I am a newbie to the new camera I just bought. It is a Nikon D5200 it has the original lens that came on the camera a 18-55 lens on it. My question is when I turn the lens to the 55 and then push the plus and minus buttons at the bottom of my camera to zoom in it appears to be zooming in and then I take the photo and the picture is not zoomed in at all.

I have a new Canon T3i and was able to take and capture zoomed in photos with the lens that came with the camera (EF-S 18-55mm) as well as a Canon zoom lens EF 75-300mm 1:4-5.6. Now when I zoom in with either lens and take a photo, when I review it, it shows original image before zooming. Is it a defect in the camera or inexperience of the operator?

(Two separate questions from separate users but with the same root cause.)

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    \$\begingroup\$ Are you using the back panel display to take photos? I bet you are. And the zoom button you use to zoom in, is in fact Manual focus help, which gives you a magnified view which is supposed to help you to manually focus on your subject. Use the grips ring on the lens to zoom in. To confirm you are actually zooming the way you wish, use the eyepiece (viewfinder) to see and frame your subject. \$\endgroup\$ Jun 7, 2013 at 17:15

3 Answers 3


The zoom-in and zoom-out buttons activate the manual-focus assist function. This lets you see pixels closer so that you can see better when focusing.

This only applies because you are using Live-View which should be the exception when using a DSLR. In normal operation, through the viewfinder, these buttons will not do anything.


To zoom with those lenses on your D5200, you must physically move the zoom ring on the lenses.

When you push buttons on the back of the camera to zoom in on a particular spot on the screen, you are just magnifying one area of the total image so you can see it better. You are not making any change in the lens' focal length. The camera will record the entire image striking the sensor, not just the part you have magnified at the time on the rear LCD. One reason you would want to zoom in on a particular area would be to manually focus more precisely.

Many compact point-and-shoot cameras have digital zoom which maeans that the camera crops the image as it records it. Most DSLRs, including your D5200, do not use digital zoom in-camera. You can accomplish the same thing with pictures from your camera by cropping the full image using your computer.

  • \$\begingroup\$ T3i? OP said D5200. \$\endgroup\$
    – user
    Jun 8, 2013 at 21:56
  • \$\begingroup\$ Wow, I could have sworn it said T3i. Thanks for the catch. \$\endgroup\$
    – Michael C
    Jun 8, 2013 at 22:26
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    \$\begingroup\$ It did. Two questions got merged and it looks like the contents of the second were lost. \$\endgroup\$
    – mattdm
    Jun 8, 2013 at 23:10

As on all DSLRs, the lens has a manual zoom. I assume that you are in live view (using the LCD screen to frame the scene), and the plus and minus buttons are just magnifying that view to help you focus.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Okay thank you very much. I run a private investigation business and have the need for some long shots sometimes. I guess I just need to buy a bigger lens right. If so what would you recommend? \$\endgroup\$
    – user20116
    May 25, 2013 at 23:44
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    \$\begingroup\$ You can buy a bigger lens, or, if the level of detail is sufficient in the zoom, then you can simply crop the image you take. Any detail you can see when using the digital zoom on the display will still be visible in the full size image, it just doesn't crop it for you. If the detail is insufficient though, then you will need a longer lens. \$\endgroup\$
    – AJ Henderson
    May 26, 2013 at 2:48

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