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Digital Camera Zoom

 

Digital Camera Zoom Features: An Expert's Guide

Digital Camera Zoom Let's cover the zoom feature of cameras. Many people will want a high zoom for a low price. It is very hard to find such a thing most of the time. The lowest and pretty much "default" zoom for any compact digital camera is 3x.

First, let me explain how zoom is read. It is based on how many times zoomed. To put it simply, what you see naturally, magnify that three times and that would be the zoom. Three times zoom in feet would be roughly four feet magnification. With compact cameras, you'll find that you will mostly see, at most, 7x zoom. When you're trying to keep under a certain dollar amount when purchasing a camera, but want as high a zoom as you can get, look as hard as you can before committing.

There are compact cameras out there that may meet your expectations. Granted they may not be as compact as you like, but you may need to make some exceptions. I will point out now that you will be paying more money when buying a camera with more zoom; it's just how they price cameras.

Bridge cameras will go higher in zoom though, at least 10x zoom. Since they rival DSLRs, they need to have the powerful zoom that those types of cameras have.

DSLRs have a different type of zoom. It is not measured in how many times the picture is magnified. Rather, it is measured in millimeters.

On each DSLR lens, there is a number, for example, 18 - 55mm. Each lens, DSLR or compact/bridge, has two modes: Telephoto and Wide Angle. The lower number will always be wide angle and the larger number will be telephoto.

Eighteen is wide angle in this example. That means you could capture an image that has many subjects, such as a large group of people, in one picture.

Fifty-five is the maximum telephoto the particular lens will zoom to. It is a 4x zoom equivalent to a compact/bridge camera's zoom. In retrospect, it isn't that much. That is why they make telephoto lenses to attach to your DSLRs. A 75 - 300mm lens starts out already at a high zoom and can magnify further.

Compact and bridge cameras, as was said, deal in 'times zoomed' There are two different types of zoom: Optical and Digital. You will always want to look at the optical zoom number. It is the primary and actual zoom that your camera handles. Digital zoom will rarely be used in most cameras unless you are using a tripod. Digital zoom works by taking the already zoomed in image and zooms even further. What its actually doing is cropping the already zoomed image. It is very unreliable and becomes very grainy, distorted and blurry.

When you're buying a compact camera which you intend on just taking photos with, nothing too advanced and want to stick it in your pocket or purse, you will mostly be stuck with 3x zoom, as said before. Some cameras are compact and have 5x zoom, but those are sometimes hard to come by and could have an extra $50 tacked onto them just because they have two more times zoom.

If your budget is $250 or below, the most you'll get is going to be 5x zoom. Mostly you'll end up seeing 4x zoom, but they do have nice wide-angle shooting when at 3 or 4x zoom. Adding another $100 will get you 5 - 7x zoom, but at $350, you may as well just buy a nice camera case and buy a bridge camera to keep it in, that will have 10x zoom at least.

By Kirk Shultz - I've been a writer and photographer the majority of my life. I've grown to enjoy the finer points of the Earth by capturing it in its' most beautiful state. While not capturing the moment, I enjoy writing fa...  

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