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Old Dec 4, 2007, 12:17 AM   #1
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Are all cameras able to use extended zoom-lowering the pixel count etc.-or just certain ones? Why or why not?

Thanks.
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Old Dec 4, 2007, 7:20 AM   #2
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Do you mean Digital Zoom?

Digital Zoom is just cropping an image to make it look like you used more optical zoom. IOW, it leaves the desired portion in the middle and discards the outside edges, just like you can do with an image editor later.

Some models have a digital zoom mode that only crops (which results in a lower resolution image). Some models will crop and inteprolate (add pixels that were not captured by the camera to enlarge the lower resolution cropped image back to the normal size generated by the camera).

Here's a page showing examples:

http://www.cambridgeincolour.com/tut...m#digital-zoom

I leave it disabled on cameras that have it, so that I don't accidently use it and degrade image quality.
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Old Dec 4, 2007, 7:48 AM   #3
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JimC,

Thanks for your reply. I meant Optical Zoom. Some cameras (I think Sony H series) and maybe Nikon and Canon say you can manually change the pixel count you use to a lower figure and increase the zoom to longer amount. Example-10X or 12X zoom at full pixel count of say 8MP-12MP-if you change to use only say 3MP then you will change zoom to say 16X-18X. I understood this to be NOT digital zoom.

Your further answer will be appreciated. Thanks JimC.
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Old Dec 4, 2007, 7:53 AM   #4
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JimC,

Me again! I looked up Sony specs on your site. Sony calls it Smart Zoom. Can you see the specs under that name please?

I might be misinterpreting it!

Thanks very much.

pics.
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Old Dec 4, 2007, 7:54 AM   #5
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Those modes are cropping without enlarging. That's why they only give you lower resolution images. If you shoot in a higher resolution mode, you can do the same thing with an image editor later (just crop the photo to leave the desired portion in the center and discard the rest).

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Old Dec 4, 2007, 8:06 AM   #6
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If I understand this correctly, the Smart Zoom would still give a larger or better picture than digital zoom?

Last question Jim. Thanks you again.

pics.
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Old Dec 4, 2007, 8:14 AM   #7
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It won't be degraded by interpolation (since it's only cropped and not cropped and enlarged).

But, these types of Smart Zoom features are not going to give you anything you can't get by cropping with an editor later, other than your subject will occupy more of the viewfinder image.

Also, with an editor, you have more control than you may trying to get good framing in a split second trying to use digital zoom. So, you can probably do a better job cropping for composition later with an editor.

But, digital zoom or cropping are not substitutes for more optical zoom. If you want your subject to fill more of the frame, with more pixels representing your subject for more detail, you need optical zoom, not digital zoom or cropping.

So, keep needed viewing and print sizes in mind when doing either one.


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Old Dec 4, 2007, 8:53 AM   #8
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JimC,

Got it (finally). Thanks very much for your patience and help.

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