Optical zoom

Whether you are new to the photography world or have some familiarity with it, you must be aware of how amazingly the Zoom feature has made the life of users easier. The Zoom feature of the camera is used to decrease the physical distance between the subject and the camera. However, with innovations in cameras and the photography world, the concept of zoom has become more complicated and advanced. There are two zoom options available, i.e., optical zoom and digital zoom.

Optical Zoom Vs Digital Zoom:

Optical zoom allows you to capture images without compromising the picture quality. It can be done through the movement of the camera lens. For magnifying the image with clarity, the distance between the image sensor and the lens is increased. Optical zoom allows making physical changes in the lens to zoom the picture.

Whereas digital zoom magnifies the image by compromising the picture quality, Unlike optical zoom, digital zoom enlarges a picture increasing the resolution. For easier understanding, digital zoom is a photo editing software that lets you magnify an image by cropping the rest. This feature best matches security purpose cameras like Solar Security Camera.

Optical zoom is slower than digital one since it involves a lens for magnification of the image. However, it does offer versatility and does not use extra batteries. On the contrary, when you take a picture using digital zoom, it requires less work from the camera processor, which means it consumes less battery and you can take back-to-back pictures rather quickly.

Digital zoom works best for objects and subjects that are closer to the camera. For example, if you want to capture a flower or focus on someone’s eyes. However, it can also be used for capturing landscapes and architectural masterpieces.

Which zoom type is better?

As the name suggests, digital zoom refers to the magnification of images digitally. It does not require you to change your position or readjust the cameras physically. Instead, the software can take care of it all. Whereas, while using optical zoom, you will have to change your position, fix the lens, or even reposition the camera to fit the focal point into the frame.

In terms of ease of use, digital Zoom offers more flexibility, and you can use it for basic day-to-day photography. You can easily add this feature to your body camera and continue your regular activities while the camera plays its part. Optical zoom requires you to do most of the work, but the image quality and results are worth your effort. Both zoom types work well, depending upon the usage purpose.

What are the recommended uses of digital and optical zoom?

Which zoom type you should use depends solely on what kind of photography you are doing and your expectations about the end product.

Digital zoom cameras have evolved significantly over time, and the amazing picture quality of smartphone cameras authenticates this fact. You can take amazing shots using your digital zoom cameras, and surely they will be Instagram-worthy. Moreover, digital zoom cameras are also cheaper than optical ones; therefore, you can buy them even on a small budget.

 It is hard to avoid distortion of pixels while using digital zoom. The best way to preserve the picture quality is to capture the image without zoom. You can crop the desired part of the picture later using photo editing software; it will also let you sharpen the image using different editing tools.

Optical zoom cameras and dual lens are better suited for professionals who want their pictures to be more detailed and larger. They are often used for exquisite landscape photography and never fail to give you jaw-drop results by capturing the sceneries in their entirety. Although optical zoom cameras are a little more expensive than digital ones, they will surely be worth the investment if you are a passionate photographer.

How to Know which Zoom your Camera Has?

Finding the type of zoom your camera has is quite easy. Every camera has a mode dial on its top body. If you see two mode buttons labeled optical and digital zoom, it means that your camera has an optical zoom. You will need no other hardware except for an optical lens and some light for capturing amazing pictures. All digital and film cameras use optical zoom. While DSLRs, mirrorless cameras, or camcorders might be using digital zoom, it depends on what type of lens you are using, i.e., primes or zooms.


Optical zoom should be your go-to option if you have a higher budget and hope to work on your photography skills. However, if you want to keep your photography to yourself and just want some nice pictures of you, the surroundings, or the moments you want to immortalize, a digital zoom camera will fit the purpose. Moreover, whether you have a smaller or larger budget, you can buy a good quality digital zoom camera as per the amount you want to spend.