Difference Between Similar Terms and Objects

Difference Between Zoom and Telephoto

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Zoom vs Telephoto

Zoom is a feature that you can find in almost any camera nowadays. It allows users to magnify the subject of their photo depending on their preference. Telephoto is the term that describes a group of lenses that utilizes a certain combination and arrangement of lenses to achieve even greater magnification than the standard lenses. Telephoto lenses are made specifically to shoot subjects at great distances, and because of that, telephoto lenses cannot shoot within the usual range as the images would appear out of focus.

Telephoto lenses can also have a variable focal length in order to adjust and properly compose the subject. This kind of lens is then referred to as a telephoto zoom lens. This means that they are neither exclusive or inclusive of each other and you can have a telephoto zoom lens, a telephoto lens without zoom, a zoom lens that is not telephoto, or one that is neither a telephoto lens or a zoom lens.

Zoom is a very essential feature in most cameras as it is often difficult to get to the proper spot to shoot. Because of that, most consumers have made this one of their major considerations in buying a digital camera. Nowadays, zoom has become pretty standard feature and it is often found in the great majority of cameras in stores. Zoom comes in either optical where the camera has a moving mechanism to move the lens to get the right focal length, and in digital where the camera’s software manipulates the image to provide some level of magnification but results in loss of quality.

Telephoto lenses are not very common due to its high price, large form, and narrow niche of usability. You can usually find telephoto lenses in use by professional photographers who shoot sporting events like soccer or football where the field is huge and you are not allowed to come closer to take your shot. Or those who shoot dangerous animals in the wild where greater distance means greater safety.

Summary:
1. Zoom lens is the general term used for any lens that varies its focal length
2. Telephoto lenses are lenses that usually have a very high focal length to capture far away objects
3. A lens can either be zoom or telephoto, or both, or neither
4. Zoom exists in almost all cameras while telephoto lenses are used mainly in professional photography and other high end applications


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