Sony In-Camera Extended Zoom Types Explained (Jpeg Only)

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elliottnewcomb Forum Pro • Posts: 16,650
Sony In-Camera Extended Zoom Types Explained (Jpeg Only)
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In-Camera Extended Zoom Types Explained

(Jpeg Only) ....... please don’t have the RAW vs Jpeg discussion here. ......

examples are based on rx100m6 (see VII. for all other RX models)

..........................................

CONDENSED VERSION

OZ (Optical Zoom) … SZ (Smart Zoom) … CIZ (Clear Image Zoom) … DZ (Digital Zoom)

x Factors: (OZ = 1.0x) (SZ @ 10mp = 1.4x; @ 5mp = 2.0x) (CIZ @ 20mp = 2.0x; @ 10mp = 2.8x; @ 5mp = 4.0x)

EXTENDED Focal Length = Optical Focal Length … multiplied by … Sony x Factor (i.e. 200mm x 1.4x = 280mm)

EXIF Digital Zoom Line (exact) is the Same as Sony’s ___x Factor (rounded). OZ is EXIF Digital Zoom: 1.

Exceeding OZ: a magnifying glass icon appears on the zoom bar with a number ( the x Factor) (the __x Factor increases as you keep zooming, i.e. 1.3x … 1.4x, … 2.8x … 4.0x). EXIF Digital Zoom Line Exceeds 1.

…………………………………….

All rx100’s and RX10’s have: OZ, SZ, CIZ, DZ.

Later models also have ST (Smart Telecon) which is a Method of Toggling SZ.

RX1’s have ST and CIZ. (ST via AEL button): Toggles Sensor Crops: 50mm; 70mm; back to 35mm. (CIZ via right rocker) zooms 1.1x to 2.0x = 36-70mm

……………………………………..

OUTLINE

I. Simple Definitions of OZ; SZ; ST; CIZ; DZ

II. Why Use Them? My Reasons.

III. Confusions

IV. Detailed Explanations of SZ AND CIZ

V. ST (Smart Telecon) a Method of SZ Toggle) (no CIZ using ST)

VI. EXIF and EXIF Deductive Math (diplomas will be given)

VII. ALL RX Models Extended Zoom Ranges

……………………………………………….

I. SIMPLE DEFINITIONS of OZ; SZ; ST; CIZ; DZ:

OZ = Optical Zoom

SZ = Smart Zoom = In-Camera Optical Sensor Crop, no digital processing. Only at 10mp or 5mp image sizes

ST = Smart Telecon = a method of Rapidly Toggling SZ. (No CIZ using ST). no digital processing.

CIZ = Clear Image Zoom = In-Camera Optical Sensor Crop and In-Camera Digital Processing (upscaling: inventing, guessing, creating new pixels digitally)

DZ = Digital Zoom. All Digital Processing. I never tried current DZ, Anyone???.

……………………………………………………..

II. WHY USE THEM? My reasons.

Lightweight Extra Zoom for:

Effortless; Occasional/Situational Use; Surprisingly Good (good enough for you?)

View/Focus/Meter while magnified. Discover something you were otherwise unaware of. You can combine extra zoom with focus magnification assist (very magnified). Magnification gives the ability to see your remote subject clearly, and, because so visible you can wait for something to finish the shot:

i.e. bird winks at you, lion lifts his head, croc swallows something, cloud moves, momentary stillness, wind blows a branch in or out of the way, truck making shadow/blocking ….. moves, a myriad of things not easily visible if viewing OZ shorter focal length, perhaps not ideal timing revealed in a post crop.

Both focus and metering automatically change to full screen area size. That seems a disadvantage, however you are zoomed in so much that full screen area size is perhaps smaller than spot area size from afar using OZ. Focus and Metering systems see only your magnified area.

ALL Extra Zoom retains/uses the camera’s aperture at the end of optical zoom. IF IQ good enough for you, the retained aperture can actually beat a longer optical lens that is darker/higher iso/noise/requires longer shutter speed/blur.

In all cases, zoom scales and icons appear on the LCD and EVF. In all cases, because they are progressive, you can leave them on and not use them, or, keep zooming a little, or a lot, as desired.

SZ and CIZ are far better than any past DZ you might have seen.

I always say, even RAW shooters: “At least try them so you know”. If interested: keep checking these features out on each new model/processor: CIZ upscaling algorithms progressively improve. In-camera processing power increases.

……………………………………………………..

