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Old September 18th, 2006, 12:03 AM   #1
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Smart Zoom Expands Sony's H5 Lens Reach

Sony's feature called "Smart Zoom" on some of its newer DSC models, extends their magnification effect in the lower-resolution recording modes. Panasonic calls it "Extended Optical Zoom". Instead of sampling the entire CCD and then downsizing it to record images with smaller pixel-sizes than the camera's maximum, the active CCD sector is reduced, giving the same effect as having a smaller CCD. When out in the top end of the zoom range, this optional function will give the Sony DSC-H5, a 7MP camera with a 12X zoom, the following magnifications: At 5MP---14X, at 3MP---18X, at 2MP---22X and at 640 X 480 (VGA)---57X. Fortunately, the Smart Zoom shifts off when the lens is moved to the low end, so there is no loss of wide-angle capability. The use of this feature for those who want the long reach of an "ultra-zoom" lens, may reduce the need for telextenders that likely would reduce image quality. Also, I have a hunch that directly using all the pixels in the smaller sectors for lower pixel-sized recordings, rather than downsizing from the full CCD, will use less processing and may give better image quality.

Last edited by J. Stephen McDonald; September 18th, 2006 at 08:46 PM.
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