I have been down this road before, but I thought I’d try it again. I should have learnt my lesson.
A cheap and nasty way to double your zoom capabilities, is to use a screw-on 2X teleconverter. You can buy these in the thread size to suit your camera for less than $20 on eBay.
I thought, “The HS10 has 30X optical zoom, by adding one of these I would get 60X zoom. That would be awesome!”
The marketing ploy is full of wonderful descriptions of how much effort their laboratory technicians have put into producing premium grade optics, finely polished to give you the clearest image.
They show you before and after shots to suck you in, by making it look like magic, as seen here.
The longer your camera’s focal length, the worse the outcome. On my earlier Fuji cameras, with native 4 or 10X optical zoom and using a 1.5X teleconverter, the result was barely acceptable. With the HS10, it was unusable. So that was money down the drain and a reminder that you get what you pay for.
So the idea occurred to me that, since I have a 10 megapixel image, what would happen if I cropped the centre out and doubled its size? I would still have an acceptable 5 megapixel image in theory.
The native size the HS10 takes is 3648 x 2736 pixels. So I put a cropping layer 1824 x 1368 pixels in size over the original image and moved it around to centre it over the target I wanted to use. I could then resize the cropped image back to full size.
The first image is the original using the full 30X zoom. The second one is after cropping it.
As you can see, there is virtually no difference in quality when viewed on a computer screen. I doubt you would see any difference in a normal print of the photo either. But there is a massive difference between what you get by doing this and using the teleconverter!
This got me thinking, what if I cropped one of my close-up photos? I found I could bring out the real target of the image, changing it altogether as seen here.
So, by using cropping, I can not only simulate 60X zoom, but I can simulate closer macro shots. The best part being, loss of quality is barely noticeable.
Of course, anyone who understands photography would not find anything clever about this post. But if, like me, you are a stock amateur and barely able to venture past point-and-shoot techniques, then hopefully I have saved you the waste of time and money of going down the teleconverter route. They really are pieces of junk.