III. CONFUSIONS

Is it Digital Zoom? OZ and SZ: No. CIZ: Partly. DZ: Totally

SZ or CIZ are often erroneously called Digital Zoom. This leads to misunderstandings.

Extra Zooms are entered/used Sequentially: OZ, then SZ automatically, then optionally CIZ or DZ with CIZ.

EXIF shows all extra zoom in a separate line: ‘Digital Zoom’ (Sony SZ, CIZ, DZ names are gone) (EXIF notes part VI)

SZ Automatically Occurs at 10mp or 5mp image sizes (no menu option)

CIZ or DZ are Optionally Engaged: CIZ without DZ, or DZ which also engages CIZ (CIZ occurs before DZ).

SZ and CIZ can be engaged together and will be entered/used progressively.

ST is a Method of using SZ, not a separate zoom type.

Extra Zoom Power, both SZ and CIZ Increases when you Decrease the Image Size

Jpeg Compression is Independent of OZ, SZ, CIZ. If using Jpeg Extra Fine, everything will be Extra Fine.

……………………………………………………..

IV. DETAILED EXPLANATIONS of SZ and CIZ

SZ Smart Zoom (medium 10mp and small 5mp image sizes only, no SZ at 20mp)

An optical in-camera sensor crop, with no other in-camera processing. It is the same as a crop you would make later in software. No extra pixels created. Crops have increasingly fewer pixels. An in-camera SZ crop, and a matching crop in your software will have the same # of pixels. Of course post crops can be of either Jpeg or RAW images.

SZ is Automatically Engaged (if/when you use 10mp or 5mp Image Sizes). There is no menu option. Watch the zoom bar/listen to the zoom motor, using 10mp or 5mp image size, after 200mm OZ a magnifier icon appears with a number i.e. 1.3x.

20mp image size: SZ: None. CIZ, if engaged, starts after the end of OZ

10mp image size: SZ range is 1.1x to 1.4x. (201-280mm max optical crop, no upscale),

5mp image size SZ range 1.1x to 2.0x (201-400mm max optical crop, no upscale).

…………………………………….

CIZ Clear Image Zoom (optional, you must turn it on in the menu) (always double the extra reach of SZ)

Two stages: In-Camera Optical Sensor Crop AND In-Camera Digital Processing (up-scaling, new pixels created. upscaled to the original Image size being used.

It is progressive: use it some, some new pixels are created. Use it more, more pixels are created.

A simplification: 20mp image size, full CIZ use for 400mm: stage one: optical sensor crop of 20mp image size. Let’s say that results in 10mp. Stage two: upscale, digitally guess and create 10mp new pixels to get back to full 20mp pixel count.

This is the part where improving algorithms play a part. And, improving processors need to be capable and quick.

It is the same as if you later made a matching crop from a 20mp optical shot, (now 10mp left), and then upscale digitally in your software, back to 20mp. Difference is: you did not see magnified when shooting, however you may prefer your software, and your computer’s processing. Of course post crops can be of either Jpeg or RAW images.

If you compare an in-camera CIZ to a post crop that has not been upscaled, the CIZ will have more pixels, the larger the crop, the larger the pixel difference is.

For me, this is where SZ and CIZ being EFFORTLESS begins and ends. Then, is it good enough?

……………………………………………………..

V. ST Smart Telecon = a method of Rapidly Toggling SZ as fixed steps, not progressive zoom. Image Sizes are also Toggled Automatically. Magnifier Icon with x Factor appears on lcd.

You Must Assign Smart Telecon to a Custom Key (button or rocker).

While shooting OZ 20mp Image Size:

1st press instantly jumps to SZ 1.4x (and changes to 10mp image size)

2nd press instantly jumps to SZ 2.0x (and changes to 5mp image size)

3rd press, jumps back to OZ 1.0x 20mp Image Size.

……………………………………………………..

VI. EXIF

SZ, CIZ, DZ: Sony’s Names Disappear in EXIF. EXIF calls them all ‘Digital Zoom’

EXIF has 3 lines for zoom information.

  1. Focal Length (actual lens focal length, irrespective of sensor size).
  2. 35mm Focal Length (equivalent to 35mm film/FF Sensor) (the crop factor math is calculated for you)
  3. Digital Zoom. ALL Optical Photos, show ‘Digital Zoom: 1 (which means no extra zoom used).

EXIF Digital Zoom: a # greater than 1 indicates the use of some type of extended zoom with any camera. Multiply the Digital Zoom # by the 35mm equivalent Focal Length i.e. 200mm x 1.3000 = 260mm (35mm equivalent).

