Thursday, October 4, 2012

Photography Tricks and Treats

Fall is here.  The weather is finally cooling off and Halloween is just around the corner.  So in honor of the season we have decided to do a series of photography "Tricks" and Treats.  Yes, I know it is terribly cliche, but you get the point.  And it's Halloween, we have to be just a little bit cheesy.

So, to kick off our little series...

Trick #1 - Digital Zoom is Spooky

Don't use digital zoom.  Ever.  In fact, if your camera offers the option, turn it off.  Digital zoom is bad.  

You are probably wondering why I am so against digital zoom.  What did it ever do to me?  And what is it anyway?  Here's the skinny.  

First off, if you have a DSLR camera, you do not have digital zoom.  This little beastie only exists in point and shoot cameras and cell phones.  How do you know which type you have?  The easiest way to tell is this;  if you can remove and change out the lens, then you have a DSLR.  If not, you have a point and shoot.  Point and shoot lenses are fixed to the camera.  They may zoom in and out, but they do not come off.

DSLR Camera
DSLR Camera

Point and Shoot Camera
Point and Shoot Camera

There are two types of zoom for a point and shoot camera, optical and digital.  Optical zoom is where the elements in the camera lens move and work together to magnify the image.  Like a telescope or binoculars.  This type of zoom can produce a clear, crisp, sharp image.

Then, there is digital zoom.  This does not involve any moving parts or magnification, instead, the camera takes the image and blows it up to a larger size.  Thereby creating the effect of zooming in on a portion of the picture.  Like a cell phone camera.  Where optical zoom is clear and crisp; digital zoom results in fuzzy, blurry and often noisy images.  Blurry photos = badness.

So, how do you know which type of zoom you are using?  Most cameras will designate it with a little line or some type of indication on the bar that shows up on your screen to show how much you have zoomed.  Another way to tell is if your lens has quit moving, you have quit optically zooming and gone over to the digital side.  Don't go over to the digital side.  Use optical zoom and keep your photos crisp and clear.

That's it.  Digital zoom in a nutshell.  Or... pumpkin shell.  Yeah, yeah, I know.

Anyway, if you have questions or an idea for a future post let us know in the comments below or by contacting us.  We would like to hear your ideas!

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