Visibly beating Clear Image Zoom (for Elliott)

Started Dec 21, 2013 | Discussions thread
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Visibly beating Clear Image Zoom (for Elliott)
Dec 21, 2013

The consensus seems to be that Sony's CIZ does a surprisingly good job for what it is (basically a more sophistcated digital zoom). I had no problem believing that but being a bit lazy to do anything more meaningful today, I decided to test this. Especially for Elliot who I remember saying somewhere that he hasn't seen anyone actually improving on CIZ by more than 5-10%, thus making it as easy and fast winner, making RAW and upscaling not worth the hassle for this purpose.

So here's my take. While still not looking great at 100% (there is no real magic inventing new pixels) I think it looks more than 5-10% better than the CIZ, I'd say 30-40%:)

Shot in good light at base ISO, trying to eliminate as much as possible the advantage one can get from RAW, making it more of an upscaling vs CIZ exercise. It has straight lines, some foliage and some texture (stone wall). The first one is the 200mm eq CIZ straight out of the camera, only rotated in photoshop and saved at max quality (12). The second is the RAW conversion of the full 100mm optical tele shot, cropped to match the CIZ frame and then upscaled and saved again at max quality. Basically focused on detail/noise, didnt do anything else like highlights etc. In my view, while of course still very soft compared to a native file, it looks quite a bit less of a "magnification" compared to the CIZ and it's visibly better in all areas.

You can also find the original optical 100mm eq jpeg (shot in RAW+jpeg) in my gallery, again only rotated.

What do you guys think? I think I'll keep shooting RAW+jpeg as I always did, but I perfectly understand people who are not RAW-hobbyists and thus are very well served by the CIZ.

Clear Image Zoom at 200mm equivalent

RAW at 100mm equivalent, worked, cropped and upscaled to match the CIZ output

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