optical zoom

Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Financial.

optical zoom

Changing the focal length of a camera by adjusting the physical zoom lens. All zoom lenses in film cameras and digital single lens reflex (DSLR) cameras are optical zoom. Digital point-and-shoot cameras as well as consumer and prosumer video camcorders have optical zoom, but they also have digital zoom.

Digital Is Software Zoom
At the telephoto side of the camera, the computer takes over and interpolates the results. For example, a still camera may have 3x optical zoom in the lens, but can process the image with its internal computer to 10x. Depending on the camera and subject matter, the software-created digital zoom can be quite acceptable or mediocre.

The Higher the Optical, the Better
The higher the optical zoom, the better the results. In a still camera, an optical zoom of 10x or more is called a "superzoom" lens. Note that if a still camera is advertised with "10x zoom," that does not necessarily mean optical zoom only. In many cases, the optical is 3x with the additional 7x being digital.

With camcorders, the optical zoom typically ranges from 10x to 64x, while the digital zoom can go from 100x to 1000x. See digital camera.
References in periodicals archive ?
The highlight is the 3x optical zoom, which when zoomed in, does not leave the smartphone frame.
COM FOR less than PS100, you'll get a top brand camera manufacturer stamp, 16MP sensor and a very decent 12x optical zoom, which is pretty impressive value for money.
Armed with a 10x optical zoom that retracts into its remarkably slim body and a 20.
He added it's entirely possible that optical zoom will make its way to the company's smartphones within two years, the report added.
This compact camera has exposure compensation dials, 5x optical zoom and f/1.
Panasonic has launched the new DMCA[degrees]FZ70 from its Lumix FZ series with a powerful optical zoom, ultraA[degrees]wide angle image capturing capability and superior controllability, including manual operaA[degrees] tion over photo and fullA[degrees]HD video recording.
Has a 3x optical zoom, 5x digital zoom and a built-in microphone.
Its six megapixel pictures are very good and the 3x optical zoom and two-inch screen are okay.
TELECOMWORLDWIRE-1 July 2004-Vodafone Japan launches optical zoom camera phone(C)1994-2004 M2 COMMUNICATIONS LTD http://www.
5 images to be recorded per second, a 3,170,000-pixel CCD knocking out images at a maximum resolution of 2,048 x 1,536 dots and video at a maximum of 640 x 480 dots, running at a not-too-jerky 15 frames per second; it also sports a 3x optical zoom.

Full browser ?