12th Sep 2004

Optical & Digital Zoom Lenses

Optical Zoom

Most cameras sold have a optical zoom lens, these vary on there power generally with ratios of 2,3,4,5,6,8,10 times. Some cameras allow you to purchase additional lenses. With a optical zoom lens the focal length can be adjusted, The advantage is obvious. When using a camera with a fixed focal length lens a photographer has to change location in order to get a different picture of the same subject.

However the same affect can be achieved with a Zoom lens by simply changing the focal length on the camera, depending on whether the focal length is shorted or length the subject appears to move either closer or farther away.

Digital Zoom

Many cameras even those which have optical zoom lenses have the addition of digital zoom lenses. A digital zoom is no compromise for a optical zoom.

Digital zooms simply enlarges electronically the centre part of the image (resulting in a loss of detail). This is something that you can do at anytime on you PC Cameras that have a optical & digital zooms use the optical zoom first then the digital, they usually indicate when they are using the digital part and it is worth noting that the digital part of the zoom can be switched off from the cameras menu.

The LCD finder will need to be used when using digital zooms as the optical finder will not display the image past the optical range

Macro Mode

Many digital cameras features a macro mode that allows you to get close to you subjects
This is great for both getting that super close up and also exploring the world from a new perspective. The closest focussing distance will vary from camera to camera so be sure to check the cameras minimum focussing distance when buying

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