Without passing through a lens, the light falling on your camcorder’s CCD would be as empty of information as a flashlight beam. The camcorder’s lens converts incoming light from a gaggle of unreadable rays to an ordered arrangement of visual information—that is, a picture. It’s the lens, then, that makes video imaging possible. Without it, your camcorder would record an image of blank white light.
All videos are successions of individual images, each made by forcing light to form a recognizable picture on a flat surface. You can do it with just a tiny hole in the wall of a darkened room, but it’s easier to use a lens.
A lens does far more than just render light into coherent images; it also determines ...