Of course, the zoom allows you to get closer to your subject and capture their natural self... But using it indoors can also provide you with many options in terms of framing and originality.
The zoom function isn’t just for outdoor use, e.g. to take a picture of your pet. Friends and family may also feel intimidated at the prospect of being photographed from up-close, especially if you use a large SLR camera. What’s more, capturing natural, spontaneous moments is not always that simple—people tend to pose as soon as they see a camera. The zoom feature is thus a precious tool to have, especially indoors.
Optical or digital zoom?
All cameras are equipped with an optical and digital zoom. While the former allows you to get closer to the subject and make photographing easier, the latter just enlarges and reframes the central part of the image that’s on the camera’s sensor. As a result, you get a lower-quality picture that’s, more often than not, pixelated. Your best bet is thus to stick to using the optical zoom, and when needed, to zoom in again using image editing software at home.
However, cell phones are an exception, as most of them have a digital zoom function. So it’s better to get closer to your subject rather than use the zoom if you want to reframe your photo.
Frame your photos in different ways
Wide angle lens, telephoto lens . . . The optical zoom function can be used in lieu of many lenses, and thus comes in very handy when you want to quickly reframe a photo. It’s also very useful for giving added depth to your photos when using the same framing technique. For example, zoom in on the face of the young child who’s receiving a gift, then broaden the field of view to include the people around, and then the whole room to capture several viewpoints of the moment. Capturing the moment from different perspectives will make your photo album or custom-made calendar all the more interesting.
Tips on indoor photography
- Want your subject to stand out from the rest of the room? Set your zoom to telephoto mode to make your subject more prominent, and to get a sharper image of them, while leaving the background blurry.
- Your back is against a wall, so you can’t move back any further, and yet you’d like to capture a larger image? Set your zoom to wide-angle mode to extend your field of view without having to back up.
Be aware of the zoom’s limitations
The zoom is a practical function, but it’s not perfect. Pay attention to the following factors to avoid ending up with shoddy pictures:
- We advise against using the wide-angle mode when taking portrait shots, as it will distort your perspective (avoid the “big nose” effect). Instead, set your zoom to the telephoto mode and stand a few feet away from your subjects.
- When using the zoom, the risk of ending up with blurry photos is greater, especially when it’s set to telephoto mode. Use a tripod or activate the image stabilization feature on your camera, and make sure your position is stable when shooting.