EXIF Digital #s (exact) Correspond to Sony’s __x #s (rounded). i.e. Sony SZ 1.4x: EXIF # might be 1.43456

………………………..

EXIF DEDUCTIVE MATH (is this OZ, an OZ Crop, SZ or CIZ)?

If Digital Zoom 1. It is OZ or OZ Crop

If Digital Zoom greater than 1. It is SZ or CIZ. Which One? answer depends on the image size:

20mp image size: (no SZ at 20mp). CIZ from 1.1000 to 2.0000 = 201-400mm max

10mp image size: SZ first, 1.1000 to 1.4000 = 201-280mm max; then CIZ begins 1.4100 to 2.8000 = 281-560mm.

5mp image size: SZ first, 1.1000 to 2.000 = 201-400mm then CIZ begins 2.1000 to 4.000 = 401-800mm.

……………………………………………………..

VII. ALL RX MODELS EXTENDED ZOOM RANGES

Reminder: SZ = Optical Sensor Crop. CIZ = Optical Sensor Crop + Digital Upscaling

a. rx100m6 OZ 24-200mm (used in examples above) (RX10m1,2 are the same)

20 mp image size: OZ, then CIZ 1.1x to 2.0x: (201-400mm max CIZ) (no SZ at 20mp image size)

10mp image size: OZ, then SZ 1.1x to 1.4x (201-280mm max SZ) then CIZ 1.5x to 2.8x (281-560mm max CIZ)

5mp image size: OZ, then SZ 1.1x to 2.0x (201-400mm max SZ) then CIZ 2.1x to 4.0x (401-800mm max CIZ)

b. rx100m1,m2 OZ 28-100mm

20 mp image size: OZ, then CIZ 1.1x to 2.0x: (101-200mm max CIZ) (no SZ at 20mp image size)

10mp image size: OZ, then SZ 1.1x to 1.4x (101-140mm max SZ) then CIZ 1.5x to 2.8x (141-280mm max CIZ)

5mp image size: OZ, then SZ 1.1x to 2.0x (101-200mm max SZ) then CIZ 2.1x to 4.0x (201-400mm max CIZ)

b. rx100m3,4,5 OZ 24-70mm

20 mp image size: OZ, then CIZ 1.1x to 2.0x: (71-140mm max CIZ) (no SZ at 20mp image size)

10mp image size: OZ, then SZ 1.1x to 1.4x (71-100mm max SZ) then CIZ 1.5x to 2.8x (101-200mm max CIZ)

5mp image size: OZ, then SZ 1.1x to 2.0x (71-140mm max SZ) then CIZ 2.1x to 4.0x (141-280mm max CIZ)

c. RX10m1,m2: OZ 24-200mm = same range as rx100m6 #s above

d. RX10m4 OZ 24-600mm (get ready for some big numbers)

20 mp image size: OZ, then CIZ 1.1x to 2.0x: (601-1,200mm max CIZ) (no SZ at 20mp image size)

10mp image size: OZ, then SZ 1.1x to 1.4x (601-840mm max SZ) then CIZ 1.5x to 2.8x (841-1,680mm max CIZ)

5mp image size: OZ, then SZ 1.1x to 2.0x (601-1,200mm max SZ) then CIZ 2.1x to 4.0x (1,2011-2,400mm max CIZ)

e. RX1r, RX1rII OZ fixed 35mm, and ST (SZ toggled) 50mm and 70mm optical sensor crops, and CIZ 36-70mm

…………………………………………………….

End of notes.

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sybersitizen Forum Pro • Posts: 12,660
Re: Sony In-Camera Extended Zoom Types Explained (Jpeg Only)

elliottnewcomb wrote:

ALL Extra Zoom retains/uses the camera’s aperture at the end of optical zoom. IF IQ good enough for you, the retained aperture can actually beat a longer optical lens that is darker/higher iso/noise/requires longer shutter speed/blur.

I didn't read the whole post, but that part is misleading. Digital zoom and its variations that require in-camera cropping extract the same penalties related to image brightness as optical zoom does.

Example: Compare a lens with optical focal length 200mm at f/4 using the entire frame to a lens with optical focal length 100mm at f/2.8 using only the cropped center area via 2x zoom.

The smaller active sensor area of the crop means the camera is now working exactly as a camera with a smaller sensor. When those two different images are viewed at the same final viewing size, the one that was cropped will require twice the magnification, and that also magnifies the apparent noise by about one stop, so nothing has been gained. And of course resolution will be lower as well.

