Optical vs Digital zoom...

Discussion in 'Photography' started by SoCalRich, Jan 9, 2009.

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  1. SoCalRich

    SoCalRich Well-Known Member

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    In my film experience good lens optics were everything!!! Now with digital photography we have digital zoom as an option.

    What in your opinion is the best? Are there manufactures that use only optics or digital. How do you tell? In the reviews I've read I haven't seen anything specific. :confused:
     
  2. boilermatt

    boilermatt Well-Known Member

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    From what I have read:

    Optical zoom uses the glass

    Digital zoom simply crops the image to bring it in closer, reducing the quality.

    Optical zoom is best by far. Use digital only as a last resort since you can basically do the same thing on your computer.

    qualify: I am no expert
     
  3. CalebSchmerge

    CalebSchmerge Super Moderator/Reviewer News/Review Writer

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    I would personally never take a picture with Digital Zoom. Zoom to the end of the optical range, then if you want to "zoom" more later, you can always crop on your computer. If you zoom closer than you want with the in camera digital zoom, you can't undo that and get the rest of the picture.
     
  4. SoCalRich

    SoCalRich Well-Known Member

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    ok.... I agree with you Caleb and boilermatt. I do NOT want to reduce quality. So how do you figure out the true range of a digital lens using only the optical range? When a lens range is say 28-486 just how much of that is digital? Where do you find that information?

    Caleb, I notice you have a nice selection of lenses. Is that how you dealt with this issue??? Do your lenses have any digital zoom at all?
     
  5. Andy Stanton

    Andy Stanton Super Moderator Super Moderator

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    If you're talking about a point and shoot, the lens range given is the optical zoom. Only no-name cameras will give a lens range that includes digital zoom to try to attract the less sophisticated buyer.
     
  6. SoCalRich

    SoCalRich Well-Known Member

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    Thanks Andy...
     
  7. KCook

    KCook Well-Known Member

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    I would agree with that for a DSLR shooting RAW. For a point-and-shoot in JPG mode I'm not convinced that editor cropping completely duplicates the in-camera processing for digital zoom. Which is NOT to say that digital zoom matches optical zoom quality either. Big difference. But with my ultracompact I do use the digital zoom when needed.

    heretic Kelly
     
  8. CalebSchmerge

    CalebSchmerge Super Moderator/Reviewer News/Review Writer

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    Those are all true optical lenses. No digital zoom is listed. Digital zoom is really only limited by how much you want to crop.
     
  9. SoCalRich

    SoCalRich Well-Known Member

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    ok... Thanks Caleb... I got it now.. I think... :)
     
  10. b08rsa

    b08rsa Member

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    I would much rather have a high optical zoom instead og digital. In digital the photo can get real grainy. That is only my opinion.
     
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