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.

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So what are the pros and cons of each?

Optical Zoom

Pros

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

Cons

  • More expensive
  • Adds weight to the camera

Digital Zoom

Pros

  • Cheap
  • Adds no weight or bulk to camera

Cons

  • 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

Conclusion

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