I thought it might be fun to talk about the optical zoom of our cameras.
When we compare pictures of how good the zoom is, we have to keep in mind that the camera starts out with everything in the frame at a much further distance away than what we actually can see. The reason for this is that the picture frame includes “everything” in our peripheral vision depending on the focal width of the camera lens. In other words when we look at something, our eyes filter out everything we are not focused on–the camera doesn’t. So take a look at this first picture.
This is what the camera “sees.” Note it includes information from the basement window on the right to the wheel barrow on the left. Now look how far away the grey fence right at the center of the picture is. In reality, to the naked eye, without all the periphery information, this is what the eye sees.
So when we talk about the ability of the camera to zoom in on something, this is the point we really should be talking about. In other words, if you have a 50x zoom you are really starting at about 25x to begin with—maybe worse. If we zoom all the way in at 50x, this is what the camera sees.
You can try this with your own camera by looking in the view finder and zoom in until the image in the view finder is the same size as what you actually see.
By Charles Buell, Real Estate Inspections in Seattle
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