A different Digital camera question.

  Maryp 19:03 29 Sep 03

I am also looking to buy a digital camera, but they give you so much info, its hard to know whats important.
My question at the moment is whats the difference between Optical zoom and Digital zoom. Im looking at a canon powershot A300 which has 5x digital zoom, or Olympus C350, which has 3x Optical zoom and 3.3 Digital Zoom. Which is better?

  JIM 19:32 29 Sep 03

Worth a read.

Optical vs. Digital Zoom
More and more camera manufacturers are choosing to label their digital cameras with the total (optical + digital) zoom. This is an unfortunate development and only serves to confuse consumers.

click here

  Falkyrn 19:35 29 Sep 03

An optical zoom can get you closer to your subject without too much degradation of the image (although purists don't agree)

Digital zoom is a means of magnifying the image itself in a manner similar to the "magnify" function on many graphics packages.

An Optical zoom facility is IMHO better than digital.

  Tim1964 20:39 29 Sep 03

Something else to consider is that I have noticed there is a time lag between pressing the shutter release and the pic actually being taken. Has anyone noticed if a certain make or makes are quicker than others.

Or instead of "say cheese" + click do we now get used to saying "say"+ click "cheese"?

  wags 20:42 29 Sep 03

Both Jim and Falkryn are right. Forget digital zooms and instead focus on the optical zoom capabilities. I recommend you look for an optical zoom of 3X upwards. I have just bought an Olmpus C350 (3.2 mp)for my wife. It is a great little camera and very easy to use with decent results. IMHO if you stick to one of the quality manufacturers (Olympus, Canon, Fuji etc) you won't go far wrong. Check out some reviews click here

  Jomi 21:00 29 Sep 03

Digital zoom has very little value since almost all photo imaging software allows zooming into the image itself and, as Falkryn says, that's all digital zoom is. (like holding a magnifying glass over a photo).

  minter 22:03 29 Sep 03

The time lag in digital cameras is mainly caused by the camera's auto-focus and auto-exposure.

The time lag is very similar in most digitals, only the very latest and in most cases the most expensive giving shorter time lags.

You can cut the time down yourself by switching to manual zoom (if possible) and also set the exposure manually. This saves the camera having to sort it out.

Forget about digital zoom, it degrades the pic too much. Better to "digitally zoom" your pic when using your imaging software.

  dotterel 23:24 29 Sep 03

I spent half an hour taking pictures of kids jumping hurdles for our PE department. It was very bright sunlight, so I could not see the screen to check them. When I downloaded the pictures I had 50 shots of a hurdle with the occasional heel visible on the left of the frame! You need to use manual mode as suggested.

  Maryp 10:35 30 Sep 03


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