What part of the sensor allows it to maintain image quality when zooming in?
I think only digital zoom loses resolution/image quality when zooming in, since it is equivalent to simply taking the full-resolution "unzoomed" image and cropping in the part that you want zoomed. However, with optical zoom, the full resolution of the sensor is used to capture a small field of view due to the manipulation of light by the lens.
So then for optical zoom are there quality differences in resolution when we take a shot of an image, same size, with one close up with shorter FOV and one farther with longer FOV?
@YoungNathan in most situations you'll lose quality at longer distances because (1) the turbulence of the air (seeing) blurs the image, and (2) because longer lenses tend to let in less light.