Optical Vs. Digital Vs. Full Zoom Capabilites for Surveillance/Security Cameras

cameras are constantly being pushed to the edge of their threshold.  24/7 operation for years on end is asked for without break down and minimal wear. One important piece is also asked for, incredible zoom capabilities. What a lot of people don’t know is that there are two extremely different types of zoom, each work in a completely different way and both will have different outcomes. They can, however, also be used together to achieve the highest level of zoom. First, we look at optical zoom, optical zoom is the most common type of zoom, it uses the moving parts on a focal lens to see objects with closer detail.  Zoom lenses are mechanical assemblies of lens elements with the ability to vary its focal length (and thus angle of view), as opposed to a fixed focal length (FFL) lens. With optical zoom you are actually changing the input that is going into the camera. With optical zoom the sensor is actually seeing the image closer their fore the out put is clean and clear. Digital zoom actually decreases (narrows) the apparent angle of view of a digital photographic or video image. Digital zoom is accomplished by cropping an image down to an interpolating achieve the area with the same aspect ratio as the original, and usually also interpolating achieve the result back up to the pixel dimensions of the original. Digital zoom is engaged after the image is processed and can make the image blurred or pixelated if zoomed too close. The third type of zoom set ups on cameras is called full zoom. Full zoom incorporates digital and optical zoom to make the most of both digital and optical zooming capabilities. Most cameras have both types of zoom to further enhance the image, zooming in very close with the optical zoom and getting even closer with the digital. Digital zoom can cause pixilation and loss of image quality whereas optical zoom is actually changing the ability of the lens its self. So the optical zoom lens makes the image look closer and then digital zoom can zoom even further into the already close image.]]>

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