Digital Zoom and Postwork

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by mykill, Sep 21, 2006.

  1. mykill

    mykill TPF Noob!

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    1. I have read that it is i guess "bad" to use digital zoom....I was wondering why this is?

    2. I am curious on how much and what types of postwork you guys actually do. I see some amazing colors and effects i guess i would call them and was curious on how much of it is the actual shot and what was done... but really want to know what type of postwork is done and how often
     
  2. Rob

    Rob TPF Noob!

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    1. Digital zoom is usually where the camera's logic takes a centre portion of its sensor and then interpolates the data to produce an image the same size as a normal image with no digital zoom. It is generally "bad" because you can often achieve better results with an un-zoomed image enlarged in photoshop or similar (the algorithms tend to be more sophisticated and the computing power is greater). I have tested this myself with a compact Ricoh and found that there was a very very slight advantage to photoshop, but not as much as I was expecting. Generally for best image quality, get closer!

    2. I do between loads and none depending on the image. If I'm covering an event, like a party or a wedding and there are hundreds of shots to print out for the first stage, then I do no manipulation. If, however, there are only a couple of shots being produced for a portfolio or say wedding formals, then I'll most likely fiddle in PS for hours and hours before ending up with something that I chuck away and redo in five minutes.

    I try and get everything right in-camera with the equipment I have, rather than thinking "I'll fix that in Photoshop".

    Rob
     
  3. rmh159

    rmh159 TPF Noob!

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    Since Rob answered your first one I'll just stick to the 2nd.

    I do Levels / Curves in Photoshop on almost all of my shots unless the histogram doesn't need it but that's usually rare. Other than that I'll dodge / burn and crop the pics occassionally but that's about it.

    Like Rob said... as a photographer you should want to get everything right in the camera. The reality of life though is that you simply can't ALWAYS get the shot perfect in camera so it's good to know how to use some post-production software for those instances where life prevents the perfect shot.
     
  4. Tiberius

    Tiberius TPF Noob!

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    Depends on the Situation for me as well. Generally, I shoot RAW, run a quick-and-dirty batch JPG conversion to see what shots I like best. Those I like I do detailed post-processing to (Levels, Curves, Sharpening, Editing, whatever) until I get what I originally envisioned.
     
  5. fightheheathens

    fightheheathens TPF Noob!

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    for those of us that still use film, and know how to develope in a dark room, I try to get everything right in camera, but when i print, i adjust bightness, contrast, and do dodging and burning as well as cropping
     
  6. ts_imagery

    ts_imagery TPF Noob!

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    Rob basically answered your first question, but I'll just add a little bit more.

    Optical zoom actually changes how the light hits the sensors on the camera, and therefore you get different light hitting different parts of the sensors when you zoom in/out.

    Digital zoom, on the other hand, doesn't change what light hits the sensors, it just changes how the information is saved. So the processor basically just does a digital enlargement of a portion of the sensor data (with some interpolation to fill in the gaps).

    The reason you wouldn't want to use digital zoom is because it lowers the quality of recorded image (because the interpolation isn't really matching what you would see in real life). You can always get the exact same results as a digital zoom (if not better), but just resizing/cropping the image after it is recorded. Even the most basic image editing program can do that. That way you can still have the original file in its best possible quality, and still achieve the 'zoom' in post if you really want that.

    Digital zoom is more practical in digital video cameras (although it still lowers the quality of the image), because it is much harder (at least for hobbyists) to zoom the image in post production for a video than for a still photo.

    As for your second question (I know this post is already getting long, but I'll try to be brief). What post processing you do, and how much you do, all depends on what you are trying to achieve. If you are trying to just do photography that looks its best, or if you are trying to create digital art.

    If you just want to touch up a photograph, then you would probably stick with the basics on most of your shots: colour, contrast, and level adjustments, and possibly sharpening/softening. You might also use noise reduction depending on how grainy your shot is.

    Of course, there is a lot more you can do if you really want to spend the time and get everything exactly the way you want it. And if you want to get into digital art, then you can basically manipulate every aspect of the final image, by combining multiple images, using filters, etc.

    But I would generally say that most good photographs have some adjustments made to them, even if you are basically just using the computer to reproduce what you would adjust in a dark room.
     
  7. ksmattfish

    ksmattfish Now 100% DC - not as cool as I once was, but still

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    Digital zoom is cropping using software in the camera. It's the same as cropping in Photoshop, or whatever post processing software you might use. It's only "bad" in the sense that it reduces resolution. If you can stick with optical zoom (cropping using the lens) then you retain maximum resolution.
     

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