Optical Zoom vs. Digital Zoom
There are 2 different types of zoom:
- Useless zoom – also known as digital zoom
- Useful zoom – also known as optical zoom
Digital Zoom – Useless Zoom
Digital zoom takes the image already captured and magnifies it. The pixels are enlarged resulting in a reduced resolution. I’m sure you’ve seen this with images you’ve taken – when blown up it looks blurry or fuzzy. This is the useless zoom as you reduce the resolution.
Optical Zoom – Useful Zoom
Optical zoom on the other hand enlarges the image before it gets to the image sensor meaning the full resolution captures the area of the image you are interested in.
An example to illustrate using the promotional die cast car from the Toyota/Save Mart 350 at Sonoma Raceway in 2016:
|Original Image||Digital Zoom||Optical Zoom|
|Original Image||Useless Zoom||Useful Zoom|
Make sure your zoom is the useful zoom
Optical zoom is the only way forward