Monday, 14 December 2009

Optical and Digital Zoom

There are two reasons why I want to show you these photos that I took yesterday on Morecambe promenade. The first reason is that I want to write a blog about the use of zoom. The photo on the left is ten times larger than the photo on the right. I set the camera to take this photo and then zoomed out for the photo on the right.

Optical zoom is when you use the optics of the camera to enlarge part of the screen. It brings the object of the photo closer to you and this is what I have done on the left with my compact camera which has a 10x optical zoom. Technically the camera has increased the focal length of the lens by increasing the distance from the lens to the sensor. Sometimes you can see this because the lens moves. Sometimes you can't. Now look at the difference between the two photos and it is truly amazing what you can do with common technology. You may also have heard of digital zoom which is not really zoom at all. It is just an enlargement of part of your photo.

If you have digital zoom then the camera will crop the photo for you. It looks like the photo has enlarged but basically you have the same quality of photo. The next time you want to buy a camera and you are considering zoom, just look for the optical zoom and forget digital. It will make your choice a little easier.

The second reason? It is to show you what a nice day we had in Morecambe. You can see some ice on the floor but it was the 13th December. The weather is often very nice here in Morecambe but at the same time you can see the clouds in the Lake District.

Happy snapping

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