# Camcorder Depth of Field

There are already a number of online depth of field
calculators such as Don Fleming's
DOFMaster and
Canon's
Calculate Depth of Field.
This page is specifically designed for computing
the depth of field for consumer camcorders shooting both
standard definition and high definition video.
If your camcorder is not listed as one of the presets select
Custom and manually specify the sensor size and the minimum
and maximum focal lengths of the lens.
Image size in millimeters is approximated by multiplying the
sensor size in inches by 16.
The circle of confusion is
1/500 of the image size for standard definition and
1/1000 for high definition video.
The depth of field is then calculated using the
equations given by KerryG.

## Conclusions

Originally the sensor size of a video camera referred to the diameter
of the video pickup tube.
The diagonal measurement of the photocathode on which the image was
focused was typically about 2/3 the diameter of the tube.
For example, a 1 inch diameter vidicon tube captured an image
with a diagonal measurement of 0.63 inches or 16mm.
Today, any video sensor designed to capture a 16mm image
is said to have a sensor size of 1 inch.
Rather than implement a lookup table of
common image sensor sizes,
the computations used here estimate the diagonal measurement
of the image in millimeters by multiplying the sensor size by 16.
This gives exact results for 1", 1/2" sensors and results to within 2%
for many consumer camcorders. Note, however, this approximation
underestimates by 11% the image captured by a 1/3" sized sensor.

Another way to obtain the size of the captured image is
by multiplying 43.3 by the actual focal length and then dividing
by the equivalent 35mm focal length. The equivalent 35mm focal
length may be reported by the manufacturer or measured experimentally.
For more information see
how to calculate
35mm equivalent focal length
by George Kroonder.

Last Updated: Sun Mar 27 22:13:06 PDT 2011