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Using Your Digital Camera’s Digital Zoom

Some digital cameras put a new twist on zooming, providing a digital zoom rather than an optical zoom. With digital zoom, the camera enlarges the elements at the center of the frame to create the appearance that you’ve zoomed in. It’s done electronically: the camera enlarged the pixels in your image and then creates new pixels to fill in the image.


Frame your subject with no zoom applied.

You can better decide what you want to zoom in on before you actually zoom in.


Trigger your camera’s digital zoom feature.

In this figure, the camera crops out the lake pixels and magnifies the boat pixels to fill the frame.

Consult your camera’s documentation to find out how exactly to use your digital zoom.


Press the shutter button to take your picture.

The digital zoom gives you the same kind of result as cropping the picture in your photo software and then enlarging the subject. Note that using a digital zoom can sometimes produce an image with somewhat lower quality because the original pixel layout has been manipulated. Any time you add pixels to a digital image, the quality is slightly diminished.

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