Compare cameras and learn about photography

What is the difference between digital and optical zoom?

Optical zoom is a “true” ¬†zoom, like you would get on a film camera. It means that the lens extends and the optics within the camera zoom in on the scene.

Digital zoom is a “crop” zoom. The camera enlarges the center of the frame and clips away the edges. You could get the same result by cropping the image on your computer and enlarging it.


So what are the pros and cons of each?

Optical Zoom


  • Image quality is maintained even when zoomed in
  • Zooming in changes the perspective of the image


  • More expensive
  • Adds weight to the camera

Digital Zoom


  • Cheap
  • Adds no weight or bulk to camera


  • Reduces image quality by literally cropping away some of your megapixel rating
  • Could just as easily be done on a computer later if needed
  • Artificial


So the bottom line is that optical zoom is the one to look for! If you are looking for a camera with a great optical zoom, check out the Samsung WB250F which comes with a massive 18x optical zoom