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Optical zoom or crop?

Discussion in 'Sony RX100 Forum' started by tombodailey, Apr 7, 2013.

  1. tombodailey

    tombodailey SC Rookie

    11
    Jan 30, 2013
    What is the advantage of using the optical zoom versus cropping in post production? I find myself always cropping because I can take my time and see what I'm getting more clearly. But I'm a new user and would like to use this cool camera to its full advantage. Thanks.
     
  2. Hikari

    Hikari SC Veteran

    292
    Jan 5, 2013
    Maine, USA
    Advantage of cropping:

    You can do it later.
    It can be more precise.

    Disadvantage:

    You are not using the entire resolution of the sensor.
    You are disengaged from the subject

    Advantage for shooting full frame:

    You are using the entire resolution of the sensor.
    You are a more engaged photographer.

    Disadvantage:

    You make a mistake, you make a mistake.

    There is no "right" way of doing photography. You need to find what works for you.
     
  3. Gary

    Gary SC All-Pro

    Aug 19, 2012
    Southern California
    Gary Ayala
    Interesting question. The question for me is, does the camera crop differently than a post processing program? I doubt if there is any difference ... so probably no advantage to camera or post, but I've been wrong before.
     
  4. entropic remnants

    entropic remnants SC All-Pro

    Mar 3, 2013
    John Griggs
    I would never use digital zoom. If you screw up the composition, you've got no way back. Since there is no difference between them that is meaningful (some digital zooms "up res" shots but theres no extra INFORMATION in the image), then I'd always shoot optical zoom and decide your crop later. More options.
     
  5. Hikari

    Hikari SC Veteran

    292
    Jan 5, 2013
    Maine, USA
    And different stroke. I never crop my images, always shooting full frame. I have options by shooting a lot. The problem I find with cropping is that it is random and you cannot predict the changes in DoF and the apparent perspective. Also, it makes me lazy, which I do not find the bast way to get the best from me. Still, there is a host of very good photographers that crop.
     
  6. kenhiraihnl

    kenhiraihnl SC Regular

    30
    Sep 29, 2012
    When I owned a 2-1/4 Bronica I was more careful in composing my shots because I liked to see the whole-frame pictures. OTOH, my half-frame Pen-F didn't produce prints that took my breath away. My RX-100 pics amaze me cropped or not. What's my point? I don't know - just babbling while having my morning coffee.
     
  7. wrangler

    wrangler SC Regular

    121
    Jan 11, 2013
    SW Minnesota
    Dennis Ulrich
    I agree with you totally! Digital Zoom vs Crop. definitely crop in post. The original post said optical zoom. I would use optical zoom first.
     
  8. Gary

    Gary SC All-Pro

    Aug 19, 2012
    Southern California
    Gary Ayala
    Back in the day, I thought I was Henri, filed out my negative carrier and only printed full frame with no cropping.

    Hot-Air-Ballons-UE-X2.

    On%20Broadway-9%20-%20W-X2.

    [​IMG]

    G-Peck-UE-X2.
     
  9. Hikari

    Hikari SC Veteran

    292
    Jan 5, 2013
    Maine, USA
    And now you can add those full-frame borders digitally...
     
  10. Gary

    Gary SC All-Pro

    Aug 19, 2012
    Southern California
    Gary Ayala
    Sounds like cheating to me. Actually, I've been removing those borders from my old images. (I think I'll start shooting that way again ... if I need to crop, it's gone. Replace the crop tool with a delete button.)
     
  11. Hikari

    Hikari SC Veteran

    292
    Jan 5, 2013
    Maine, USA
    It is funny. Magnum had done a story in one of Japan's photo magazine about Henri. There was his famous image of the puddle jumper in all its glory including a full-frame border. Only one problem, the image is actually a crop--Henri did crop early in his career. I also checked it against an exhibition catalog and sure enough, the exhibition image showed more image area. Can you imagine Magnum faking Henri's career! Shocking!!

