Back in September I published a blog post looking at HDSLR resources. One of the links in that post was to Abel Cinetech’s Field of View Comparator, a great tool for a getting a sense of the lenses needed to match the field of view for various HD capture formats (Super 35; Canon 5DM2, 1DM4, 7D; Panasonic AF100/GH2; HD Video, etc.) Of course that doesn’t tell the whole story. What if you want to match the look and the feel of a shot, not just the field of view? For that focal length and aperture and their relationship to the capture format come into to play.
In general, the smaller the size of the capture format the faster and the wider the lens you’ll need to match a larger size capture chip. This is no different than in the film days with still cameras. A smaller format, e.g. 35mm, needs a faster and wider lens to match the depth of field seen in a larger format, e.g. 4×5. The problem is – how do you visualize this?
Enter Stu Maschwitz, self described “filmmaker and accidental technologist.” On his blog, ProLost, he has published two posts exploring and creating a visual representation so that cameras and how they see can be compared:
Thinking about that AF-100 or GH2 but wondering what it would take for it to mimic the feel of Super 35, a 5DM2, or a 1DM4? Considering the Red Scarlet fixed lens camera but wondering how much it can throw the background out of focus? Trying to decide between Canon’s three formats (1x, 1.3x, 1.6x)? Check out his two blog posts.