Camera Zoom: Digital vs. Optical Leave a comment

When choosing the right surveillance camera, one of the specifications to look at is what kind of zoom the camera has. The camera zoom is important because it will determine how much detail you will be able to record. If you’re not able to see clearly what is happening, your video footage will be useless.

Types of Camera Zoom

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Digital Zoom

The first type of camera zoom is digital zoom. Digital zoom works by adjusting the image in the camera. This process would be like clicking on a photo to enlarge it on your phone. This is not really zooming in, but cropping the image and making it bigger to see. A pro of digital zoom is that you can do this after you’ve already recorded footage and it doesn’t affect the viewing angle. However, digital zoom usually causes images and video to be blurry and pixelated if you zoom in too much.

Optical Zoom

The other zoom type is optical zoom. Doing this allows you to zoom in by physically adjusting the lens, either manually or with the motor. Optical zoom tends to result in higher quality images but you cannot apply this to footage that has already been recorded. The viewing angle is also reduced.

Which Camera Zoom is Best?

When choosing which zoom is best, optical is usually the better option. The reason is that with digital zoom, the image is cropped and enlarged which also enlarges the image’s pixels. As a result, these images can appear blurry and pixelated. With optical zoom, the lenses are adjusted to magnify images without affecting the resolution. However, technology has advanced and digital zoom results have improved so this could be the better choice for those who want to observe footage after it’s been recorded. The type of zoom you choose just really depends on when you want to apply the zoom and how well you want to see details.

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