Is digital zoom a worthless gimmick?

Started Jul 25, 2013 | Discussions
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wymjym Veteran Member • Posts: 5,474
Re: Is digital zoom a worthless gimmick?

Futax wrote:

 A real TC won't affect the shake issue either (assuming it hasn't affected aperture value or light transmission), you just need to trade off the resolution/noise advantage versus image degradation due to optical limitations.

Paul Till makes a good point that digital zoom can help getting the correct focus. However, it can also work against getting the right composition, if the image on the screen or in the viewfinder is bouncing around a bit. In these situations cropping allows you to get the best composition at your leisure.

In conclusion, I don't think there's much to choose between digital zoom or cropping, really. But if you're using digital zoom and finding it difficult to keep the camera steady enough to get the right composition, don't be afraid to use the cropping route...

A 'real' tc will always add (numerically) to the aperture value and light transmission.

the bouncing syndrome might be considered a visual warning to the user, showing that in fact..they are not supporting the camera as well as needed, thus adding unwanted motion blur.

wj

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nikonfujipentaxandricoh

Futax Regular Member • Posts: 379
Re: Is digital zoom a worthless gimmick?

wymjym wrote:

Futax wrote:

A real TC won't affect the shake issue either (assuming it hasn't affected aperture value or light transmission), you just need to trade off the resolution/noise advantage versus image degradation due to optical limitations.

Paul Till makes a good point that digital zoom can help getting the correct focus. However, it can also work against getting the right composition, if the image on the screen or in the viewfinder is bouncing around a bit. In these situations cropping allows you to get the best composition at your leisure.

In conclusion, I don't think there's much to choose between digital zoom or cropping, really. But if you're using digital zoom and finding it difficult to keep the camera steady enough to get the right composition, don't be afraid to use the cropping route...

A 'real' tc will always add (numerically) to the aperture value and light transmission.

the bouncing syndrome might be considered a visual warning to the user, showing that in fact..they are not supporting the camera as well as needed, thus adding unwanted motion blur.

wj

-- hide signature --

nikonfujipentaxandricoh

Well, the sort of teleconverter which screws onto the front end of the camera lens won't affect aperture value (i.e. f-stop), but there may be a very small loss of light through the extra glass.

The sort of teleconverter which you'd normally use with an SLR attaches to the camera end of the lens, and does indeed affect f-stop.  In fact, a 2x TC multiplies the f-stop by 2, so f4 becomes f8.  Not very nice!

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wymjym Veteran Member • Posts: 5,474
Re: Is digital zoom a worthless gimmick?

Futax wrote:

wymjym wrote:

Futax wrote:

A real TC won't affect the shake issue either (assuming it hasn't affected aperture value or light transmission), you just need to trade off the resolution/noise advantage versus image degradation due to optical limitations.

Paul Till makes a good point that digital zoom can help getting the correct focus. However, it can also work against getting the right composition, if the image on the screen or in the viewfinder is bouncing around a bit. In these situations cropping allows you to get the best composition at your leisure.

In conclusion, I don't think there's much to choose between digital zoom or cropping, really. But if you're using digital zoom and finding it difficult to keep the camera steady enough to get the right composition, don't be afraid to use the cropping route...

A 'real' tc will always add (numerically) to the aperture value and light transmission.

the bouncing syndrome might be considered a visual warning to the user, showing that in fact..they are not supporting the camera as well as needed, thus adding unwanted motion blur.

wj

-- hide signature --

nikonfujipentaxandricoh

Well, the sort of teleconverter which screws onto the front end of the camera lens won't affect aperture value (i.e. f-stop), but there may be a very small loss of light through the extra glass.

The sort of teleconverter which you'd normally use with an SLR attaches to the camera end of the lens, and does indeed affect f-stop. In fact, a 2x TC multiplies the f-stop by 2, so f4 becomes f8. Not very nice!

sorry, my bad...didn't consider a front screw on unit.......

wj

-- hide signature --

nikonfujipentaxandricoh

Futax Regular Member • Posts: 379
Re: Is digital zoom a worthless gimmick?

wymjym wrote:

Futax wrote:

wymjym wrote:

Futax wrote:

A real TC won't affect the shake issue either (assuming it hasn't affected aperture value or light transmission), you just need to trade off the resolution/noise advantage versus image degradation due to optical limitations.

Paul Till makes a good point that digital zoom can help getting the correct focus. However, it can also work against getting the right composition, if the image on the screen or in the viewfinder is bouncing around a bit. In these situations cropping allows you to get the best composition at your leisure.

In conclusion, I don't think there's much to choose between digital zoom or cropping, really. But if you're using digital zoom and finding it difficult to keep the camera steady enough to get the right composition, don't be afraid to use the cropping route...

