Is 3x optical zoom and 5x digital zoom good?

3x optical zoom and 5x digital zoom are standard features on most mid-range pocket digital cameras. A better optical zoom capability would be 6x or 8x optical. The digital zoom capability can be ignored, since all it does is crop and expand your image, necessarily reducing its resolution. Digital zoom may be handy for giving you a close-up view in the viewfinder or on the viewscreen, but the photographer must remember that picture quality shot with digital zoom may be compromised.