Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Digital Zoom vs Optical Zoom

Most point & shoot cameras came with digital zoom feature, you might even been impressed by the "extra pull" that the digital zoom on your P&S can do; what exactly is digital zoom?

Wikipedia explained...

"Digital zoom is a method of decreasing (narrowing) the apparent angle of view of a digital photographic or video image. Digital zoom is accomplished by cropping an image down to a centered area with the same aspect ratio as the original, and usually also interpolating the result back up to the pixel dimensions of the original. It is accomplished electronically, with no adjustment of the camera's optics, and no optical resolution is gained in the process."

Huh?  A bit too much for you?  ;)

What it meant was digital zoom is actually taking your picture with the optical zoom at it's longest focal length, then electronically enlarged the centered area, in camera; to give an impression that your zoom lens is much longer!
The digital zoom of my Canon G9 made it look like I was right behind the photographer, I was actually so far away that these tourists don't even know I snapped this shot :)