However ... if you're happy with a smaller final viewing size for the digitally zoomed version, there is no penalty at all.

Tudra Regular Member • Posts: 171
Re: Sony In-Camera Extended Zoom Types Explained (Jpeg Only)

Bookmarked. Thanks for putting this together Elliot.

I shoot primarily RAW but as you suggest I need to give the jpg algorithms of this camera (RX10iv) a try.

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OP elliottnewcomb Forum Pro • Posts: 16,650
Re: Sony In-Camera Extended Zoom Types Explained (Jpeg Only)
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sybersitizen Forum Pro • Posts: 12,660
Re: Sony In-Camera Extended Zoom Types Explained (Jpeg Only)

sybersitizen wrote:

elliottnewcomb wrote:

ALL Extra Zoom retains/uses the camera’s aperture at the end of optical zoom. IF IQ good enough for you, the retained aperture can actually beat a longer optical lens that is darker/higher iso/noise/requires longer shutter speed/blur.

I didn't read the whole post, but that part is misleading. Digital zoom and its variations that require in-camera cropping extract the same penalties related to image brightness as optical zoom does.

Example: Compare a lens with optical focal length 200mm at f/8 using the entire frame to a lens with optical focal length 100mm at f/4 using only the cropped center area via 2x zoom.

The smaller active sensor area of the crop means the camera is now working exactly as a camera with a smaller sensor. When those two different images are viewed at the same final viewing size, the one that was cropped will require twice the magnification, and that also magnifies the apparent noise by about two stops, so nothing has been gained. And of course resolution will be lower as well.

I made some errors in my original post, now corrected in bold. The comparison for 2x zoom should use lenses with a two stop difference because apparent noise will be magnified by two stops.

However ... if you're happy with a smaller final viewing size for the digitally zoomed version, there is no penalty at all.

(And these principles apply to any sensor size or focal length).

Digital Nigel Veteran Member • Posts: 8,335
Re: Sony In-Camera Extended Zoom Types Explained (Jpeg Only)

As you know, I don't use any of these, so this isn't really a discussion for me. But, when you say:

SZ or CIZ are often erroneously called Digital Zoom. This leads to misunderstandings.

In what sense is CIZ not a digital zoom? It's just a digital zoom in which a better upscaling algorithm can be used with a digital zoom ratio of up to 2:1. Beyond that, a lower quality algorithm must be used. But, regardless of the algorithm, it's all still digital zoom.

So, basically there are three types of zoom:

  1. Pure optical — full resolution
  2. Optical with cropped sensor — reduced resolution output
  3. Digital with cropped sensor (better quality up to 2:1 zoom, low quality thereafter) — output upscaled to original size
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OP elliottnewcomb Forum Pro • Posts: 16,650
Re: Sony In-Camera Extended Zoom Types Explained (Jpeg Only)

Digital Nigel wrote:

As you know, I don't use any of these, so this isn't really a discussion for me. But, when you say:

SZ or CIZ are often erroneously called Digital Zoom. This leads to misunderstandings.

There is a lot of misunderstanding, including a few things in my thread. I do want to clarify mistakes or misunderstandings I made here, now.

It is hard to thoroughly understand these, and to remember later. After you take the shot, in EXIF, Sony's names DISAPPEAR. That's why I explained EXIF DEDUCTIVE MATH which over 7 years, very few here have shown an understanding of.

This is to lay it all out, and simply refer people to this thread for the rest of my life!!!! Everything cannot be true for every situation. I am intending to provide essential understanding of these Extended Zooms, particularly those who do not RTFM but want to try them.

A recent thread, the OP initially called his image Digital Zoom. That implies full DZ Digital Zoom, like the old awful stuff in early digital cameras. Who knows who knows what?

RAW shooters often enjoy disparaging any of these, and call any version Digital Zoom. While I agree, IF you have PP skills, RAW is better than Jpeg, at least having both RAW and Jpeg. Still, the advantages of viewing while magnified exist, unfortunately not for RAW. OCCASIONAL/SITUATIONAL WAS EMPHASIZED.

Later, after forum members got into it, the photo posted turned out to be OZ. Another properly called an image SZ which according to Sony, is an in-camera optical crop, no digital processing. Others called that Digital, which might be CIZ (half digital upscaling) or DZ full digital.

