What is the difference between optical zoom and digital zoom?

Video cameras have become a normal thing in our daily life, but do you know there are optical zoom and digital zoom for cameras? And do you know the difference between them? Here is something you need to know.

Actually, the digital zoom is not a real zoom, the definition is that digital zoom is to use the processor of the camera to raise the pixel scale inside the image to get it enlarged. The principle is to use software to work out what the color is surrounding the existing pixels, then add the similar pixels by the special algorithm.


  • Low production cost (the camera price will be lower)
  • It can help the photographer to blur the background and achieve some article effect


  • Not the real zoom
  • The resolution and image quality will be damaged when using digital zoom, so the image will become blurry.

What about the optical zoom?

Optical zoom is to change the position of the lenses in the zoom lens to get the good focal length to enlarge the image. The principle is to enlarge the objects by changing the position of lens, objects and the focus. The bigger is the optical zoom, the longer you can photograph.


  • It is the real zoom
  • The image will keep high resolution and clear


  • The cost is higher than digital zoom as it is to zoom by the hardware device

(The image effect of optical zoom and digital zoom for your reference)

optical zoom

Today’s cameras all have optical zoom and digital zoom, if you are just daily use, normal cameras with small optical zoom are enough; if you want to photograph long distance objects, you need to take care of the optical zoom of the cameras. And for video conference cameras, you need to consider the optical zoom according to the scale of your conference room or your purpose to the use the conferencing cameras.

If you have any further questions or find any mistakes, please feel free to contact, I would be happy to discuss with you. Thanks for your reading and have a good day!