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Old June 14th, 2004, 06:25 AM   #1
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From 1/3" to 1/2" 3ccd camcorder: dof difference?

Hello everybody,
another dof question.

How much shallower dof gives a 1/2" camcorder respect a 1/3" one? Say, a Panasonic DVC200 vs a Canon Xl1s..

I was thinking two ways to refresh my camera setup: buy a new DVC200 or a P+S technik Mini35 adapter for the Xl1s.

What do you think is the best deal?
Thanks for any thoughts, inputs, etc.
Ric
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Old June 14th, 2004, 06:48 AM   #2
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I understood from Charles Papert that even with a 2/3" CCD
(which is even larger) the DOF will not change enough. So I
doubt 1/2" will get you where you want to go.

But I leave it to other people who are a bit more in the know
to either confirm or deny this claim I just made.
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Old June 14th, 2004, 01:14 PM   #3
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Even with the larger chip size, there is no way the DOF would be able to compete with the DOF control of a Mini35. If it's DOF you're after and have a good existing camera and the money for either a bigger chip camera or a Mini35, I sure as heck would go for the Mini35.

After all, look at the fine work Charles did for AmEx on the Seinfeld spots with an XL1 and a Mini35.
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Old June 14th, 2004, 02:21 PM   #4
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These chips are not as big as you might believe. A 1/3 inch chip is about 4.8mm X 3.6mm and a 1/2 inch chip is about 6.4mm X4.8mm. The diagonals are 6mm and 8mm respectively. The diagonal for 35mm film is about 44mm. That is a huge difference. The small chips change in DOF is probably on the order of 10% or so.
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Old June 14th, 2004, 03:44 PM   #5
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At equivalent distance to subject, a 1/2" camera needs a 30% longer lens to deliver the same field of view, when compared to a 1/3" camera.

So let's assume you're talking about a PD170 at its maximum telephoto, 72mm. At 10 feet from the subject, and f/2.8, the PD170 would have a DOF of about 4.25". A 1/2" camera would need about a 94mm lens for the same field of view, and would thus deliver a DOF of about 3.75".

Let's assume the same settings, but at 30mm on the PD170 (and, correspondingly, 39mm on the 1/2" camera). At 10 feet, the PD170 would have a DOF of 25.25". The 1/2" camera would be at 21.75".

At the extreme end, let's take a fairly wide-angle shot of something 50 feet away, at f/2. The PD170 would be at maybe 20mm, the 1/2" camera at about 26mm. The PD170 would have a DOF of about 280 feet. The 1/2" camera has a DOF of about 150'.

So, there's a difference, but not a BIG difference. Certainly nowhere near as much as you'd get with a 2/3" camera, and nowhere in the ballpark as compared to a 35mm movie camera.
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