Do you use your smartphone camera's digital zoom?

Do you use your smartphone camera's digital zoom?
Save for the rare exception, the camera on the smartphone in your pocket is almost surely without the gear required for optical zoom. It's just not part of the ironed-out blueprint for today's smartphones—high-end or otherwise. And that right there is your reason as to why the camera software on board allows for digital zoom.

Now, digital zoom ain't nothing like optical zoom. In essence, you're cropping a high resolution image and sacrificing some detail in the process. But in some cases this may well be worth it—especially if you'll be cropping post-shot anyway. There are other reasons too, like setting proper exposure for the subject of interest and getting just the right perspective. And if none of these apply, then you might simply want to get closer to the subject.

Regardless of all this, there's still a stigma attached to digital zoom. And given how it can butcher quality, that's not surprising. But is that stopping you from using digital zoom? Let us know by kicking in a vote right below!

Do you use your smartphone camera's digital zoom?

Yes, all the time
8.79%
Yes, but rarely
41.7%
No
49.52%

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31 Comments

1. tech2

Posts: 3487; Member since: Oct 26, 2012

Although most people on this site are smart enough not to use it but I know many people in real world who do. They're the same people who use their iPad to take pictures.....

3. TheGranter

Posts: 63; Member since: Jan 28, 2016

sadly i know a few girls that overuses this zoom future. And what makes it interesting is that they are all iphone users that dropped out of school.... If you don't have money in the pocket but still want to appear that you have ~

16. Nathan_ingx

Posts: 4767; Member since: Mar 07, 2012

It doesn't take an expert to see that a picture has been taken using digital zoom. P.S. It's ugly.

7. vincelongman

Posts: 5628; Member since: Feb 10, 2013

I find zoom handy in lectures that aren't recorded A Better Camera has a Super Resolution mode, which works pretty well for zooming (but not as good as optical zoom of course)

18. sarcastic_nerd unregistered

That doesn't help much. Super resolution or upscaling have been known to provide little to no benefit in photos. Basically, cropping a photo after taking has almost the same detail as digital zoom. Optical zoom is on a whole another level.

35. vincelongman

Posts: 5628; Member since: Feb 10, 2013

Super resolution is not upscaling, and definitely not simple cropping or digital zoomimg Super resolution does improve detail levels and reduce noise, at the lost of time and processinghttps://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Super-resolution_imaging

36. sarcastic_nerd unregistered

Oh, so it combines various images to make a single one. Yes. 4 images will improve the SNR by 2x, and more will improve it even more so. But I don't think phones do that. They just upscale and sharpen.

37. vincelongman

Posts: 5628; Member since: Feb 10, 2013

Yep, most phones don't use Super Resolution But some do use Super Resolution e.g. A Better Camera's Super Resolution Mode (hence the name)

15. FluffyBled unregistered

Lol'd at the 2nd sentence :D ... nice one!

19. Tanujtiwari

Posts: 84; Member since: Mar 18, 2015

I use digital zoom. Yes I do. But only when recording videos

28. zeeBomb

Posts: 2318; Member since: Aug 14, 2014

Nope. Simply walk up to the object, tweak my settings if needed then snap. I can get a much better quality image that way (was replying to poll question)

33. bur60

Posts: 981; Member since: Jul 07, 2014

I zoom a lot with my S7, to snap pics of friends from distance showing their funny faces. Honestly, the s7 has some decent zoom quality (like 2x/3x zoom.) but overzooming makes it bad.

2. kent-gaga

Posts: 609; Member since: Apr 10, 2012

many OEMs now know how to sharpen the photos the right way when using digital zoom and the result is actually better than people think. I myself sometimes use about 1.5 to 2x zooming to get better bokeh and focus in macro shots. Yes, the photo might be a little blurry, but it alsso looks better overall

9. combatmedic870

Posts: 983; Member since: Sep 02, 2015

You cannot get better bokeh by digital zoom. Digital zoom is literally just cropping the photo. If you shoot raw or tiff and then process and crop you'd end up with a much sharper, better picture.

11. combatmedic870

Posts: 983; Member since: Sep 02, 2015

Btw bokeh is...the quality of out of focus blur. Not just out of focus blur.

34. kent-gaga

Posts: 609; Member since: Apr 10, 2012

i meant it looks better overall, and yes, you it's still the same bokeh when you zoom in when cropped, but you can get better control of how the photo might look like right when you're taking it

5. kkmkk

Posts: 699; Member since: May 06, 2013

actually i use it sometimes but i keep it under 3x it works pretty well on my note 4 & 5 thanks to ois and 16mp

6. jeevanand88 unregistered

if the quality of the image not degrading while zooming who else not use it... ?! Right now zooming is not usable since it affects the image quality so much and blurry!! my opinion is NEVER!!!

10. combatmedic870

Posts: 983; Member since: Sep 02, 2015

Digital zoom always has and always will affect image quality.

8. Youraveragejoe

Posts: 134; Member since: Oct 31, 2014

No. Never.

12. BobLawblaw unregistered

I miss my old Nokia 1020. What a phone..

13. kanagadeepan

Posts: 1222; Member since: Jan 24, 2012

HELL NOOOOOOO......

14. hansip87

Posts: 225; Member since: Nov 10, 2015

With my z5 premium, at least i can get 8mp pix out of 3x zoom and i don't lose quality that much.

22. tokuzumi

Posts: 1828; Member since: Aug 27, 2009

I used it today, but it really isn't worth it. I'd like to get real optical zoom.

24. chenski

Posts: 745; Member since: Mar 22, 2015

I use it when i take pic of dangerous things like spiders because I'm too scared to get too close

26. ibend

Posts: 6747; Member since: Sep 30, 2014

spiders? aragog and his kin?

27. surethom

Posts: 1620; Member since: Mar 04, 2009

No & if i do the quality is terrible, its 2016 why do we not have atleast 2x optical zoom in some smart phones??? Or digital zoom like the symbian Nokia that did not loose image quality when zooming in.

29. ashish230894

Posts: 22; Member since: Apr 14, 2016

yes v dont use this features in smartphones bt if u hv dslr in ur hands u keep on zooming as a game ......instead v use filters all the time in our phones rather thn zooming its a fun

30. jsdechavez

Posts: 784; Member since: Jul 20, 2012

I do use digital zoom but only because I could zoom out anytime with pictures taken by my Nokia Lumia 1020. In other phones once you take a zoomed photo, you lose the rest of the original (unzoomed) frame. Not with the 1020, of course.

31. Arch_Fiend

Posts: 3944; Member since: Oct 03, 2015

I use it but I only zoom the smallest amount, anything more and the pictures come out in a way that I don't like.

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