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Old Sep 10, 2004, 4:13 AM   #1
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Mostly relevant for 5MP/3x optical zoom models. Tried on my W1.

Sony's so called "precision digital zoom" does in fact come in handy, as I found out.

Whereas the "smart zoom" feature really does the job by accounting for unused pixels on the CCD when capturing images at lower resolutions (although it doesnt compare to real optical zoom), the "precision zoom" is the regular technique as used by any digital camera with digital zoom.

After making a few comparisons of 5MP images captured with the precision digital zoom and without, and then enlarging the images taken without the digital zoom in Photoshop using the bicubic algorithm, I found out the results with the precision digital zoom are quite notably better and more detailed.

The reason is probably that the interpolation takes place in-camera with the raw CCD data before being compressed to JPEG (computer software would have to use the compressed data).

To sum it up, if you're using maximum image size (5MP) and need more than the maximal x3 optical zoom, using the "precision zoom" to a certain extent (preferably not the maximal x2, but somewhere up to x1.5) will give a much better result than you would get using your software afterwards. For 4x6 purposes it will yield excellent results. If you want to get a similar zoom (x6) with the "smart zoom" feature you'll need to lower down the resolution to 1.2MP which is not dense enough for 4x6 prints.

Your inquiries are welcome.

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