Zoom Lens

Zoom Lens

Zoom Lens
Version 1.0

Bottom Line: Essential!

Zoom Lens by BitWink finally brings a real digital zoom to the App Store. It provides up to an 8X digital zoom with no loss of image resolution.

I grabbed this app based on the query of a commenter in a recent post at iPhoneography.com. I was skeptical before I downloaded it. After all, the app store is filled with “digital zoom” apps which are really just in-app cropping.

Zoom Lens is the real deal. It does what it advertises and does it well.

You set the zoom level by pinching and scrolling onscreen. A double tap on the screen toggles between 4X zoom and no zoom — a nice touch. No matter what your zoom level, Zoom Lens actually resamples your images, sharpens them, and saves them at full resolution — 2MP or 3MP depending on your iPhone. The results are better than cropping and resampling in Photoshop. I’ve used several of the zoom apps and Zoom Lens produces the best results by far. Not only does it offer image interpolation, but its sharpening algorithm is very nice for a digital zoom. I’ve been using Snapture for over a year, another app with an image interpolated digital zoom feature, but it lacks the sharpening algorithm and that makes a difference.

I’ve only run comparison tests with both apps up to 4X — the max my caffeinated hands can handle. Zoom Lens produces superior results when compared to Snapture’s. It’s still a digital zoom and will not replace a real zoom lens, so don’t expect results that are on par with a good consumer camera or a high-end SLR. Also, remember that the higher the zoom level, the more your image will degrade — that’s true of any digital zoom. But based on my tests, Zoom Lens is the best digital zoom for iPhone that I’ve used so far. Definitely worth the money for this great camera add-on!

Zoom Lens is available in the App Store for $0.99 USD.