What's Better: Optical Zoom or Digital Zoom?

20x Optical Zoom

20x Digital Zoom

Optical Zoom On Security Cameras

Optical zoom makes the lens of the security camera move inwards or outwards to get a better view of an object to magnify an object. Zooming in with an optical zoom results in a smaller angle of view.

Digital Zoom On Security Cameras

Digital video footage is completely comprised of pixels. When digital zoom is used, it simply enlarges the pixels of an image. Often, this can result in blurry or pixelaged footage.

Optical Zoom is nearly preferred in every way, except for two reasons: 1. digital zoom does not lessen your angle of view and 2. digital zoom can be added after video is recorded.

Angle of view with an 20x Optical Zoom

Angle of view with an 20x Digital Zoom

You can see that the optical zoom shot completely misses that someone is about to throw a rock at the camera. When using a camera that has been zoomed in on a location with optical zoom (and thus has a more limited angle of view), you probably want to help secure that camera with a wide angle lens camera near it as well.

After recording with Optical Zoom, you can add Digital Zoom. This is image is 20x optical and 10x digital

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