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