When I take photos on my camera and view them, they sometimes don't look the best quality. When I zoom into them on the camera they look much better, like the quality and sharpness of the image is a lot better zoomed in than when first previewed.

Why is this and how can I get the image to look as good normally like when the image is zoomed in?

  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ Possible duplicate of Why do my images look different on my camera than when imported to my laptop? \$\endgroup\$
    – mattdm
    Apr 11, 2017 at 15:49
  • 4
    \$\begingroup\$ @mattdm I understand the rationale that duplicate questions should be avoided, but sometimes I think the hunt for a duplicate is a bit too zealous, and the duplication tenuous. This question is about apparent sharpness at different zoom levels on a camera monitor. The other question is about colour differences between camera and computer screen. \$\endgroup\$
    – osullic
    Apr 11, 2017 at 16:04
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ If there is a way to change this, it will depend on your camera. Please put this information in your question. \$\endgroup\$
    – Myridium
    Apr 11, 2017 at 20:57
  • \$\begingroup\$ @osullic Basic answer is the same. The LCD screen isn't a great representation of the actual image. That said, I'm sure we've had something closer than that one before, too. \$\endgroup\$
    – mattdm
    Apr 12, 2017 at 11:20
  • \$\begingroup\$ Try: Why do images look sharp on my camera's LCD, but not tack sharp on my laptop? \$\endgroup\$
    – mattdm
    Apr 12, 2017 at 11:27

1 Answer 1


It is because the camera is previewing a compressed JPEG on screen with lower resolution than the actual image is.

The algorithm of downsampling the image is sometimes too rough to show a nice image. When you zoom in, you are actually zooming out less, the downsampling is not that rough and the result is closer to the "reality".

This is not a concern at all because what one really cares about is not camera preview but the image after postprocessing displayed in your portfolio or printed on a wall.

I use the camera preview for really rough evaluation: Do I have everything in the frame? Is it too underexposed/overexposed? Was the shutter fast enough?


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