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Buying a Digital Camera

Check What the Zoom Really Means

SUMMARY: Advertised digital camera zoom levels may not just be optical zoom.

Be careful when reading a manufacturer's specifications on a digital camera's zoom factor.

Many digital cameras may mention that a camera has a 10x "Combined" or "Total" zoom. This *may* mean that a camera has a 5x optical zoom and a 2x digital zoom (5 X 2 = 10). As mentioned previously in MalekTips, you should only concern yourself with optical zoom as digital zoom just does a pixel interpolation when taking photos, resulting in photographs that may not be as sharp as you'd like. Read the specifications carefully, and if you have any questions, ask a camera salesman about the camera's optical zoom only.

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The MalekTips website was created in 1998 by Andrew Malek of Envision Programming. The page's goal is to freely disperse computer-related tips, hints, and informative articles. Tips are organized to be easy to find, and are presented clearly, in easy-to-understand language. MalekTips also provides information and links to public-domain, open source, freeware, shareware, and commercial software available for download.