What is the difference between optical zoom and digital zoom?

Zoom is the most used function of a digital cameras used to capture the picture seem more close-up. Majorly these are classified into two types. One is Optical Zoom and the other one is Digital Zoom. Sometimes we get confused, which zoom to consider while buying a camera or cam coder. Therefore it is important to know the difference between optical zoom and digital zoom.

Let us see what the differences between Optical Zoom and Digital Zoom.

difference between optical zoom and digital zoomPicture courtesy:  LifeHack.org

Optical Zoom:
Optical zoom is a variable focal length lens. If you notice any DSLR Supported lenses, you will get to see the zoom capacity printed of the lens. Eg: 18 x 55 mm or 55 x 250 mm etc. This simply means that the lens has an optical zooming capacity up-to certain extent (which is measured in mm).

Optical zoom helps capturing the subject without us physically moving near the subject. Different types of lenses are used to perform this zoom.

One important characteristic of this zoom feature is, It doesn’t affect the quality of your pictures captured. It functions similar to binoculars.

There are certain fixed focal length lenses such as 50mm, 35mm or 85mm which do not have zooming option.

Digital Zoom:

Digital zoom only changes the presentation of the existing picture. Zoom is performed after taking the picture to view it more closely.

Digital zoom is the feature that comes in most of the digital cameras; this does nothing but enlarges the picture where you want to zoom. This makes picture a bit blurrish or unclear and pixels get stretched.

Which Zoom is more important? Digital Zoom or Optical Zoom?

It is clear that Optical Zoom capacity of the Cameras is more important than Digital Zoom capacity as it matters too much to capture good quality image. Digital zoom has less importance because images can now be nicely viewed in the advanced devices like laptop, smart phone or a desktop computer.

We will be happy to hear your thoughts

Leave a Reply