Optical or digital zoom


TPF Noob!
Jan 29, 2012
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I intend to purchase a Canon EOS Rebel T3 12.2 MP Digital SLR camera.
As I was told to choose an optical zoom and I see nothing in the specs
I wonder if anybody knows what kind of zoom this camera has.Optical or digital ?

Thank you

When you get into DSLR's it's pretty much all going to be optical zoom (I don't know of a DSLR that supports digital zoom, other than cropping in post).

Optical zoom means just that, zooming through use of optics... The lens.

Digital zoom is usually found on point and shoot cameras, and it basically digitally crops out pixels to get you "closer" to the subject. It severely degrades image quality, and is not recommended.
The T3 actually has both digital and optical zoom.

Optical zoom on the camera will require the use of a zoom lens, since its the optics in the lens that do the zooming (ie changing of focal length). If you put an 18-55mm lens you've the optical zoom from 18mm to 55mm. If, however, you put a prime lens (one with a single focal length) such as a 50mm on the camera it will only have 50mm and no optical zoom.

Digital zoom is also present on this camera, but only in its video recording mode and not in its photography mode. There is more details on the canon website, a quote from there; Canon U.S.A. : About Canon
EOS HD Video: Ready For A Close-Up

When shooting Full HD video, the Rebel T3i digitally provides additional zoom power without sacrificing quality. The new Movie Digital Zoom feature, a first for Canon DSLRs, allows users to achieve 3x to 10x magnification while shooting Full HD video. Unlike standard digital zoom for still images, Movie Digital Zoom crops the video image directly from the CMOS sensor at Full HD resolution to preserve video quality and still provide amazing additional telephoto power beyond just the lens. The Movie Digital Zoom feature is great for those times when the lens isn't enough to get you in close, but this feature provides the extra boost without a loss in video quality so a child's smile on stage is just as clear and bright.

As you can see this means that you can digitally zoom (even on a prime lens) for video recording with the camera, whilst still retaining a higher level of quality.

If you wanted to "zoom" in on a photo you would do that outside of the camera in the computer during editing.
A DSLR with digital zoom?


Oh hey, way to go Canon.

:lol: :lol::lol::lol::lol::lol::lol::lol::lol::lol::lol::lol::lol::lol::lol::lol::lol::lol::lol::lol::lol::lol::lol::lol::lol: :lol:
Yes! That's it completely. :lol:

The T3 actually has both digital and optical zoom.

It does? Care to lead me to documentation about that rather than to the T3i?

Can't seem to find it anywhere.
Oh darn Canon USA name conventions (and google)
Yes it appear digital zoom is a T3i feature and not a T3 - the T3 thus will only have optical zoom (when you attach a zoom lens of course).

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