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Allows the photographer to increase and decrease magnification, making the subject appear bigger or smaller within the frame.

  • Optical Zoom: A physical lens that can be adjusted to increase and decrease magnification. Optical zooms function exactly the same way on digital and film cameras and the image quality is often better than with a digital zoom.
  • Digital Zoom: This alternative to optical zoom makes the subject seem larger by focusing in on the center of the picture and electronically magnifying the image after it is captured. The image quality is sometimes not as good with a digital zoom.
  • The combination of Digital and Optical Zoom: Working together, both types of zooms can give greatly enhanced zoom capacity — for example, a 3X optical zoom and 2.2X digital zoom will give an overall zoom of 6.6X.
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