That is the kind of misunderstanding I am referring to. Not clarifying that CIZ is part digital, whereas SZ is not, it's optical. Sony shows and lists SZ in their charts as Optical. I have not seen a Sony full DZ posted here in 7 years. Therefore, to me, it is important to know if it is SZ or CIZ, especially when someone says "this stuff is great". What is great?

Wrong but Right: Extended Zoom of RX10m4 f4.0 600mm optical 1,4x = SZ 840mm still f4.0. Optical Crop. That SZ may/can beat an affordable, portable, probably DARKER, therefore Higher ISO thus Noiser result (which is what I said) Especially if you need fast enough shutter for wildlife. Or, get an Optical 840mm f4.0 lens. Pay for it, Pack and Carry it. Not exactly true for every situation, but, in the context of understanding this, it's right enough I think (or thought).

The lady doth protest too much. As always, suggestions to clarify any thing wrong here are welcome. I have made my share of mistakes over the years.

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Travelshooter Veteran Member • Posts: 3,326
What.. no example images?
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sybersitizen Forum Pro • Posts: 12,660
Re: Sony In-Camera Extended Zoom Types Explained (Jpeg Only)

elliottnewcomb wrote:

Wrong but Right: Extended Zoom of RX10m4 f4.0 600mm optical 1,4x = SZ 840mm still f4.0. Optical Crop.

The fact that you have to crop reduces the active area of the sensor, and that has consequences.

That SZ may/can beat an affordable, portable, probably DARKER, therefore Higher ISO thus Noiser result (which is what I said) Especially if you need fast enough shutter for wildlife.

Looking at that specific example of 1.4x ...

If the optical zoom lens is more than one stop darker, only then can 1.4x digital zoom (or any other variant that relies on cropping) 'beat' it in terms of final IQ at the same final viewing size. Otherwise, no ... optical zoom will be the winner.

Using the full sensor area means you can use one stop higher ISO than you would by cropping and the noise will be the same in both images when viewed at the same final image size. That in turn means you can use the same shutter speed in both cases.

The other advantage of the optical zoom is that it retains higher resolution.

I'm pointing these things out not to denigrate or promote one or the other, but to make the differences clear.

explummer New Member • Posts: 7
Re: Sony In-Camera Extended Zoom Types Explained (Jpeg Only)
1

For what it's worth, on my RX100m2, I found that Clear Image Zoom is not available in continuous shooting mode. You might not notice, because the camera will use Digital Zoom instead, even if you set Digital Zoom = Off in the menu.

Looking at the Sony manual, there are a number of settings that are not compatible with CIZ:

The [Clear Image Zoom] function does not operate in the following situations:
-In movie mode
-In [Sweep Panorama] mode
-When the Smile Shutter function is activated.
-When [Drive Mode] is set to [Cont. Shooting], [Spd Priority Cont.], [Self-portrait], [Selftimer(Cont)] or [Bracket: Cont.].
-When [Quality] is set to [RAW] or [RAW & JPEG].
-When [ISO] is set to [Multi Frame Noise Reduct.].

When [Drive Mode] is set to [Cont. Shooting], [Spd Priority Cont.], [Self-timer(Cont)] or [Bracket: Cont.], or while recording movies, the digital zoom will automatically be enabled, regardless of the setting of [Digital Zoom].

The Face Detection function does not operate in the range of [Clear Image Zoom].

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OP elliottnewcomb Forum Pro • Posts: 16,650
Re: Sony In-Camera Extended Zoom Types Explained (Jpeg Only)
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Thanks for finding and pasting those limitations. I have only used SZ and/or CIZ for a single shot.

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Horacecoker Senior Member • Posts: 2,422
Re: Sony In-Camera Extended Zoom Types Explained (Jpeg Only)

Digital Nigel wrote:

As you know, I don't use any of these, so this isn't really a discussion for me. But, when you say:

SZ or CIZ are often erroneously called Digital Zoom. This leads to misunderstandings.

In what sense is CIZ not a digital zoom?

That's easy! When it's spelt with a capital D. That makes it perfectly clear to me that we are talking about Sony's Digital Zoom and not CIZ.

It's just a digital zoom in which a better upscaling algorithm can be used with a digital zoom ratio of up to 2:1. Beyond that, a lower quality algorithm must be used. But, regardless of the algorithm, it's all still digital zoom.

