Cropping your images during editing is easy and it's a fast way to get rid of peripheral clutter or to gently recompose a picture. The trouble is that when you crop in editing you're throwing away pixels and therefore shrinking the size of your image. The more you crop, the less image area (number of pixels) you have to work with.
Since I like to make big enlargements and often sell photos to publishers looking for large images, I prefer to do most of my cropping in the camera. By using your zoom lens to crop in camera you can create a variety of views of a subject and yet each one will contain the maximum number of pixels your camera captures. In other words, you'll have the same full-sized image for each different cropping. Just be sure that as you crop (especially if you're using a variable-aperture zoom lens) that you adjust the f/stop to extend the depth of field (near-to-far sharpness) and keep the entire subject in sharp focus. Remember that as you zoom closer the added magnification reduces the depth of field.
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