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Behind the Lens by Jay Holben

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1.7The Film Look—Sensor Size: Size Matters

Don’t be lied to! Size matters!

Well, as far as sensors are concerned.

Why?

Focus. Rather, depth of field. And field of view.

When we first entered the digital arena, technology only allowed our sensors to be so big—up to ⅔″—which meant that video always had more depth of field than film. Achieving the shallow, creamy, filmic depth of field became one of the last great frontiers of digital imagery.

Depth of field is defined by the size of the circle of confusion (see Optics section), which is defined by the size of the target (imager). In its most simplistic form, the smaller the image target, the greater the depth of field.

To that end, camera manufacturers have been reaching for the goal of matching ...

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