Most digital camera vendors advertise the combined (digital and optical) zoom of a particular model, often touting a maximum zoom of 10-12 X. This is a marketing gimmick that is used to make their models sound more impressive. In reality, you should really worry about the optical zoom capabilities of your camera, which is usually 3 X, or 3 times.

The optical zoom is achieved by using your camera’s lens. The digital zoom, on the other hand, is achieved by cropping and enlarging the image once it has been captured by the digital camera’s sensor. You can achieve the same result by using an image editing application such as Photoshop once you have transferred your images into your computer. Using Photoshop or another image editing application, you will have more control over what part of the image is cropped and enlarged, and this is the preferred method of achieving digital zoom of your images. Digital zoom often results in lower quality pictures when it is enabled on your camera, and you should disable it whenever possible. Most digital cameras allow you to do this easily.

Bookmark and Share