I recently read an article at World Start regarding smart phone photography.
According to the author, “Here’s a quick tip for phone photography. When you want to get a closer shot of something, don’t zoom in. That’s because your phone has a digital zoom instead of an optical zoom. You aren’t really zooming in, you’re just cropping the photo. ”
I decided to experiment with my own Galaxy SIII.
I drove out to the Terry Bison Ranch, on Terry Bison Ranch Road just a few miles south of Cheyenne. It was an overcast day – light, but no sunshine.
I took two photos, from a medium distance, of a Wyoming Coyote Eater sculpture. I then returned home, downloaded the photos to my PC, and cropped them.
Below is a photo of the sculpture taken with normal magnification. As you can see, the sculpture doesn’t stand out very well against the brown background of the leafless trees behind it.
When I zoomed in to take the photo, the result is as you see below. I made no other alterations to the settings, and it was taken just seconds after the previous photo. There’s a lot more light in the photo, and the sculpture stands out much better.
Perform experiments with your own phone to see what works better for you – taking photos of distant objects at regular magnification and cropping them, or zooming in – which lets more light into your lens, at least in this example!