note would be what some camera makers are calling "smart zoom". Basically, this is digital zoom, but with built-in limitors as to when it can or cannot be kicked in based on your image capture size.

Example:

3x optical zoom 2MP camera. 4x digital cropping "smart" zoom.

Because the digital zoom is essentially cropping your image, the effective MP rating of your camera goes down. So if the non-digital zoom cropping of your image is 1600x1200 at 2MP and with 4x digital cropping, only about 1024x768 is being exposed, the camera will only let you use that digital zoom if you have specified 1024x768 as the resolution you were shooting at.

Short summary: smart zoom is in-camera cropping without resampling to a larger size.

2/19/2004 4:04:54 PM

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Photography Question 
Frank Everts

member since: 1/8/2004
  9 .  Please Explain Megapixels
I want to improve the quality of my prints. More megapixels seems to produce a larger picture, rather than more per inch.

1/11/2004 1:23:19 PM

doug Nelson
DougNelsonPhoto.com

member since: 6/14/2001
  A megapixel is a million pixels. Camera makers arrive at their MP figures by multiplying the length of their best quality image by the width (in pixels).

Without knowing specifically what the problem is with your prints, I'd wonder if you are running them through an imaging program and setting the print size you want, and, at the same time, telling the program not to throw out any pixels. See http://www.dougnelsonphoto.com/-/dougnelsonphoto/article.asp?ID=24, the paragraph about sizing the image. If you don't have an imaging program, Elements 2 comes highly recommended.

1/12/2004 5:48:40 AM

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Photography Question 
Chris London

member since: 11/23/2002
  10 .  Depth of Field with Digital and Multipliers
When using a longer lens, the depth of field for a particular aperature is shallower than when you use a shorter lens. When using a digital SLR camera with a multiplication factor (normally 1.5 or 1.6), does this in turn give a DOF (compression) similar to the original lens length or the adjusted/multiplied length? I assume it would be as per the original length, but would like to know for sure.

Thanks!

12/28/2003 11:13:14 AM

Gregory LaGrange
BetterPhoto Member
gregorylagrange.org

member since: 11/11/2003
  No it dosen't. Many people call it a telephoto effect when contrasting digital with film cameras, but that's not really what it is. It's just a cropping effect. The perspective and the compression you get from telephoto lenses are the same. It's just that you get a narrower view with digital because the film area is smaller.

12/28/2003 2:19:04 PM

Chris London

member since: 11/23/2002
  Thanks Gregory. That's what I suspected, but glad to know for sure.

The knowledge I will be moving into the digital SLR world very soon is impacting my lens decisions and I want to keep on top of it to make the right choices.

Thanks!

12/28/2003 8:09:05 PM

Hector Reinoso

member since: 1/5/2003
  actually it does. There was a great article by Bob Atkis on www.photo.net about it. (dont have the link, so do a search).

But basically means that when using hyperfocal for example, you need to setup the aperture 1 1/3 smaller than you would for any given hyperfocal distance.

The same results can be seen when using any online or table for depth of field calculation, like DOF master.

hope it helps,

12/30/2003 2:55:23 PM

Gregory LaGrange
BetterPhoto Member
gregorylagrange.org

member since: 11/11/2003
  He's talking about digital slr's that have a ccd smaller than a normal 35mm film area. If you have a film camera and you have somebody standing so that the top of their head is at the top of the frame with something like a 400mm, if you put that same lens on something like a D60, you'll get the same view as you would if you had a 620 on the film camera. Which means back up,raise the camera up, or you'll cut their head off.
Putting the same lens on a digital slr isn't going to change depth of field, it's just going to cut off the edges of what you would normally see on a film camera.

12/30/2003 5:24:36 PM

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