Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Digital Zoom - Is It Worth a Flip?

There's a question that an experienced digital camera user would quickly answer ... and answer in the negative. I fall into that camp. When shopping for the pocket camera very little (none actually) attention was placed on a product's digital zoom capability. The Sony has the normal 3x optical zoom and two types of digital zoom. The first, Precision zoom, extends another 2x. The other type, Smart zoom, extends 14x. Now I have very little confidence that a digital zoom that extends out to 14x can produce anything worthwhile. Perhaps we'll look at that later but for now let's take a look at this precision zoom.

Instead of a bunch of bull here we're going straight to the picture. The old saying about pictures and 1000 words comes into play. I'm uploading a high resolution version of an image taken with the Precision digital zoom.

Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.us
Ex SP GP60 holding at CPQ 075 now known as "Villa Maria"

The above image shows the cab of an old SP GP60 stopped at CPQ 75 "Villa Maria". Be sure to click on the image and inspect the full resolution product from the Sony. The full resolution image was only compressed a bit to bring the total file size down a bit for online hosting.

I think the Sony's Precision digital zoom delivers a good product. What a surprise, this was totally unexpected. What do you think? If I gave you this shot would you have been able to say this had digital zoom invoked? I would not have been able to state that. Now, keep in mind, this is a low end camera. You can detect some softness around the edges which is common among the pocket cameras in the marketplace.

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