1. Welcome to Mu-43.com—a friendly Micro 4/3 camera & photography discussion forum!

    If you are thinking of buying a camera or need help with your photos, you will find our forum members full of advice! Click here to join for free!

Why buy a 25mm lens if you can digitallly 2x zoom with 12mm?

Discussion in 'Native Lenses' started by dennisk, Oct 13, 2011.

  1. dennisk

    dennisk Mu-43 Regular

    Jul 4, 2011
    Bay Area, California
    I was doing some tests of the 2x digital zoom feature with the 12mm. It seems (by a slight margin) to capture more details from objects far away. I was wondering what am I gaining over the digital zoom other than the DOF being different.

    Thanks in advance for your thoughts.

    Olympus E-PL3, 12mm, 14-42mm, Contax T3 :) 
  2. ~tc~

    ~tc~ Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Oct 22, 2010
    Houston, TX
    You're going to need to post some pictures because you are bumping up against the laws of physics here.

    Digital zoom reduces resolution. The only way what you describe would be possible is if the 25 mm lens you are using loses MORE resolution compared to the 12 than the binning of the pixels for digital zoom results in.
  3. Ned

    Ned Mu-43 Legend

    Jul 18, 2010
    Alberta, Canada
    The E-PL3 has digital zoom? I'm disappointed.... xP
  4. dennisk

    dennisk Mu-43 Regular

    Jul 4, 2011
    Bay Area, California
    I don't have the 25mm yet. So in theory it should have twice the details of a 12mm that was digitally zoomed by 2x?

    Olympus E-PL3, 12mm, 14-42mm, Contax T3 :) 
  5. steve16823

    steve16823 Mu-43 Veteran

    Sep 26, 2011
    Brookfield, IL
    A 2X "digital zoom" will only use 1/4 the pixels of the original frame. Are you happy with getting a 3 megapixel image from your 12 megapixel camera?

    Overall image noise will also be worse because obviously the per-pixel noise will be the same but there will be 1/4 as many pixels.
    • Like Like x 1
  6. Streetshooter

    Streetshooter Administrator Emeritus

    Dec 15, 2009
    Phila, Pa USA
    Digital zoom crops the image. Also, it's for jpeg.
    The image may appear to be the same but it's not.
    It won't work with a raw file.
    • Like Like x 1
  7. WT21

    WT21 Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Feb 19, 2010
    Depends on your use -- small web photos it might be just fine. Larger actual prints, maybe not so much.
  8. dennisk

    dennisk Mu-43 Regular

    Jul 4, 2011
    Bay Area, California
    Darn you guys, I was trying to save a few hundred dollars! :)  I'll look at the 2x feature the same as post processing cropping.
  9. Ned

    Ned Mu-43 Legend

    Jul 18, 2010
    Alberta, Canada
    I don't know much about "digital zoom", but I know that there's a lot more to cropping the image than just losing resolution. You are also getting a different quality of exposure and DOF.
    • Like Like x 1
  10. Promit

    Promit Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 6, 2011
    Baltimore, MD
    Promit Roy
    Digital zoom on these cameras is not crop. It's crop + resize. You're at the mercy of a resize algorithm on a small camera processor in a fraction of a second. You really think it's good quality, even for a digital algorithm? Obviously a 25mm lens will give the best results, but you'll actually do better than the camera by taking the photo raw and applying crop/resize on a PC. I use the digital tele myself when quality is not the critical goal, but don't mistake that for actual captured detail.

    IIRC Panasonic has a crop-only mode.
  11. KVG

    KVG Banned User

    May 10, 2011
    yyc(Calgary, AB)
    Kelly Gibbons
    panny has digital zoom and digital tele-converter mode in the newer ones.
  12. ~tc~

    ~tc~ Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Oct 22, 2010
    Houston, TX
    Actually, they had them both in the old ones too, but only for stills... the crop mode was called EZ optical zoom or something like that. Now it works in video too, and it's called ext teleconversion or something.
  13. John M Flores

    John M Flores Super Moderator

    Jan 7, 2011
    I've toyed with the idea of using this on those occasions where I've only brought one lens with me. Haven't used it enough to draw any conclusions, but it could be useful in a pinch...
  14. kevinparis

    kevinparis Cantankerous Scotsman Subscribing Member

    Feb 12, 2010
    Gent, Belgium
    • Like Like x 3
  15. goldenlight

    goldenlight Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jan 30, 2010
    Digital zoom should be OK on prints up to about 6x4. Better to crop in pp though. Far better to use the 14-42mm you've already got. :smile:
  16. Tecpatl4

    Tecpatl4 Mu-43 Veteran

    Oct 16, 2010
    There is also the question of perspective.
    An extreme example is the compression experienced when using a telephoto lens to take a photo of a long road that goes to the horizon. Going from 12mm to 25mm would be pretty subtle but it would be there. It would be more apparent with portraits.
  17. hkpzee

    hkpzee Mu-43 All-Pro

    Sep 5, 2011
    Hong Kong
  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.