So, basically there are three types of zoom:

  1. Pure optical — full resolution
  2. Optical with cropped sensor — reduced resolution output
  3. Digital with cropped sensor (better quality up to 2:1 zoom, low quality thereafter) — output upscaled to original size

CIZ crops the image, then upscales (adds pixels) using an algorithm. The resultant image retains the native pixel resolution and the same individual size of the sensor pixels.

Digital Zoom is entirely different, after the crop it merely increases the size of the remaining pixels, there is no algorithm involved. It is exactly the same as when you zoom past 100% on a monitor screen. 200% makes the individual pixels twice as big and as a result the image looks awful. Zoom to 400% and it looks ghastly!

This why nobody should ever use any form of digital zoom that increases individual pixel size. And certainly never go beyond CIZ into Sony's Digital Zoom. The results will be dreadful.

David

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Digital Nigel Veteran Member • Posts: 8,335
Re: Sony In-Camera Extended Zoom Types Explained (Jpeg Only)

Horacecoker wrote:

Digital Nigel wrote:

As you know, I don't use any of these, so this isn't really a discussion for me. But, when you say:

SZ or CIZ are often erroneously called Digital Zoom. This leads to misunderstandings.

In what sense is CIZ not a digital zoom?

That's easy! When it's spelt with a capital D. That makes it perfectly clear to me that we are talking about Sony's Digital Zoom and not CIZ.

It's just a digital zoom in which a better upscaling algorithm can be used with a digital zoom ratio of up to 2:1. Beyond that, a lower quality algorithm must be used. But, regardless of the algorithm, it's all still digital zoom.

So, basically there are three types of zoom:

  1. Pure optical — full resolution
  2. Optical with cropped sensor — reduced resolution output
  3. Digital with cropped sensor (better quality up to 2:1 zoom, low quality thereafter) — output upscaled to original size

CIZ crops the image, then upscales (adds pixels) using an algorithm. The resultant image retains the native pixel resolution and the same individual size of the sensor pixels.

Digital Zoom is entirely different, after the crop it merely increases the size of the remaining pixels, there is no algorithm involved. It is exactly the same as when you zoom past 100% on a monitor screen. 200% makes the individual pixels twice as big and as a result the image looks awful. Zoom to 400% and it looks ghastly!

I'm not sure about Sony's implementation of digital zoom (which, of course, I've never used), but in most other cases, it also includes interpolation back to the original size, exactly like CIZ. That's why I regard CIZ as just a low magnification digital zoom.

See

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Digital_zoom

Are you really saying that Sony has a more primitive version of digital zoom than most others? I thought that, just like CIZ, it upsizes the image by interpolation, but the algorithm used above 2:1 zoom produces visibly worse results than the one used by CIZ, which produces superficially good results unless you pixel peep.

This why nobody should ever use any form of digital zoom that increases individual pixel size. And certainly never go beyond CIZ into Sony's Digital Zoom. The results will be dreadful.

We can all agree on that.

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Digital Nigel Veteran Member • Posts: 8,335
Re: Sony In-Camera Extended Zoom Types Explained (Jpeg Only)

Horacecoker wrote

CIZ crops the image, then upscales (adds pixels) using an algorithm. The resultant image retains the native pixel resolution and the same individual size of the sensor pixels.

Digital Zoom is entirely different, after the crop it merely increases the size of the remaining pixels, there is no algorithm involved. It is exactly the same as when you zoom past 100% on a monitor screen. 200% makes the individual pixels twice as big and as a result the image looks awful. Zoom to 400% and it looks ghastly!

This why nobody should ever use any form of digital zoom that increases individual pixel size. And certainly never go beyond CIZ into Sony's Digital Zoom. The results will be dreadful.

I've now done a test of CIZ vs Sony DZ. I shot the same scene, with max DZ and max CIZ. I then cropped the same small part of the scene from both:

CIZ

Digital zoom

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OP elliottnewcomb Forum Pro • Posts: 16,650
Re: Sony In-Camera Extended Zoom Types Explained (Jpeg Only)
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Digital Nigel wrote:

Horacecoker wrote

CIZ crops the image, then upscales (adds pixels) using an algorithm. The resultant image retains the native pixel resolution and the same individual size of the sensor pixels.

Digital Zoom is entirely different, after the crop it merely increases the size of the remaining pixels, there is no algorithm involved. It is exactly the same as when you zoom past 100% on a monitor screen. 200% makes the individual pixels twice as big and as a result the image looks awful. Zoom to 400% and it looks ghastly!

This why nobody should ever use any form of digital zoom that increases individual pixel size. And certainly never go beyond CIZ into Sony's Digital Zoom. The results will be dreadful.

