Optical vs Digital zoom
Optical zoom and digital zoom are two concepts involved in photography and videography. These two concepts must be understood clearly to be a good photographer or a videographer. The optical and digital zoom of a camera greatly affect the quality of the photograph. It is vital to know when and how to use these options in order to produce the desired and best quality image or video. A good photographer is always in control of his photographs. To master the art of photography, a good understanding of the concepts of optical zoom and digital zoom are essential and vital. In this article, we are going to discuss what optical zoom and digital zoom are, methods and techniques of obtaining digital and optical zoom and their differences.
In photography, the photographer is constantly exposed to conditions where he must take the photograph standing very far from the subject. It can be a wildlife scene, a far away waterfall that is impossible to get near or even a shot where the subject will be disturbed by the presence of the photographer. A zooming method is required for the photographer to take snapshot with enough details on it. All cameras use a set of lenses to control the light that falls on the sensor or the film. In some cameras, there is a mechanism to adjust the set of lenses so that a far away object can be zoomed in and a good photograph can be taken. Some cases may require the photo to be in wide angle, in that case, the system can be zoomed out to fit in the image. This method of zooming in and out using mechanical methods to move the lenses is called optical zooming. Normally, in a camera, a zoom button has two ends; w and t. w stands for wide angle and t stands for telephoto. It must be noticed that when an image is zoomed in and out from the normal position of the lens, the image appears distorted. The center part or the outer parts depending on the zoom setting is stretched. However, optical zoom does not have much of an impact on image quality.
Digital zoom is completely based on software. It does not require any movement of optical elements whatsoever. In the digital zooming process, the camera crops a part of the image then interpolate the nearby pixels using inbuilt software. One may think this is equal to cropping the image in computer software. But, the camera can match the colors of the nearby pixels to approximate the reduced quality of the image. Unlike optical zoom, there is no distortion in the image due to digital zooming.
What is the difference between Digital Zoom and Optical Zoom?
¤ Digital zoom uses only a software process, while optical zoom uses a hardware process to zoom image.
¤ Digital zoom have a huge impact on the image quality, while optical zoom causes almost no quality loss.
¤ Optical zoom is available in both digital and film cameras, while digital zoom is available only on digital cameras.
¤ Optical zoom is highly expensive than digital zoom.