Optical vs Digital Zoom: What’s the Difference & Which is Better?
Smartphone makers are tirelessly experimenting with optics to offer customers an out-of-the-world camera experience with their phones. Apart from offering multiple lens options, they are also developing new technologies to improve zoom capabilities of phone cameras.
The recently launched Oppo Reno 10x Zoom comes with optical lens technology which offers 10x hybrid optical zoom without loss in quality. At Rs 39,999, it comes in direct competition with the OnePlus 7 Pro, which offers 10x digital zoom.
So, what really is the difference between digital zoom and optical zoom in smartphones?
Optical zoom uses actual lens adjustment to zoom into objects while digital zoom adjusts the image in the camera itself. Some of the most common examples of instruments that use optical zoom are telescopes, binoculars, and even microscopes.
In digital zoom, the camera zooms into the canvas and tries to expand the image pixels which also results in loss of image quality.
Most smartphones use digital zoom technology. However, the recent crop of phones coming out boast of optical zoom capabilities and that has been a game changer for the smartphone industry.
In the above video we try to show you the difference between digital zoom and optical zoom in smartphones and how that affects the quality of the image. We also give you a glimpse of the 10x zoom capabilities of the Oppo Reno 10x Zoom and how it compares to the 10x digital zoom of the OnePlus 7 Pro.
The features that "go the distance" in the Oppo Reno is its ability to offer 60x digital zoom using prism lens technology and a camera combination of 48+13+8-megapixel triple lens camera.
The Oppo Reno 10x Zoom also comes with an ultra-wide lens that can help capture landscapes. The OnePlus 7 Pro also comes with a triple rear camera at the back.
Though optical image tech in phones is at a very nascent stage, phones like the Oppo Reno 10x Zoom and even the Huawei P30 Pro may be an inspiration for other companies to step into the optical zoom technology game as more customers would prefer this option in their smartphones.