A lesser known function on the new alpha cameras is called Clear Image Zoom. It’s a digital zoom feature that gives you a maximum of 2 times zoom. This is great but just how good is it? Well it’s pretty dang good! From my testing I can’t see any image quality loss when using Clear Image Zoom on the a7s II. It’s a little mind boggling really. I know it’s a digital zoom in but it’s not pixelizing or creating strange edges. Oh and it’s also on the original a7s too!
As for the zoom itself I don’t like it very much. I wish I could slow it down for nice slow pushes but you can’t. I don’t see myself using the actual zoom effect really but maybe it can be slowed down a little in post. Try it out.
Check out the video and how to find the setting in the a7s II menu. Unfortunately it’s a setting that requires two changes in the menu in order to use it. I recommend using one of the custom settings options on the camera.
To tun the Clear Image Zoom on.
Go to the GEAR icon
Scroll down to ZOOM SETTING
Select – ON:ClearImageZoom
Then go to the CAMERA icon
page 6 – Select ZOOM
Clear Image Zoom was developed for stills and later added to the video function. I don’t know when Sony added this in video mode but the original a7s II also has the option in video mode. The new cameras like the a7r II and FS5 also have it.
Even the FS7 has it.
This is what Sony says about Clear Image Zoom.
Clear Image Zoom is a function that uses the Sony® exclusive By Pixel Super Resolution Technology. It allows you to enlarge the image with close to the original image quality when shooting still images. The camera first zooms optically to the maximum optical magnification, then uses Clear Image Zoom technology to enlarge the image an additional 2x, producing sharp, clear images despite the increased zoom ratio.
It’s a very cool feature and I can see myself using it a lot. Just don’t shoot at high ISO levels because the noise is more noticeable when the image is 2x bigger. It doesn’t add more noise but makes the noise in the image 2x bigger. Get it? So slap a 100mm on and make it 200mm. Wildlife shooting with a 300mm or now 600mm will be huge! Literally 😀
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