Loss in Image Quality
When I use the zoom feature of cell phone cameras, I get photos with small file sizes and lower resolutions. Why does this decrease in file size occur?
Kaustuv Banerjee, via email
This story was originally published in July 2014.
Most cellphone cameras employ digital zoom which crops a small part of a wide frame. This cropped image is then further enlarged to form the final image. Simply put, if you zoom in using an 8MP cell phone camera, then it will take a 3MP image and magnify the pixels to make an 8MP image. This is why you can observe a loss of quality. Optical zoom, on the other hand, functions as true zoom and uses the optics ofthe camera to bring the subject closer.
To ensure that you do not compromise on image quality, simply move closer to the subject instead of zooming in. Alternatively, shoot a wider frame, which can be cropped and resized using any photo editing software, as per your requirements. A third option would be to use a cell phone camera that offers optical zoom.