Not sure if this is correct channel...Question about Digital versus Optical Zoom

Posted on 2005-04-16
Last Modified: 2010-04-06
As stated not sure where to place this question.  To me it is a Graphics question as when I am done with work I import it into Video Graphics programs - might be better placed in multimedia... but here is question.

I have a Sony Analog Hi8 HandyCam.  I know I could have purchased a Digital8 or straight Digital Sony - but I owned a Video8 Sony for 10 years and had lots of older tapes and with a TV capture card I can bring the tapes on the computer easy.  The question is about zoom.

The Video8 had a 12x optical.  The new camera has a 20x optical and a 990x digital zoom.  Over 40x it is useless.  But I do find the 40x to be quite good in some instances.   However, I get a small but noticeable shimmer when using 40x - similar to the effect of when looks out in a straight field of sight on a warm day with the naked eye and can see the horizon at end of view and sees "water".  A heat effect.  

Is this just a natural limitation of the camera?  I can use an unsharp filter and eliminate most of it.  Straight optical produces no such effect.  So I was wondering if I obtained a true optical lens to increase optical by 2x or even 3x if I would still have the same problem.  Any thoughts?
Question by:bobsanders653
    LVL 4

    Author Comment

    A teleconverter they call it
    LVL 38

    Accepted Solution

    Remember that when you are using digital zoom, all you are doing is limited the area of the CCD used for the picture, and blowing that smaller portion of the picture up larger to fill the frame. In other words, there is a loss of resolution. I suspect that the "shimmer" effect you you see is the results of Sony's agorithm for blowing that smaller picture up to fill the frame.

    Sony does make screw-in telephoto lenses for many of their consumer cameras. Since you didn't state your exact model number, I can't say for sure if they make one that fits yours, but their current models are the TRV138 and TRV338, both of which take Sony's VCL-HA20 33mm 2.0X Telephoto Conversion Lens (giving you 40x optical zoom at roughly $100), and also their VCL-ST30 37mm 3.0X Telephoto Conversion Lens (giving you 60x zoom at $400).  

    Remember that when using a teleconverter (as BobSanders said, that what these really are), you will experience light loss, so for filming in low light situations, you'll want to make sure it's not attached. Also they will block the built-in video light and night-shot illuminator.
    LVL 38

    Expert Comment

    Thanks for the points and the "A". Glad we could help, and good luck with your filming!

    Write Comment

    Please enter a first name

    Please enter a last name

    We will never share this with anyone.

    Featured Post

    Highfive + Dolby Voice = No More Audio Complaints!

    Poor audio quality is one of the top reasons people don’t use video conferencing. Get the crispest, clearest audio powered by Dolby Voice in every meeting. Highfive and Dolby Voice deliver the best video conferencing and audio experience for every meeting and every room.

    Suggested Solutions

    Many programs have tried to outwit PowerPoint in terms of technology and skill. These programs, however, still lack several characteristics that PowerPoint has possessed from the start. Here's why PowerPoint replacements won't entirely work for desi…
    Technology opened people to different means of presenting information, but PowerPoint remains to be above competition. Know why PPT still works today.
    It’s easy to embed any of your public Prezi presentations on your website or social network to share with others. Learn how simple it is in this tutorial.
    Illustrator's Shape Builder tool will let you combine shapes visually and interactively. This video shows the Mac version, but the tool works the same way in Windows. To follow along with this video, you can draw your own shapes or download the file…

    779 members asked questions and received personalized solutions in the past 7 days.

    Join the community of 500,000 technology professionals and ask your questions.

    Join & Ask a Question

    Need Help in Real-Time?

    Connect with top rated Experts

    15 Experts available now in Live!

    Get 1:1 Help Now