I've now done a test of CIZ vs Sony DZ. I shot the same scene, with max DZ and max CIZ. I then cropped the same small part of the scene from both:

CIZ

Digital zoom

Beautiful Work Nigel.

here's 5mp image size

5mp 200mm OZ

5mp SZ Smart Zoom,400mm, in-camera crop, no processing

from this old thread

https://www.dpreview.com/forums/thread/4305652

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Digital Nigel Veteran Member • Posts: 8,335
Re: Sony In-Camera Extended Zoom Types Explained (Jpeg Only)

elliottnewcomb wrote:

Digital Nigel wrote:

Horacecoker wrote

CIZ crops the image, then upscales (adds pixels) using an algorithm. The resultant image retains the native pixel resolution and the same individual size of the sensor pixels.

Digital Zoom is entirely different, after the crop it merely increases the size of the remaining pixels, there is no algorithm involved. It is exactly the same as when you zoom past 100% on a monitor screen. 200% makes the individual pixels twice as big and as a result the image looks awful. Zoom to 400% and it looks ghastly!

This why nobody should ever use any form of digital zoom that increases individual pixel size. And certainly never go beyond CIZ into Sony's Digital Zoom. The results will be dreadful.

I've now done a test of CIZ vs Sony DZ. I shot the same scene, with max DZ and max CIZ. I then cropped the same small part of the scene from both:

CIZ

Digital zoom

Beautiful Work Nigel.

here's 5mp image size

5mp 200mm OZ

5mp SZ Smart Zoom,400mm, in-camera crop, no processing

from this old thread

https://www.dpreview.com/forums/thread/4305652

If you'd been cropping manually, wouldn't you have included the whole flower, and not the uninteresting out-of-focus foliage on the top right?

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Horacecoker Senior Member • Posts: 2,422
Re: Sony In-Camera Extended Zoom Types Explained (Jpeg Only)
1

Digital Nigel wrote:

Horacecoker wrote:

Digital Nigel wrote:

As you know, I don't use any of these, so this isn't really a discussion for me. But, when you say:

SZ or CIZ are often erroneously called Digital Zoom. This leads to misunderstandings.

In what sense is CIZ not a digital zoom?

That's easy! When it's spelt with a capital D. That makes it perfectly clear to me that we are talking about Sony's Digital Zoom and not CIZ.

It's just a digital zoom in which a better upscaling algorithm can be used with a digital zoom ratio of up to 2:1. Beyond that, a lower quality algorithm must be used. But, regardless of the algorithm, it's all still digital zoom.

So, basically there are three types of zoom:

  1. Pure optical — full resolution
  2. Optical with cropped sensor — reduced resolution output
  3. Digital with cropped sensor (better quality up to 2:1 zoom, low quality thereafter) — output upscaled to original size

CIZ crops the image, then upscales (adds pixels) using an algorithm. The resultant image retains the native pixel resolution and the same individual size of the sensor pixels.

Digital Zoom is entirely different, after the crop it merely increases the size of the remaining pixels, there is no algorithm involved. It is exactly the same as when you zoom past 100% on a monitor screen. 200% makes the individual pixels twice as big and as a result the image looks awful. Zoom to 400% and it looks ghastly!

I'm not sure about Sony's implementation of digital zoom (which, of course, I've never used), but in most other cases, it also includes interpolation back to the original size, exactly like CIZ. That's why I regard CIZ as just a low magnification digital zoom.

See

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Digital_zoom

Are you really saying that Sony has a more primitive version of digital zoom than most others? I thought that, just like CIZ, it upsizes the image by interpolation, but the algorithm used above 2:1 zoom produces visibly worse results than the one used by CIZ, which produces superficially good results unless you pixel peep.

This why nobody should ever use any form of digital zoom that increases individual pixel size. And certainly never go beyond CIZ into Sony's Digital Zoom. The results will be dreadful.

We can all agree on that.

You are right, Nigel and I'm wrong! Very wrong in fact!! Why, I don't really know, but I've always had it in my head that digital zoom just increased the size of the pixels after cropping but I now find this is not true. I just did a little test with my RX100iii. I switched from RAW to jpeg and kept the image size to maximum. I then enabled both CIZ and DZ and took three images

1st optical zoom maximum (70mm equivalent)

2nd CIZ 2x

3rd DZ 4x

All images have the exact same number of pixels!!

So yes CIZ and DZ both use upscaling just like you say. And I will now go and crawl into a hole where I belong.

