Clarity is one of the most important aspects in photography. The more clarity you have in your image, the larger the printed area can be without the image appearing fuzzy or blur. I shall share with you a very simple tip on how to improve the clarity of your images, simply by understanding what the terms “optical zoom” and ”digital” mean.
Optical Zoom vs Digital Zoom
If you have used a film camera previously, you will be used to optical zoom. Optical zoom uses the optics of the camera (the lens) to bring the subject closer. In simple terms, optical zoom is achieved by zooming the lens to focus on the subject. Digital zoom is different. Digital zoom uses software to digitally enlarge and enhance a portion of the image. The effect is similar to that achieved through optical zoom.
But it is definitely not the same. Optical zoom is better. As a photographer, you should focus on using optical zoom and not digital zoom. By doing that, the clarity of your images will be improved. Why is that so?
This is because digital zoom does not perform like optical zoom; it simply enlarges the image or a section of the image. In the process of enlarging the image, image quality is sacrificed. Hence photographs that have been taken with digital zoom will not have as good clarity as those taken without.
To achieve the effect of digital zoom, you can achieve the same result using any digital image editing software on your computer or laptop. You just have to select a portion of the image and zoom in so that the selected area fills the whole window. By using digital imaging, you can choose exactly which areas of the image to enlarge, or show, and the magnitude of magnification even. As you can see, you do not need to do that on your digital camera really! It not only consumes time to focus, it also results in a waste of your batteries working the zoom motor.
Using Optical Zoom to Improve Image Clarity
Here then is my simple tip to you: when taking photographs, use optical zoom only. If you need to zoom in further on the details, take the shot first and then use your digital imaging software to crop out the best part of the image to keep. Some digital cameras, especially the new models, have this capability whereby the camera warns you when it is switching from optical zoom to digital zoom. If it permits, set your settings to disable the digital zoom totally.
The author is an avid photographer who recently upgraded from a point-and-shoot digital camera to a digital single-lens reflex camera. Needless to say, it cost him a bomb and burnt a big hole in his pocket. He has caught the "buy-and-buy" virus and he has burnt another hole in his pocket for some new glass but he thinks it is worth it.
His personal blog can be found at http://mazatello.blogspot.com
His website which recommends the best buys on the internet can be found at http://www.ebayholic.info.com