Clear Image Zoom Vs Optical Zoom

By | 25/10/2022

Exercise you own a Sony a7S Two or a7 3, a Sony a7R Two or a7R Iii, a Sony a9, or perhaps a recent Sony a6000 or RX-series camera? If then, have you ever tried the camera’due south Articulate Image Zoom part? If you haven’t, you’re not solitary. In fact, I didn’t know about information technology until recently and I’ve been shooting with many of the abovementioned Sony cameras for quite some time.

Sony Alpha a7R-III Mirrorless Digital Photographic camera

Articulate Image Zoom is an in-camera part that enables you to zoom in 2x with whatsoever lens you own. The best part? Dissimilar cropping and normal interpolation, yous lose little if any item when you zoom in, your file size remains unchanged, and there’southward
light loss—the maximum aperture of your f/1.4 lens remains f/i.4 fifty-fifty when y’all double the image magnification.

The photographs used to illustrate this post were captured using a tripod-mounted Sony Blastoff a7R II with the ISO set to 100. The lens was stopped down 3 stops from broad open up (theoretically the sharpest discontinuity setting for about lenses), and image stabilization turned off. I also set the shutter for a two-second filibuster to further minimize camera milkshake.

Photographs © 2019 Allan Weitz

Information technology’s important to note that Sony’south Clear Image Zoom characteristic
digital zoom; the difference from the usual is how Sony’south engineers leverage the information from the sensor to punch into the prototype effectively without losing detail. Without getting technical, Sony’south engineers draw the Articulate Image Zoom function as beingness “interpolation on steroids” involving “avant-garde algorithms” and a “unique pattern recognition database” using Sony’s exclusive By Pixel Super Resolution Technology. Call it what you lot may, Sony Clear Image Zoom works and information technology works

Cropped detail
of the street scene captured usually with a 15mm ultra-wide lens, and cropped detail
of the aforementioned image area captured at 2x using Sony’south Clear Image Zoom function, and displayed at one-half the magnification. Quality-wise, whatsoever differences are difficult to notice.

Sony’s Clear Prototype Zoom office delivers notably better definition than digital zoom or postal service-capture cropping. Even when pixel-peeping at 100%, the differences—if any—are seldom perceptible. What
noticeable is a slight increase in perspective compression when zoomed in to 2x, which is exactly what you’d expect when increasing the focal length of a lens or cropping.

Shooting directly with a 200mm f/4 AI-S Micro-Nikkor lens fifty (left) and zoomed to twice magnification, effectively converting the lens into a 400mm f/4 (equivalent) macro-telephoto lens.

A closer view of the Sandy Hook lighthouse photographed with a 200mm f/4 AI-Southward Micro-Nikkor lens directly, and after engaging the Clear Image Zoom role

To activate the Articulate Image Zoom function, go to the main menu and under the cogwheel icon find the Zoom Setting, and set up it to Clear Image Zoom. At that place are a couple of ways to engage the Clear Image Zoom function from hither, just the quickest and easiest method is to dedicate a Custom button for this function by going back to the cogwheel menu, select Custom Fundamental Settings, and select Zoom under whatsoever of the available the custom buttons.

On my camera, I defended custom push #iv for Clear Image Zoom. Once engaged, I could zoom in or out by pressing the rear command bicycle left or right. To zoom in or out quicker, every time you printing the control wheel up or downwardly, it automatically zooms in 50%—press twice and it zooms directly to 2x magnification.

Street scene captured with a Voigtländer 15mm f/four.5 Ultra-broad Heliar normal and zoomed-in 2x (right) using Sony’south Clear Image Zoom function

If there’s a downside to using Sony’due south Clear Image Zoom office, it would have to exist you lot can only shoot JPEGs—no raw. Depending on your shooting preferences, this may or may non be a big bargain for you. I personally shoot JPEG and raw but, for me, having the ability to critically frame my photographs in-camera is worth the tradeoff. For videographers shooting with fixed prime lenses, in add-on to enabling zoom-like camera movements, Sony’s Clear Image Zoom function enables you to tighten your frame lines in situations where camera movement and/or repositioning is limited.

Do you own a Sony camera with Clear Image View functionality? If so, have you lot tried it out? If you take, what practice you lot recall about it? Let us know in the Comment field, below.