Camera Showdown: Optical Zoom vs. Digital Zoom
|Takes high-quality pictures at a distance||Zooming decreases picture quality|
|Magnifies the image||Enlarges the pixels|
|Zooming has no effect on the resolution||Zooming decreases the resolution|
Advantages of Optical Zoom
- High-quality images - Optical zoom maintains the quality and sharpness of the image as you increase the size of the subject matter.
- Increased magnification - Zooming with an optical zoom lens brings you closer to the subject instead of increasing the size of the pixels.
- Better resolution - The resolution of the image stays the same when you use optical zoom.
Limitations of Optical Zoom
- Expensive - Optical zoom is more costly because it offers true magnification instead of increasing pixel size like a digital zoom lens.
- Bulky - An optical zoom camera requires a lens that extends from the camera body, increasing the overall size of the camera.
- Fragile - Cameras with this feature contain many small pieces of glass, tiny motors and little screws, making the lens less durable.
Advantages of Digital Zoom
- Less expensive - The overall cost of a camera with digital zoom is usually less expensive than a camera with optical zoom.
- Distance - Digital zoom allows you to get closer to your subject by cropping the image and enlarging that area.
- Durability - Since the camera has fewer parts and less glass, it's durable and can handle more roughhousing.
Limitations of Digital Zoom
- Lesser quality - Once you start to increase your zoom, you'll notice a decrease in the quality of the picture. Instead of magnifying, digital zoom simply crops the original image.
- Distorted images - Quality is reduced in comparison to the original image because digital zoom crops and enlarges a portion of an image, resulting in a slightly distorted image.