David

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Horacecoker Senior Member • Posts: 2,422
Re: Sony In-Camera Extended Zoom Types Explained (Jpeg Only)

elliottnewcomb wrote:

Digital Nigel wrote:

Horacecoker wrote

CIZ crops the image, then upscales (adds pixels) using an algorithm. The resultant image retains the native pixel resolution and the same individual size of the sensor pixels.

Digital Zoom is entirely different, after the crop it merely increases the size of the remaining pixels, there is no algorithm involved. It is exactly the same as when you zoom past 100% on a monitor screen. 200% makes the individual pixels twice as big and as a result the image looks awful. Zoom to 400% and it looks ghastly!

This why nobody should ever use any form of digital zoom that increases individual pixel size. And certainly never go beyond CIZ into Sony's Digital Zoom. The results will be dreadful.

I've now done a test of CIZ vs Sony DZ. I shot the same scene, with max DZ and max CIZ. I then cropped the same small part of the scene from both:

CIZ

Digital zoom

Beautiful Work Nigel.

here's 5mp image size

5mp 200mm OZ

5mp SZ Smart Zoom,400mm, in-camera crop, no processing

from this old thread

https://www.dpreview.com/forums/thread/4305652

The image is sound Elliott but honestly at 560 x 373 pixel resolution and 0.2mp, it's not much bigger than a thumbnail. I don't know how small it would look on a 4k monitor (that's actually set to 4k) but this is what it looks like on my 2560 x 1440 monitor.

As an experiment I've increased the image size to fit a 4k screen. That's a whopping 5.8x bigger, so now it's as though the shot was taken with a 2320mm equivalent focal length lens. Okay it won't stand up to any serious pixel peeping but shove it on your 4K TV and view it from a normal viewing distance and you'll be amazed.

If you tried this in camera with a combination of SZ + CIZ + DZ it would look an absolute mess.

David

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noisebeam Senior Member • Posts: 2,634
Re: Sony In-Camera Extended Zoom Types Explained (Jpeg Only)

Thanks for this.

Has anyone determined if the in camera processing to jpeg can be better than what an expert processing a RAW file can achieve?  Since the camera 'knows' its optical characteristics perhaps it could have been programed to better generate missing pixels.

Also looking at this another way, if there is a distant object that one wants to get the best image from (hand held), are there other methods such as high speed shooting and combining frames in post?

or perhaps some high frame rate video capture?

I know when I used RX100m2 I'd use video mode digitally zoomed in on birds as that provide the best capture to later identify them as the brain filed in the blanks with moving video, but not necessarily the best for a nice looking image.

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sybersitizen Forum Pro • Posts: 12,660
Re: Sony In-Camera Extended Zoom Types Explained (Jpeg Only)
1

noisebeam wrote:

Has anyone determined if the in camera processing to jpeg can be better than what an expert processing a RAW file can achieve? Since the camera 'knows' its optical characteristics perhaps it could have been programed to better generate missing pixels.

Knowledge of the optical characteristics enables lens corrections (geometry, vignetting, CA, corner sharpness) to work. That same kind of knowledge is used in most RAW converters now, so the in-camera JPG engine has no special advantage over them.

Knowledge of the optical characteristics does not help in generating missing pixels in a way that accurately simulates what those pixels would contain in a particular scene. That's in the realm of 'machine learning' or 'AI', which teaches the system how photos are supposed to look based on analysis of a massive library of images. No camera or RAW converter currently does that in a way that's impressive; it's usually just interpolation that ends up looking almost exactly the same any way it's done.

Also looking at this another way, if there is a distant object that one wants to get the best image from (hand held), are there other methods such as high speed shooting and combining frames in post?

There is the technique of super-resolution that uses a few images shot hand-held. That can introduce sub-pixel shift that allows construction of a higher-resolution final image. Sometimes it works.

Any image can also be run through some special-purpose software like On1 Resize, formerly known as Perfect Resize, formerly known as Genuine Fractals, which uses a patented algorithm. Sometimes it works slightly better than other resizing methods.

or perhaps some high frame rate video capture?

Video at 4K resolution? There's hardly any point because the same optics and same sensor are used, and you're getting only 8mp images to work with.

I know when I used RX100m2 I'd use video mode digitally zoomed in on birds as that provide the best capture to later identify them as the brain filed in the blanks with moving video, but not necessarily the best for a nice looking image.

Viewing a still image and viewing moving video are very different things.

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