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Old Jan 18, 2007, 9:25 AM   #1
lmn927's Avatar
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The H5 has a 2x digital zoom and the Canon S3 has a 4x digital zoom. How much of a difference does that 4x zoom make?
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Old Jan 18, 2007, 2:06 PM   #2
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Ignore the digital (precision) zoom.

The standard digital zoom is pointless, it degrades the picture.

Basically the centre of the image is cropped out and then increased back up to whatever the resolution the camera is set to.

Since the cropped part has less pixels than the full area, the "space" is filled with false pixels, calculated by comparing the adjacent pixels and guessing what should go into the space.

The H5 also has a "smart" zoom.

You set the camera to a lower resolution, ie 3mp or 5mp etc , the camera uses the full resolution and crops the centre out to correspond to the lower resolution as you zoom in, as a result the "zoom" is increased , or at least appears to as the cropped picture fills the screen.

Since the resultant pixels are real, and no pixels are made up the result is much better than traditional zoom though obviously the picture has less pixels and lower resolution so can be used for smaller prints and less cropping in post processing can be done without losing too many pixels.

However if you were to take the picture at full resolution , import into an editor and then simply crop the centre out, you would get the same result..

The only real difference is when the camera does the cropping it crops the straight digital data and then saves as a jpeg.

Doing the editing yourself would involve editing an image which is already a jpeg ie compressed and then saving it, so if it was resaved as a jpeg even more quality would be lost.

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