What is Depth of Field?

We have invested in cameras that ensure every corporate video we produce will engage your target audience. A particular technique that enhances your video is controlling the depth of field. So what is depth of field?

Most of us have watched a TV drama or documentary where the main subject is in perfect focus, but the back ground is blurred out. This is to make what ever the subject of that particular scene “pop” out, in laymen’s terms it serves to get your customer’s complete attention to it. This is often referred to as a “shallow depth of field”.

Sometimes however we need to show as much of the scene in focus as much as possible, for example a landscape scene or one showing a busy restaurant. This is often to establish a scene and to give as much information to the audience as possible and this is referred to a “deep depth of field”.

There are 3 things that determine the depth of field of a particular shot and these are:-


The maximum aperture of any given camera dictates how much light that camera is capable of getting to the camera sensor. A camera a F4 will let in far more light than at F11. In laymen’s terms if you had two cameras set up at exactly the same distance with the same focal length from a subject, with the only difference being the difference in aperture. The camera with F4 aperture will give a narrower depth of field and in theory will make the subject “pop” more from the background.


All things being equal, a subject that is closer to a camera will produce a shallower depth of field to one that is further away. If we wanted our subject to really “pop” out from the background we would place them closer to the camera than if we wanted to have more of the background in focus (for example if the background is relevant to that particular scene). We could of course change the aperture as per the example above but sometimes this is not possible as we might already be at maximum aperture, if for example we were shooting indoors.


The focal length of a lens will directly effect the depth of field. If we set two cameras up at exactly the same distance to the subject, but used a 50mm lens one one and 200mm lens on the other, the 200mm lens would have a shallower depth of field than the 50mm one.

So there you have it, a brief explanation of what determines depth of field. It is our job as videographers to determine what is the best depth of field to work with in relation to the scene we are filming and what we want to get across to the audience. Thankfully we have lots of experience with this and you can be sure that we will make every scene in your video engage the target audience and make your business look great on camera.

We are a video production company that is based in Bedford and covers all of the UK. To watch our showreel please visit our home page. Our portfolio includes national brands, local authorities and great local companies. We are affordable and will a difference to your business.