Article ID : 00055293 / Last Modified : 03/30/2021Print

Can a camcorder record with a shallow depth of field (DOF)?

    The level of DOF available on a camcorder depends on the sensor size, focal length, and aperture.

    Most consumer-level camcorders have a very small sensor so the camcorder can be smaller and lighter, making it more portable. This small sensor size helps keep everything in focus. Because of the small sensor size, obtaining shallow DOF can be difficult compared to camcorders with larger sensors like those made for the professional market.

    If your camcorder has a lens with a long focal length, you can try using the telephoto to zoom into your subject from a distance. This can help achieve a shallow DOF, allowing your subject to stand out. Depending on the distance of the subject between the lens and the background, however, the amount of DOF will vary.

    The aperture (aka iris) of the camcorder lens is an important factor that determines DOF. Large apertures produce a shallow DOF. If your camcorder has an aperture or iris setting, make sure you set it so the aperture/iris is fully opened.

    NOTE: Refer to the instruction manual of your camcorder for model-specific information if necessary. Manuals are posted on your model support page.