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Just Say No – To Digital Zoom

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Photo by Scott Bourne

Photo by Scott Bourne

I know your fancy camcorder comes with a one to 12 kabillion mm zoom, but don’t be fooled.

As impressive as that monster digital zoom sounds, it comes with a price – very poor image quality. Now I know what you’re thinking…”But Scott, MY camera’s digital zoom is better than all the others. Heck I paid a grand for this thing.”

(Insert buzzer sound here.)

Sorry, there is no such thing as a good digital zoom – not on $1000 video cameras, $2000 video cameras or even $10,000 video cameras.

A digital zoom crops your image and magnifies the remaining pixels the same way you would blow up something in a photo or video editing program. The result simply always, always, always looks horrible.

Instead, concentrate on using your optical zoom. This zoom does not lose image quality. If you have a 10x optical zoom, you can shoot most typical scenes just fine. If you need more zoom than your camera’s optical zoom can provide, use that high-tech pair of legs you got and walk closer to the subject. Whatever you do, turn off the digital zoom feature in your camcorder.

Written by scottbourne

November 24, 2008 at 7:54 am

Posted in Articles

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