by Ryan Douglas
Did you get a new digital camera for Christmas? If so, please do yourself a favor and immediately turn off the digital zoom option in the menu.
Zoom is useful in framing and composing photos and allowing photographers to capture images that would be impossible to obtain if they had to get closer. That said, many consumers are completely unaware of the difference between optical zoom and digital zoom. It is not complicated, and with a little knowledge you can save yourself from the future frustration of low quality images.
Digital zoom is a fairly recent invention added to many consumer digital cameras. This technology creates an artificial zoom by adding pixels to the image. This made up visual information usually creates pixelated or blurry results. If left on, digital zoom information will be permanently added to your image, leaving the quality permanently compromised.
Optical zoom uses only the glass lenses of the camera to bring the subject of the photograph closer. This means that with optical zoom the image quality should be as the same as if there was no zoom being used at all. This is not a new technology and glass optic magnification goes back to Galileo’s telescope.
If using optical zoom, and further “zooming” is desired, you always have the option to crop and resize in your image editing software on the computer.
Wishing you the best photo quality in this new year!