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Old Dec 17, 2002, 7:47 PM   #1
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Default Digital Zoom

I have an S230. Has anybody tried printing pics taken with the digital zoom. Do you lose an absurd amount of quality. Assuming I know I would only want a 4X6, is there a safe amount of digital zoom to be used or does it really just sacrifice too much quality? Thanks!
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Old Dec 18, 2002, 2:32 AM   #2
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It depends on the steps of the digital zoom in your digicam. I.e I can use up to 1.4X digital zoom on my CP5700 - then I think the quality lacks too much.
But I really never use the DZ - you can as well do it on you PC.
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Old Dec 18, 2002, 8:24 AM   #3
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I switched the digital zoom of on my CP4500 and other than one (disapointing) experiment I've left it that way.

As Klaus mentions you can get a reasonable degree of zoom out of something like Photoshop. I did a (roughly) 4 x zoom one time on a photograph of a Badger (see web site) and it was still ok.
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Old Dec 18, 2002, 10:03 PM   #4
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A newbie would like to know:

Under what circumstances might the use of digital zoom (in the camera) be of value, as compared to doing the equivalent - crop and resize operation in an image editing program - post shooting.

I apologize if this post should rather be placed in the Newbie Help forum.
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Old Dec 18, 2002, 10:17 PM   #5
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A digital zoom might help focus in some odd situations. Also, if you are using auto white balance, it will balance on the cropped area alone with digital zoom. Same for using auto exposure in some situations.

I think it is rare when those will be a real advantage. If you are in that situation, and have enough experience to recognize it, you should also have enough experience to be able to use the camera settings to deal with it.

In other words, digital zoom has no advantage for a beginner because he doesn't know how to use it. Digital zoom has no advantage for an advanced user because he knows how to deal with the problem without it.

The only real advantage that I know of for digital zoom is to the seller of the camera, not to the user. DZ makes good advertising material.
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Old Dec 19, 2002, 9:55 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jawz
A newbie would like to know:

Under what circumstances might the use of digital zoom (in the camera) be of value, as compared to doing the equivalent - crop and resize operation in an image editing program - post shooting.
The only time I've found this extremely useful is when I needed to read and document a license plate on a car that was too far away to take a legible pic without it. You may have a similar situation that arises where resolution isn't critical.
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Old Dec 19, 2002, 8:31 PM   #7
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Thanks for the insight.
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Old Dec 20, 2002, 12:27 PM   #8
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In many digicams, digital zoom is not available at the highest resolution, only in the lower resolutions. If, for example, you have 2X digital zoom only at 1 megapixel resolution, but your camera is a 2 megapixel, the digital zoom gives you no better zoom power then you had without it at 2 MP. If you take the same shot with each and place both pics side-by-side (displayed at 100% original size for each) on your monitor, it will be obvious. In fact you should be able to resample the 2MP at 2x in post-processing and get a larger view of the subject.
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Old Dec 20, 2002, 12:46 PM   #9
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The only time I use DZ is when I'm lazy and just want a batch of prints quickly, straight from cam to online printing at 6X41/2. without editing.
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Old Dec 23, 2002, 12:24 AM   #10
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Default Re: Digital Zoom

When you use digital zoom in camera, you have actually already enlarged the original picture -- hence lost some quality. When you then take that picture into your image editing software and crop and enlarge it again, you lose further quality, hence probably what you are experiencing.

When comparing cameras, always use the optical zoom. Digital zoom can always be achieved afterwards in the supplied image editing software (very easy to crop and enlarge back to 4x6 in.).

<rant>It's just unconsionable (did I get this word right?) how digital camera manufacturers are increasingly emphasizing the total zoom (i.e. optical + digital) when advertising their cameras. The unawares are easily taken in by this kind of (verging on the unethical) marketing fluff. </rant>
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