A 'real' tc will always add (numerically) to the aperture value and light transmission.

the bouncing syndrome might be considered a visual warning to the user, showing that in fact..they are not supporting the camera as well as needed, thus adding unwanted motion blur.

wj

-- hide signature --

nikonfujipentaxandricoh

Well, the sort of teleconverter which screws onto the front end of the camera lens won't affect aperture value (i.e. f-stop), but there may be a very small loss of light through the extra glass.

The sort of teleconverter which you'd normally use with an SLR attaches to the camera end of the lens, and does indeed affect f-stop. In fact, a 2x TC multiplies the f-stop by 2, so f4 becomes f8. Not very nice!

sorry, my bad...didn't consider a front screw on unit.......

wj

-- hide signature --

nikonfujipentaxandricoh

No worries!

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bssfujifan OP Forum Member • Posts: 88
Re: Is digital zoom a worthless gimmick?

I'm glad my question has prompted so many informative responses. Thank you all.

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Nukunukoo
Nukunukoo Regular Member • Posts: 358
Re: Is digital zoom a worthless gimmick?

Yes

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herbiecook Regular Member • Posts: 494
Re: Is digital zoom a worthless gimmick?

I have used it many times.  My Fn button is programed with it.  Note: At my age when I am using max telephoto and digital zoom, I use a tripod or some type of support.

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CAcreeks
CAcreeks Veteran Member • Posts: 8,929
Usually I am surprised by results

Whenever someone posts a "digital zoom" example on this forum, I am always surprised by quality of the results. Expected worse.

Let's just say it is a lot more useful than many other features on current cameras, such as artsy-fartsy filters.

Fazal Majid
Fazal Majid Senior Member • Posts: 1,025
No, it's a deceptive marketing scam

Worthless means 0 value, when in reality that "feature" has negative value. It's deceptive marketing and should really be banned by truth-in-advertising laws.

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Fazal Majid (www.majid.info)

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Futax Regular Member • Posts: 379
Re: No, it's a deceptive marketing scam

Fazal Majid wrote:

Worthless means 0 value, when in reality that "feature" has negative value. It's deceptive marketing and should really be banned by truth-in-advertising laws.

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Fazal Majid (www.majid.info)

You're probably right, it'll pull the wool over the eyes of a lot of punters out there. But don't forget those same punters are just the sort of users who wouldn't even think of cropping their images to achieve the same results. So they'd be getting something from the camera that they otherwise wouldn't have.

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Peter Piper New Member • Posts: 10
Re: Usually I am surprised by results

CAcreeks wrote:

Whenever someone posts a "digital zoom" example on this forum, I am always surprised by quality of the results. Expected worse.

Let's just say it is a lot more useful than many other features on current cameras, such as artsy-fartsy filters.

I'm not a huge fan of it...

Full optical, EZ and digital zoom. (Cropped)

Jerry Mucci Regular Member • Posts: 334
Re: Is digital zoom a worthless gimmick?

"Pointless" for Joms, perhaps. But not for a lot of users. We need to try to look at things beyond our own narrow perspective. Professional movie reviewers tend to do the same thing. The audiences often enjoy movies the professional viewers pan, perhaps because jaded reviewers are easily bored or expect too much. The highly practiced photographer often pan camera features that are enjoyed by those less practiced than they.  I'm not surprised if auto focus is panned by some purists as a pointless feature that detracts from creativity.

CAcreeks
CAcreeks Veteran Member • Posts: 8,929
Re: Usually I am surprised by results

All you have to do is replace the sky with a gradient and you have a totally usable image, with legible markings on the helicopter.

you rewrote the JPEG so your example was unfair

Peter Piper wrote:

I'm not a huge fan of it...

Full optical, EZ and digital zoom. (Cropped)

chai1491 Junior Member • Posts: 40
Re: Is digital zoom a worthless gimmick?

i use digital zoom for viewing only,not for photo.

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Bill Donnell Contributing Member • Posts: 727
Re: Is digital zoom a worthless gimmick?
2

I take a lot of travel photos. I do not post process unless I have to. I am satisfied with a pleasing picture I can view on my computer or occasional 8x10 prints max. I am not a pixel peeper.

Regarding digital zoom. I use it often when the subject it too far away for the shot I want. My X20 only has a 4X zoom. Intelligent zoom gives me 8X and no need to crop in post processing and much, better exposure in many cases. Here are two examples. One shot normal and one shot with intelligent zoom. My focus was on the hedge and and porch behind it. Just went outside after reading these posts and took these examples.

In the first shot (digital zoom). The hedge and porch was better exposed because the camera exposed for my area of interest without being effected by surroundings I did not want.

The second shot (normal) is under exposed for my area of interest (porch & hedge) because the surroundings that I did not want were in the frame and effect the exposure.

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Bill Donnell Contributing Member • Posts: 727
Second Shot without Digital

No text.

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