Less than the original image quality . But Clear Image Zoom is different. I have been curious about the difference between these two for a few months now. Although optical will beat digital there are some good reasons to use crop mode in the camera instead of the TC: That is, it’s a software approach rather than an optical one. The same image shot with the Sony's ClearImage digital zoom of 105mm (left), and cropped from a photo shot with only optical zoom of 70mm … Zoom with close to the original image quality. Digital zoom is essentially a crop. In digital zoom, enlarging the "zoomed" area reduces the image resolution and the image quality. In the case of the Clear Image option, there’s some fancy algorithm magic that does a pretty good job of mitigating that sharpness loss. Optical zoom: If taking a lot of photos from far away subjects is important to you, be sure that the camera you buy has an optical zoom. What is the difference between the clear image zoom of the HX300 and HX50 I'm considering buying compared to the Precision Digital zoom of my current HX9v? An optical zoom is a true zoom lens, like the zoom lens you’d use on a film camera. August 24th, 2019, 11:45 PM #2: Christopher Young. Digital zoom is nothing more than a crop, and you might as well just do that when you get back home. With digital zoom, the image quality isn’t as good as it is with optical zoom. More info here DSC-HX300 - Zoom . What is the difference between the clear image zoom of the HX300 and HX50 I'm considering buying compared to the Precision Digital zoom of my current HX9v? Clear image zoom vs 1.4x teleconverter vs APS-C It makes no sense to have such an incredible camera and use JPEG and CIZ. The results surprised me when you put them both at 1.5X Zoom. Clear Image is an optical zoom (better)...This is a continuously variable function and achieved by changing the focal length of the lens… Zoom with close to the original image quality. Precision Digital Zoom, is a software zoom (about the same as when zooming images in PC). Is it just a marketing term or is there a genuine difference? Digital Zooms are JPEG-Only I finally got to see a comparison. Is it just a marketing term or is there a genuine difference? The higher the optical zoom, the photographer can take the photo of the subject from a greater distance and still can get a clear quality shot. Precision Digital Zoom, is a software zoom (about the same as when zooming images in PC). Digital zoom: Some cameras offer a digital zoom, which is simply some in-camera image processing. So using digital zoom is not a good idea. They produce much better-quality images. Digital zoom is an invention of digital video cameras. 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