Sony Ericsson Xperia Arc Digital Zoom for Low-Res Shots Only

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Last month we looked over the digital zoom capabilities of some smartphones; we realize that it’s all a matter of software, but we were curious to see how several smartphones with image sensors of differing quality would fare against each other. Sure, it never looks as good as using an optical zoom, but depending on how well your smartphone handles digital mode (cropping from a higher resolution, or interpolating a lower resolution) it can come through in a pinch. Sony Ericsson seems to be taking a stance to preserve image quality with the Xperia Arc’s digital zoom, disallowing it in the default camera app except when taking lower-resolution stills.

Out of the box, the Arc does not support digital zoom when taking six-megapixel or eight-megapixel shots; in these cases, the phone would need to interpolate the image to generate new pixels, resulting in something that would inevitably look a bit blurry. Instead, SE lets you use the zoom when the camera app is configured for two-megapixel images, presumably because there are far more pixels to work with, and the phone could crop the image in without losing much quality.

Is this a good decision, helping you end up with higher-quality images, or would you prefer to have more control over your smartphone’s camera, even if that means ending up with a blurry mess once in a while? SE allows full digital zoom with other Xperia models, so we’re curious why it changed its mind for the Arc.

Source: Xperia Blog

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About The Author
Stephen Schenck
Stephen has been writing about electronics since 2008, which only serves to frustrate him that he waited so long to combine his love of gadgets and his degree in writing. In his spare time, he collects console and arcade game hardware, is a motorcycle enthusiast, and enjoys trapping blue crabs. Stephen's first mobile device was a 624 MHz Dell Axim X30, which he's convinced is still a viable platform. Stephen longs for a market where phones are sold independently of service, and bandwidth is cheap and plentiful; he's not holding his breath. In the meantime, he devours smartphone news and tries to sort out the juicy bitsRead more about Stephen Schenck!