    I found the one technique or method that gave me the most development as a photographer was shooting full frame. Even when I look at some of my near hits, cropping never results in a good image, just a less bad one.
     
  12. Gary

    Gary SC All-Pro

    Aug 19, 2012
    Southern California
    Gary Ayala
    Henri also used lens other than a 50mm. When I get famous, maybe some of my minions will toss Full Frame borders on my stuff. I think the borders indicate a lot of emotional neediness. For me the borders are nothing more than the boasting of a shallow, insecure person.

    I used to shoot Full Frame for assignments. If I had to crop ... it wouldn't be printed. A self-imposed bar. I need to stop being lazy ... and start getting serious about my hobby. I'm pretty consistant with my horizons, I need to up the rest of my game and quit relaying on post. Shooting mainly action, my crops are more of a trimming tool than an attempt of making a silk purse from a sow's ear.

    not cropped
    _MG_0510-145.

    cropped
    _MG_0309-114.

    As to Henri, I really haven't studied him much, but from what I have read, he seems to be more of a PR guy than one of Magnum's better photographer. I am much more impressed with Capra and Rodger than Henri. Blasphemy ... maybe.

    Gary
     
  13. wrangler

    wrangler SC Regular

    121
    Jan 11, 2013
    SW Minnesota
    Dennis Ulrich
    It seems to me that you can't take a picture that isn't cropped. The film or sensor does that!
     
  14. Yeats

    Yeats SC All-Pro

    Jul 31, 2012
    New Jersey, USA
    Chris
    Sometimes you need to crop to get closer to the subject. Sometimes something unforeseen enters the frame at the instant of consummation, when there's no holding back. Sometimes you need to crop because light and shadow are fickle, and sometimes there are no do-overs.

    Try to get it right, first. But if you can't, all those megapickles ought to be good for sumthin'.
     
  15. Gary

    Gary SC All-Pro

    Aug 19, 2012
    Southern California
    Gary Ayala
    Usually, you can see those unforeseen elements immediately after the shutter release. This is why the phase "One more ..." was developed. As of last night, when unforeseen circumstance enters an image, my attitude is hasta la vista, baby, I'm moving on to another file.

    This is just my code. If you find cropping a valuable tool, that's okay. I'm just attempting to improve my lot in life and photography by up-ing my game, FF or death, getting ready for the big leagues.

    G
     
  16. Isoterica

    Isoterica SC Hall of Famer

    Dec 6, 2011
    Optical zoom is the same as if you were using a longer length lens.. it does not compromise image quality, it yields the same size photo and if you want closer still, you can crop during post processing. Just make sure to stay out of digital zoom range if your camera has that because that is the camera cropping for you and results in poor image quality. So in answer to your question, frame what you want to see on your lcd (You always frame for composition).. and if what you want to see requires you to zoom then zoom on in. That is what that option is there for. *And a word of caution, getting close is addictive.
     
  17. tombodailey

    tombodailey SC Rookie

    11
    Jan 30, 2013
    Thanks all. You've been very helpful. My take home from this is: optical zoom retains image quality and allows me to preserve pixels for the same image size.
     
  18. Gary

    Gary SC All-Pro

    Aug 19, 2012
    Southern California
    Gary Ayala
    Yes, optical zoom every single time, minimize or when possible eliminate cropping in post. (sorry for the hijack.)
     
  19. Hikari

    Hikari SC Veteran

    292
    Jan 5, 2013
    Maine, USA
    There are a lot of photographers I prefer over HCB. He was simply one of many that started to use a small camera in a point of time when it was new. He is kind of like the Ansel Adams of the documentary/street world--a name that simply everyone knows when you only know a little about photography.
     
  20. Hikari

    Hikari SC Veteran

    292
    Jan 5, 2013
    Maine, USA
    But this is the thing, there are photographers that never crop. So, when is "sometimes"?