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Old Apr 23, 2009, 1:48 PM   #1
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Join Date: Aug 2006
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I have a Canon A590IS.

I am a little confused about the Optical and Digital Zoom options.

I have always heard that Optical zoom is the best zoom to use. However, when you use Digital zoom there is a a decline in the image quality.

If this is so, why would I consider using Digital Zoom? Anyone have any examples that they used it for?

To further complicate my understanding of digital zoom, this camera also has both Digital Zoom and Digital Tele-Converter Zoom. Again what is the difference here and any examples?

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Old Apr 23, 2009, 5:27 PM   #2
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As I understand it, Digital Tele-Converter Zoom applies a standard amount of digital zoom to all photos. It has the same effect as putting say a 1.5 or 2.0 teleconverter on the lens.

If you use 2X digital zoom on your 8Mp camera you use only 2Mp of the sensor. Many cameras upsample the photo back to 8Mp, but it still has the same resolution as a 2Mp shot. You can accomplish the same thing by cropping the shot yourself and resampling back to the original size. If you use 4X digital zoom you are down to 0.5Mp, which is less than most cheap cellphone cameras.

Digital zoom, regardless of how they package it, is best left unused. Some people claim that digital zoom is slightly better than just cropping out the middle of the shot and blowing it back up. They claim you are resampling compression artifacts, but I've compared the two and with high quality camera JPG compression I can't see any difference.

If you normally just take what comes from the camera, you can consider digital zoom cropping to properly frame the shot. The end result is the same.But keep in mind that the quality isn't going to be as good as using only optical zoom.

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