I was meaning this; how does the camera zoom compare to an enlargement from a wider angle picture? My assumption about digital zoom is that that is what you get – an enlargement of the image captured at a base focal length. It was frequently offered on cameras with a fixed focal length lens.]
There would be no difference in quality between the “digital zoom” picture and a crop from the basic prime. The advantage you get is that your viewfinder view would enable more accurate focussing.
The important thing would be the quality of the software which the camera used to “zoom”.
So it would be interesting to reproduce the tele shots by cropping from the base focal length picture. If you used a good upscaling program to do the enlargement how would it compare?
The focusing would be critical because softness that you get away with in the wider angle view would show up badly when you enlarged.
No one could put it better John. Crop a picture to arrive at the same point. These 700mm pics would not enlarge further without showing considerable degrading. But pushing the camera to the limits shows a reasonable photograph can be acquired zoomed in at a considerable distance or photographing a small subject which is closer. Now that reasonable photograph would not compare with the bench mark set out in clubs. But there are many circumstances in all walks where a photograph is required from long distance to provide a good image/print no bigger than half plate. With the excellent lens– OIS–and only a fairly compact camera with a short lens this can be achieved as no doubt could be with other cameras. Speaking to my police friend a few weeks back–they were working in the Lake District using a 600mm lens which was not long enough, an example where this would have been a good alternative.